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Author Topic: BIG (#$%^&*$) Brother
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2010 02:35      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Where do I start, I guess the links first

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30977_3-10457077-10347072.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/20/AR2010022000679.html

____ So The School District claims that it only activates the camera if one is missing. Then why was this young man told that The School District thought he was "engaged in improper behavior in his home."

____ So who owns this computer The Student, The Parent, or The School District?

Lower Merion, an affluent district in Philadelphia's suburbs, issues Apple laptops to all 2,300 students at its two high schools. Only two employees in the technology department were authorized to activate the cameras - and only to locate missing laptops, Young said. The remote activations captured images but never recorded sound, he said.

____ Here all along I thought that only the Bush Admin would violate both the Fourth and Fifth admendments.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2010 05:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You've gotta admire the initiative of the school district, they have a funding problem, so they spend their last few dollars on macs, issue them to teenage girls and...


www.schoolgirlwebcampics.com

funding problem solved!

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2010 07:03      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ TheMoMan still thinks that the school district asked ET to phone home.

____ Now the bigger question, what if, The young man had a young lady present and they were engaged in some behavior that if seen by an adult would or could be viewing as Kiddy Porn??

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2010 09:10      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TheMoMan wrote:
____ Now the bigger question, what if, The young man had a young lady present and they were engaged in some behavior that if seen by an adult would or could be viewing as Kiddy Porn??

In the US, the result would probably be that the teenagers would be arrested, charged with producing child pornography and forced to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

http://news.cnet.com/Police-blotter-Teens-prosecuted-for-racy-photos/2100-1030_3-6157857.html
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/03/aclu-sues-da-ov/
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/teen-sexting-child-pornography-mms,news-5680.html
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/18702561/detail.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/08/teen_charged_for_cell_phone_pics/
http://www.vh1.com/news/articles/1631734/20100211/index.jhtml

(there are many, many more examples of this idiocy, but I think that's enough to make my point)

Kids in the US are basically viewed as and treated as criminals.

A kid with a burrito... clearly out to blow up the school. A four year old in leg braces trying to board a plane with his mother... definitely a terrorist (and faking it... he can walk without them). A kid farts in class... arrest the little bastard. Using a knife to ear lunch... obviously going to kill someone and needs arrested. Writing on a desk... cuff her before she gets violent. A nine year old with LEGO man with a 2" plastic gun... obviously the kid wants to go Columbine on everyone. Kid opens Christmas gift early... clearly he's a thief and should be arrested. Food fight... arrest every one of the little bastards. Throwing a football at another kid's leg during a football game... call the police.

Once again, there are many more examples, but why bother. It's too depressing to think about how completely fucked up the US is thanks to the pants-wetting, yellow-bellied idiots that seem to worm their way into positions of power all the time.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2010 09:41      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/20/earlyshow/saturday/main6226260.shtml

____ If the School district downloaded photos from the computers that would constitute Child Porn The ITs would be the ones thrown to the wolves, not the Admins of the Schools. This story is so wrong on so many counts.

____ E.T. PHONE HOME!!!!!

____ Further update:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10457126-71.html

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 22, 2010 17:54      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hooray for hiding behind lawyers! Special update from the superintendent: "Hi, we have an attorney now. Say, let me read you his press release! 'You people are stupid. Just let us soak up some of your tax dollars for a while, then we'll tell you nothing happened. Carry on.'"

I hate this sort of crap and the associated bluster. If only they had the humility to acknowledge right up front that their "security program" was not a great idea in retrospect, maybe most of us would never have heard about it.

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Ugh!

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 22, 2010 19:59      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The school administration is going to get nailed to a wall anyway. Against all logic, they're currently still sticking to their claim that the only reason they ever accessed the webcams was to recover stolen laptops. The fact that they accessed this kid's laptop when it wasn't stolen and then tried to punish him for using and/or selling drugs (which were actually Mike and Ike candies), however, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that their story is a lie.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 22, 2010 21:20      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rumor has it that they /did not remotely access/ the camera, but rather opened the files on the computer in their own physical presence -- images that the student took himself.

Just how true the above is...I really don't know.

