School Spying Scandal Gets Even More Bizarre: Student In Question Was Disciplined For Eating Candy

from the mike-&-ikes dept

The story of the school district that supposedly spied on some students keeps getting odder and odder. While the school district claims that it used the secret remote webcam activation technology 42 times -- and only to track down stolen or lost laptops -- it still hasn't explained why this particular student was punished. He claims his laptop was not stolen and there was no reason to turn it on. The school claims that the assistant principal who supposedly confronted the student with an image from the webcam is being unfairly tarnished.

But here's where it gets even odder. Apparently, the "improper act" that the student was disciplined for was an accusation of either drug use or drug selling. For what? Well, the image showed the student with Mike & Ikes candies, which do have a passing resemblance to pills, but (last we checked) do not appear to be controlled substances.

Now, there certainly could be more to this story, but the school has not done a particularly good job explaining its side of things.


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  1.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 8:31am

    The fact that no clear explanation of the events has come out yet makes me assume there is way more to this story. If the school didn't spy on the kid at home, they would have stood up and said "We absolutely did not do that" right away. Hell, if they did do it but thought they had any chance of covering it up they would probably say that too. The lack of a firm denial on their part suggests they know they've stepped in it.

     

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  2.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Ability does not equal right

    Just because the school system MAY have told the students and parents that they COULD do this does not give them the right to actually do it.

    I think we have a very serious problem today in that too many people believe that just because they can, means they are OK to do.

     

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  3.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:08am

    BAN CANDY NOW

    think of the children

     

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  4.  
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    slacker525600 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:24am

    if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    what are my rights?

    All this coverage has pointed towards it being illegal to remotely enable features to check the status of the machine, but what if there is spyware on my machine that does the same thing but without my knowledge? Where would that liability fall? Is this going to be the next set of laws used to try and handicap internet profiteers?

    I know that the constitutionality of the issue is at hand, with privacy and wiretapping laws being called in, but telling somebody who owns something that they cannot check the status of their property with a policy in place that lets users know this is possible seems reasonable to me, for some reason or another.

    "It has been estimated that up to one quarter of all personal computers connected to the internet may be part of a botnet" taken from a random wiki article that cited it. But really, what expectation of privacy do people have when they use somebody else's pc? I personally dont have very much.

    flame away, Im at work, so not spending the time to be eloquent or defend my point, just trying to bring up my thought and see if anybody is thinking along the same lines at all.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    Ban School Principles now!
    (think of the children ;P )

     

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  6.  
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    A Dan (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    School Principles: typo or double entendre?

     

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  7.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:32am

    So let me get this straight...

    The school can spy on the students in their homes.

    The kid was at home eating candy.

    Someone at the school was spying on the kid and mistakenly believed the kid was taking drugs.

    The school punished the kid for appearing to take drugs at school.

    There are too many things wrong with this. First, schools should not be allowed to spy on students at home. Duh. Who the frick thought that was a good idea?!

    What right does the school have to punish students for their acts at home?! Let's assume the kid was in fact doing drugs at home. Even if we accept that, the school would have no right or reason or business to punish the kid.

    When faced with evidence that the kid was either taking drugs or eating candy while at home, why does the school assume he was taking drugs?

    If the person spying on the kid honestly believed the kid was doing drugs, why didn't he immediately call 911 and have an ambulance sent to the kid's house so his stomach could be pumped?

    I could go on and on... but you guys get the point. This is a simply bizarre story.

     

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  8.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    "The school punished the kid for appearing to take drugs at school."

    Oops, that should read: "The school punished the kid at school for appearing to take drugs."

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    I don't agree, but your point would be valid EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT SPYING WITH THE CAMERA DOES NOT DEFEAT BOT USE. If it was just average spyware, I would be more inclined to agree that this is MORE reasonable (I'm not saying ok just MORE reasonable). It is more than your average spyware.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    I think the one point you've missed is that the students and their parents were never informed of the remote activation ability.

    If you lend a laptop to someone and it has remote activation and do NOT inform them, I would tend to believe your rights are somewhat limited.

    If, however, you DO inform them and make them sign a statement indicating they understand the possibility of remote activation is possible, you are likely in a much better position.

    /not a lawyer, not to be taken as legal advice, blah, blah, blah.

     

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  11.  
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    Paul Adams, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Doubt removed!

    There's now a hands-on story with the spyware and the spymasters: http://strydehax.blogspot.com/2010/02/spy-at-harrington-high.html Listen to the interview where the admins talk about firing this off school grounds...

     

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    vyvyan, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:48am

    One question come to my mind, how do they know that he was about to eat Mike & Ike candy if they were not check those cams most of the time. Or school's surveillance team is TELEPATHETIC and they knew when to activate it to take pictures.

    My best guess in school is running a child porn racket on tax payer's money.

     

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    HymieS (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Constitutionality?????

    First of all,,, I just love all the people that use the words "privacy" and "constitutionality" in the same sentence. If you check out the constitution, the word privacy never appears, NOT EVEN ONCE. There is NO right to privacy in the bill of rights either.
    There is NO right to privacy. Many people confuse the right to protection from "unreasonable search" to be a right to privacy. They are wrong under the current laws of this land. You don't get to decide what's reasonable. An unreasonable, federal judge gets to decide that, even if he or she is wrong.Even legal wiretappers MUST discontinue listening if the conversation does not pertain to the reason for the wire tap.
    Assuming the school thought it was reasonable to turn on the camera to check the status of the "school owned" laptop, they were morally and legally bound to turn off the camera as soon as they realized that the rightful student was using it. Even if the student was taking drugs, all information gleaned from that viewing would have been unusable in court and therefore the student couldn't even been questioned about it by the school, or the police, let alone punished.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Is this going to be the next set of laws used to try and handicap internet profiteers?

    If "internet profiteers" are handing out computers to children and then arbitrarily turning on the web cams to watch the children then, yes, they are probably going to get "handicapped".

    It is commonplace to have laws that specifically disallow some type of action when dealing with children and allow it when dealing with adults. I feel that this is how this whole saga will play out. No more spying on unsuspecting children. I'm okay with that.

    Furthermore, and slightly off-topic, using a web cam to track down a lost/stolen laptop is a piss poor method. Even if it had never been used, whoever came up with *that* brain child would need to be fired.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    If the school loans out the computer with the policy that nothing on the computer should be considered private, and that they can and will monitor the computer, then that is fine. There is no expectation of privacy here

    However, when one starts spying on stuff that has nothing to do with what is going on with the computer using a webcam, they are now spying on someone when there is an expectation of privacy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Doubt removed!

    wow this went a whole lot farther than i thought

     

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  17.  
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    HymieS (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    You bring out a really good point. Who is responsible for the content of a computer? Let's assume you lend your computer to a friend and they download some "kiddy porn" onto it. You get it back, totally unaware of this. The police use some type of spyware to trace it to your computer. Guess who gets the label "sex offender"?
    I hold that all forms of spyware should be deemed illegal.

     

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    Dan, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    I'm not sure I understand the point you are trying to make with botnets, 'Criminals infect PCs all the time, so doing it through official channels is OK'? I have to be interpreting that wrong. The point is not that they can track their own property. Sure they can. The point is they used the data gathered in an illegal manner. That is what the FBI is investigating, anyway.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Well, at least they don't have a picture of the kid jerking off! ... or do they?

     

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  20.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    The child's parents should (if we follow the general consensus) sue Mike and Ike for promoting drug use!!! Plus emotional damages!!!

     

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    Allen Phelps, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Student Displine

    I certainly hope that the administrator is at the very least suspended from duties, the IT personnel who allowed the access by administration should also be punished.

    What is wrong with people and what are we really teaching our students?
    If it had been one of my daughters a few people would be seeking bond money at this moment....

     

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  22.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    both!

