Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Education

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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Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor at Arizona State University, was body slammed by a police officer after being stopped for jaywalking near campus. Ore, however, is facing charges for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare..

The incident occurred on May 20 when Ore, an English professor who teaches classes on Race Critical Theory among other topics, crossed the street, she says to avoid construction. She was stopped by Officer Stewart Ferrin, who works for campus police, and Ferrin demanded to see her ID. From there, the situation quickly escalated:

OFFICER: Let me see your ID or you will be arrested for failing to provide ID

ORE: Are you serious?

OFFICER: Yes, I’m serious. That is the law. If you don’t understand the law I’m explaining the law to you…

ORE: …I never once saw a single solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a street on a campus, in a campus location. Everybody has been doing this because it is all obstructed. That’s the reason why. But you stop me in the middle of the street to pull me over and ask me, ‘Do you know what this is? This is a street.’…

OFFICER: Are you aware this is a street?

ORE: Let me finish

OFFICER: OK, put your hands behind your back

ORE: Don’t touch me, get your hands off me…

OFFICER: …Put your hands behind your back right now. I’m going to slam you on this car. Put your hand behind your back

ORE: You really want to do that? Do you see what I’m wearing? Do you see?

OFFICER: I don’t care what you are wearing.

ORE: Don’t talk to me like that. This entire thing has been about your lack of respect for me.

Naturally, the police department says there is “no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved.”

More at Think Progress.

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The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – Trailer from FilmBuff on Vimeo.

In Theaters and On Demand June 27, 2014

Aaron Swartz's online presence and influence was groundbreaking. From helping develop internet protocol RSS to his work as a co-founder of Reddit, the programming prodigy helped shape the digital landscape we all use today. Chronicling his pioneering efforts crusading for open access and free speech and the resulting legal nightmare and tragedy that ensued, “The Internet’s Own Boy” is a dynamic and moving portrait of a brilliant tech millionaire who renounced the values of Silicon Valley startup culture and used technology to tirelessly fight for social justice, no matter what the cost.

You can also read an interview with Aaron’s father.

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