School Censorship

First, the article in question

I have a son. He’s getting close to the age where he will be going to school. I have quite a lot to worry about as a parent, about how the school ranks against other schools in the area, about his classmates, about all the simple things that a parent has to worry about.

Then there is this.

I will, under no circumstances, allow a school “official” to search, seize or otherwise commandeer a device that my son or my family owns for any reason whatsoever. They are not the police. They are not a federal agent with police-like powers. Moreover, the “policy” has this juicy bit of absolute shite:

  • The school district may collect and examine any device at any time for the purpose of enforcing the terms of this agreement, investigating student discipline issues, or for any other school-related purpose

  • A mobile device management (MDM) client may be installed on their personal device for the purpose of managing the device while on the WCS network

Williamson County School Board

Holy shit. Seriously? You’re allowed to seize any device my son has for any “school-related” purpose? In addition to that, you’re going to install an MDM profile on my son’s personal device? Are you out of your mind?

I understand, nay sympathize with school administrators having to cope with the reality of social media and other major distractions in the classroom. As a matter of fact, I don’t have a problem with prohibiting devices during class. When you begin to take personal property away, you cross the line from being a school administrator to a police officer without a badge.

Thank goodness for the EFF and the ACLU (who, coincidentally could use donations hint hint) for actually bringing this to light and fighting it in court.

It looks like my job of being a parent is going to be massively more difficult if my school district ends up anything like the one in the article. I will fight for my son’s rights and actively oppose any methods or overbearing policies. If my son were to go to that school, I’d happily give him plenty of 3G/LTE bandwidth and ensure that his device is properly encrypted so that if they forcibly seize the device, they get nothing. More over, I’d be more than happy to come to his defense in the face of the administrators who seem to have some delusions of power.

FBI Wants to be allowed to hack into computers

And there you have it.

Because I lack the words to adequately describe my feelings on the issue, I’ll just use image macros/animated gifs (converted to movies, because gifs are horrible).

The change is designed specifically to help federal investigators carry out surveillance on computers that have been "anonymized" – that is, their location has been hidden using tools such as Tor.

Captian Picard doing a face-palm

Were the amendment to be granted by the regulatory committee the FBI would have the green light to unleash its capabilities – known as “network investigative techniques” – on computers across America and beyond. The techniques involve clandestinely installing malicious software, or malware, onto a computer that in turn allows federal agents effectively to control the machine, downloading all its digital contents, switching its camera or microphone on or off, and even taking over other computers in its network.

Ghappour fears that such a statement amounts to "possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception". He told the Guardian that "for the first time the courts will be asked to issue warrants allowing searches outside the country".

In recent legal argument, US prosecutors claimed that even if they had hacked into the server without a warrant, it would have been justified as "a search of foreign property known to contain criminal evidence, for which a warrant was not necessary".


America, fuck yeah!

Murica by Nathan DeGruchy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Popsicle Stick "Bomb"


Calvin and Hobbes