Thursday, February 18, 2010

Okay, THIS isn't good...

BoingBoing is reporting that a Merion, PA school district has been remotely monitoring school-issued laptops -- even in the child's home. From the fine article:
According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. [emphasis added]
For further scary details, have a look at the class-action suit being brought against the school district.

If you're not inclined to go through the comments to find it, a PBS "Digital Nation" piece showed it being done inside a Bronx school (at about 4:39 in).

Me, I can see something like that being done in the classroom during school hours -- but anywhere else, not so much. Here's hoping the sub-geniuses that came up with this idea (and the morons that didn't object, and the asshats that actually implemented it) all find themselves doing serious time and being sued for everything but their underwear...

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