     

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  23.  
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    paul (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    The word "privacy" may not appear, but the concept most certainly does. The Fourth Amendment is pretty clear: "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects..." If you want to argue that "secure" is not synonymous with "privacy" in this context, you'll need a mighty sharp blade to split that hair.

    Moreover, you even contradict your own point: "ven legal wiretappers MUST discontinue listening if the conversation does not pertain to the reason for the wire tap." Why must they? Because there is a right to privacy.

     

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  24.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    No.

    From Wiki:
    In Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment covered a person's "reasonable expectation of privacy", rather than solely on whether that person's property had been intruded upon.[20]

     

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  25.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:26am

    TO ALL KIDS

    what are you trying to say free capitalist in the name of money its ok to see kiddy pron and invade young peoples privacy?

    THINK OF THE CHILDREN indeed until it interferes with there PROFITS that is

     

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  26.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Duct Tape

    From the linked article:

    The truly amazing part of this story is what's coming out
    from comments from the students themselves. Some of the
    interesting points:

    Possession of a monitored Macbook was required for classes

    Possession of an unmonitored personal computer was
    forbidden and would be confiscated

    Disabling the camera was impossible

    Jailbreaking a school laptop in order to secure it or monitor
    it against intrusion was an offense which merited expulsion

    "Hi, I'm a 2009 Graduate of Harriton Highschool. [...] I and a few
    of my fellow peers were suspicious of this sort of activity when
    we first received the laptops. The light next to the web cam would
    randomly come on, whether we were in class, in study hall or
    at home minding our own business. We reported it multiple times,
    each time getting the response: "It's only a malfunction. if you'd
    like we'll look into it and give you a loaner computer."


    While I agree that someone in the administration needs to be strung up for this, I'm at a loss to understand why the kids couldn't defeat this system, since they apparently knew (or suspected) it was going on.

    A small piece of duct tape over the camera lens solves the problem. No need for "jailbreaking" or "hacking the impossible security measures". Just 1/4-square inch of tape and all this Orwellian nonsense is rendered useless.

     

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  27.  
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    drkkgt (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Doubt removed!

    Wow, good read. Thanks for posting.

     

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  28.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:29am

    @ HymieS

    to answer your question if your stupid enough to lend your computer to somneone who is sick and puts kiddy porn on your computer then its like your house

    if they come and leave it in your house ITS YOUR PROBLEM if you do not immediately report it and whose been at your house lately.

    and it should be fairly easy to do a search for avi,wmv and jpgs and such

    only stupid people need to ask what you did OR people with some way to skirt the laws and hide something.

     

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  29.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    > There is NO right to privacy. Many people confuse the right to
    > protection from "unreasonable search" to be a right to privacy.
    > They are wrong under the current laws of this land.

    Like it or not, Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution have the force of law and the Court has found there is indeed a right of privacy stemming from the 14th Amendment. You may have heard of the case: Roe vs. Wade.

     

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  30.  
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    Don DeBold (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Reminds of Orwell's 1984

    This story boggles my mind. Is this 1984? I agree with the comments that there should be no expectation of privacy for anything the student does ON THE SCHOOL'S LAPTOP, but that doesn't give the school the right to spy on the kids in their bedrooms with the laptop's webcam. I also don't buy the excuse that they were checking to make sure it's being used by the student and hasn't been stolen. Whoever authorized this is either stupid or perverted, and should be disciplined in either case.

     

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  31.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    A Qwertyan Slip

     

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  32.  
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    HymieS (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    No contradiction,,, They must stop because continuing would be considered 'unreasonable', regardless of what they heard.
    You do present a valid argument between 'secure' and 'private'. That argument has been presented before. If I 'secure' my trash can lid or tie up my trash bag 'securely', the police seem to feel that just in throwing something away, I have no 'perceived expectation of privacy'. I can only assume that this means there is no such right to an expectation that doesn't exist. In my neighborhood the trash sits on what is deemed "private property" until collected by the waste company. Yet the police felt they had every right to search through a neighbors trash looking for some evidence of a yet to be established crime. Even though they found nothing, teh courts found in favor of the police in a suit brought against them for 'trespass' and 'unreasonable search'. Thus the court upheld my premise that there is NO actual right to privacy. The police said they searched the trash because they "thought" this person was doing something illegal and they didn't need a warrant because the stuff was being thrown away. The fact that they came onto this person's property to conduct the search was totally ignored by the judge, who said " trash is trash regardless of where it is."
    The neighbor contended that until it was actually on public property, it was still his. He further contended that once it was on the trash truck, it was the property of the trash company and could not be searched without a warrant or written permission of the trash company. Both arguments were thrown out. WHY? because there is no such right as 'privacy'

     

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  33.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Every time "more" of this story comes out, it looks worse and worse for the school.

    It went from a kid doing something bad and getting caught showing a violation of privacy.

    Then school district admits spied on kids "only" 42 times, and only when the laptop was reported missing or stolen. So the kid likely stole it.

    The kid didn't steal the laptop. The school had no need to turn the camera on.

    The bad thing the kid was doing was eating candy.

    So, the school turned on a webcam to spy on a student who was in legal possession of the laptop, and who was then disciplined for eating candy in his own home.

     

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  34.  
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    Joshua, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Even if the student was taking drugs, all information gleaned from that viewing would have been unusable in court and therefore the student couldn't even been questioned about it by the school, or the police, let alone punished. I think you're applying police evidence laws over-broadly. If a cop finds evidence illegally, that evidence isn't admissible in court, but private citizens are not bound by those laws. The Constitution protects me from illegal search and seizure BY GOVERNMENT AGENTS only. If a cop enters my house without probable cause, anything he or she sees is inadmissible. If my neighbor breaks into my house and finds my pot-grow-operation, that he or she was not in the house legally doesn't affect the admissibility of his or her testimony. IANAL, but that's how I understand it.

     

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  35.  
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    JonMontgo (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectation_of_privacy

    It's a type of judicial interpretation of case law that we get the reasonable expectation of privacy.

    Also, what the hell kind of judge would find this reasonable? The students were not informed of the remote webcam activation, nor were the parents. Also, what right does a school have to extend it's authority off of school grounds?

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:58am

    4Chan will love this

    Thanks for the link Paul. I particularly enjoyed the results of their reverse engineering the spy system.

    The server software, with an externally facing Internet port... runs as root. I'm not kidding. For those unfamiliar with the principle of least privilege- this is an indicator of a highly unskilled design.

     

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  37.  
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    dazed, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Yes, Constitutionality.

    4th Amendment.
    'nuff said.

     

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  38.  
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    Red_Chaos1, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Check the status of your property? Sure. Seems reasonable. But then you get the slippery slope. The camera is a good idea if the laptop is stolen. But who makes sure that the camera only gets turned on when the laptop is actually stolen? That appears to be part of the issue here. The school says the laptop was reported stolen, the student says it wasn't. Why would he report it stolen if he knows the camera would be used and he actually still had it? Nevermind that it's become clear (if student reports are truthful) that the cameras have been enabled at many times randomly, as evidenced by the cam light coming on. Who was turning the camera on? Why? If the laptop wasn't reported stolen, then unless the student was using the cam, it should never have enabled.

    Quite frankly I think the school was stupid for going this route. they spent the cash to buy a bevy of laptops, they should have gotten laptop lo-jack added to them as well, and went that route for theft recovery. Much safer on the school, and no temptation to spy.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:08am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    This is far beyond that. You do not need webcam pictures to check the status of a machine. The most you need is a telnet connection. GPS modules are only useful for locating a computer. And in this case, there is no reason to locate a computer that isn't stolen nor reported as such. And would you really open yourself up for child pornography charges by taking snapshots of children in their homes?

