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Thread: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    That's not what he said at all. He said that the authority has offered explanation where the accuser has offered none.
    .
    Dunno if we are hearing conflicting stories or not [most likely possible], but I heard that they told him they had photos taken from his webcam.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelsonic View Post
    Dunno if we are hearing conflicting stories or not [most likely possible], but I heard that they told him they had photos taken from his webcam.
    It's my understanding that the pictures were webcam pictures but they are the same pictures he has on his facebook page. The school addressed this and he assumed they had turned on the camera and spied on him...which I find a little unlikely.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Some updates on the case and some clarifications on what actually happened

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpsisM41slk&NR=1"]YouTube- Pa. School Accused of Spying on Students[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGFWPUgaYyM&feature=sub"]YouTube- School Laptop Spying Case Goes to Court[/ame]
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Americans inherantly know that this is wrong. There should be charges and punishments.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Joe Smith sues Bank of America, alleging that they stole $1m out of his account and are now pretending that he never had it. Bank of America releases a statement saying that they have reviewed his statements and can say categorically that nothing like that ever happened.

    You're telling me that in that scenario, you're still 50-50 as to who's probably telling the truth?
    I'm saying that until someone actually shows someone some records, we can't know who's telling the truth. Bank of America gets no special consideration from me just because they are large and powerful.

    But your example is a poor analogy, since the interests of both sides are obvious--the case is about money. In the case contemplated in this thread, its hard to answer the "cui bono" question--if the child is accused of wrongdoing privately by the school, what benefit does the family derive from making the issue public? The denials of the school officials have an obvious motivation.

    All I'm suggesting is that no one does well to accept any side's argument based only on their accusations or denials.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    That's not what he said at all. He said that the authority has offered explanation where the accuser has offered none.
    What explanation are the supposed to offer? I'm pretty sure they made their argument in court documents. If the school district wants to start a public relations campaign to defend itself, I suppose they can (and its certainly to their advantage) but so far nothing about pot has come up in discussion of this case. Yes, there's the link from RightinNYC, but that "evidence" is an anonymous tip--which is no proof at all.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I'm saying that until someone actually shows someone some records, we can't know who's telling the truth. Bank of America gets no special consideration from me just because they are large and powerful.
    And that's fine, though I strongly disagree. Why on earth would the school (or BoA) lie about this, particularly since the facts will obviously come out on discovery?

    But your example is a poor analogy, since the interests of both sides are obvious--the case is about money. In the case contemplated in this thread, its hard to answer the "cui bono" question--if the child is accused of wrongdoing privately by the school, what benefit does the family derive from making the issue public? The denials of the school officials have an obvious motivation.
    It's a putative class action lawsuit asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, substantial liquidated damages, and attorney's fees. You don't think there's a financial motive on behalf of the plaintiffs and their lawyer (who seems a little dubious, for the record)?

    All I'm suggesting is that no one does well to accept any side's argument based only on their accusations or denials.
    Nobody is saying that the case is over. I'm saying that given the evidence currently available, it seems likely that there is little merit to the plaintiff's claims. That could very easily change, but from my perspective, that's a much more rational approach than the "put them in jail" attitude offered by some others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    What explanation are the supposed to offer? I'm pretty sure they made their argument in court documents.
    No, they didn't.

    [ame="http://www.scribd.com/doc/27077604/LMSD-Laptop-Spying-Court-Docket-Filed-2-11-2010"]LMSD Laptop Spying Court Docket Filed 2/11/2010[/ame]

    In fact, they explicitly refrain from alleging that the picture that the principal referred to when speaking to the student was taken by the school. This entire lawsuit as it stands can be summed up as:

    1) The laptops had this (incredibly common) security feature installed
    2) They didn't do a very good job of explaining it to students
    3) One student was reprimanded because of a picture that may or may not have been taken by the school using that function
    4) That's bad


