Thursday, August 19, 2010

District loaned laptops to students, then used spyware to take pictures of them.

See update on this story.

Feds: No crime spying on kids via webcams
Prosecutors: No "criminal intent"
By Dan Gillmor

Federal prosecutors are showing uncommon sympathy for some Pennsylvania school officials who spied on students via webcams in their school-owned laptop computers: They've decided not to prosecute.

The reason? "For the government to prosecute a criminal case, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged acted with criminal intent," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement. "We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent."

Let's leave aside the fact that people are charged all the time for criminal offenses despite having no idea they're committing crimes. And since when did ignorance of the law confer immunity?

Let's focus instead on the fundamental creepiness in what happened at the Lower Merion School District in suburban Philadelphia...

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