General discussion

Locked

"Big Brother"

By lovicott ·
"Big Brother"
I work at a school that just implemented a new device that records key strokes and notifies of profanity and when a user visits a xrated website. The school is up in arms over this. There have been little signs put up saying "Big Brother is watching" secret meetings the whole nine. Is it a bad thing that we are monitoring out students and teachers. is it a bad thing that we are stopping students and teachers from visiting xrated, My space, the favorite chat programs, and many others. Last month the show Nightline aor a series that used MySpace anfd other sites like it to lure in potential predators. i say ptoential because thay were caught before anything could happen most of the guys caught knew they would be there to meet an underage youth. Who is the "bad guy"?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

445 total posts (Page 2 of 45)   Prev   01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05   Next
Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Free speech?

by archimeides In reply to Obviously Not Educated in ...

As a Citizen of the United States by birth I believe that the right to free speech is a fundamental concept, a cornerstone to the concept that is our democracy.
However it is not now nor has it ever been a "right" of free speech to spend a school's (or any other entity) resources on the kind of personal activity that is being discussed here UNLESS THE SCHOOL ALLOWS IT.
While considering the ramifications of the "slippery slope" you might also consider the fact that the underpinning of our democratic society happens to be it's capitalistic economy. Free enterprise folks, that means that a business - any business (and certainly a school is) has a complete right to control it's assets in any way it sees fit. There's plenty of case law to back that one up. I don't think there's any "BIG BROTHER HERE".
I do think we'd better keep an eye on "homeland security", congress, and the other branches of government that seem bent on REALLY impungning our rights.

Collapse -

Bravo

by sully In reply to Free speech?

So many people make stuff up about infringes on perceived "rights" when they mix emotions with logic. This original topic being about a school flags me with the thought, why would we allow access to these sites, IM unrelated to learning, cell phone usage, etc. seems to centered around curing a fear. It would be great if educators together developed a context that transformed these "fears" into lessons that demonstrated an oportunity to learn the technology that runs the schools systems.

These systems are the property of the school, yes; and should be maintained however the administration feels fit, yes; however, where is the place in this discussion about the lesson to the children who are there to learn from every experience they encounter? If knowledge is the key then a good place to be is at school.

Collapse -

Not about rights but about wrongs

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Bravo

The roiginal post said "I work at a school that just implemented a new device that records key strokes and notifies of profanity and when a user visits a xrated website". This says nothing about stopping access to these web sites, IM or chat - it speaks about recording what is entered to use the information for a later witch hunt AFTER the access has been made.

Most agree that there is no need for students to access IM, chat, or inappropriate web sites (eg porn, bomb making); most would also agree that the best way to manage this is to block access to them. What we object to is the use of an intrusive technology that does NOT stop access to them, but enables people to see EVERYTHING that a person does on the computer.

The method is akin to place video cameras in every room in your house that records everything, and then allowing the police unrestricted access to come along and check those tapes when they want and then charging you with any little infraction that they PERCEIVE to have happened via the visual evidence. And such evidence can not really tell the difference between a poorly done roll-your-own cigarette and a marijuana cigarette - so they charge you for using marijuana.

Collapse -

That's a bit extreme...

by jinxsm In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

The school records the keystrokes, akin to sound on the video instead of perceived visuals. School computers, government computers, corporate computers, it's all the same. They own them, they make the rules. You want your bandwidth taken by your children porn surfing while you're into a web project?
If the student or teacher is 'caught' on the wrong website or using profanity, ask yourself the same question the IM folks should ask... Is it a legit use? There could be some research taking place that requires access to and use of 'those' resources and is completely 'straight up'.
BTW, the cops would have to PROVE marijuana in that case, though...

Collapse -

Hey Jinxsm - max post level reached so

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

I am responding here. I suspect that you are missing the main point in all this, so I will try again. But first, I do not think it is appropriate for students at school to be accessing chat, IM, or porn - I accept the point you made about specific research, in such a case special arrangements can be made for a specific time and a specific machine. But generally no porn, IM, or chat for students - can we at least agree on that.

The best way to handle this is with a blocker at the gateway as it STOPS access from happening - I think we can also agree here.

What was propsed was a keylogger which does NOT block any access but provides a record for later examination. It also records people's IDs and passwords so there is no longer any security or evidence that the person who made the access is the one whose ID was used. Not everyone has to be savvy enough to do this, just one or two who can show others or use the process to implicate others. The breach of password security means that you can no longer prove who did what, as in my cigarette example you can not prove what is in it. However, in the school they appear to be taking their keylogger entries as gospel and are ready to convict on that flawed information.

