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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
    Well they could start by explaining why pictures of the kid smoking pot are all over his facebook page with no privacy settings.
    Is there are source for this other than the anonymous tip? Has anyone else seen these photos?
    And pot HAS come up in the case. It's precisely the "inappropriate behavior" that was brought to the administrator's attention.
    It is? Because so far I haven't heard either side mention it. There was some mention of PILLS, but not pot. They don't look anything alike.
    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.
    Except that the accusation comes from someone who will not even give his name. Anonymous accusations get zero credibility, since they can be leveled by anyone for any reason.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Is there are source for this other than the anonymous tip? Has anyone else seen these photos?
    I haven't bothered to look at them. Whether the source was anonymous or not has zero to do with whether the source pointed to facts. The veracity of the information is not dependent on the source naming themselves.

    It is?
    It is.

    Because so far I haven't heard either side mention it. There was some mention of PILLS, but not pot. They don't look anything alike.
    Right's link mentioned pot. The original argument said he was accused of selling drugs (my assumption would be pot since that's what he is broadcasting on Facebook).

    Either way, pills/pot...his activity has been broadcast with no privacy controls. It is totally plausible that his activities were discovered through several means other than the webcam in that computer.

    Except that the accusation comes from someone who will not even give his name. Anonymous accusations get zero credibility, since they can be leveled by anyone for any reason.
    Perhaps in your world. Cops act anonymous tips all the time. And the anonymity of the source does not diminish the veracity of the information passed on. Sorry bout that.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I was just pointing out to Hoplite that the principal is to blame. Nother whether or not it should be legal for schools to spy on students and parents.



    That should be changed to "tax payer funded entity".Your tax money does not belong to the government.So it is not the government's money but the tax payer's money.
    Given how the 1st Amendment is used by schools to squash religious freedom, so to the school (i.e., the State) has committed a violation of the 4th Amendment. Where were the warrants, and where was the probable cause to support them?
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quotes from the aforementioned linked story:

    School officials in Pennsylvania who admit remotely activating student webcams to locate missing laptops could have used far less intrusive methods such as GPS tracking devices, technology and privacy experts say.
    The school officials admit that they activated the webcams.

    According to Rotenberg, those photographs could also raise legal problems for Lower Merion, since officials have said students did not sign waivers agreeing to the hidden use of webcams.
    No legal waivers were signed by the students' parents before the webcams were turned on. Being that they are minors, the students themselves couldn't have signed a legal agreement.

    Apparently for the school district . . .
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    Quotes from the aforementioned linked story:


    The school officials admit that they activated the webcams.
    If you read the thread, you'll see that this has never been in dispute. The school has stated that it turned on the cameras only when it was trying to find lost or possibly stolen laptops.

    No legal waivers were signed by the students' parents before the webcams were turned on. Being that they are minors, the students themselves couldn't have signed a legal agreement.

    Apparently for the school district . . .
    And the parents of these students had to sign a legal waiver acknowledging that if the laptops were stolen, the school could use this technology to try to recover them?
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And the parents of these students had to sign a legal waiver acknowledging that if the laptops were stolen, the school could use this technology to try to recover them?
    No such thing is mentioned in the aforementioned news story that I linked to.

    Here is an excerpt from the Courthouse News Service story pertaining to the case:
    But the parents and students say that, without their knowledge, the access went both ways. Nowhere in any "written documentation accompanying the laptop," or in any "documentation appearing on any Web site or handed out to students or parents concerning the use of the laptop," was any reference made "to the fact that the school district has the ability to remotely activate the embedded webcam at any time the school district wished to intercept images from that webcam of anyone or anything appearing in front of the camera," the complaint states.
    1. The parents didn't sign a legal waiver permitting the use of the webcams in their homes.

    2. As someone else has already pointed out, a webcam could have been turned on while a student was undressed in front of a computer.

    3. The reason for turning on the webcams is immaterial if the school district did not have the legal authority to turn on the webcams while the computers were in the homes of the students.
    Last edited by Goyboy; 02-23-10 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Add content
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    No such thing is mentioned in the aforementioned news story that I linked to.

    Here is an excerpt from the Courthouse News Service story pertaining to the case:


    1. The parents didn't sign a legal waiver permitting the use of the webcams in their homes.
    Who says they had to?

    2. As someone else has already pointed out, a webcam could have been turned on while a student was undressed in front of a computer.
    And the principal could have broken into the kids home and taken pictures of the same thing. Since neither happened, I don't see how that's relevant.

    3. The reason for turning on the webcams is immaterial if the school district did not have the legal authority to turn on the webcams while the computers were in the homes of the students.
    Again, what is your basis for arguing that the school did not have the legal authority to do what it says it did?
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Again, what is your basis for arguing that the school did not have the legal authority to do what it says it did?
    Amendment IV if the U.S. Constitution

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    The webcams were turned on for the purpose of making a search.

    The parents did not give the school district permission to search their homes via the webcams.
    The height of wisdom is to say, "I do not know." -Socrates

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Goyboy View Post
    Amendment IV if the U.S. Constitution



    The webcams were turned on for the purpose of making a search.

    The parents did not give the school district permission to search their homes via the webcams.
    I can see what you are saying, but there is a key point that may negate that: the search isn't "of" a suspect in a crime. The search is "for" a lost piece of property. There is no attempt here to get around a search warrant in pursuit of charges for commission of a crime.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Does anyone have a link? This is so preposterous I find it hard to believe a school would be this dumb. Many times there's much more to the story.
    Latest I heard, the "more to the story" could end up being child porn accusations.
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