Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Charges In Laptop Spying Case

The hottest story on the education blogs today relates to this post I wrote way back in February, in which school-issued laptops had built-in cameras activated remotely--and the pictures were stored at the district. Students had these laptops in their bedrooms, and you can see where we're going with this one:

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday closed their investigation into Lower Merion School District's secret use of software to track student laptops, saying they found no evidence that anyone intentionally committed a crime.

The decision, announced by U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, ended a six-month probe by the FBI into allegations that district employees might have spied on students through webcams on their school-issued laptops.

In a brief statement released by his office, Memeger didn't disclose details of the investigation, but said agents and prosecutors concluded that charges were unwarranted.

"For the government to prosecute a criminal case, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged acted with criminal intent," his statement said. "We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent."

I understand the "criminal intent" idea, but what about the "ignorance of the law is no excuse" idea?

The civil suits remain.

1 comment:

ava said...

There are so many issues that come with school issued laptops that have not been discussed at this point. I personally feel we are better off with desktop units that stay in the classroom.