More details have come to light in the case of the Lower Merion School District spying on its students with covert laptop webcam software. The school district of the affluent Philadelphia suburb issued mandatory laptops to its students, each one loaded with software that could covertly activate the laptops' webcams, supposedly as a security measure to help recover stolen laptops). Students were required to carry and use the laptops, forbidden from using their own computers in school, and prohibited from modifying the software on their machines.
The school claims that it only activated the webcam spying software on rare occasions, but this is contested by parents. One student, Blake Robbins, was called in for a disciplinary meeting for "popping pills" while at home (Robbins says he was eating Mike & Ike's candies). The revelation that the school had been watching him remotely resulted in a parent lawsuit.
Now, the parents' lawyer says that "thousands" of covert photos and screenshots were taken in students' homes. These photos included students in various states of undress, sleeping, and partaking in other private activities. Shown below, a photo of Blake Robbins sleeping, covertly captured by his school laptop, released by the family's lawyer.
"Discovery to date has now revealed that thousands of webcam pictures and screen shots (.pdf) have been taken from numerous other students in their homes, many of which never reported their laptops lost or missing," attorney Mark Haltzman wrote in a Thursday federal court filing...
School District Allegedly Snapped Thousands of Student Webcam Spy Pics
The lawsuit said the administrator, who has been placed on paid leave, "invokes the Fifth Amendment to every question asked of her, including a question asked as to whether she had ever downloading (sic) pictures to her own computer, including pictures of students who were naked while in their home."
In February, the Lower Merion School District deactivated the webcam-tracking program secretly lodged on 2,300 student laptops.
Robbins v Lower Merion School District filing (PDF)
The fine folks at Techquickie put together a quick overview that takes the mystery out of the dizzying array of audio file formats, including when to use what and brief histories of the most common types.
MetaLimbs is a robotic system that provides the wearer with an extra pair of arms. The mechanical arms are controlled by the user’s legs, feet, and toes. The researchers from Keio University and the University of Tokyo will present their work at next month’s SIGGRAPH 2017 conference in Los Angeles.
Buckets hanging on maple trees may have worked great 200 years ago, but modern producers use a system like the internet: a series of tubes!
Just because English has become the common global tongue doesn’t mean it’s the easiest language to write—even for native speakers. If you’re looking to improve your written communication skills, especially on your smartphone, take a look at Ginger Page.Ginger is a cross-platform app that offers corrections for phrasing as well as grammar. It’s powered by […]
The current web development landscape is rife with buzzwords and technology that gets abandoned almost as soon as it’s made. If you’ve never written a line of code before, it can be hard to figure out what’s coming, what’s here to stay, or how to get ahead.This Beginner Web Development Bundle is a great place […]
The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it’s available now in the Boing Boing Store.The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight […]