An interesting development in the Lower Marion School District surveillance case.

For a couple of months now I've been following the Lower Marion High School laptop surveillance case in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If the story's been dropped from your cache for whatever reason, earlier this year it was discovered that a school district in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was using the laptops it issued to students to spy on them while they were off-campus. As it turned out some of the staff had been remotely activating the built-in webcams and using them to watch students. A cache of images taken through the webcams was found on some of their servers, some …

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Lower Merion quietly places two of their IT staff on leave.

I've been following the surreptitious webcam surveillance saga of Lower Merion School District since the story first broke in February, and some interesting news has come out of the Philadelphia area. It seems that two people on the school's IT staff have quietly been placed on paid leave as a result of the investigation. The school district is still clinging to their story that the webcams were remotely operated to aid in recovering stolen laptops, nevermind the fact that the camera can't actually see anything if the lid is closed. Plus, it's remotely possible at best to identify the location …

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More from the Lower Merion School District.

A couple of days ago word hit the newswires that a high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had been using the laptops issued to its students to spy on them. Word's gotten around (no surprise there), and the BBC was the first to throw the 'potentially undressed minors' flag (and rightly so, in this case). The district has claimed that the spycam feature of the monitoring software was only for the purpose of recovering lost or stolen laptops and says that they deactivated the software remotely. If you've been paying attention to this story I don't have to tell you that …

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High school issues laptops, uses them to spy on students.

An article hit Boing Boing today that raised the hackles on the back of my neck as I read it. The Lower Merion School District just outside of Philadelphia received a grant a couple of years back for laptop computers to issue to its students to use as part of their coursework. In November of last year, the parents of student Blake Robbins received a disciplinary notice pertaining to something unspecified (referred to as "improper behavior") in the affidavit. The disciplinary notice was accompanied by a photograph of Blake while he was at home. The laptops issued by Lower Merion …

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There are art hacks, and then there are art HACKS.

Somewhere in Czechoslovakia (or whatever it's really called these days - I was never any good with geopolitical boundries in that region of the world, which I suppose marks me as a product of the United States public education system), the owners of a local attraction of some beauty have a webcam set up. You can go to their website and look out over the woods, the hot springs, and what have you.

On Sunday morning a group of crackers and pranksters calling themselves Ztohoven hacked the camera feed to make it look like someone had just detonated a nuclear device …

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