     

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  40.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    "If the school loans out the computer with the policy that nothing on the computer should be considered private, and that they can and will monitor the computer, then that is fine. There is no expectation of privacy here"

    but it's not your computer, you don't own it. It was give out for the use of doing school related things, not for you kid to be sitting in front of chatting on facebook eating candy.

    If it was my house, the damn thing wouldn't have had network access, or it would have been on it's own network, with only port 80 open and only to known sites. Not because i'm worried about what my kid is doing, but that a piece of hardware running something installed by someone else is hanging around on my network. It would also have a throttled bandwidth, low enough to make things like VNC/ARD etc a no go.

    "However, when one starts spying on stuff that has nothing to do with what is going on with the computer using a webcam, they are now spying on someone when there is an expectation of privacy."

    Whats going on with the computer includes who is using it. It's meant for student use, not use by the parents/friends/drunken uncle.

    Also it very easily could be set to automatically VPN "home" when it's off campus, effectively putting it on the schools network again(see above about how that wouldn't work on my network).

     

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  41.  
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    o rly, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    That's funny, the word "internet" never appears in the constitution either, yet the courts rule on internet laws all the time. How is this possible?

    Oh, gee, maybe it's because the constitution is interpreted by the courts, and maybe there have been certain landmark cases (Griswold v. Connecticut, Stanley v. Georgia) in which the Supreme Court established precedents that guarantee certain rights of privacy.

     

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  42.  
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    Rick, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Laptop with web cam

    Policy does not trump law..ever!

    When there is any kind of conflict. Constitution is above law. Law is above contract. Contract is above policy (except where law applies).

    If the laptop was stollen, then they could certainly turn on the web cam and use it to gather evidence, but then new it was not stolen. I was not reported as stolen and remained in the students hands with permission of the school. They had no justification to activate the web cam.

     

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  43.  
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    Matt (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    What an upside down reading of the Bill of Rights. It does not set out the _limit_ of individual rights, it sets out a minimum for clarificatory purposes. We have rights that are not in there.

    Ours is (theoretically) a limited form of government. It isn't that the government can do anything except what appears in the Bill of Rights, it's that the government is not permitted to do anything except what we tell it to do and even that must be subject to limits. Nowhere in the Constitution does it even hint that the government is permitted to spy on little kids eating sour candies in their bedroom. Don't take my word for it: search the document for "Mike n' Ike's".

     

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  44.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Re: Doubt removed!

    Wow, great link. The people at this school are crazy! I hope mike puts this link on the front page. It needs wider exposure.

     

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  45.  
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    Ho ho ho, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Once again the War on Drugs causes our government employees to act oh-so rationally and fair-minded.

     

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  46.  
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    fogbugzd, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Electrical Tape

    This is why I always keep a piece of black electrical tape over my camera lens when it is not in use. I have yet to discover a way for a bot to remove the tape.

     

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  47.  
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    Xanius, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Re: Duct Tape

    The school would most certainly have considered that hacking or jail breaking because it circumvents the security measures that the school has in place.
    At that point instead of this situation where the kid was punished for a picture, where it's infinitely easier for the school to lose and this crap not happen again, the kid would have been expelled and the school would have been in the right.

    In my opinion it's better that it happened this way. Everyone involved should lose their jobs for being ass hats that don't deserve to be responsible for the well being of children.

     

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  48.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Doubt removed!

    I hope mike puts this link on the front page. It needs wider exposure.


    Second that motion. TD guys should read this at least.. good stuff.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Was Candy a student, teacher, or sibling?

     

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  50.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: Student Displine

    the people that authorized this system need to be punished, and those that paid for it, and those that wrote it(btw it's ARD+apature, so apple), those that used the laptops with out ensuring the laptops were being "good". so every one in the country(that pays taxes).

    Just calling for the removal of IT isn't right, someone wanted some remote tracking feature, and handed it down on IT to use. that someone at least should have issues

     

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  51.  
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    rwahrens (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    A school IS a government agency, so its employees ARE government agents. QED, they are limited by such constitutional provisions!

    I would assert that a piece of government equipment, brought into your house voluntarily under the guise of one purpose, but then the government uses that equipment (using software you were not informed of) for other purposes, i.e., gathering intelligence of illegal or improper behavior for the purposes of punishing you for that behavior, then they've got a problem with illegal searches.

     

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  52.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Duct Tape

    some simple tape would have defeated them taking pictures if this was really widespread.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    but what if there is spyware on my machine that does the same thing but without my knowledge? Where would that liability fall?

    I'd say, with whoever is doing the spying. Why would you think otherwise?

    Is this going to be the next set of laws used to try and handicap internet profiteers?

    "Profiteers" using spyware to spy on people? I hope so.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Not only candy but what about Mike and Ike? Where they involved or just there?

     

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  55.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: Duct Tape

    Also it could have been a simple cron that took a photo at specified intervals. As i noted above, these were handed out for doing school work on, not chatting away and updating your facebook status on.

     

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  56.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: Reminds of Orwell's 1984

    if the schools AUP says something along the lines of "at no time is the use of this computer to be used for anything other than school related functions" how else is that to be enforced? hmmm... again, don't use hardware that you don't control.

     

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  57.  
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    An Attorney, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:35am

    The Right to Privacy

    You are correct in that the "Right to Privacy" is never explicitly stated in the Constitution. However, the Constitution does not GRANT rights; it merely enumerates rights that we already have. Keeping that construction in mind, note that we are a common-law nation, which means that wherever our laws are ambiguous, unclear, or left open to interpretation -- as they must be, since one could never write a law for every specific situation -- the courts have the power to interpret and "fill in the gaps."

    On numerous occasions, the Supreme Court has determined that we do indeed have a right to privacy. They have inferred such a right from any number of parts of the constitution, but especially the 9th and 14th amendments. (See Griswold v. Connecticut for one of the most important decisions.) The Supreme Court are the final arbiters in interpreting what the constitution says, and, until Congress or the people (through constitutional referendum) say otherwise, their decision has the full force of constitutional law behind it. You can disagree with it -- indeed, Justice Hugo Black, who I greatly admire and who was a strict "black-letter" Constitutionalist, dissented in Griswold -- but it does not make it untrue.

    The issue is not whether we have a constitutionally protected right to privacy -- we do -- but rather how far those protections go.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    It was give out for the use of doing school related things, not for you kid to be sitting in front of chatting on facebook eating candy.

    OK. But are you trying to say students shouldn't be allowed eat candy at home? Wow.

    If it was my house, the damn thing wouldn't have had network access,

    Network access is probably required to complete homework assignments.

    or it would have been on it's own network, with only port 80 open and only to known sites.

    You mean like to the school? I think you're forgetting just who is alleged to have done the spying here.

    It would also have a throttled bandwidth, low enough to make things like VNC/ARD etc a no go.

    Even if that also made it unusable for school assignments and thus caused your child to fail? I think most other parents want their children to do well in school.

    Whats going on with the computer includes who is using it. It's meant for student use, not use by the parents/friends/drunken uncle.

    When it's sitting in the home the camera can view whoever is in the vicinity, not just the user.

    Also it very easily could be set to automatically VPN "home" when it's off campus, effectively putting it on the schools network again(see above about how that wouldn't work on my network).

    How would that help since it's the school accused of doing the spying?

    Oh, wait. I see. You're trolling. Never mind.

     

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  59.  
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    Jimr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:43am

    The courts need to really set example here and really punish the principle and school board. I would really try to push for child porn charges against the principle.

    Note to self... never accept a free computer.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Let's assume you lend your computer to a friend and they download some "kiddy porn" onto it. You get it back, totally unaware of this. The police use some type of spyware to trace it to your computer. Guess who gets the label "sex offender"?

    That's the way the child pornography laws work. It doesn't make any difference how you came to be in possession of it or if you're even aware of it. Possession is possession, period.

