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(AOL News)   Lawyer for PA school district that used webcams on school-issued laptops to spy on their students, now admits that by saying the school "almost never" used this function he meant "more than 56,000 times   (dailyfinance.com) divider line 204
    More: Sick, The Philadelphia Inquirer, webcams, Fifth Amendments, Montgomery County, Lower Merion School District, Macintosh, wiretaps, depositions  
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15850 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Apr 2010 at 12:40 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-04-20 10:39:46 AM
Lawyer was botoxed from head to navel to prevent laughing himself into an aneurysm.
 
zz9
2010-04-20 10:41:32 AM
I think quite a few school admin and staff should be prosecuted, jailed and be put on the sex offender register. If a child can be put on the register for having a naked picture of themselves on their own phone then an adult school employee viewing pictures taken secretly by a laptop in a child's bedroom is far worse.

"None of the images, captured by a tracking program to find missing computers, appeared to be salacious or inappropriate, he said."

Right. 56,000 images and by pure chance not one single image taken by a laptop, in their bedroom, is while a child is undressing or naked. That's lottery winning odds.
 
2010-04-20 11:03:42 AM
Assume that the webcam is capable of capturing 30 frames per second. If turned on 24/7 for a year, it could capture over 900 million pictures per laptop.

With only 56,000 images across all the laptops in their inventory, they were "almost never" using this feature.
 
2010-04-20 11:11:42 AM
A suburban school district secretly captured at least 56,000 webcam photographs and screen shots from laptops issued to high school students, its lawyer acknowledged Monday.

there's a guy who really has to hate his job right now.
 
2010-04-20 11:15:33 AM
None of the images, captured by a tracking program to find missing computers, appeared to be salacious or inappropriate, he said.

ALL of them are inappropriate. You do not spy on or take pictures of children in their own homes/bedrooms unknowingly. There's a phrase for a person who does that "a peeping Tom". And last time I checked that's illegal.

Oh, and what that article didn't mention:

The lawsuit said the administrator, who has been placed on paid leave, "invokes the Fifth Amendment to every question asked of her, including a question asked as to whether she had ever downloading (sic) pictures to her own computer, including pictures of students who were naked while in their home."

RUH-ROH! Somebody is going to jail for kiddie porn!
 
2010-04-20 11:20:21 AM
www.g-2k.co.uk
 
2010-04-20 11:22:38 AM
Ivo Shandor: Assume that the webcam is capable of capturing 30 frames per second. If turned on 24/7 for a year, it could capture over 900 million pictures per laptop.

With only 56,000 images across all the laptops in their inventory, they were "almost never" using this feature.


Wrong. Increase your reading comprehension or at least read the article. The cameras were not on 24/7, nor was this video they were capturing.

About 38,000 of the images were taken over several months from six computers the school said were stolen from a locker room.

The tracking program took images every 15 minutes, usually capturing the webcam photo of the user and a screen shot at the same time. The program was sometimes turned on for weeks or months at a time, Hockeimer said.


If it was snapping pics every 15 minutes you can bet in the morning or right before bed it caught students naked, and the teenage boys probably fapping.
 
2010-04-20 11:23:32 AM
Walker:

RUH-ROH! Somebody is going to jail for kiddie porn!


oh you'd better believe it. especially in THIS state, what those school officials did could easily meet the definitions of kiddie porn.

And if the local authorities somehow end up getting bribed to look the other way, then the Fed is watching the case and waiting in the wings to do something to the perps.
 
2010-04-20 11:26:59 AM
It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.
 
2010-04-20 11:29:39 AM
Did anyone mention the computers were Mac's?

/insert your own security joke here
 
2010-04-20 11:30:44 AM
labman: It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.

yeah, but that is only going to delay the inevitable. the IT folks kept accurate and detailed records. you wait and see - the IT folks will turn states' evidence and betray the administration. In the end, the geeks will walk and the suits will be on trial.

