The tyranny of liberalism goes where no liberal has gone before
The Lower Merion School District outside Philadelphia issued webcam-equipped laptop computers to the 1,800 pupils in the district’s two high schools, in order to encourage “ongoing collaboration” and to ensure that “all students have 24/7 access to school-based resources and the ability to seamlessly work on projects and research at school and at home.” Unknown to the pupils and their parents, the webcams could be activated by the school district to view whatever was in front of the webcam in the student’s home.
High school student Blake Robbins and his parents found out about the hidden capability when the assistant principal of Blake’s high school informed him that the school district believed that he “was engaged in improper behavior in his home,” and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in Blake’s laptop.
According to the story posted at America’s Right:
It was only then that Blake Robbins’ father, Michael, verified from Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko that the school district did in fact have the capability of remotely activating the cameras embedded in the district-issued laptop computer wherever the computer may be situated and regardless of whether the student is using it, and that the school district could at any time choose “to view and capture whatever images were in front of the webcam, all without the knowledge, permission or authorization of any persons then and there using the laptop computer.”The Robbinses yesterday filed a class-action lawsuit against the school district in federal court in Philadelphia.
At the same moment, this story comes in, from Der Spiegel:
The lower house of the French parliament has approved a draft bill that will allow the state unprecedented control over the Internet. Although the government says it will improve security for ordinary citizens, civil rights activists are warning of a “new level” of censorship and surveillance.Given the total reign of political correctness already in force in France and throughout the EU, does anyone doubt that this capability will be used to spy on thought criminals?
Ken Hechtman writes:
Something doesn’t make sense about this story. The school district is spending an awful lot of money for a spy technique it can only use one time. The information they’re collecting has no value unless they use it in a disciplinary procedure. Once they do use it, everybody in the school knows exactly how they’re being spied on and can tape over the cameras or some such.LA replies:
That’s a very good point. I don’t have an answer.JPG writes:
This is STRAIGHT out of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four! The telescreen comes to life. There is an interesting genealogy to this subject that is not well known. The telescreen was a reincarnation of Jeremy Bentham’s (British Utilitarian philosopher) panopticon, a specially designed prison where a handful of guards could observe the inmates systematically at all times. The idea was to artificially inculcate a conscience in inmates believed to lack awareness of God observing them.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 17, 2010 11:11 PM | Send