     

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  61.  
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    kevin, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Ban School Principles now

    Ban schools now.

     

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  62.  
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    Alastair, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Electrical Tape

    You might want to check how opaque that tape really is, and whether the camera is sensitive to infra-red.

    Most camera sensors can see further into the infra-red than human eyes can. I have a night-scope which can see just fine through its black plastic lens cap. I haven't tried viewing through electrical tape, but it wouldn't surprise me.

     

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  63.  
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    george humphrey, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    HymieS makes the same mistake that many nearly illiterate people make about the US Constitution's position on Privacy. Interestingly the Constitution never explicitly mentions not murdering citizens either so by HymieS's logic, murder is OK as well.

    However HymieS is missing the most fundamental point of the properties of the US Constitution: The Constitution explicitly says what the Federal Government is allowed to do. If its not explicitly empowered, the Federal Government does not get to to do it.
    The ninth and tenth amendments were included to make absolutely sure there was no misunderstanding about the limited powers the Constitution grants to the federal government. Says so here:

    Amendment IX:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    So Does the Constitution say the US Government has the right to manage people's privacy? No, so that right is left to the people.

    However let's see what what Bruce Schneier says about it:

    Quote:
    A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty.

    The most frequently quoted statement by a Supreme Court justice on the subject of privacy comes from Justice Brandeis. (1928):

    "The makers of our Constitution understood the need to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness, and the protections guaranteed by this are much broader in scope, and include the right to life and an inviolate personality -- the right to be left alone -- the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. The principle underlying the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is protection against invasions of the sanctities of a man's home and privacies of life. This is a recognition of the significance of man's spiritual nature, his feelings, and his intellect."

    Here are some facts about how privacy is protected by the US Constitution:

    The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information. In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the "enumeration of certain rights" in the Bill of Rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people." The meaning of the Ninth Amendment is elusive, but some persons (including Justice Goldberg in his Griswold concurrence) have interpreted the Ninth Amendment as justification for broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy in ways not specifically provided in the first eight amendments.

    The Supreme Court, beginning as early as 1923 and continuing through its recent decisions, has broadly read the "liberty" guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee a fairly broad right of privacy that has come to encompass decisions about child rearing, procreation, marriage, and termination of medical treatment. Polls show most Americans support this broader reading of the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court, in two decisions in the 1920s, read the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty clause to prohibit states from interfering with the private decisions of educators and parents to shape the education of children. In Meyer v Nebraska (1923), the Supreme Court struck down a state law that prohibited the teaching of German and other foreign languages to children until the ninth grade. The state argued that foreign languages could lead to inculcating in students "ideas and sentiments foreign to the best interests of this country." The Court, however, in a 7 to 2 decision written by Justice McReynolds concluded that the state failed to show a compelling need to infringe upon the rights of parents and teachers to decide what course of education is best for young students. Justice McReynolds wrote:

    "While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

    Two years late, in Pierce v Society of Sisters, the Court applied the principles of Meyer to strike down an Oregon law that compelled all children to attend public schools, a law that would have effectively closed all parochial schools in the state.

    The privacy doctrine of the 1920s gained renewed life in the Warren Court of the 1960s when, in Griswold v Connecticut (1965), the Court struck down a state law prohibiting the possession, sale, and distribution of contraceptives to married couples. Different justifications were offered for the conclusion, ranging from Court's opinion by Justice Douglas that saw the "penumbras" and "emanations" of various Bill of Rights guarantees as creating "a zone of privacy," to Justice Goldberg's partial reliance on the Ninth Amendment's reference to "other rights retained by the people," to Justice Harlan's decision arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty clause forbade the state from engaging in conduct (such as search of marital bedrooms for evidence of illicit contraceptives) that was inconsistent with a government based "on the concept of ordered liberty."

    In 1969, the Court unanimously concluded that the right of privacy protected an individual's right to possess and view pornography (including pornography that might be the basis for a criminal prosecution against its manufacturer or distributor) in his own home. Drawing support for the Court's decision from both the First and Fourth Amendments, Justice Marshall wrote in Stanley v Georgia:

    "Whatever may be the justifications for other statutes regulating obscenity, we do not think they reach into the privacy of one's own home. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds."

    The Burger Court extended the right of privacy to include a woman's right to have an abortion in Roe v Wade (1972), but thereafter resisted several invitations to expand the right. Kelley v Johnson (1976), in which the Court upheld a grooming regulation for police officers, illustrates the trend toward limiting the scope of the "zone of privacy." (The Court left open, however, the question of whether government could apply a grooming law to members of the general public, who it assumed would have some sort of liberty interest in matters of personal appearance.) Some state courts, however, were not so reluctant about pushing the zone of privacy to new frontiers. The Alaska Supreme Court went as far in the direction of protecting privacy rights as any state. In Ravin v State (1975), drawing on cases such as Stanley and Griswold but also basing its decision on the more generous protection of the Alaska Constitution's privacy protections, the Alaska Supreme Court found constitutional protection for the right of a citizen to possess and use small quantities of marijuana in his own home.

    In more recent decades, the Court recognized in Cruzan v Missouri Department of Health (1990) that individuals have a liberty interest that includes the right to make decisions to terminate life-prolonging medical treatments (although the Court accepted that states can impose certain conditions on the exercise of that right). In 2003, in Lawrence v Texas, the Supreme Court, overruling an earlier decision, found that Texas violated the liberty clause of two gay men when it enforced against them a state law prohibiting homosexual sodomy. Writing for the Court in Lawrence, Justice Kennedy reaffirmed in broad terms the Constitution's protection for privacy:

    "These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life....The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. 'It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.'”

    Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965),[1] was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy".

    Although the Bill of Rights does not explicitly mention "privacy," Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority that the right was to be found in the "penumbras" and "emanations" of other constitutional protections. Justice Arthur Goldberg wrote a concurring opinion in which he used the Ninth Amendment to defend the Supreme Court's ruling. Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote a concurring opinion in which he argued that privacy is protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Byron White also wrote a concurrence based on the due process clause.

     

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  64.  
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    rwahrens (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    "The police said they searched the trash because they "thought" this person was doing something illegal and they didn't need a warrant because the stuff was being thrown away."

    It's called "probable cause", and it is what allows the police to enter private property in pursuit of evidence in a crime. Besides, if the trash company is a public contractor, gathering that trash for the purpose of disposing of it under the aegis of the city/county government, it IS then public property, so there is no violation in that case.

    As others have noted, the interpretive nature of the Constitution allows the SCOTUS to discern the existence of rights that are not explicitly mentioned by name, so just the simple lack of the words "right to privacy" is no argument as to its non-existence. There ARE cases where the SCOTUS has explicitly mentioned the existence of that right to privacy.

    But that right is not unlimited, and the police DO have the ability to invade that privacy when the public's interest in law enforcement or public safety is paramount.

    Also settled case law.

    The key here is that little thing I mentioned called "probable cause". There must be evidence of criminal activity before the police are granted the right to violate that privacy, and in this case, there is no indication that the school had any such evidence before activating that software.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Concerning privacy laws of the United States, privacy is not guaranteed per se by the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court of the United States has found that other guarantees have "penumbras" that implicitly grant a right to privacy against government intrusion, for example in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Privacy is also regulated in the U.S. by the Privacy Act of 1974, and various state laws.

     

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  66.  
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    Nick, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Easy Fix

    The moral of this story is that you should just put a piece of masking tape or other opaque object over the webcam on your laptop. If mine were a school laptop, I would just take a piece of scotch tape, cut it to fit, and then mark all over it with a sharpie. For the violent, I am sure a good pair of scissors or a pen would take care of the cam as well. They might have the ability to monitor me, but can they? Not if I don't give them the chance.