/all of this has happened before.
 
2010-04-20 11:32:07 AM
labman: It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.

Management doesn't make mistakes, therefore it's the only logical conclusion that staff are responsible.
 
2010-04-20 11:48:02 AM
mediablitz: Did anyone mention the computers were Mac's?

Who is Mac and why did the students have his computers?

/grammar macht frei
 
2010-04-20 12:43:28 PM
My MacBook Pro could be watching me at this very moment. Creepy...

I wonder how many students from that school are terrified that there are pics floating around of them jerking off?
 
2010-04-20 12:44:24 PM
labman: It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.

"Respondeat superior" let me introduce you to it.

It's even fun to say:)
 
2010-04-20 12:44:39 PM
labman: It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.

WTF are you talking about? If I get asked to do something illegal, unethical. I refuse. I tell them go talk to legal and HR. If they want to fire me, wrongful termination lawsuit baby.
 
2010-04-20 12:45:07 PM
Well, looks like someone is going to jail. Hopefully the IT guys have records that show they were only following orders and not complicit in the spying.

Sick tag well warranted though. Have there always been this many kiddy porn pervs in the world that we just didn't know about? It seems like one of these stories breaks every other week now.
 
2010-04-20 12:45:15 PM
Walker: None of the images, captured by a tracking program to find missing computers, appeared to be salacious or inappropriate, he said.

ALL of them are inappropriate. You do not spy on or take pictures of children in their own homes/bedrooms unknowingly. There's a phrase for a person who does that "a peeping Tom". And last time I checked that's illegal.

Oh, and what that article didn't mention:

The lawsuit said the administrator, who has been placed on paid leave, "invokes the Fifth Amendment to every question asked of her, including a question asked as to whether she had ever downloading (sic) pictures to her own computer, including pictures of students who were naked while in their home."

RUH-ROH! Somebody is going to jail for kiddie porn!


Those are just the images they are admitting to, probably the ones they found int he open on the unecrypted part of somebody's hard drive, not the "good" ones which somebody's probably got saved on their ecrypted partion, or if they are less tech savvy, in their systems folder in a sub-folder labelled "drivers" or some such

anyone want to set the "over/under" on how many pictures are eventually found?
 
2010-04-20 12:45:17 PM
How long until IT pulls emails from archives from Administration telling them to do it. I'm on the fence here, 1 side of me says I would not do it but the other side says when your boss tells you to turn the thing on you have no choice unless you want a new job.

Sucks for IT and glad we don't have anything like that.
 
2010-04-20 12:46:18 PM
HumbleGenius: My MacBook Pro could be watching me at this very moment. Creepy...

I wonder how many students from that school are terrified that there are pics floating around of them jerking off?


Eh. They'd get over it and LM is a very wealthy school district. The settlement will help them get over it, I'm sure.

This is never going to court.
 
2010-04-20 12:46:48 PM
They showed a pic of a kid sleeping this morning on the local news. He looked so happy, I think he jerked off before going to bed. They probably captured that too.
 
2010-04-20 12:46:56 PM
Weaver95: labman: It's great how they threw the IT people under a bus on this. Administrators want IT to come up with a system to do this, IT complies. Administrators ask them to activate the system, IT complies. Who gets placed on administrative leave first? The IT people. Who was it that asked for it, then provided funding for it, then wanted it used. The administrators.

yeah, but that is only going to delay the inevitable. the IT folks kept accurate and detailed records. you wait and see - the IT folks will turn states' evidence and betray the administration. In the end, the geeks will walk and the suits will be on trial.

/all of this has happened before.


The IT geeks still should have said "No".

As an IT geek myself, I know it's one of the most powerful tools we have. In this case, someone should have said "Hell no, and if you try to force me I will quit and go to the media and law enforcement with this".

I've said "no" to much less: Things like putting social security numbers on internal reports and such, simply because it seemed like too big of a risk.
 
