Archive for surveillance

School district admits installing covert webcam activation software on student laptops, denies wrongdoing

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 19 February 2010 by Steve

“The Superintendant of the Lower Merion School District – where parents have initiated a class action suit over the covert use of students’ laptops to surveil them in school and at home – has sent a letter to parents with more information about the spying. The school admits that there was spyware installed on students laptops that allowed for remote, covert activation of their webcams, but maintains that the measure was only to be used in the event of theft of the machine …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 19 February]

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools’ administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins’s child was disciplined for ‘improper behavior in his home’ and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 17 February]

Studying the ‘surveillance society’

Posted in teaching with tags , on 15 April 2009 by Steve

UK“Living under an invisible gaze raises important issues – which is why City University is launching an MA in surveillance studies. The term ‘surveillance society’ has become something of a cliche in contemporary culture, with competing depictions routinely appearing in a range of popular domains. Indeed, the literature we read, the programmes we watch and the various products we purchase and consume, are suffused with endless examples of surveillance technologies, practices and processes. We live our lives under and through ubiquitous surveillance. Imagining an unexceptional day in your own life may help consolidate this argument …” (more)

[Gavin John Douglas Smith, Guardian, 15 April]