FBI Open Investigation On School Monitoring Students With Webcams

February 21, 2010

Pennsylvania (ChattahBox) – A school is under fire and an FBI investigation after a family filed a lawsuit alleging an assistant principle had monitored their son on his laptop webcam.

According to the case, Harriton High School officials had given students laptops as a part of their education program.

But they did not warn students or parents that each laptop had a working webcam.

One family is now saying that the assistant principle access images of the teen boy at home and used it to gather photos used for disciplinary action.

The school released the following statement:

“At no time did any high school administrator have the ability or actually access the security-tracking software. We believe that the administrator at Harriton has been unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked in connection with her attempts to be supportive of a student and his family. The district never did and never would use such tactics as a basis for disciplinary action.”

The student has said that he was stopped during school hours by the assistant principle, and told he was caught engaging in “inappropriate behavior” by the webcam in his room, and was shown a photograph.

This led to the knowledge that the webcam had been remotely accessed to capture screen cap photos of the student away from the school.

According to officials, this software and webcam was installed to find ‘lost or stolen’ laptops.

The family has denied there being any filed report of the laptop their son was using being stolen, and it is not clear why the administrator chose to access to images of the student.

The FBI are now looking at the possibility of charging the school and district with illegal wiretapping.



2 Responses to “FBI Open Investigation On School Monitoring Students With Webcams”

  1. Hall Monitor on February 21st, 2010 3:20 pm

    This story made http://detentionslip.org ! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.

  2. Ben on February 23rd, 2010 6:32 pm

    MediaCurves.com conducted a media study among viewers of a news clip featuring a story about a Pennsylvania school that monitored students at home through laptop webcams. Results found that an overwhelming majority of viewers (93%) reported that the school violated students’ rights to privacy. In addition, favorability for school issued laptops for home use declined from an average rating of 4.5 to 3.6 after viewing the video.
    More in depth results can be seen at: http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7750-SchoolWebcamSpies/Index.cfm

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