     

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  67.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    So.. they wanted to police the kids while at home too?

     

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  68.  
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    slacker525600 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    sorry for any confusion about what I meant to say due to haste.

    My initial point, was that the privacy contingent of "warrantless wiretap" which is making it a constitutional question makes this case capable of setting precedent for technical issues of unauthorized remote enabling of hardware a serious crime. Potentially more serious than current internet legislation. And thus people who write trojans that capture information could be held to some new standard, based on this case which is being framed in a unique light due to circumstances.

    my related points got merged together. the botnet point was simply there to illustrate that in my opinion people's expectation of privacy is too high when using computers in general. if there is a 25% chance that any computer (regardless of where you get it from) is insecure and open to unwanted influence from a nameless faceless entity on the internet why would you expect privacy from a computer lent to you?

    My point as to checking the status of your computer was mildly understated. I do realize that activating the camera to detect anything isnt likely to give you much information, but if I was really that uptight about my computer's status I would probably just try and get as much info as I could, including but not limited to, any wifi networks available a snapshot of the webcam, any usage stats, a screenshot, various cached values on the computer, system settings, the clock settings, current ip address, various stats from various programs, ... my point being if you are being comprehensive and taking everything for your own sake, the webcam would just be lumped in as another data point, regardless of its actual utility.

    As for the liability issue, I think this is an area of law that is currently lacking. Namely because being in possession of something seems a bit ill defined unless I missed some definitions somewhere. In an age when some devices are sold with spyware on them, and some companies install rootkits with their own products (for whatever asinine reasons) and when terms of use documents contain ridiculous terms about how the software can be used, I wonder what percentage of computers are not violating some law to some degree simply through accidental ineptitude. I'd laugh pretty hard if some botnet decided to download a single photo of kiddie porn to all the infected computers and then sent the FBI the list of IP addresses, because millions of people would be in possession of child porn, and would need to register as predators. Or at least thats my understanding of the laws at the present moment.

    Laughing to myself at this point, but the internet is such a grey area in terms of applicable laws at this point, that I jokingly envision about multinational companies claiming that their employee laptops are actually owned by their foreign arms to prevent liability to constitutional matters for wiretapping. Sorry, I kid, but only kinda.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Well, at least they don't have a picture of the kid jerking off! ... or do they?

    Well, not any more anyways.

     

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  70.  
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    djheru, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Yeah, the word "privacy" is not in the constitution, because at the time the constitution was written, "privacy" was a term used to refer to the bodily excretory functions. However, the words "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" DO appear.

     

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  71.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: TO ALL KIDS

    what are you trying to say free capitalist in the name of money its ok to see kiddy pron and invade young peoples privacy?


    No what I'm saying is that a carefully selected pseudonym and profile icon can offend people from both sides of any given argument by employing abused terms in their original context and iconography subtly altered to both offend and convey an idea. The general effect is solicitation of impulsive replies based on opinion of that moniker/icon rather than the complete content of any given thread or post.

     

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  72.  
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    David DiPietro, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Are you SERIOUS? My expectation of privacy IN MY OWN HOME trumps ANY "ownership right" to check the status of property. Lets take it a step further..that Rent A Center TV in your living room has a 3 year term..can the idiots who delivered it knock..or better yet EXPECT A KEY to your residence to make sure you didn't sell it for crack?

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    I wonder what percentage of computers are not violating some law to some degree simply through accidental ineptitude.

    Uhh, I don't think computers can violate laws. At least I've never heard of one being charged and convicted. Only people can violate laws.

    I'd laugh pretty hard if some botnet decided to download a single photo of kiddie porn to all the infected computers and then sent the FBI the list of IP addresses, because millions of people would be in possession of child porn, and would need to register as predators. Or at least thats my understanding of the laws at the present moment.

    You'd probably stop laughing by the time the handcuffs were going on. And yes, legally, that could happen. However, it would be terribly politically incorrect and so is very unlikely.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Completely ignoring the fact that the school was spying on this kid for whatever reason (given the way people have been dodging the question on exactly why this computer's camera was turned on, I'm assuming that they just fucked up and pressed the wrong button or something), I don't understand why the school has the power to discipline someone for something they did at home. That's outside the school's power, surely?

    Maybe if it was like the kid was using the computer to bully another kid at the school there'd be reason for the school to get involved. But apparently dealing/using drugs? That's not the kind of thing you wait for the kid to come to school in before you punish him. That's the kind of thing that you call the police in for. Why did the school even think they have the right to be the law here.

     

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  75.  
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    Les, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Locating Lost Laptops

    Aren't there methods for locating a lost laptop that doesn't involve a webcam. I mean how does turning on a cam provide you with the location of said laptop. Doesn't Lo-Jack provide a service to locate laptops. without relying on webcams. The school district is going to have a lot of explaining to do, because a good lawyer can show that seeing the person on the other end is not a reliable way to locate lost equipment, without having another method, ie gps, to exactly pinpoint it's location. In other words, the original intent of the webcam and remote activation software was to spy on the kids.

     

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  76.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Actually - I find THIS to be the most interesting part...

    The technology behind Computrace® LoJack® for Laptops by Absolute® Software is the Computrace Agent, a small software client that is embedded into the BIOS firmware of most computers at the factory. Or you can easily install yourself.

    http://www.absolute.com/products/lojackforlaptops/technology


    Yes.. it's in the BIOS on systems - you may even own.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-U S:official&q=Computrace+BIOS&start=0&sa=N

     

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  77.  
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    angrymob, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Okay. So, you're comparing someone DELIBERATELY making the choice to (possibly criminally) violate someone's privacy to someone lending a computer which MIGHT contain a third party's (criminal) spyware program? Yes, in both cases the lendee's privacy is violated, but in one case the lender is deliberately compromising it, rather than being party to a risk. Hardly the same thing. But you probably knew that.

     

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  78.  
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    JB, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Mass Hysteria

    The school did not punish the student.

    When the story broke there was a big uproar because the student was punished at school for something he did at home. But the school did not punish him.

     

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  79.  
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    Ben, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    If the times were just a little different..

    Like when I was a kid, I think my dad would have beaten the principal within an inch of his life and the judge (upon hearing the reason for the assault) would have fined my dad one dollar.

     

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  80.  
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    DS78 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Doubt removed!

    I came here to post that. Beat to the punch I guess.

    I think one fact that everyone is overlooking is that these laptops were required by the school for certain classes. So these kids had to use them, understandably at home, to complete their normal assignments.

     

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  81.  
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    Bob Bunderfeld (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Actually Sir/Ma'am you are incorrect in your conclusion. There is a Fundamental Right to Privacy in the Constitution; just because a single sentence didn't spell it out, doesn't mean that the right isn't there.

    Further, the Constitution deals with the Government and it's people. Not interaction between a Publicly Funded Venue and their students. There are CRIMINAL LAWS that deal with what the School has done, and the FBI is currently investigating that fact. Further, the State and Local Authorities are also investigating this case to see if any State or Local laws were broken. Considering that most States base their Laws on the Federal Code with some changes for each States differing philosophy, it's likely that the School District is also being investigated at those levels.

    Lastly, what everyone seems to be missing is the fact that the School District said that this Webcam was only activated after they received a report that it had been stolen. If that is the case, why then would the School District not first call the Student's home to verify the report and then call the Police? The School District employee's and their Supervisor's who approved this "policy/plan" are most likely going to either lose their jobs or perhaps their tenure as punishment. The School District itself is now probably gathering all Documentation and Video Evidence (and if it isn't, it soon will be by subpoena) to hand over to the investigator's. This evidence will be used not only in a Criminal Proceeding, if it goes that way, but for sure in the Civil Proceeding being brought the the Robbin's family. I would be willing to bet the School District Administrator/Superintendent has already been on the phone with their Insurer and have talked about how much Money the School District should offer the Robbin's to settle with a gag order.