2010-04-20 12:47:06 PM
Ivo Shandor: Assume that the webcam is capable of capturing 30 frames per second. If turned on 24/7 for a year, it could capture over 900 million pictures per laptop.

With only 56,000 images across all the laptops in their inventory, they were "almost never" using this feature.


There's always a defender for everything...
 
2010-04-20 12:47:58 PM
hey--all i know is this is going to be a lot of fun to watch/listen/read about as it keeps on getting better and better.

let's hope this does not get swept under the table, or settled out of court. will really be boring if it does.
 
2010-04-20 12:48:44 PM
I demand to see the sexy screenshots that I know exist.
 
2010-04-20 12:48:53 PM
SHARKIRA DECREES THAT NO ONE IS SAFE, BUT IT IS HER WRATH AND NOT THE WEBCAMS THAT YOU NEED FEAR

i197.photobucket.com
 
2010-04-20 12:48:59 PM
StarshipPooper:
WTF are you talking about? If I get asked to do something illegal, unethical. I refuse. I tell them go talk to legal and HR. If they want to fire me, wrongful termination lawsuit baby.


You sound like a person that has nothing to lose. Tell that the the IT drone that has 3 kids and is barely making by in this economy where IT jobs are getting scarce. Do you want to take the risk of not having a job for 6 months and file a lawsuit that you might lose and have to pay out even more?

Had I been in this situation you better believe there would be emails stating my unfavorable view and legality and make sure I had the one that said "Just do it".
 
2010-04-20 12:49:10 PM
The JenniCam girl is smiling right now.
 
2010-04-20 12:49:20 PM
TNel: How long until IT pulls emails from archives from Administration telling them to do it. I'm on the fence here, 1 side of me says I would not do it but the other side says when your boss tells you to turn the thing on you have no choice unless you want a new job.

I'm assuming they already have everything (or there is a litigation hold on evertyhing), and god help them if they destroyed evidence. It's going to be the mother of all sanctions. People will be reading this case rather than the Zubulake cases when it comes to spoliation of evidence and adverse infrence.
 
2010-04-20 12:50:06 PM
dittybopper: I've said "no" to much less: Things like putting social security numbers on internal reports and such, simply because it seemed like too big of a risk.

Winner winner chicken dinner.
 
2010-04-20 12:51:05 PM
What's funny is that on their webpage they have a "Picture of the day"

/imagine the possibilities...
 
2010-04-20 12:51:13 PM
TNel: You sound like a person that has nothing to lose. Tell that the the IT drone that has 3 kids and is barely making by in this economy where IT jobs are getting scarce. Do you want to take the risk of not having a job for 6 months and file a lawsuit that you might lose and have to pay out even more?

Its a government job. Do you have any idea how HARD it is to be fired from a government position?

....you very nearly have to kill someone or molest them.
 
2010-04-20 12:51:15 PM
johndalek: let's hope this does not get swept under the table, or settled out of court. will really be boring if it does.

Let's hope that those involved get "almost no" jailtime.
 
2010-04-20 12:51:22 PM
TNel: How long until IT pulls emails from archives from Administration telling them to do it. I'm on the fence here, 1 side of me says I would not do it but the other side says when your boss tells you to turn the thing on you have no choice unless you want a new job.


Wrong.

No administrator is going to fire an IT guy who can walk up to a police officer or TV reporter and say "Hey, you know Ms. So-and-so, school administrator? She tried to get me to remotely activate webcams on laptops so that we could spy on the kids out of school, including in their bedrooms. You want proof? Here are some memos, and print-outs of e-mails". The administrator would be slitting their own professional throat.

It just takes the balls to be willing to say "no".
 
2010-04-20 12:51:23 PM
Do we have the numbers showing how many new Fark accounts came from those computers? Drew, I want that figure on my desk by morning, sweet cakes.
 
2010-04-20 12:51:31 PM
imgs.sfgate.com

comon, its not like this ever happens...
 
