PA School Spycam Case: Computers Rigged to Spy; Protocol Ignored



Seems folks who are very knowledgeable about computers had the same reaction as I did to the Lower Merion School District’s “explanation” of using webcams only to recover lost or stolen school-issued computers: I don’t believe you.

I can’t urge you strongly enough to read and follow a quite thorough investigation of the technology involved located at Stryde Hax: The Spy at Harriton High.

(A follow-up post is called “Network Fingerprint for LANRev Trojan.“)


Who was the mastermind behind a massive, highly effective digital panopticon?

Given that you still may not visit that blog, I attempt to summarize the contents here. Please be advised it contains technological jargon with which I am incredibly unfamiliar…again, another reason to view the original blog entry in its entirety.

And yet again, I implore you to share this information with all parents, regardless of where their children go to school or how they are educated. I know, I know; it isn’t happening in your child’s school. But while this appears to be an isolated incident, I don’t for one moment believe that others aren’t taking advantage of the technology. Couple it with just a bit of that “we know what’s best for you” attitude sweeping through government employees today like the plague and said technology is employed to…help educate your children? Crucial lines have been crossed here, and it’s up to parents to start drawing some lines of their own in response – or to tell the system it will just have to get along without your children.

The Lower Merion School District (LMSD) lists Mike Perbix as one of its three Network Techs. “Mr Perbix has a large online web forum footprint as well as a personal blog, and a lot of his posts, attributed to his role at Lower Merion, provide insight into the tools, methods, and capabilities deployed against students at LMSD…Mr. Perbix appears to have been the mastermind behind a massive, highly effective digital panopticon.”

I looked up “panopticon” as it has not been part of my vocabulary until today.

According to Wikipedia: The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the “sentiment of an invisible omniscience.”[1]

Bentham himself described the Panopticon as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Mr. Perbix created a massive, highly effective digital mode of obtaining power of mind over mind.

Wikipedia also offers this:

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