    The real tragedy here is that the Full Student Body will most likely suffer for this "half-baked" plan of the School Districts. Most likely the School District will end the program that gave every student a Laptop, and could suffer even further cuts depending just how much Money they wind up having to pay-out to either Settle out of Court or after the lengthy Court Battle. In my opinion, the best thing this School District could do now is to admit that the program was problematic, apologize to all the Families of the School District and immediately disabled all webcams on the Laptops permanently. Doing this they would save face, be seen as being responsible, and could wind up not having to pay-out as much money as they think they might have to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Occam's razor: Kid was/is involved with drugs and smart enough to know when webcam is lit (mebbe it's that little light). He's playing the school, but they deserve it.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re:

    Uh, I think you need to reread the definition of Occam's Razor.

    1) The kid was eating candy when the school was spying on him, and they thought it was drugs and tried to punish him for it.

    or

    2) The kid was eating candy when the school was spying on him, and they thought it was drugs and tried to punish him for it. But, he knew it was happening all along, and it was actually an elaborate plot to get their hands caught in the cookie jar, knowing that they had installed spy software that could highjack webcams, knowing that they couldn't tell the difference between candies and pills, and somehow failing to realize that simply informing people of this spy software would have had the same effect.

    So yeah...which one does Occam's Razor tells you to ignore.

     

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  84.  
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    allyouneedislove, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    @Cynyr

    Then the school should keep the things at school and not give it to the students to take home like it's their own. Activating the webcam doesn't check what the computer is used for, a screen capture does that. What if the student was doing her homework at her desk in her room, got done and undressed to go to bed?

    How is this ok? AT ALL??!

     

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  85.  
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    Peski, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: BAN CANDY NOW

    It's an oxymoron! Like 'honest policeman'.

     

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  86.  
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    Spanky, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    In Re Stanley v. Georgia

    The First, Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments establish an implied right to privacy, helped along by case law like Roe v. Wade and other abortion law, Stanley v. Georgia, etc.

    But what I find interesting are the number of people on this thread who, I assume, are Americans, arguing against their own Constitutional Rights.

    You've been well trained by Corporate America and the Republican Party. Have a cookie.

     

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  87.  
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    Valkor, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re: If the times were just a little different..

    My hypothetical child's principal would have found himself with an uncomfortable macbook shaped suppository if this had happened in my district.

    I really hope that these students and parents turn in their standard issue laptops en masse. There is this amazing technology called "pencil and paper" that makes this sort of surveillance much more difficult.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    This tech, Perbix, was pretty obviously spying on kids in their homes. He took great pains to explain how to get around any safeguards to keep people doing exactly that.

     

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  89.  
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    Luci, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    I think you'll find that you're only half right about the schools. A school doesn't need proof of anything to punish a student. If they feel the student did, in fact, do something punishable, they will punish them whether you like it or not. In some cases you might be able to take it to court, but usually not.

    Before you argue it, it's called 'life experience.'

     

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  90.  
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    Mister X, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Server Logs

    I'd have my attorney subpoena the schools server logs, and hard drives to look for evidence of naked children while being spied on, which would put the school in child porn territory. End of spy program, period.

     

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  91.  
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    Mister X, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Server Logs

    Oops, forgot this part: The server logs would establish whether the school was using the system to spy on students everyday, or just on "special" occasions like they claim.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Mass Hysteria

    When the story broke there was a big uproar because the student was punished at school for something he did at home. But the school did not punish him.

    Really? Who was saying that? What kind of punishment did they say was meted out?

     

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  93.  
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    Tim (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    If MY kids school administration told me...

    "For your child to pass this class, he must use a school provided computer. No privately owned computer will be allowed. In addition, this computer that we require your child to use has a web cam that we may activate at any time, no matter where the computer is. If it's a school day, or weekend, or 8 PM it makes no difference. We will be able to see what is happening in your house, your car, your kitchen, your bathroom, bedroom, or any place else this computer may go. We will also be able to see anyone else in your household who may be within view of the camera."

    There would be a parent uprising. There would be hundreds of parents storming the school. Of course in this case it seems no one was really informed of just what the school had the ability to do. And it's pretty clear to see why!

     

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  94.  
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    NBY, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    "There is NO right to privacy."
    Yes there is. Just because it isn't specifically enumerated doesn't mean it doesn't exist and/or isn't protected. http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#privacy

    "Many people confuse the right to protection from "unreasonable search" to be a right to privacy. "
    Who are you referring to? The Supreme Court justices, perhaps?

    "They are wrong under the current laws of this land. "
    No. You are. Please google "constitutional right to privacy"

     

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  95.  
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    No one in particular, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Ability does not equal right

    Totally agree - problem is compounded by there being so little chance of any negative consequence to be who abuse their power.

     

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    david saltfire, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Might want to read a few supreme court decisions which discuss privacy. Roe Vs. Wade is one of the classics, with references to others before 1973. The word privacy is mentioned no less than seventeen times in Roe v. Wade.
    Privacy may not be mentioned in the constitution, but extensive case law exists to support the expectation.
    The clowns at the PA school should have checked with their attorneys before handing out even one laptop with a camera.
    A main reason Roe v. Wade has never been overturned involves the right to privacy being near and dear to conservatives.

     

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    Swamp Angel, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    1984?

    All I have to say about this whole incident is that public education is best left to the states and local municipalities (although that seems to be who stepped smack in the middle of this big ol' dog turd). Insofar as privacy and constitutionality are concerned, nowhere in the constitution is there a guaranteed right to privacy, but one must recall that the Constitution is an INCLUSIVE document that only includes or enumerates the powers that the federal government DOES have. If there is a power that the constitution does not expressly give to the federal government, or does not forbid to the state governments, then the federal gov't has no such power nor jurisdiction in said matter according to the 10th Amendment.

    Keep in mind that there are no constitutional rights. The Constitution of the US does not give anyone any individual rights. All individual rights are considered God-given, and the constitution only reiterates that these rights cannot be taken away by the federal gov't.

    Apart from that, the school and the school system have indeed acted in a most atrocious manner, and charges should be levied by those who suffered "injury" in this case.

     

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    djl4570, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Roe vs. Wade in 1973 was based on a constitutional right to privacy as an unenumerated right protected by the ninth amendment.
    "... Appellant would discover this right in the concept of personal "liberty" embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause; or in personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras ... or among those rights reserved to the people by the Ninth Amendment ..."

     

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    Dewdude, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    wait...what?

    If the software was installed to track down stolen laptops...well..for starters..that's a VERY insecure way of tracking down a laptop...any decent laptop thief is going to format the drive as soon as they get the thing to erase all evidence of previous owners. I mean...that's a really stupid reason to install that kind of software...it provides 0 protection. If they wanted to protect the laptops, they could of had the Lo-Jack option installed, which would provide actual security.

    But let's ignore the ignorance of the school system's idea of security. The larger outrage is the fact they were activating the software on laptops that were in fact not stolen. But this just goes along with the fact that most schools want to dictate how the kids behave outside of school...because most of them are under the impression the parents can't do it. My school system, when I was there, had absolutely no problem with suspending kids for things they did at home if mere word even got around to school. Get in a fight on the weekend in a non-school related deal? All someone has to do is mention at school and it's just as it's happened ON school ground.

    Schools need to be shown a line...they are there to educate the children....they are not there to dictate behavior. I surely hope the parents win whatever suit is brought against the school system...if they don't, then god help us because more and more school systems are going to try to control people.

    My kids won't have school provided laptops with spyware installed for the sake of security...they'll use the untethered unmonitored laptops I provide them with...or they won't go to that school.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Re: 1984?

    nowhere in the constitution is there a guaranteed right to privacy

    The courts disagree with you, and I think they probably have just a little more say-so in the matter than you do.

