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Students face felony charges for downloading AIM and stuff on school computers

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Chrontius, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

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    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68480,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_7

    My favorite tidbits?
    Oh yeah, and they were laptops.

    This sounds like another "Oh, he's looking at D&D on the library computers, that must mean he's going to shoot the place up! Quick, call the cops!" incident to me. :banghead:

    Ya think? At my school, the root login was "Silver" and "Hawks" And guess where these kids are learning what's acceptable -- schools that monitor and micromanage everything that goes on on their network, and they're suprised when students try to watch what their teachers are doing...

    To Kutztown's school district: *bleep* you. Sideways. With sixteen feet of curare-dipped wrought-iron cemetary fencing. And no lubricant.



    EDIT:

    In the name of full disclosure, I was a student at a local high school banned from the school network for visiting a webpage on the roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020 (think Dungeons and Dragons, but with cyborgs and megacorporations), the gimmick webpage Shutdown the Internet, and the gag webpage isgay.com For the record, in the name of fairness I visited both that one and Bill Clinton Is Gay. Other students were then allowed to type in whoever they wanted. Of course, this was while I was signed into the computer.

    I knew the root login for the school's network, and I chose not to use it.

    I knew friends who downloaded porn on the front row computers behind the librarian's desk.

    I was the one that got hauled in front of dean and police for looking at stupid inane crap on the computers, and I've yet to find it in my heart to forgive them. (The dean, not the cop -- he just stood there looking scary (and a little bored))
     
  2. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    Ha, ha...word.
     
  3. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Thats pretty lame. ANd people wonder why i never use school computers for stuff other than *gasp* school related stuff.

    Well, aside from the various times in comp class when i had all my work done and was allowed to play flash games.
     
  4. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    before anyone defends the school district

    Charged with a felony?
    Everything is a felony nowadays with our 'tough on crime' catchphrase. This is bad! keep in mind that these teenagers with a felony on their record can never own a firearm, never receive certain jobs, etc.

    Yup, this really helps keep the sheeple in line. More importantly, it prevents any future NON-sheeple from owning 'Liberty's Teeth'.

    Just food for thought.

    C-
     
  5. Tropical Z

    Tropical Z Member

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    Its shocking how casually prosecuters charge people with felonies these days.Hope they like it hot they = :evil:
     
  6. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Web site of in support of the students. http://www.cutusabreak.org/

    I ran across this today on DSLReports. Darn poor IT polices by the school admin. Poor choice by the DA pressing charges.

    Thats a tad harsh. I've have been satisfied with the admin and IT folks publicly apologizing to the students and parents, then committing Seppuku.
     
  7. thunder

    thunder Member

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    How is this gun related or pertinent to the right to bear arms?
     
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Once everybody's a criminal, we'll have to institute a police state.

    Naaagh! Couldn't happen here.
     
  9. mons meg

    mons meg Member

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    1st rule of computer security: console access=root access.
     
  10. WT

    WT Member

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    What they did was funny.

    For a penalty, make them work on a Trash 80 or Mac II SE for a semester.
     
  11. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

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    LoL, WT -- that's the first good idea I've seen anywhere on this subject.

    I propose a second one -- the 'my documents' folder is on hda3, the OS on hda1, and a restore partition on hda2. There are no lockdowns on the OS, if the student screws it up and loses work, that's punishment enough. There's no viruses that target macs, so it should be pretty hard to screw it up unintentionally.

    Screwing around in class or viewing pr0n on the school's time is punished just as it would be without laptops.
     
  12. Thrash1982

    Thrash1982 Member

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    I was banned from our high school network my senior year for changing my rights on the network so that I could do more stuff than the admins. Never changed anything but my own rights. All I wanted to do was look around and the massive network structure. There were several of us in the Novell networking class that did this. Someone found out the helpdesk passoword (which was "help me" btw (our dean in charge of technology didn't even know what it was and laughed her butt off when we told her)). Then the overzealous network admin who could never keep anything working right went on a huge witch hunt to find everybody who had given themselves access. Pretty funny looking back but I remember how scared I was when I tried to log on one day and couldn't, and then thought "oh crap, they found me!"
     
  13. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Good question. Here's the answer: nothing, directly.

    But indirectly, there has been a long-lasting debate here on the High Road that is of concern to gun-owners, and that is the amount of "felony" crimes that are being created. With a felony on your record, you cease to be a full-citizen (can't own guns, can't vote, etc). Just about every new law, no matter how small an infraction, is a felony. It is almost as if the lawmakers forgot that there is such a thing as a misdemeanor crime.

    Ridiculous "felonies" of late: storing old tires in your garage. Putting a foreign made spring into your shotgun and picking up a feather from an endangered species of bird. Do any of these things - no guns for you!
     
  14. rudolf

    rudolf Member

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    Funny.
    So you have a right to freedom of speech, but no right to look or listen?
    And I thought the brits were crazy :)
     
  15. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    Someone posted this awhile ago.

    If they can't shoot you while you are doing it, it isn't a felony.

    Rape = Yes
    Murder = Yes
    Arson of an Ocupied structure = Yes
    Looking up naughty stuff on a computer = NO!!!!!!
    Storing Tires the wrong way. = NO
    Driving Drunk = As much as some would like this to be a Felony, I don't think it should be.

    Mabee someone can play the race card to get out of some felony charge.

    You're honor, I dispute the charges placed against my client as a form of racisim. These rather minor charges of street racing against my client will make him a second class citizen. This man shal loose many of the rights that are suposed to be garanteeded to him under the constitution. If found guilty this man shal forever loose his rights to vote his mind in an election. Even 40 years from now, this man will be unable to hold certian jobs and be held to something that happened decades ago.

    Say something to that effect in front a a Jury and see what happens.
     
