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FBI, grand jury now probing high school's webcam spying
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 22 February 2010 18:29

From Ars Technica

By Jacqui Cheng | Last updated February 22, 2010 11:57 AM

The furor over the Harriton High School webcam spying caper continues to grow. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating whether the school broke any federal wiretap laws when it remotely spied on a student at home, an anonymous official told the Associated Press. A federal grand jury has also subpoenaed the school for records related to the so-called "security" measures implemented on the laptops that allowed officials to activate the webcams to see people using them, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Lower Merion School District (LMSD) has also started talking to the press about the incident. Spokesman Doug Young told the AP that the school had activated the webcams on the school-issued laptops 42 times over the last year or so, but never to spy on the students. LMSD had said on Friday—when it decided to indefinitely suspend the practice—that the feature was there solely for security purposes in order to locate lost or stolen laptops.

With more than 2,300 of these laptops issued across the district, it's impractical to assume that every student was in danger of being spied on. However, it's clear that LMSD knows where it ran afoul: by not letting parents know about the feature when having them sign the paperwork for the computers. "There was no specific notification given that described the security feature," Young told the Inquirer. "That notice should have been given, and we regret not giving it. That... was a significant mistake."    [More...] [Comments...]



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