    If there is a power that the constitution does not expressly give to the federal government, or does not forbid to the state governments, then the federal gov't has no such power nor jurisdiction in said matter according to the 10th Amendment.

    Wrong again. The courts have ruled that rights stemming from the Constitution apply to the states as well as the Federal government.

    Keep in mind that there are no constitutional rights. The Constitution of the US does not give anyone any individual rights. All individual rights are considered God-given...

    Oh boy, now you're really gong off the deep end. That's so ridiculous that it doesn't even deserve a reply.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Re: wait...what?

    The larger outrage is the fact they were activating the software on laptops that were in fact not stolen.

    Except the school keeps saying they weren't. You're not saying that the school authorities are a bunch of liars, are you?

    My kids won't have school provided laptops with spyware installed for the sake of security...they'll use the untethered unmonitored laptops I provide them with...or they won't go to that school.

    I hope you can afford that private education. A lot of people can't.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    It's jail time for the school administrators.

     

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  103.  
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    Michael, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    What were they really watching for?

    If the laptop wasn't reported stolen, why was a school employee activating and watching the camera? Perhaps trying to get a peek at something he/she shouldn't have been trying to see in the first place?

    Not only should the school be disciplined harshly for authorizing such behavior, the individual performing unwarranted spying on students in the privacy of their homes should be investigated for child pornography offences.

    If this happened to my daughters, you better believe there would be a forensic examination of the school systems used to spy on them.

     

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    vilain (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    A quote from The Dude seems apt here. It goes something like, 'yeah, well, like, that's just your opinion, man'.

     

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  105.  
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    vilain (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    And yet, when a reporter did just this to the trash of a local judge, DA, and police chief and published a long article documenting the items found, there was such a hew and cry. Both the DA and police chief wanted the reporter thrown in jail. The judge knew better and just asked for her personal property back.

    Unless you can cite significant case law to support your opinion, it remains just that--your unfounded and uninformed opinion.

    For which I say "Thank you for sharing"

     

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  106.  
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    Random Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    I just have one thing to say

    If your school gives you a laptop. MASKING TAPE.

     

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    Random Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    I just have one thing to say

    If your school gives you a laptop. MASKING TAPE.

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 8:12pm

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    They're children complying with mandatory elementary school attendance, not jaded adults voluntary participating as professionals.

     

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    A Father and Former Educator, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    Um.. you're watching my daughter in her room?

    I don't give a crap who you are, and what cryptic contract I signed. If you put a camera in my daughter's bedroom (where her desk is) and peeked at her there, you'd better hope the Feds lock you up - it's the only place you'd be safe.

     

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  110.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    That there is not a right to privacy in the constitution does not equate to there not being a right to privacy. Perhaps the founders forgot to put that there, and we should utilize the process they left us to add it in.

    Rights inhere in people, and are enshrined in documents so as to be enforceable in courtrooms.

     

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  111.  
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    memomachine, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    Hmmmm.

    I'm sorry to tell you but your interpretation of the US Constitution is completely and utterly wrong.

    1. The Constitution specifically limits the powers of the central federal government.

    2. The Constitution specifically reserves all powers and rights not allocated to the central federal government to the states and the people respectively.

    3. The Right to Privacy is not outlined in the US Constitution because, again, the Constitution is not oriented towards limiting the Rights of the People but rather in limiting the Rights and Powers of the central federal government and, in some cases, the states.

    4. The US Constitution doesn't specifically say that you have the Constitutional Right to hula-hoop in your home. But then again it doesn't have to say that you do. You do have that right unless it is legislated by your *state*.

    The specifically listed Rights, such as the First, Second, etc etc etc, are listed specifically so to limit the central federal government and all state governments.

    Hope that helped.

     

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  112.  
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    Solution, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:21pm

    Simple

    At home: black tape over webcam.

     

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  113.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Doubt removed!

    /HeadDesk

     

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  114.  
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    mertz, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    here's what i know about things like this, because this happened at my schools also, but nothing to this extent. sometimes at schools they offer kids free computers/paid for computers to use where the school therefore becomes the mediator, and within these computers, pc's, laptops, are already preloaded programs, including spy programs for the administration to use to "observe" students when necessary. this is mostly implemented and acted on w/o the knowledge of parents. if a child is computer illiterate they will not notice this. if parents are computer illiterate and don't notice what their kids are doing they will not know about this. it happens.

     

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  115.  
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    mertz, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re: Duct Tape

    because they're young. they're not cynical enough. it's kind of sad.

     

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  116.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Duct Tape

    > The school would most certainly have considered that hacking
    > or jail breaking

    Not sure how they could do that without admitting that they were spying on the kids at home in the first place. The fact that the admin was lying to them about what the blinking light meant, they'd have a hard time disciplining a kid for taping over the camera without having to explain how they knew the camera had tape over it in the first place.

    And this is almost getting to the point where the school is essentially requiring the kids make their private home life available for scrutiny. No tape over the camera? Fine. What if the student turns the laptop toward the wall whenever he's at home? Is that "jailbreaking", too? What if they don't even take the thing out of their book bag? Are the kids required, under threat of expulsion, to make sure their laptops are situated in such a way as to make their bedroom activities accessible for school monitoring?

     

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  117.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Duct Tape

    > he kid would have been expelled and the school would have
    > been in the right.

    Not even remotely. The school would still have been violated a half-dozen state and federal laws, as evidenced by the ongoing FBI investigation. Calling a piece of tape "hacking" or "jailbreaking" doesn't absolve them of that fact.

     

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  118.  
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    Allen Phelps, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Student Displine

    Sorry but IT personnel should have kept that log on information confidential. Checks and balance would dictate IT maintain control, if in fact it was to be used only for tracking lost/stolen computers.

     

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  119.  
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    Alec Wood, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Two entirely seperate issues here

    There's two issues here, getting somewhat ground together and confused it seems

    1. The right of the school to monitor the use by students of its property on/off site. Privacy issues, child protection issues, a proper minefield I cannot understand how any school principle would want to go anywhere near it.

    2. The kid has been disciplined for a legal and reasonable act that would not have been a disciplinary matter within the school. Surely there is legal recourse for this child or his parents under US law. Some moron at the school, instead of saying "OK, hands up, we made a mistake, sorry", has let it go this far in a ludicrous attempt to save face. Should someone this stupid even be teaching?

     

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  120.  
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    Jacky Tar, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Huh? A webcam is helpful to locate a stolen computer? How? You'll get an image of where the computer happens to be, but if it's inside a building somewhere, that's not much help in locating the building. Far more helpful to install a GPS transmitter.

    As for the actual use the webcam was put to, two things:
    1) the school needs to be sued into the ground, as well as the individual who actually spied, that individual's supervisor and so on up the chain to the state's secretary of education for being invasive pervs, and
    2) piece of tape. Fixes that little problem. Given that it is far too easy for a computer to pick up a 'bot of some kind - antivirus and antispyware won't pick them all up, particularly if they don't do anything to the local data or executables or otherwise act as malicious code - I'd recommend that pretty much everyone should cover up that little lens except when they want to use it.

     

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  121.  
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    Spatula, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    The word 'privacy' does not appear in the Constitution because in 1789 the word was used exclusively to refer to going to the toilet. Don't take my word for it. Do a little research. I hear there's a pretty neat tool called "Google" that can be used to overcome ignorance.

    There's ample language in the Bill of Rights to make it very clear that people are to be left alone and secure in their homes. Try reading the Fourth Amendment some time. What exactly do you think "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" means if not to effectively outline a right to privacy?

     

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    ron, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:26am

    one nude pix and lets hope someone ends up in jail

    We are all thinking the same thing, some perv at the school is probably checking out the young girls or boys and even if they are not, all you need is for one of the kids to have been partially undressed and you got child porn there.

