Curious Hacking Students Offered A Deal

from the just-as-long-as-they-stop-making-fun-of-the-district dept

The “Kutztown 13” students who were charged with felonies after using the extremely obvious admin password to get around some school district filtering so they could use iChat have now been offered a deal. For a while, the school district insisted that the kids had to be charged with felonies (despite the fact that they didn’t do the slightest damage) to make a point. However, the incredibly negative publicity over the matter for the school district has apparently made them rethink the issue. The settlement deal would require 15 hours of community service and an apology. One of the 13 wasn’t offered the deal, because he has a previous record. What’s most interesting, however, is that some of the students say they might not accept the settlement, claiming that they did nothing wrong, and they don’t believe they should be punished for what was harmless curiosity.

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Comments on “Curious Hacking Students Offered A Deal”

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Mark Clayton says:


I agree with these kids. Don’t take the Deal!! Make the school board suck this lesson up and move on. If anything the network guys that gave you the laptops with the passwords taped to the bottom of the units should be written up or fired. If ALL you guys did is enable iChat to horse around, then you should get a slap and this thing be dropped. Now, if you junked up the laptops.. then that could be adifferent story, but that doesn’t sound like the case. I say the finger needs to be pointed at the IT guys, not the kids and let’s get over this already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

Yes Punishment.

As in a DAMN AFTER SCHOOL DETENTION! You know, that one punishment they used way back in the day for kids that broke the rules.

Why the hell does the law need to be involved in petty mischief like this?

A fucking FELONY? COMMUNITY SERVICE? Are you kidding me? They are CHILDREN, not criminals. Punishment comes directly from the schools and parents until REAL damage or violence is involved. NO SOONER.

Stop wasting my tax dollars on this shit and FINE the school district for even thinking any of this is necessary.

They are minors, didn’t vandalize anything or cause computer issues, and were smart enough to figure out how to do something using their wits and common sense.

As far as I’m concerned, they only proved they are smarter than the faculty and that pissed someone off.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

What law have the kids broken? What crime are they being charged with?

It seems to me that the only thing they did was possibly violate some sort of school policy. If that is the case, I could understand the school giving them detention, suspending them, or possibly even expelling.

What I do not understand, however, is what felony they are guilty of. I’m not very knowledgeable about technology related laws, but I didn’t imagine that using a provided password to access someone’s computer was a felony.

JEB says:

No Subject Given

Knuckle Draggers in the NEA won’t have it any other way. This is just an other imaginary offense these types like to throw up in a vain attempt to control technology they have little understanding of and little or no control over. They are no more than control freaks. Want Planet of the Apes? Look inside most any middle or high school. The Apes ring the bell and tell everybody they received a passing grade. Can’t wait for the K-thru-12 CBT’s to hit the market.

Bob says:

The Deal

Even if the IT department was wrong in the way they set up the laptops or made them available for use, none of the IT guys will be disciplined or fired at all, as long as they were following department procedure.

This case is about is who’s da boss.. nothing more. IT departments frequently like to assert their authority, in both educational and business environments, its simply the way things are. It especially holds true for behavior that won’t be tolerated, i.e. a group of renegade students who like to piss off the IT department.

You can rant all you want about it, but that still won’t change the outcome. Considering the offenses (breaking into school property, unauthorized use, violating school policy to name a few) the deal seems quite generous.

The kids should take the deal on the table, and take it quick. Any that don’t should expect harsh consequences to follow.. and believe me they will.

Bryan says:

No Subject Given

I think the kids should suffer some form of punishment. They knew they were doing something wrong, “curoius” or not. However, I think a criminal charge, much less a felony, is a bit much. No real legal damage was done…this time.

The IT guys/gals/whatever should also be called out for using a password that was easily revealed. I think we all know how easy it is to come up with one that is reasonably complex, if not perfect.

Everyone involved should grateful that a major problem was, luckily, avoided while a weakness that could have been expolited for much worse things was discovered before the entire campus knew how to use it.

Tom says:


Morons take notice. Thinking that what these kids did wasn’t wrong is completely ignorant. Consider this. Someone just happens to “discover” the pattern of grooves on your house key. They continue to break into your house. Of course that wouldn’t piss you off because they didn’t do anything wrong. Bullshit! It’s no different to break into a computer system, than it is to break into someone’s home.
Only dumbasses think they are innocent!

Bill says:

Re: Actual Law

The reason the got a deal is because it would have been very difficult to find them guilty.

Here are the actual laws.

COMPUTER TRESSPASS requires damage be done, and COMPUTER THEFT requires an intent to deprive a computer owner of data.

? 7615. Computer trespass.
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits the offense of computer trespass if he knowingly and without authority or in excess of given authority uses a computer or computer network with the intent to:

(1) temporarily or permanently remove computer data, computer programs or computer software from a computer or computer network;

(2) cause a computer to malfunction, regardless of the amount of time the malfunction persists;

(3) alter or erase any computer data, computer programs or computer software;

(4) effect the creation or alteration of a financial instrument or of an electronic transfer of funds; or

(5) cause physical injury to the property of another.

(b) Grading.–An offense under this section shall constitute a felony of the third degree.

? 7613. Computer theft.
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits an offense if he unlawfully accesses or exceeds his authorization to access any data from a computer, computer system or computer network or takes or copies any supporting documentation whether existing or residing internal or external to a computer, computer system or computer network of another with the intent to deprive him thereof.

(b) Grading.–An offense under this section shall constitute a felony of the third degree.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Moron

Hey Moron, take notice:

Breaking into someone?s house, using a key or more conventional methods, and using ichat on your, admittedly school issued, computer are significantly different.

If you seriously can?t tell the difference, you have no right to call anyone names. Seriously anyone – you aren?t even smart enough to make fun of W.

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