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Did a Pennsylvania school district use iSight to iSpy?

Mel Martin

The FBI and lots of parents want to know if school-issued MacBooks were used to spy on students at a suburban Philadelphia school.

Earlier today, a federal judge was asked to stop the school from destroying any records or logs from the 2,300 laptops that were used by high school students that attended Harriton High School in the Lower Merion School District.

The district admitted that it activated the iSight cameras to find more than 40 missing student computers. Officials claim that the district is no longer turning the cameras on remotely.

Meanwhile, other lawyers are pursuing a potential class-action lawsuit against the district. The FBI is investigating if the school district broke any federal wiretapping or computer intrusion laws.

The district noted that students must sign a release when they get the laptops, but the release does not state that the iSight cameras might be activated without the permission or knowledge of the students or their families.

The parties met in court today as a judge ruled on the preserving of evidence. Some students say they are now putting tape over the camera and microphone on the laptops to keep school employees from seeing or hearing anything.

According to one student involved in the legal action, the controversy began when an Assistant Principal at the school said the student was acting inappropriately at home. The student wondered how the Assistant Principal would know, and that started the investigation.

The school district has said that it has not spied on students, but activated the cameras on computers it said were lost or stolen.


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