Feds Won't Bring Charges Against School District Officials In Webcam Spying

from the criminal-intent dept

There have been a couple of new developments in the saga of the suburban Philadelphia school district, the Lower Merion School District, that was sued by a student, after that student was disciplined (supposedly for eating candy) using photos taken by secretly installed and used webcam spying software. The school initially claimed that it only used the software 42 times, but an investigation founded 58,000 photos were taken -- including hundreds of another student, who has now also sued.

As stories came out about administrators enjoying spying on students -- referring to it as a window into their own "little... soap opera," the FBI got involved. However, the prosecutors are now saying that they won't bring charges, because there is no evidence of criminal intent. That shouldn't impact the various civil lawsuits, of course.

At the same time, Julian Sanchez points us to the news that after all of this, the school district has finally put in place new policies designed "to govern the use and tracking of student laptops and other technology." Seems like, perhaps, that should have been in place a wee bit earlier.
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Filed Under: feds, high school, investigation, webcam

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2010 @ 6:06am

    The thing that makes me worry is that this is a special case, I don't think criminal charges should be brought at this time, it was stupid yes, criminal maybe, but in a world that will be full of cameras in a not so distant future maybe this is not a bad thing and the benefit of the doubt should apply, now if there is another one involving the same people doing the exact same thing they should get some smack.

    The good thing is that it proves that people can be monitored remotely by simple electronic devices pervasive in our lifes, the laptop's are just one example, but I don't doubt that cellphones are capable of transmitting sound and video also, maybe people should put those in a box for charging also.

    Right now the laws don't make distinctions of what is allowed or not and I don't think it is a good idea to give or take any thing with laws until we understand what the consequences really are.

    Cars have cameras today, if you are backing up your car and you get somebody undressing that would be criminal? anybody knows what the law says? should people enact laws against recording someone those instances could be used to criminalize others? right now is not just the government that could get in trouble with such things.

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