School District Not Backing Down On Felony Charges Against Harmless Hackers
from the over-reacting dept
Back in June, we wrote about a group of thirteen students in Pennsylvania who were charged with felonies for doing a little harmless hacking at their school. They had figured out the administrator password (not hard to do, and apparently taped to an administrator's laptop) and used it to give themselves full access to the internet, rather than filtered. They also downloaded iChat, so they could chat to each other. The very "worst" claim, was that one student used the open access to view some porn. Once the school discovered this, rather than doing a better job securing their system, they told the students to stop. A few kept it up... and so the school called the police and had them charged with the felony "computer trespassing." After the case got more widespread attention, many called on the school to change it's stance, but school is standing by the felony charges and the case is about to go to court. Still, it's pretty clear that none of the students did anything harmful. It was a minor offense, if anything, and it barely deserves a slap on the wrist. It seems like yet another case where people who don't actually understand technology assume that any "unapproved" use of technology must be illegal and bad.