    I hope the ones in charge get branded as such or at the very least they get branded like that if they get jail time.

    I hear jails are compassionate places towards people like that.

     

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  123.  
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    Tim, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    you are out of your mind. they accessed the program allowing them to spy 42 times by their own admission. think of it like this, how many times did they access this program to see a high school age girl changing in her bedroom? how many private conversations between parents and their kids did they spy on? the possibilities for administrative creepiness are unlimited in this case. what was the reasoning for accessing this feature 42 times? it says it was "only to track down lost or stolen laptops" but this kid didn't report it lost or stolen, so what were they really accessing? not to mention, these laptops were just given out in sept, do they expect me to believe that 42 laptops were stolen or misplaced in 6 months time? if my daughter's school told me they had the ability to access the web cam on her computer i would have told them where to put that laptop, especially with all of the teacher/student misconduct that has been in the news lately. bottom line, this school and its administration overstepped their bounds and crossed a line that should not have been crossed. i don't care what they were looking for, they are labeled pervert in my mind. if my kid went to school there, i would be suing just because i don't know if they accessed her laptop or not, but they admit accessing someone's on at least 42 occasions. it raises too many questions for me to be comfortable with the situation.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    No, they probably deleted them. Now, did they actually overwrite the erased disc areas enough times?

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Duct Tape

    "Are the kids required, under threat of expulsion, to make sure their laptops are situated in such a way as to make their bedroom activities accessible for school monitoring?"

    Not yet.

     

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  126.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Huh? A webcam is helpful to locate a stolen computer? How?

    It's useful for gathering evidence as to the possible identity of the thief.

     

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  127.  
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    Ben, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    Poll on School Webcam Incident

    MediaCurves.com conducted a media study among viewers of a news clip featuring a story about a Pennsylvania school that monitored students at home through laptop webcams. Results found that an overwhelming majority of viewers (93%) reported that the school violated students’ rights to privacy. In addition, favorability for school issued laptops for home use declined from an average rating of 4.5 to 3.6 after viewing the video.
    More in depth results can be seen at: http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7750-SchoolWebcamSpies/Index.cfm
    Thanks,
    Ben

     

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  128.  
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    KentWA, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    The question is not whether the school owned the computer, but the warrantless search of a students home. If the school handing out the laptop had free rain, then the FBI could setup a bunch of low level drug dealers to hand out cell phones in return for "protection" and the FBI could then listen to the conversations freely without a warrant. They can not.

    The case New Jersey v TLO recognized that school officials are representatives of the State. So no release or contract would apply as it would conflict with Constitutional law. By making the laptops compulsory would make any such contract a contract of adhesion which would make it invalid.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    By making the laptops compulsory would make any such contract a contract of adhesion which would make it invalid.

    I'll beat the TAM puppets to it:
    They could always move to another school district (or country). Or just home school. Or drop out. It's their choice. Nobody's making them go to school there.
    [/sarcasm]

     

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  130.  
    icon
    foxsan48 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    Reply to Ima Fish

    i agree with what you have said 100%

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  131.  
    identicon
    Kzero, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Counter Suit.

    What exactly was the Principal doing, looking at children after school hours on the webcam?

    Perhaps he has some odd ideas of what extracurricular activities are appropriate for someone who is responsible for kids?

    Attempt to obtain child pornography anyone?

     

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  132.  
    identicon
    Hillshum, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    Okay, maybe you are right. The school still shouldn't be going around randomly using the webcams. Maybe if the laptop suddenly has an IP address from France, or if it is reported stolen.

     

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  133.  
    identicon
    NHComment, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    It is one thing for an organization to want to know where their property is, but quite another to have the abilty to switch on a laptop camera and record images seen. It is reasonable to have the school have some software on their computer to be able to track where its location is, a type of 'lojack' similar to that on a car, and tell the students about it. I would also have a piece of software on the computer to stop them accessing objectionable web sites. But to have a piece of software that activates a camera remotely into a family home without their knowledge is downright spying by the school on the children AND THE FAMILY, and to spy in a children's bedroom (where most kids do their homework and therefore would be located there) is an absolute no-no -- kids have to feel same somewhere, to to most the bedroom is their domain, their safety zone.

    I hope the people who proposed, approved and installed this system at the school go to jail for a very long time!

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: if I own a computer and lend it to somebody to use

    I hope the people who proposed, approved and installed this system at the school go to jail for a very long time!

    You can hope all you want, but they're government people. The government tends to protect itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135.  
    identicon
    HankTheCowdog, Feb 25th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    "The word 'privacy' does not appear in the Constitution because in 1789 the word was used exclusively to refer to going to the toilet. Don't take my word for it. Do a little research. I hear there's a pretty neat tool called "Google" that can be used to overcome ignorance."

    I did a little research on my own; the use of 'privacy' in the sense it's being discussed here was established by Shakespeare's time, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. At no time has it referred to going to the toilet.

     

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  136.  
    identicon
    Bill, Feb 25th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Server Logs

    Mister X said: "Oops, forgot this part: The server logs would establish whether the school was using the system to spy on students everyday, or just on "special" occasions like they claim."

    What server logs? How much do you want to bet that those went to the great bit bucket in the sky right after this suit was filed.

    I know there's now an injunction in place, but it was days before that was done. These school folks are evil, but not necessarily stupid, no matter how arrogant they are.

     

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  137.  
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    Noell, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    BS

    That is so stupid i have never had anyone accuse me of takig pills or giving pills to others with a camdy box in my hand.Maybe thats because my school trusts their students, idont know but it sounds to me like Pennsylvania schools have problems trusting their studnts!

     

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  138.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    i would bet money that the kid wasnt eating mike and ikes... such bullshit. i know the kid he goes to my school. if he was just eating mike and ikes, wouldn't you think the picture would have surfaced? the kid is known by everyone as a pothead and drinks more than almost anybody you know. robbins has a lot more enemies than actual friends, i'll put it that way...

     

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  139.  
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    Citizen Titanium, Dec 8th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    Even if the kid is the most notorious in school, he is entitled to his privacy in his own home. And any disciplinary case should be well-explained to the parents and the kid, otherwise, it would have a negative effect on the kid. Citizen Titanium

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Electrical Tape

    you all overlooked the fact that putting s piece of black electrical tape over the webcam lens would be considered by the school as "illegal defacement and vandalizing of school property"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  141.  
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    Barbara Gail, May 10th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Scandal with computer camera

    As an employee in a large school system, I strongly support the Constitution and the right to privacy. There is one point that is not being addressed in this article. The computers don't belong to the students, they belong to the school system and as owners of the computers, the schools have the option of checking on them when they wish. These computers cost between $1500-$2000 and in our county alone over 8,000 are missing. Some are lost, others have been stolen, some have been tossed by students in the river, sewer system, etc.... And guess what angry public??? You are paying for them! That's right, your taxes pay for these computers to help our wonderful students excel in technology. So while I question what this particular school did, a lawsuit is ridiculous unless we can flip that lawsuit and apply it to those families whose students have misused or lost their own computers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142.  
    identicon
    Robert Hayes Halfpenny, Jan 11th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re: Constitutionality?????

    You are incorrect about not having the right to privacy. While it is true that there is no amendment to our Constitution that specifically protects our right to privacy, we are still protected. In fact, there are a great many rights that we have that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but the Constitution still protects them.

    Robert Hayes Halfpenny

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  143.  
    identicon
    Robert Hayes Halfpenny, Jan 11th, 2013 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Constitutionality?????

    I forgot to mention such rights are protected by the 9th Amendment which states: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Robert Hayes Halfpenny

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144.  
    identicon
    amr, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:04pm

    re:re:re: ban candy ban homework

    as we can see homework is the real mastermind behind all of this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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