I want you to know, that this is going down, on your permanent record

Full disclosure: I didn’t like grade school. I’m sure I didn’t hate it as much as some people hated it, but so far as I’m concerned, Hell is a last period class in 8th grade that lasts FOREVER.

Then I read things like this and feel stupid for complaining [via Computerworld]:

A federal judge yesterday ordered [Lower Merion School District] the Pennsylvania school district accused of spying on its students to stop activating the cameras in school-issued MacBook laptops.

Do what?

According to the original complaint, Blake Robbins was accused by a Harriton High School assistant principal of “improper behavior in his home” and shown a photograph taken by his laptop as evidence. In an appearance on network television last Saturday, Robbins said he was accused by the assistant principal of selling drugs and taking pills, but he claimed the pictures taken by his computer’s camera showed him eating candy.

Ooookaaay. A school gives laptops to its students. It neglects to inform parents or students that the laptops contain cameras that can be remotely operated. Right there we have what is known in technical parlance as a heinous problem.

Then, because there isn’t enough stupidity in this sad tale, some pervert at one of the schools allegedly uses the application to spy on at least one student. And then, because she is a stupid fucking pervert, she confronts the student with evidence that she’s a fucking pervert. Brilliant.

And no, I’m not saying the assistant principal really is a pervert. But you know the kids are going to say it.

The school district’s line is that the camera feature was only meant to catch people who steal laptops. Honest. And you kids sure look cute in your jammies [LMSD Press Release 18 Feb. 10]:

The laptops do contain a security feature intended to track lost, stolen and missing laptops.


This feature has only been used for the limited purpose of locating a lost, stolen or missing laptop. The District has not used the tracking feature or web cam for any other purpose or in any other manner whatsoever.

I’m no computer genius, but how much use is a photo of a computer thief? “Oh officer, my laptop was stolen. Here’s a picture of the thief. What? No, I don’t recognize him. And yes, you’re right he could be anywhere by now. Don’t you have a national database of computer thieves?”

Oh well, the money the LSMD saved with their upskirt video computer protection plan should help defray the legal fees they’re going to incur ‘cos they didn’t consult with an attorney before they started Operation Barely Legal.


1 Comment

Filed under "Stay in view please", Education, Misguided Self-justification

One response to “I want you to know, that this is going down, on your permanent record

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