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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: feds, high school, investigation, webcam

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Cohen (profile), 18 Aug 2010 @ 6:12am

    No "Right to Privacy"

    One of the biggest constitutional issues for the past fifty years has been the lack of a specific "right to privacy."

    These children were spied upon. Their privacy was invaded.

    We would hope that somewhere there is a concept of privacy that was illegally broken.

    But there is no right to privacy.

    Many cases brought to the state and federal courts try to make the case that there is a right to privacy.

    But strict constitutional judges have found no right to privacy.

    Some states have created laws that make it a crime to invade one's privacy. (Remember the landlord who installed spy cameras in the apartment he rented to a family. They had to figure out a law that he had broken. And only added a privacy law after the fact.)

    So, for everyone who thinks you have a "right to privacy." You don't.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.