2010-04-20 12:51:34 PM
OK, quick question- on my Mac, there's an LED that lights up whenever the webcam is used. Do the Macbooks not have such a feature?
 
2010-04-20 12:51:38 PM
So when do we get to see all these hot pics of teens popping zit pus from their greasy infected faces?
 
2010-04-20 12:51:49 PM
StarshipPooper: If I get asked to do something illegal, unethical. I refuse.

Blue-Collar Man: Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a roofer... (digs into pocket and produces business card) Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements. And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer's personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs.
Randal: Like when?
Blue-Collar Man: Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was.
Dante: Whose house was it?
Blue-Collar Man: Dominick Bambino's.
Randal: "Babyface" Bambino? The gangster?
Blue-Collar Man: The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine.
Dante: Based on personal politics.
Blue-Collar Man: Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface's house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn't even finished shingling.
 
2010-04-20 12:52:08 PM
MaudlinMutantMollusk: What's funny is that on their webpage they have a "Picture of the day"

/imagine the possibilities...


Probably just be a bunch of starfishes... brown starfishes
 
2010-04-20 12:52:16 PM
TNel: StarshipPooper:
WTF are you talking about? If I get asked to do something illegal, unethical. I refuse. I tell them go talk to legal and HR. If they want to fire me, wrongful termination lawsuit baby.

You sound like a person that has nothing to lose. Tell that the the IT drone that has 3 kids and is barely making by in this economy where IT jobs are getting scarce. Do you want to take the risk of not having a job for 6 months and file a lawsuit that you might lose and have to pay out even more?

Had I been in this situation you better believe there would be emails stating my unfavorable view and legality and make sure I had the one that said "Just do it".


Seriously, the IT people are going to be fine. They're going to go after the school and the county because they have money. Whatever the IT people have is nothing compared to what the county and the school has. They're going to do it under a theory of "they should have trained their workers better."
 
2010-04-20 12:52:16 PM
Build your own:
http://preyproject.com/

100% Open Source laptop 'tracking' project. I also paid for Orbicule's Undercover a while ago, I have both installed now. The accuracy of the Skyhook wireless location is scary accurate.

And you can't power the camera without powering the LED (without some major dismantling of the laptop).
 
2010-04-20 12:53:10 PM
hey guys, i have an idea. let's bash homeschoolers as crazy, paranoid conspiracy-theorists.

/or maybe they just didn't want to deal with this shiate.
 
2010-04-20 12:54:49 PM
2wolves: Lawyer was botoxed from head to navel to prevent laughing himself into an aneurysm.

You just made my day. Thank you.
 
2010-04-20 12:54:51 PM
Ivo Shandor: With only 56,000 images across all the laptops in their inventory, they were "almost never" using this feature.

please note that 56,000 images is 56,000 too many images.
 
2010-04-20 12:54:51 PM
Wait, how is different from OnStar? is it because they have fine print in the contract that says they're allowed to spy on you?
 
2010-04-20 12:54:59 PM
1) get a POST-IT note
2) cut it to a small .5" x.5" square, with the back still sticky
3) place it over webcam
4) well, you know the rest.
 
2010-04-20 12:55:11 PM
SlothB77: hey guys, i have an idea. let's bash homeschoolers as crazy, paranoid conspiracy-theorists.

/or maybe they just didn't want to deal with this shiate.


It's possible both to not want your kid spied on and to be a crazy, paranoid, conspiracy theorist. Just saying.
 
2010-04-20 12:55:13 PM
If I had the ability, I'd have fun with the Lower Merion School District's website. Their "Picture of the Day" second could provide lulz for all
 
2010-04-20 12:55:17 PM
SlothB77: hey guys, i have an idea. let's bash homeschoolers as crazy, paranoid conspiracy-theorists.

/or maybe they just didn't want to deal with this shiate.


Homeschooling or laptops being used to illegally spy on you are the only choices in education. You heard it here first, folks.
 
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