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.

Filed Under: candy, drugs, privacy, schools, spying, webcams

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  1. icon
    slacker525600 (profile), 22 Feb 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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