The Spy Who Flunked Me

Comments

1
Since high schoolers who send nudie pictures of each other to their boyfriends and girlfriends are routinely prosecuted as "sex offenders" nowadays, presumably the same thing will happen to these school administrators? None of them should ever be allowed to have jobs again. This is beyond appalling.
2
@1 Absolutely correct. Attorneys need to get every image pulled and then also checked vs backup records. There's a slew of criminal charges here that should come out the pedophilia aspect not even counting, but that's horrifying without even getting into that aspect of it.
3
There is a security program issued by UW called Adeona that does the same exact thing, but it's nearly impossible for even the user of this program to access the images. I just wonder who is in charge of the database and how it works. This stuff kind of freaks me out.
4
Help me understand something, or please clarify: is this story saying that this "snooping" only happened through the school's "lost & stolen" laptops?

If this kid (or whoever else) took the laptop and didn't return it, or ensure that it was properly checked out, this system they had in place was clearly designed to "track" the laptop and find it.

If that's the case, I don't see what's not right Dan. If this were a student's PERSONAL laptop that he bought with his own money, then yeah, I see the offense.
5
@4 It's really simple.

1. Was the laptop stolen or not returned when it should have been?

2. Did the kid's legal guardian authorize the school to record their son's images in this way?

3. Did the kid's legal guardian even know?

4. Did they inadvertently record any images legally defined as child porn?

If 1=Yes, do not pass go, case dismissed. If 1=No, advance to 2.

If 2=Yes, do not pass go, case dismissed. If 2=No, advance to lawsuit they may win and insert "This is bullshit," and confirm condition 3 below.

If 3=Yes, go back to 2. If 3=No, advance to lawsuit they will almost certainly win and insert "This is fucking bullshit," and confirm condition 4 below.

If 4=Yes, confirm lawsuit victory, insert "This is appalling fucking bullshit," and advise the school staff to enjoy their time in jail. If 4=No, go back to 2.
6
@4 And I didn't mention the possibility of it being the personal laptops bought by the family, because if they were, this is going to be such an epic lawsuit of fail for the school that they deserve to be legally screwed over with every ouch of screwage the the trial attorneys can muster.
7
You people are all up way too early in the morning.
8
@4, no, MT3. The system was made to track lost or stolen laptops, but instead was used to spy on students. In another article I read the school actually punished a student for improper behavior at home (!), using images captured by the computer.

More here: http://boingboing.net/2010/02/17/school-…
9
FTA:
The family's lawyers have argued that neither Blake nor many of the other students whose laptop cameras were activated had reported those laptops missing or stolen. According to the motion, an unspecified number of laptops were being tracked because students had failed to return computers or pay a required insurance fee.

The district has said it turned on the camera in Robbins' computer because his family had not paid the $55 insurance fee and he was not authorized to take the laptop home.


I think sending pictures every 15 minutes for a laptop that he was authorized to use but not take home seems like a bit much. The reason why Robbins knew at all was because he was confronted with a picture of him eating Mike and Ike candies and told that the school authorities thought it was illegal drugs.
10
@7 Some of us have jobs, or live in different time zones, or spent all night on a meth binge.
11
Meth binge . . . yeah, that I can believe.
12
If the story in that BoingBoing article is true, that the school called attention to its own spy software by disciplining that kid for "improper behavior" and citing its own spycam images as evidence... words fail me. Whatever possible sympathy I could have had for the school district vanishes in that case, because either these people think they're living in the USSR circa 1937 or they have the collective IQ of celery. In either case, I hope the court f*cks 'em!
13
@5

I disagree. If #1 = yes, the school is still wrong.

14
@1, yes - if the school DID happen to obtain photos of teenage kids doing what teenage kids do alone in their room, and those photos were viewed or stored by any member of the school administration, then it IS child pornography, and those motherfuckers should be forced to stay away from schools for the rest of their lives. This is the worst kind of predatory behavior - the kind "justified" as being for the kids' protection.
15

Was this a Catholic school?
16
I can't even begin to wrap my mind around the stupid. How did they not see this ending up with them being sued back to the stone age?
17
I don't even understand how the school thought that this was okay. If they wanted to trck computers, they didn't have to take pictures of the students. Couldn't they just use a tracking device or something? They would still know where it was at. This is sick, I can't believe they would consistently watch it too, like it was a CW show or something. This is just all kinds of wrong. We are just not allowed to our privacy in America (yeah, I'm talking about you Patriot Act).
18
When I first heard about this, I couldn't believe it. This is the biggest kind of bullshit any institution could pull, and it wasn't a business, not an institution with adult workers, but a mother fucking school. The shit we put our kids through before deciding they're ok...

@4,5 - The issue here, as has been stated, is that the program was ostensibly for security, but was not used as such.

@12 - That's the hilarity of this - it was USER ERROR that fucked them up, not even some accidental glitch or something. They blew their own cover.

Fuck I hate middle and high schools.
19
If that is an actual photo from a laptop webcam then that kid must have been sleeping with the computer on his bed or the admins zoomed the camera somehow.

Now that I think about it the image is probably cropped.
20
This story broke months ago, and there's been plenty of ink spilled over it. Where have you folks been?
21
@1 - DUHHHHH, obviously the KIDS are the sex offenders here! Nubile young cupcakes bombarding a bunch of temptation-susceptible adults with webcam shots of themselves eating, sleeping, surfing the web and god knows what else -- how is this not sexual solicitation? There should be a special Catholic prison just for these little catamites.
22
pervcam
23
@20, I read about this story when it first broke, but two things that are new to me today are the photo of the kid sleeping (which clearly illustrates just how intimate a violation of privacy this was), and the appalling quotes from the voyeuristic staffers watching the "LMSD soap opera" (which clearly show that the school staff was abusing this "security" feature).

Between this story, and the story about gay seniors getting fucked over by Sonoma County, I'm feeling pretty pissed off about humans today. I think I need to go for a long walk in the woods.
24
this is so repellent. Good that civil action is being taken, but I don't understand--have criminal charges not been filed?
25
@15 - no this was a public school. The LMSD soap opera they mention stands for Lower Merion School District. I live in the area and I am shocked that it happened there of all places - Lower Merion is an extremely wealthy area. It isn't like they were spying on poor kids who might be tempted to sell their expensive laptop. These kids [or their parents] could easily afford to buy laptops of their own.
26
Wait, what, it would have been more acceptable if this had happened to poor kids since poor kids "might be tempted" to pawn their school's laptops? Oy.
27
Invasion of privacy suit, here we come.

Meanwhile back in the real world...Cameras and mics: if you can't unplug them, figure out how to cover them up physically. That, and turn the damned computer off when you aren't sitting in front of it.

28
@26, I don't think @25 was saying that it would be "ok", but that it's even more surprising because with theft being uncommon the motivation was unlikely to be "find the stolen laptop" but blatantly to "spy on the kids".

I'm not so sure I agree. I went to a wealthy public school, and there was some theft. I'm sure it is less common than at schools where kids are less likely to have home computers, but there is still "plausible deniability' that the purpose was to spy.

I mean, it's clear that the purpose *was* to spy, but they can claim otherwise.

I leave my laptop open all the time ::shudder::
29
@5 - My point in saying all of that was this: if these laptops belong to the school, whatever they do with them to make sure they stay in THEIR possession should be perfectly legal. If you choose not to allow such things, don't take the school's laptops - get your OWN.