US students tape up their webcams as school board paranoia turns MacBooks into spies

Speaking of CCTV and the rise of the Big Brother state machine, it seems paranoid school administrators in the US remotely switched-on webcams on Macbooks in at least one school 42 times in an attempt to spy on students.

Ah, the smell of the future. And to make it worse, these 42 instances of invasive spying took place when the students were at home with their school-provided Mac.

A US court was told.that Harriton High School, in the Lower Merion High School district of Ardmore in Philadelphia engaged in this odd behaviour. All 2,300 school students got given MacBooks as part of a one-to-one student laptop plan.

But school admins installed software to spy on students, this could “be activated remotely and snaps pics of the students at home engaging in “improper behavior”. The system, now out of commission, was used 42 times this school year, the district said.

“The disturbing activity was acknowledged when student Blake J. Robbins was punished by the school for things that took place in his home. The school’s vice-principal even provided a photo taken with the webcam as evidence,” a report said.

The school did this 42 times.

So – if your child has tape across the iSight camera on their MacBook, now you know why….

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