Still, Hanlon's Razor fits nicely, so I'm willing to offer them a chance.

If they really accessed any of these computers remotely, they should be nailed to the wall. :/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 23, 2010 08:01      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ I am probably wrong on this, but if the school district knows the MAC Address of a machine could they not use Trace Route to find the machine or activate the Apple program for locateing the machine.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 23, 2010 21:43      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan: You're wrong on the first count /unless/ the computer is on their network.

If someone makes off with a laptop and connects it to a private network, the MAC address is only seen on that private network. It can't be found outside any private network (read: networks using NAT, which is pretty much every major home and corporate network).

Assuming a computer is running with its OS/software fully loaded, a properly configured system could 'phone home' while connected to 'the Internet' and actions might be taken by an appropriate service (such as Computrace LoJack, Apple's "Back to my Mac" or and number of things). Additionally, the simplest of such systems (such as an IM app or anything that automatically phones home) might reveal the source IP address of the missing computer, which could be used to involve LEOs and ISPs. However, both of those parties are not terribly likely to give you a timely and satisfactory response, so most people who are serious about this stuff try the first option.

Personally, I'm cynical about all of the above as I know how easily much of it can be defeated. Anyone dumb enough to mess with a stolen computer before bringing it to a presumably savvy fence may very well get caught -- the rest will likely pocket money and leave a person laptop-less.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 24, 2010 03:52      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Dman, see what I learn while frequenting these forums. When Peebs has that script in her post that shows my IP address it will only go as far as the router, and not the individual machines here at the HillTop? Y/N

____ Way back ten plus years ago an ISP in Michigan wanted a law outlawing individuals from having routers "as the only reason to have one was to have more computers connected without paying for the extra connections".

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 24, 2010 09:28      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan: Y/N -> Yes.
Practically speaking, it is impossible to uniquely identify machines behind a router running NAT based only on IP address. (That's not to say that you can't necessarily identify a particular user of a machine, assuming they're previously known to you.) This will change if and when IPv6 is used. However, given the general desire for privacy, I expect that even though each computer will get a public IP address, private information like MAC address may still be rather hard to locate. (I need to learn more about this...)

Many ISPs tried that garbage years ago...and of course, technical solutions were found to bypass that. (The sad thing is, some of the tricks used are really bad, and can totally fsck up networking.) Finally, they got their heads dislodged from their collective arse and realized "If you can't beat them, join them" - and almost every ISP gives out 'free' routers, typically with wireless built in.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted February 24, 2010 21:25      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by dragonman97:
MoMan: Y/N -> Yes.
Practically speaking, it is impossible to uniquely identify machines behind a router running NAT based only on IP address. (That's not to say that you can't necessarily identify a particular user of a machine, assuming they're previously known to you.)


Actually, you can fingerprint people pretty well ... Panopticlick

This will change if and when IPv6 is used.

It may not matter that much. ISPs will give out IPv6 addresses sort of randomly so it will be almost NAT like. They REALLY don't want you to have fixed addresses and run your own servers. What we are also likely to see is a dual layer scheme, where the ISP randomly assigns you a /120 address and lets your router assign the last 8 bits.

However, given the general desire for privacy, I expect that even though each computer will get a public IP address, private information like MAC address may still be rather hard to locate. (I need to learn more about this...)

If the district installed any sort of remote control software (or a "phone home" service) they pretty much can send in your MAC address. Also, they probably use your MAC address to validate you one the school network (no service to unknown, foreign hardware), so it's a known quantity. But that's a red herring. The MAC can't be seen from the outside unless a piece of software makes it so.


Many ISPs tried that garbage years ago...and of course, technical solutions were found to bypass that. (The sad thing is, some of the tricks used are really bad, and can totally fsck up networking.) Finally, they got their heads dislodged from their collective arse and realized "If you can't beat them, join them" - and almost every ISP gives out 'free' routers, typically with wireless built in.
Oddly, they still don't get it. I was just at my mother-in-law's house this weekend. She has a DSL line from BellSouth. The cretins over there thought that people would actually connect to the modem with USB rather than ethernet. AND they included a startup dialog where they want you to enter your bellsouth email address and password. Huh? And a double "huh?" because if you just plug into the ethernet port on the router everything works correctly. When I see crap like this I really think programmers should be licensed like architects - where a registered architect has to sign off on plans and they can lose their license if it's unsound.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 24, 2010 22:20      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
qf: You said 'people' - I said 'computer.'

