Federal lawsuit brought against district for covertly monitoring students and families in their homes.
Steve Watson & Paul Joseph Watson
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The scandal surrounding kids being spied on at home via webcams in laptops provided by schools extends further than just schoolchildren – four years ago Google admitted that it was implementing similar invasive surveillance technologies that would target all Americans.
A school district in Philadelphia faces a class action lawsuit after it allegedly issued laptop computers to 1,800 students across two high schools and then used concealed cameras within the machines to spy on students and their parents without their knowledge or consent.
Lower Merion School District in the suburbs of Philadelphia faces charges of invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception for providing computers with webcams that were remotely and covertly turned on by administrators.
The suit was brought on behalf of all the students and their parents after it was revealed that the computers had been used to monitor students both at school and at home.
The story harks back to revelations of how private industry and eventually government are implementing plans to use microphones in the computers of hundreds of millions of Internet active Americans to spy on their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.
In 2006, Google announced that they would use in-built microphones to listen in on user’s background noise, be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences.
“The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject,” reported the Register.
Hundreds of millions of Internet-active Americans will all be potential targets for secret surveillance and the subsequent sell-off of all their information to unscrupulous data mining corporations and government agencies.
The report cites the inevitability that the use and abuse of this technology will eventually be taken over by the state.
“Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google feed and use it for full on espionage,” states the article.
Google’s recent announcement that it will work with America’s most well-known spy agency, the NSA, which was embroiled in the warrantless surveillance scandal during the Bush administration, only heightens concerns that big brother will have a virtual wiretap in every home that has a computer.