  16. thunder

    thunder Member

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    So it looks like the democrats are trying to take our gun rights and the future gun rights of these youth away one by one (through ridiculous felonies!), darn sneaky democrats... :banghead:

    After I read this thread I checked out some of these new felony laws, looks like an internet spammer can be charged with a felony now. I'm not sure if I should be happy with that or not...
     
  17. Flyboy

    Flyboy Member

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    Ooh! Can I? Please? I miss my old Model 4....

    A felony? I did the same thing in high school, only I used ICQ instead of AIM. Installed it on half a dozen teachers' machines; I got caught when I forgot to disable the auto-start fuction on one of them, and people would send me messages. D'oh!

    For my "crimes," I was given a Saturday morning detention, and had my access privileges revoked for the rest of the semester. They were permanently revoked the next semester when I violated the school's policy on printing (ten-page limit, I think; I printed 25 copies of a two-page assignment, as instructed by my English teacher). Their network sucked anyway--"Bess," their filter software, got in the way of almost everything. Never really looked, but I'll bet it blocked sites like THR for being "violent" or somesuch. It was pretty bad.

    I never much liked that school.
     
  18. DeseoUnTaco

    DeseoUnTaco Member

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    It's a disease. Our politicians never want to take a reasoned, balanced approach to criminal laws. Everything has to be a felony. We have the largest prison system in the world and we can't build them fast enough. Soon there will be room for all of us.

    There should be a reasonable process that felons can use to restore their rights. Grand juries should consider cases carefully and turn down cases that don't have obvious merit. All criminal trials should start with a grand jury. Grand jurors should exercise judgement about which crimes should be addressed through the criminal system, and which actions should be addressed elsewhere. There should be statutes of limitations on most crimes (including child molestation). A felony should be a violent crime. A felony should require an indentifiable victim who was harmed and did not consent. A felony should not be a paperwork mistake or a business dispute. A prosecutor or investigator who pursues felonies that are business disputes should be removed from his position. Felons should have the right to vote. All citizens should be educated about the importance of jury service, and the fact that jurors exercise moral judgement from a position of sovreignty, and must find the defendant both legally and morally culpable.
     
  19. RooK

    RooK Member

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    Circumventing school security for their computers is a farce. I remember I found out the computers accessed certain IPs depending on their internet access. Student PCs' went to one IP that had naughty filters (couldn't even access sites for checking stocks etc)... teachers' were hooked to another IP. What did I do? Take the IP off a teacher's comp and reconfigure one of the classroom PCs to access it instead. Problem solved. :rolleyes:

    It took me less than 3 months to realize this from the time I first saw the computer to figuring out how they utilized the network.
     
  20. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    Detention, suspension, expulsion I agree with. They did violate the terms of use that they signed.

    How this becomes a felony, I cannot see. However, I don't think this is the mastermind plans of some Democrats to prevent these kids from ever owning a firearm. Could be wrong, though.

    My senior year, I pretty much passed out a handwritten script that disables the filtering software. No one cared. Teachers had me do it. The only people that cared were not the teachers, not the IT folks, but the administration downtown.

    BTW, Bess did not block THR. It did TFL, and ARFCOM, and a few others, though. Many manufacturer sites were available, too.
     
  21. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Yeah, that was me. I am probably the poster child for crazy libertarian ideas here, so I will just go out on a limb and say that the criminalization of broad swathes of american society is a big step towards a very evil place.

    I beleive there are many influential people working towards a police state in this country and even more people doing absolutely nothing about it. I really dont understand it. I guess a lot of people have decided that tyranny is ok as long as they get to hold the whip or guard the prisoners. After all, theyre just taking orders, and steady work is worth making a few sacrifices for.

    When will people say enough?
     
  22. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

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    ok, first off I'll say I totally agree with the ciminalization of society, and have often made that point myself. I didn't read the article, but if they are being charged with a felony unless there are pretty strange circumstances thats ridiculous.

    On the other hand...as someone who works at a school who ends up spending hours trying to fix the problems caused by little creeps who think they know everything about computers and decide to "make it work better" and promptly crash it, or who are too stupid to realize that a huge percentage of those little toolbars they seem to love to download so much also download a bunch of spyware that will again crash the computer, some of which are incredibly hard to get rid of, there are times when I'd probably say a good beating would be richly deserved. These are the same kids you tell over and over not to do something, they are so dishonest they keep doing it anyway, then they scream when you tell them they can't use the computers anymore. Or they scream the loudest when they actually need to use the computer for the 1/2 hour per week of work they might decide to do, then find it won't print or it crashes while they are doing their paper they left to the last second, because some idiot messed with it. Its also particularly nice to have a class come in with actual work to do and find that some idiot has crashed half the computers and they are unable to be used.

    But hey, the school should have to pay somebody to spend hours every week trying to fix problems you created--we'll just cut some textbook funds or can an aide's position or something to pay for it... :mad:
     
  23. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

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    Yes, everything is a felony-

    "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one MAKES them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. ... Create a nation of law-breakers, and then you cash in on the guilt."

    -- Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  24. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

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    Thank you Tex, that's the quote I was looking for.

    Scubie02 -- I know my scenario has problems, but it's for personal laptops. If you can actually install spyware on a Mac, you're a better black-hat than I am a white-hat. Second, if they really screw it up, there's a one-button restore image on /dev/hda2 that reimages /dev/hda1, the os. If you're feeling low-maintenance, you can set it up to reimage at the end of every day, or at boot, or whatever.
     
  25. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    scubie02:

    Sounds like you're school is running Windows. I feel for you. IMO, WIndows is no longer appropriate for anything that keeping admin occupied and to justify buying newer, more powerful hardware.

    Chrontius has a nice solution.
     
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