Another important point is the original post implies that the only signs warning of the process have been ones put up by those who protest the key logger system, not the school.

Collapse -

You're wrong, Ernest.

by Absolutely In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

Deadly Ernest: "The method is akin to place video cameras in every room in your house that records everything, and then allowing the police unrestricted access to come along and check those tapes when they want and then charging you with any little infraction that they PERCEIVE to have happened via the visual evidence."

In fact, when the public decides that the computers we provide for the education of students is only to be used for what we deem educational, and exercises our right to monitor that use, the methods described are akin to me placing video cameras in every room of my house except the bathrooms, recording everything, informing my guests that upon entry they will be recorded, and then allowing the police the same access to any relevant evidence that they have in any case where there is probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Nobody should be smoking anything on the grounds of a public school.

Collapse -

First of all I'm not so sure about that

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

A few years ago a person was arrested for caring a Green Leafy Substance which the Police Officer believed to be cannabis so that person was arrested thrown in jail as there was over 1 kilo of the substance involved and refused bail on the strength of the evidence given by the Prosecution to the Court.

The substance in question was Green Peppermint Tea in a sealed box which clearly stated the contents. It was the police officer who opened the box and arrested the person for caring suspected Cannabis and it was the Crown Prosecution Service which failed to mention that the substance was in a sealed box that had just been bought from a herbal remedy shop. Although to be fair to them they may not have been told that bit of information.

The result was an Innocent person sitting in a jail cell for 8 months the first 4 because the Government Labs where so over worked and understaffed that they couldn't test the stuff and the second 4 months because the Court System is so overloaded that they couldn't get a Court Date to have the charges dismissed well actually to get a Court to free the person from custody as that required a Judge/Magistrate to do and because of the amount it required a Judge because it is mandatory to go to one of the Higher Courts to be dealt with the Magistrate who Rubber Stamped the custody lacked the authority to dismiss the charges as by that time they had already been passed to a higher court which happened the moment that the Magistrate imprisoned the person and before anyone actually knew what was in the bag.

And before you jump on the Legal System no that's how it's going to go even thought the accused person actually told the Magistrate what the content of the plastic bag was this had to be proved before it was possible to allow them released.

Now if you log teachers key strokes you had better be 120% sure that the keystrokes actually belong to who you think they do as this is a perfect case of a Set Up in the making. I've seen far too many cases of teachers being accused of child abuse sexual and otherwise who have their lives destroyed all on the whim of a disgruntled child who is out to get their own way. In every case it has been the teachers who stop then doing as they please who get accused and even someone with 20 + years in the field will be suspended and hung out to dry while the disgruntled child will be offered counseling and allowed to do as they like to help them heal!

If you are going to allow this then you had better have some major insurance policy in place to prevent the school going bankrupt when these falsely accused people sue for the damages that they have suffered at the hands of disreputable children. And you have to educate the teachers much better as well and make sure that they log off their terminals every time they move away from the monitor & keyboard. That should cut their teaching time in half constantly logging on and off.

At the same time you'll also have to protect the students from similar activity as I'm sure that everyone remembers when they where in School there was the In Crowd and the Nerds and it was the Nerds who constantly got the blame for a lot of the actions of the so called In Crowd.

With the ability to destroy someones life in the balance here you have to be way over 2,000% sure of your actions before you even consider accusing anyone of anything and then you have to have a lot more proof before it goes any further. Key Logging just isn't good enough to do this and lacks any form of security at all.

If this was to become used for some Legal Action just the Key Logging itself would not be considered as enough evidence of someone actually doing The Deed all it would prove is that its occurred not who's responsible. Unless you have other proof that is unimpeachable you have no evidence and a students word just isn't enough to cut the mustard here as they have been known to be less than truthful when it suits their own ends.

Of course at the same time you can not have wireless keyboards and mice used as it's way too easy to cross channel these and even if you have a Legitimate person actually logged on and under supervision it's always possible for someone else within range to type in what they like and not get caught so the monitored person will take the wrap for someone else's actions. The only way that this would be picked up is if there was one teacher per student and they could see characters appearing on the screen when their student had their hands well away from the keyboard or mouse. I personally don't think that the school budgets will actually stretch that far to have 1 teacher per student do you?

