19 February 2010

Further adventures in invasion of privacy.

Blake J. Robbins v Lower Merion [Pennsylvania] School District et al is a case where Mr. Robbins, a high-school student, was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home."
As evidence of said improper behavior, Vice Principal Lindy Matsko (who perhaps takes her title a bit to literally) supplied a webcam photo snapped by the district-issued laptop computer.
Okay, wow.
It's bad enough that the administration spies on students while they're at school by giving themselves access to a student's email and whatnot, but they feel free to spy on kids while they're at home?
Taken together with my previous post, it seems that everything is turning into a goddam roving bug anymore.
If you've got work- or school-issued communication device with a camera, I recommend the strategic application of electrical tape at a minimum.
If you're doing anything that you don't want the company IT busybodies to know the intimate details of, perhaps you should consider leaving your communication devices in another room.
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. — George Orwell, 1984

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