I felt it would be far to long of an aside to address the former, and that doesn't appropriately address the nature of a stolen computer.

People-tracking is kinda spooky and can be done rather well these days. :/

Computers aren't quite as easy to track, unless the people using them are quite careless. (As stated before, a clever person can easily 'get away with it,' a stupid criminal...not quite so.)

P.S. Regarding 'the school's network' - I'm working under the assumption that if the purpose of this setup is to track a stolen computer, it's to track it outside the school's network because:
a) It /could/ actually be found just with the MAC addr. on their network
b) The thief would be *really* stupid to use it on their network. [Wink]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 27, 2010 19:37      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Rumor has it that they /did not remotely access/ the camera, but rather opened the files on the computer in their own physical presence -- images that the student took himself.

Just how true the above is...I really don't know.

Still, Hanlon's Razor fits nicely, so I'm willing to offer them a chance.

If they really accessed any of these computers remotely, they should be nailed to the wall. :/

...as a followup....
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/02/remotely_spying.html

This doesn't look pretty. [Frown]

Per the explanation of the above being 'rumor' - it sure looks like it was rumor, and they weren't close to behaving properly. I'd love to see a concrete story that says exactly what's happened, but I've seen enough abuses of power suggested to retract my Hanlon's Razor attribution. :/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted February 27, 2010 20:35      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Didn't I see an injunction or decision on the case that forces the school to stop the monitoring program immediately and until further notice (presumably until the rest of the case is ruled on)? Sorry, I've been following a couple of cases in the news that involve student/youth rights, and this is just one of them. This one is more scary, but the other will have more effect.

A prinicible(sp) suspended a student for creating a FaceBook group basically calling one her teachers mean and unfair. She is suing, and so far winning the case -- which is good news in light of the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case; which was a miscarriage of the constitution no matter what way you slice it.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2010 12:55      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Much worse followup:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/school-it-allegedly-took-thousands-of-pics-in-webcam-case.ars

I retract any efforts to give them the benefit of the doubt. Clearly they're scumbags and deserve to be strung up by piano wire.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2010 13:53      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, a bold student could have forgotten to pay the insurance fee, Stripped in front of the camera or even worse, engaged in a popular teenage boy alone time activity then call the pedo cops on the IT department.

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-Assif Mandvi

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2010 10:12      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Much worse followup:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/school-it-allegedly-took-thousands-of-pics-in-webcam-case.ars

I retract any efforts to give them the benefit of the doubt. Clearly they're scumbags and deserve to be strung up by piano wire.

By the balls.
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2010 15:58      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Much worse followup:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/school-it-allegedly-took-thousands-of-pics-in-webcam-case.ars

I retract any efforts to give them the benefit of the doubt. Clearly they're scumbags and deserve to be strung up by piano wire.

By the balls.
And it should be webcast.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2010 02:10      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ TheMoMan, still believes that of all the pictures, one would be considered "KIDDY PORN", the pressures put on kids by the mass marketers. SEX SELLS and kids will try to be grownup.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2010 04:32      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=33263

____ Fifty Six Thousand, You have got to be kidding me, The system was never activated!!!!!

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2010 07:53      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, now... they didn't say that the webcams were never activated.

They said they were activated 42 times
And that was revised to about 80 times
And that was revised to 98 times
And that was revised to 146 times

But they never said never.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2010 08:43      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ I remember in the very first voice over news cast from the High School, some school official stated that they had never turned the system on.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2010 08:51      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with MoMan - my memory of the claims was that they said the system was never 'used' to look at cameras on laptop screens, or perhaps what they meant was that the 'tracking' system wasn't used. Still, there was a relatively clear meaning (to me) that it hadn't been used to spy on people, which would appear to be patently false.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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