A federal class action claims a suburban school district has been spying on students and families through the “indiscriminant use of and ability to remotely activate the webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students,” without the knowledge or consent of students or parents. The named plaintiffs say they learned that Big Brother was in their home when an assistant principal told their son that the school district knew he “was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor plaintiff’s personal laptop issued by the school district.”

The families say the Lower Merion School District issued Webcam-equipped personal laptop computers to each of its approximately 1,800 high school students: in Harriton High School in Rosemont, and Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.
[…]
“Additionally, by virtue of the fact that the webcam can be remotely activated at any time by the school district, the webcam will capture anything happening in the room in which the laptop computer is located, regardless of whether the student is sitting at the computer and using it.




  1. Mojo Yugen says:

    Disabling webcam on your laptop:
    1) Get a piece of electrical tape.
    2) You can figure out the rest.

    But seriously, is this school just trying to get sued out of existence? I’m not a lawyer but I think I could even win this case.

  2. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    I wonder how many under-age sex episodes they captured.

  3. Orange says:

    Kid revolt. They start dropping them like little bombs. Thousands of dollars lost and no money for books. Cap guns are banned, so we are all safer just not safe.

  4. Improbus says:

    How should kids fight back? Compute naked baby! Make those school administrators sex offenders. Booyah!

  5. Floyd says:

    I’m sure the pr0n captured by the webcams and resold by the school district has more than paid for the laptops.

    Speaking more seriously, #1 has figured it out. The school district will be sued out of existence, and the students and their lawyers will get rich.

  6. Breetai says:

    Heh,
    They’ll get away with this one. It’s the way things are going. We’re the property of the state now because we didn’t stand up for ourselves when it mattered.

  7. Animby says:

    # 5 Floyd said, “#1 has figured it out. The school district will be sued out of existence”

    Sadly, no. The school district will be sued and the citizens of the district will pony up the payoff. What ought to happen is the district should press criminal charges for criminal trespass, invasion of privacy and probably some child porn against each teacher and administrator who knew about it.

  8. stopher2475 says:

    #4 Point to Improbus! They’d have to quit their school jobs.

  9. really?? says:

    #1, #7, what would make you think they would be sued out of existence? Ever since Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Neo-con Freaks took our rights away (in this post 911 world), it has always been a case of: ” if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about “

  10. Internet anonymity for the win! says:

    Huh… sounds to me the assistant principal knew something about computers (or knew someone who did) and setup his son’s laptop to catch him in some sinful act.

    But instead the smarter son started spreading rumors about the web cam on the laptops which soon spread like wildfire…..

  11. jeff says:

    #9, except something tells me that these educators aren’t neocons…

    Seriously though, #7 has it right. It will sadly be the taxpayers that loose here.

  12. Ron Larson says:

    Jesus… this is pedobear’s dream. I wonder if the county DA will do his job and and see if the school officials have been spying on undressed minors.

  13. Dale says:

    Tape on the webcam, fine, but what about any key-loggers, etc that tell where they surf to and what the school notebook was used for? Just as incriminating imo..

  14. moss says:

    The Lower Merion School District [info@lmsd.org]

    The Board of Directors [capitalcomments@lmsd.org] of the Lower Merion School District

    Superintendent McGinley [mcginleyc@lmsd.org]

  15. McCullough says:

    I cannot believe this isn’t a national news story. Seriously have we become that jaded? AND is that just part of the plan….we are becoming like the UK when we can just shrug this off as another Oh well…Big Brother and all.

    WE are so screwed.

  16. MikeN says:

    Why are they giving out laptops to students?

  17. gquaglia says:

    “But if this was someone unilateral wet dream, then that someone is going to prison.”

  18. McCullough says:

    #15. This is common practice in New Mexico. They come with a three year no fault warranty…meaning they can kick the LCD screen in and it’s still covered. I know..because I do the warranty service.

  19. Dr Dodd says:

    #15-MikeN-Why are they giving out laptops to students?

    Nothing is ever free or as it appears when government is involved.

    A really smart kid might format the hard drive and reinstall only known programs thus thwarting the gestapo pedophiles who work for the indoctrination centers masquerading as public schools.

  20. Howard B says:

    so they can surf over to dvorak.org/blog and post disinformation

  21. haymoose says:

    So what? The teachers and faculty can always get a job with the TSA. This seems right up thier alley.

  22. Orange says:

    So screwed? At least I’m still eliminating suspects. It makes life easier. The rat race will start again soon enough.

  23. f. garza says:

    Their going to be suprised by how boring these kids are going to be.

  24. Mr. Fusion says:

    Insurance should cover the bill.

    If the school administration isn’t fired, look for the School Board to be out of a job next election.

    I would think this is criminal trespass. Just the fact that one incident has been logged should be enough to demonstrate knowledge and intent.

    Jail time might just make someone else think twice next time.

  25. really?? says:

    Pedro (#17),

    My IQ is so high, I take shits that are smarter than you.

  26. Me-Mongo says:

    They should boot the laptops into Ubuntu or something like that.

  27. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    The school officials should have to register as sex offenders.

  28. deowll says:

    If you took the thing knowing what it could do that is one thing. If you took the thing not knowing what it could do then these people don’t have a leg to stand on and they will be hung out to dry.

  29. Zargy says:

    #30″Whoa, wait a second here! The school district gets to determine what “improper behavior” in a student’s home is?!”

    Exactly my thought. These perverts and pedophiles should be locked in jail just for that.

  30. webcam cover says:

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