A school in the US gave away laptops to all 1,800 students at its two high schools, to supposedly provide them with access to school resources around the clock.
However, parents in the US have accused the schools of spying on their children by remotely activating webcams on laptops. A couple from Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against a school district, after their son was told off by teachers for “engaging in improper behaviour in his home” and that the evidence was an image from his webcam.
The school district in question has now deactivated a tracking device installed on the laptops, saying the security feature was only used to track lost, stolen and missing laptops.
The couple from Pennsylvania, Michael and Holly Robbins, are suing the district on behalf of their child and all the children in the district who were given the laptops. They have accused the school district of invading their privacy and are guilty of “wiretapping” by putting children under covert surveillance.
It is claimed in the lawsuit that “the laptops were routinely used by students and family members at home, it is believed that many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including in various stages of dress or undress.”
Clearly, this is a serious breach in the laptop user’s privacy and an immediate investigation should be carried out to discover the real purpose of the spying. Bearing in mind that these laptops were given to children, our first concern should be the possible involvement of paedophiles.
Teachers are normally subjected to strict background checks, before they are allowed any contact with children, and the children’s privacy and protection is supposed to be of the utmost importance. It is therefore very strange that the school authorities should allow direct access into a child’s home, with the help of these laptops, so that they can spy on their most intimate moments.
Unfortunately, this “spyware” can be added onto almost any computer, enabling the person who installed it to read your most private information, steal your passwords and, as we have seen, even watch you on the webcam!
It is somewhat ironic that the US government criticise other countries for their abuse of human rights, when they are one of the worst offenders. However, this often goes unnoticed because the spying is carried out in a more subtle manner.
Governmental control does not have to take the form of secret police or restrictive laws (although that may well come in the future), because we have been exposing our private lives on the internet for some years now.
Social networking sites reveal a great deal about the things we get up to, which is probably why the FSB (former KGB) are believed to be behind the funding of such a site in Russia.
Even Google can read the content of your emails on Google Mail. Whilst this is done to deliver “related” adverts to your mail box, it could be used for much more sinister purposes, if they so choose.
The people capable of placing “Spyware” on your computer are very good at what they do, and it is very difficult for the average person to know if they are a victim or not. Even some of the programs designed to detect “Spyware” are not always able to discover its presence.
Extreme caution should be taken with your computer: Who uses it, who repairs it, and what sites you visit. It also stands to reason that people do not give away laptops unless there is a catch, because nothing in this life is free!