Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

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Washington County public school officials announced they will be using new software to monitor students’ social media posts.

The county will be one of only four school districts in the nation to enlist a new software program called Social Sentinel that tracks social media accounts for certain keywords.

To those that question the legality of such monitoring in the face of privacy rights, school officials said the software uses “geofencing” protocol to only track posts that are made while the student is on school property.

School officials said the goal is to protect student safety. Examples of such posts that will be tracked include those that feature keywords like “kill,” “bomb” and others.

Some student will kill it on that Science test while others bomb it. This system will be completely useless as soon as everyone figures out euphemisms for search words.

School officials said they will also be consulting with parents and members of student government for feedback on what additional keywords should be added to the watch-list.

Threats will be flushed out, officials added – if a keyword is caught, the post will be read to check for threats of violence, bullying or harassment, reference to using drugs or alcohol, references to weapons, and the like.

One of two things is going to happen. The school is going to quickly be overloaded and realize what a waste of money this systems is. The students will not communicate on any system that’s monitored by the school and will have a “school” social media account and their real account.

Neither of these situations should be happening. The first forces students to protest a system that is hindering their free speech. The second forces them to either self-censor or be deceitful.

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This is the story of Jesse Snodgrass, a kid with Aspergers Syndrome who was entrapped by an undercover cop posing as a student at Jesse’s high school. This is the story of how the war on drugs preys on the most vulnerable.

Snodgrass’s legal defense fund.

Source.

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CoSN announced that it has issued resources to complement it K-12 Education Privacy Toolkit.

CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) today unveiled two freestanding resources to accompany its in-depth, step-by-step privacy toolkit. Designed to help school system leaders navigate the complex federal laws and related issues, the complementary resources include:

•    “10 Steps Every District Should Take Today”; and
•    “Security Questions to Ask of an Online Service Provider

Launched in March through CoSN’s Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, the existing toolkit addresses compliance with laws such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and offers smart practices to better protect student privacy and their data. The security questions for online service providers were included in the v.1 toolkit.

In the fall, CoSN will expand the toolkit with additional sections covering the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) – filling out the privacy guide with all four federal privacy laws applied to K-12 education.

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State schools Superintendent John Huppenthal admitted last week that he made several anonymous racist comments.

He likened welfare recipients to “lazy pigs.”

He blamed the Great Depression on Franklin D. Roosevelt and said FDR’s economic policies gave rise to Hitler.

He said Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was responsible for feeding 16 million African-Americans into abortion mills.

The comments, under various pseudonyms including Falcon9 and Thucydides, have been appearing since 2011.

“I love talking about public policy, and I have a passion for engaging in debate,” Huppenthal said on Wednesday. “I probably have 300,000 words out on the Internet, and 100 of them are getting me in trouble. When all of your missteps are there all together for people to see, it’s not a pretty picture.”

Under the monikers, Huppenthal joined discussions and shared views on issues including abortion, the economy, education and child protection. Some examples:

• “There is no aspect of (Child Protective Services) nationwide which protects children. No correlation between spending on CPS and child safety,” Thucydides posted in January on Blog for Arizona. “The only factors which provide safety for children are employment of parents and good schools on the positive side and welfare enrollment on the negative side.”

• “It was Darwin, not Hitler, who named the Germans the master race,” Thucydides posted in September 2013 on the blog Seeing Red AZ. “It was Darwin who expressed approval of eliminating both Jews and Africans. Hitler worked to eliminate the Jews. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood was given the job of eliminating African-Americans. Hitler fed 6 million Jews into the ovens. Sanger has fed 16 million African-Americans into the abortion mills.”

• “We now know that (Franklin D. Roosevelt) was almost completely responsible for the great depression,” Falcon9 posted in 2013 on Blog for Arizona. “Only in liberal mythology did FDR ‘save’ the nation. … Worse yet, Roosevelt’s disastrous economic policies drug down the whole world and directly led to the rise of a no-name hack named Adolph Hitler who was going nowhere until Germany’s economy went into the tank.”

• “Obama is rewarding the lazy pigs with food stamps (44 million people), air-conditioning, free health care, flat-screen TV’s (typical of “poor” families).” (Editor’s note: Parentheses included in posting.)

More at the Arizona Republic.

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Robert Demond picked up his eight year old son from school and attempted to discuss a matter with his son. The son didn’t respond correctly and Demond made the boy walk home to think about his actions.

When De Mond arrived with his 3-year-old son at Kilauea Elementary School to pick up his two older boys, ages 6 and 8, from an A-Plus Program one day in late August or early September, he noticed his eldest had been placed in time-out.

“I asked him, ‘Why were you in time-out at A-Plus?’” De Mond said. “He told me, ‘I don’t know.’ I asked him again and he said, ‘I don’t know.’”

He told his son: “I don’t know is not an answer. You need to take responsibility for your actions. There has to be a reason that you were placed in time-out.”

A mile from their house, he dropped his son off and asked him to “please walk home. When you walk home, you will have an answer better than ‘I don’t know.’ And when you do come home you’ll have an answer,” he said.

De Mond said the stretch of the two-lane roadway — Kuhio Highway — is in a safe, rural area with acre-size agricultural lots, and a wide shoulder, 10 to 25 feet wide, where it’s not uncommon to see people walking or riding their bikes.

This is the road he walked on.


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A judge called his actions “old school” and not appropriate.

Demond was sentenced to a one-year probation, a $200 fine and to a child parenting class for a misdemeanor charge of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Demond told the judge that it was a common form of punishment when he was a kid and that he didn’t see it as morally wrong or criminal.

“How far did you make him walk?” asked Judge Kathleen Watanabe.

“About a mile,” Demond said.

These are different times, Watanabe said. It is understandable that you became upset with your son, but it is dangerous for children to walk along the highway, and there are predators out there, she said. The age of the child was not revealed in the course of the hearing and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney would not divulge further information.

These are different times. We have Amber Alerts via cell phone messages, communications technology that allows law enforcement to act quickly and safe traffic laws with more responsive vehicles.

It’s safer for children to walk home today than it was 30 or even 50 years ago. Parents, however, have to worry about being thrown in jail for not keeping your child on a leash and hovering over them 24/7.

The problem is that when that one child does go missing or has something bad happen to them, they get wall-to-wall coverage, making the situation appear worse than it really is.

The only lesson learned here is the child knows his father cannot properly discipline him for his actions. Will the court be as lenient when he grow up and appears in juvenile court for his behavior?

The state recommended a child parenting course and supports the defendant’s motion for a deferred acceptance of his no contest plea. It allows him to motion the court to expunge the charge from his record after completing his probation.

Watanabe granted the motion.

Demond does not need parenting classes. He was already doing it right. Maybe when he’s finished taking parenting classes he can teach his son how life isn’t fair, even when you do the right thing.

For the record, in New York State, schools are not legally required to provide busing for children who live less than two miles from the school up to eighth grade and three miles for those in high school. There are thousands of children every day who walk to school every day, crossing highways and busy roads. They aren’t snatched up by pedophiles or hit by cars because their parents and the schools teach them how to be responsible when walking home.

According to Hawaii law, or specifically the regulations that allow children to be bused to school, any child K-5 can only ride the bus if they live more than 1 mile from the school and for kids in 6th grade and higher the distance has to be 1.5 miles.

So it’s perfectly fine to walk a mile if you are going to/from school, but it’s not okay if you are being disciplined for something.

This ruling is as ignorant as the mother who was arrested for letting her children play outside.

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