16
Apr
10

Privacy rights: you’re doing it wrong

By way of Coyote Blog and Radley Balko comes this horrifying display of overreach:

I’ll quote the bit that everyone else has been quoting:

More than once, the motion asserts, the camera on Robbins’ school-issued laptop took photos of Robbins as he slept in his bed. Each time, it fired the images off to network servers at the school district.

Back at district offices, the Robbins motion says, employees with access to the images marveled at the tracking software. It was like a window into “a little LMSD soap opera,” a staffer is quoted as saying in an e-mail to Carol Cafiero, the administrator running the program.

“I know, I love it,” she is quoted as having replied.

I hope that at this point we’re all sufficiently creeped out by the thought of school-district bureaucrats treating their students’ private lives as “a little soap opera”, up to and including filming pubescent children in bed.  It’s the same kind of creepy as NSA wiretapping phone sex or Department of Commerce bureaucrats stalking their exes through Homeland Security databases — or perhaps even worse.  The part that puts me on edge is (first) that the administrators of the Lower Merion School District thought that spying on their students was a good idea, and (second) that they gleefully exploited that surveillance for their own personal jollies.

When did privacy become a privilege (assumed absent, granted under specific circumstances) rather than a right?

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