Col

Collapse -

HAL: "you had better be 120% sure"

by Absolutely In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

No, certainty is the jury's responsibility, if key strokes are recorded that warrant a trial. Then, the jury had better be 100% sure, and had better understand that the logging of keystrokes and association of those keystrokes with a username does not alone constitute 100% certainty. The school officials would be responsible to do more than record one instance of "bad" keyboard entries: they would have to follow the first recorded instance with closer scrutiny of all plausible suspects, and acquire enough evidence to truly be certain. If the school officials treat a single instance of "bad" key strokes as incontrivertible evidence, they are to blame for the wasted time. As your mint tea arrest story illustrates, there is a widespread problem involving the treatment of first impressions and hastily made assumptions as irrefutable fact, but reducing the amount of available information is not the correct solution. Improving the methods by which that information is sorted, queried and analyzed is the correct solution. In other words, determining the truth requires that we think, not that we have an invariant process to follow like idiots.

Collapse -

Unfortunately thats not how the Law Works

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

Justice isn't the End Goal of any Court Action Winning is the only acceptable outcome for both sides. With the Adversarial System of LAW there are no winners only losers no matter the outcome.

Not so long ago many people where convicted on DNA evidence alone as the legal Fraternity didn't have The Technical Knowledge to Question This New Science now however things are slightly different but as always laws are now being changed to prevent outside sources to do DNA testing that is acceptable to the Courts and this is being restricted to the Government Testing Labs who are at best suspect in their outcomes. They work to a budget and look for positives and more often than not find False Positives or chose to construe unsatisfactory outcomes as Positives so many people have been convicted on Faulty Evidence that is very difficult to question!

Key Logging the the Worst method of any forensic evidence but I'm sure that Legislation will be passed to make it unquestionable as Computers Don't Lie do they?

Every IT professional will tell you different but the average person on the street and in the Bureaucracy who know no better are a different story they particularly the Bureaucrats will always take the cheapest option to get a positive result hence Radar Speed Measuring Devices are accepted without question even though they can show stationary objects at alarming speeds.

Car speedometers are considered under Law to be Accurate if there is no other information that has a better recording result they are classed as Scientific Instruments and when this is the sole reason for an action it is always the State Owned Speedio that is accepted as accurate and the other vehicles as inaccurate by the Judge and this is how a jury is instructed.

Also the worst option here is that this form of blocking is reactive rather than Proactive it allows the offense to be committed and then action started not the other way around and prevents the original action from occurring in the first place.

If your car had much better handling, Braking capacity and maneuvering ability this is called Proactive Engineering where as sticking things like Air Bags and crumple zones onto an already established design is Reactive Engineering.

Personally I would prefer to be driving the proactive vehicle than be in a reactive designed vehicle as the chances of being involved in a serious collision is far less. The same applies here with reactive monitoring in this case Key Logging it could even be argued as a form of Entrapment acted out by the Authorities and therefore illegal.

What's would you prefer your hard earned Tax $ to be spent on a 2K solution which has no or little maintenance fees or a $2.00 solution with extremely high maintains fees involved. The Bureaucrats will always chose the latter as it makes them look as if they are saving your money when actually they are wasting your money and in much larger amounts that the proper solution would have originally cost.

I've seen first hand the stupidity of Bureaucrats who are only willing to spend 3 times the cost of an item in a repair rather than the 1/3 cost of a replacement item.

Until you realize that Bureaucrats waste far more money than they actually save you will continue to be paying for costly ineffective solutions that could have better solutions at a lower overall cost.

Col

Collapse -

What I would prefer, HAL, would be neither.

by Absolutely In reply to Not about rights but abou ...

HAL9000: "What's would you prefer your hard earned Tax $ to be spent on a 2K solution which has no or little maintenance fees or a $2.00 solution with extremely high maintains fees involved. The Bureaucrats will always chose the latter as it makes them look as if they are saving your money when actually they are wasting your money and in much larger amounts that the proper solution would have originally cost."

Public schools are a violation of the Constitution's protection of the right not to be deprived of property without due process. Except as punishment for a crime, the government has no right to take my money. The government's power to levy taxes does not include giving free rides, free lunches, or free books and lessons to slackers. As long as the slackers are voting to take my money for those things, I don't care one bit about the quality of schools they have no right to have in the first place.

Back to IT Employment Forum
445 total posts (Page 2 of 45)   Prev   01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums