The allegation that a Philadelphia-area school spied on a student by using a laptop Webcam is getting more intriguing. First, one had to wonder if the student and his parents were making a big deal out of nothing, or maybe covering up some rulebreaking by the boy.
A school network administrator laid out his tracking technique in a YouTube video
Then, Lower Merion School District admitted it could remotely activate the Webcams, but did so only to help recover lost computers.
Meanwhile, news reports claimed the FBI and the local District Attorney were investigating to see if the school broke laws on surreptitious surveillance. And the student lawsuit continues.
In all, it reflects both on a school's possibly naive plan to let spycams loose on its students, as well as on the techniques of covert surveillance, for good and ill.
One blog posting, written by a computer security person, takes a close look at the technical facts behind the case. Most notably, it takes a look at a video by the apparent surveillance mastermind, a network administrator in the school district. And it takes a look a lengthy promotional video for a remote monitoring tool called LANRev. Still, the technical details here seem consistent with the school's claim that it was using the monitoring to track missing computers.
That video, and the blog posting, provide insight into this still unfolding case. Take a read if you want to learn more.
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