    If the school district wants to start a public relations campaign to defend itself, I suppose they can (and its certainly to their advantage) but so far nothing about pot has come up in discussion of this case. Yes, there's the link from RightinNYC, but that "evidence" is an anonymous tip--which is no proof at all.
    And who said it was proof? It sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation for this whole thing - far more reasonable than anything the plaintiffs have offered. That doesn't mean that the case won't/shouldn't be adjudicated.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And that's fine, though I strongly disagree. Why on earth would the school (or BoA) lie about this, particularly since the facts will obviously come out on discovery?
    Money? Stupidity? Somebody covering his ass?
    It's a putative class action lawsuit asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, substantial liquidated damages, and attorney's fees. You don't think there's a financial motive on behalf of the plaintiffs and their lawyer (who seems a little dubious, for the record)?
    I think getting damages out of this is probably a remote possibility. Getting the school to end its policy and shaming them into not doing something this stupid again--that's more likely. In fact, it already happened.
    Nobody is saying that the case is over. I'm saying that given the evidence currently available, it seems likely that there is little merit to the plaintiff's claims. That could very easily change, but from my perspective, that's a much more rational approach than the "put them in jail" attitude offered by some others.
    You said the school's position was obviously the right one. That's prejudging the case.
    No, they didn't.

    LMSD Laptop Spying Court Docket Filed 2/11/2010

    In fact, they explicitly refrain from alleging that the picture that the principal referred to when speaking to the student was taken by the school. This entire lawsuit as it stands can be summed up as:

    1) The laptops had this (incredibly common) security feature installed
    2) They didn't do a very good job of explaining it to students
    3) One student was reprimanded because of a picture that may or may not have been taken by the school using that function
    4) That's bad
    It is bad. I'm sorry you take the privacy of students so lightly but appear to fawn before the authority of big entities like banks and government.
    And who said it was proof?
    You offered it as proof. Why ven provide the link otherwise?
    It sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation for this whole thing - far more reasonable than anything the plaintiffs have offered. That doesn't mean that the case won't/shouldn't be adjudicated.
    It may SOUND like a lot of things, but it's just an anonymous reprinted in a blog. It's as likely to be disinformation as anything. It certainly can't be interrogated, and it brings up ideas (pictures of the kid smoking pot?) that have not been mentioned in any other forum.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    What explanation are the supposed to offer? I'm pretty sure they made their argument in court documents. If the school district wants to start a public relations campaign to defend itself, I suppose they can (and its certainly to their advantage) but so far nothing about pot has come up in discussion of this case. Yes, there's the link from RightinNYC, but that "evidence" is an anonymous tip--which is no proof at all.
    Well they could start by explaining why pictures of the kid smoking pot are all over his facebook page with no privacy settings.

    And pot HAS come up in the case. It's precisely the "inappropriate behavior" that was brought to the administrator's attention.

    And yes, Right's link is proof of something: that the kid had no discretion about broadcasting his vices on the internet and that information the administrator had could have come from more than just spying on him through the web cam.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Money? Stupidity? Somebody covering his ass?
    Except the first and third would make no sense, as the lie would become obvious during discovery. The second also seems unlikely, as I doubt an entire school board with competent legal counsel is unable to figure this out.

    I think getting damages out of this is probably a remote possibility.
    And you're basing this on...? Even if we assume that there will be no compensatory or punitive damages (which I'm sure the plaintiff and his lawyer are not assuming), one of the plaintiff's claims explicitly includes statutory damages.

    Getting the school to end its policy and shaming them into not doing something this stupid again--that's more likely. In fact, it already happened.
    What, exactly, was the school's "stupid policy"?

    You said the school's position was obviously the right one. That's prejudging the case.
    Link me to where I said anything was obvious or a settled fact. I've been pretty clear throughout that I think it's quite likely that the school will prevail on the merits, but that there are still plenty of other possibilities. I've "prejudged" the case in the sense that I find one side more credible, but you've clearly done the same.


    It is bad. I'm sorry you take the privacy of students so lightly but appear to fawn before the authority of big entities like banks and government.
    Again, where on earth are you getting this? I take privacy quite seriously. The reason I'm not up in arms about this case is because I think it's highly likely that the student's privacy was not invaded. If it comes out that the school was actually sneaking around and watching students via webcams in order to punish them, then I'll be as outraged as anyone.

    You offered it as proof. Why ven provide the link otherwise?
    There's a difference between proof and evidence.

    It may SOUND like a lot of things, but it's just an anonymous reprinted in a blog. It's as likely to be disinformation as anything. It certainly can't be interrogated, and it brings up ideas (pictures of the kid smoking pot?) that have not been mentioned in any other forum.
    Did you actually go to the link? I ask, because if you had, you would have seen that the tipster included a link to the student's facebook profile which corroborated the bulk of the tipster's claims. I looked at the kids profile myself and saw that he had his privacy set to public, was a member of those groups that were named, and had posted a plethora of pictures taken via his webcam.
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