Felony Charges for High School Hacking

homerjward

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 11, 2004
2,745
0
fig tree
http://apple.slashdot.org/apple/05/06/25/0130230.shtml?tid=146&tid=180&tid=123
apple.slashdot.org said:
jayrtfm writes "Last year the Kurtztown Area High School approved a program which gave every student an iBook. Now 13 students face felony charges for violating the district's usage policy." From the article: "Shrawder said the secret password '50Trexler,' was widely-known among the student body and distributed early in the school year. It allowed between 80 and 100 students to reconfigure their laptops, he said. The more computer-savvy students began to disable the administrations' ability to spy on the students' computer use. For others, it became a game, trying to outsmart the administration and compete with fellow students who held the secret, Shrawder said."
wow. that just sickens me. they violated the acceptable use policy and it's a felony? something's wrong when school districts do that...
this article worries me, like some of the posters in the slashdot thread said. i've been banned from my school network for emulators and several other violations of the AUP:rolleyes:--i've since been reinstated but if this case goes to trial and they get convicted could it spread? i dont know how texas law treats things liek this compared to pennsylvania law...:eek:
oh and about the ibooks--:p:D:cool:
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
These kids need to be punished for acting inappropriately with a $1000+ piece of equipment. They should face some suspension, or some other action by the school.

However, a felony is a tad strong in this situation. Possibly a misdemeanor to put the fear of God into them, but a felony is going just a bit too far...
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,875
57
Probably a felony porn charge, related to them personally touching a minor (themselves) -- repeatedly.
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,563
46
Sounds like something I would do. Although I wouldn't have gotten caught. If they really wanted to raise hell all they would have to do is set a firmware password, change the admin password and the school would be screwed beyond belief.

On a second thought, when I visit places that have Macs I try to check up on them and keep them in good shape, the idea of sabotaging a fine piece of equipment doesn't excite me at a school.

jon
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,563
46
nichos said:
Oh, I'm just speaking hypothetically. I'm sure one of these kids did something real stupid to get caught. I just want to assume I would be a little more careful and stealth, but who knows.

jon
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,372
119
Los Angeles
iJon said:
Sounds like something I would do. Although I wouldn't have gotten caught.
Famous last words. ;)


Friend of mine in high school took down the entire phone system in the school. It took about a week to get it working properly again. Our computer science teach was probably the last faculty member I'd ever wanna piss off so I can only imagine what was said behind closed doors when the teacher was chewing him out. Speaking of closed doors, the teacher slammed the door to his office so hard it jammed shut and it took him a few pulls to get it open and out of his office (which faced the computer lab). Pretty funny but no one was dumb enough to laugh until he'd stormed down the hallway and was well outta ear shot.


Lethal
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,372
119
Los Angeles
iJon said:
Oh, I'm just speaking hypothetically. I'm sure one of these kids did something real stupid to get caught. I just want to assume I would be a little more careful and stealth, but who knows.

jon

Well, considering "the more computer savvy" were disabling the schools ability to reach out and touch their iBooks it was probably pretty obvious who was doing what.

Reading the complete story (the link in the OP just goes to a blurb) it looks like some kids, among other things, hacked the school's network, and that officially no charges have been filed. So the felony charge could just be a scare tactic.


Lethal
 

jimsowden

macrumors 68000
Sep 6, 2003
1,767
16
NY
I work at the store that has the contract to service every computer from there. I wonder if we had anything to do with it?
 

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
0
Cape Cod
The school officials are on thin ice when they start intimating that these students are somehow fellons by running sideways of a "usage policy." School records of children are strongly protected by federal law and by nearly every state law too. By accusing these minors the school is possibly breaching certain areas of student privacy, plus setting themselves up for a slander or libel suit. Minor children can not enter in to a legal contract. Conversely, they can't be in breach of a contract. You just can't be a felon for breaking a school rule of not using a computer in the way you were asked. By the way, committing assault, battery, and other violent acts are not the breaking of school rules. They are breaking established state and sometimes federal criminal laws. The school district needs to remember that they are a public entity that is likely subject to open records and sunshine laws of their state.
I though that poster was particulary informative.
I really hope this gets thrown out. And the admins are n00bs if they let this happen to them.
hould read ... - "For the administrators to monitor the students computer usage and for students that held the secret password to monitor one another. In order to keep the student's privacy safe while using the badly configured laptops the students had to get in and change the password. Upset by the fact they where made to look like noobs the school district are now bringing charges on all students that changed the password. When ask for comment the network admin had to say "I have an MCP, I think I can configure some laptops securely, the students are just messing with stuff using illegal haxor tools that they downloaded off P2P, I have contacted Microsoft, Apple and the MPAA about them!""
hahahahhaha pwn3d!
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,574
0
iJon said:
Oh, I'm just speaking hypothetically. I'm sure one of these kids did something real stupid to get caught. I just want to assume I would be a little more careful and stealth, but who knows.

jon
Chances are they started bragging about their exploits. It seems that teenagers can't keeping something quite like that. So eventually it got back to to the principal. Many are caught just because they can't keep their mouth shut.

They definitely need to be punished.
 

mikemodena

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
552
0
Connecticut
Charging them with a felony is ridiculous. Suspend them, put their computer usage under heavy surveilence.. I mean there's only 13 not the whole student body, do something like that but the police shouldn't even have been involved. The admins were probably some business education or keyboarding teachers who had no business getting anywhere near a school's student network. Only the staff at my school have iBooks and Power School. Getting into that only took about a week.. but they only used them for the 4th marking period at my school.. they're taking full advantage of it next year.. where all that info I found may come in handy. ;)
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,563
46
wdlove said:
Chances are they started bragging about their exploits. It seems that teenagers can't keeping something quite like that. So eventually it got back to to the principal. Many are caught just because they can't keep their mouth shut.

They definitely need to be punished.
I agree. Sometimes even I'm like that, but it was much more severe at a younger age.

jon
 

runninmac

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2005
1,495
0
Rockford MI
I wish I was that tech savy to pull that off, but then again i don't want to be charged for a felony. I think that its really stupid for them to get charged for a felony. At my school the worst they do to you is suspend you and ban you from all computer use which is really lite compared to there punishment.