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is to put tax dollar expenditures and other monies used or spent by our federal, state and/or city governments before your eyes and in your hands.

Through our website, you can learn your rights as a taxpayer and parent as well as to which programs, monies and more you may be entitled...and why you may not be able to exercise these rights.

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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »
Email: betsy.combier@gmail.com

 
The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
 
Harriton High School in Pennsylvania Gave The Students Laptops But Did Not Tell Them About The Webcams In The Computers
Conducting video surveillance of students in their homes is an enormous invasion of their privacy. If the district was really worried about losing the laptops, it could have used GPS devices to track their whereabouts or other less-intrusive methods. Whatever it did, the school had a responsibility to inform students that if they accepted the laptops, they would also accept monitoring.
          
April 3, 2010
Editorial
About That Webcam
LINK

A Pennsylvania town has been roiled by a local high school using cameras in school-issued laptops to spy on students. Almost as shocking is the fact that the federal wiretap law that should prohibit this kind of surveillance does not cover spying done through photography and video in private settings.

Senator Arlen Specter, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, is proposing to amend the federal wiretap statute to prohibit visual spying that is not approved by a court in advance. Congress should move quickly to make this change.

Lower Merion, outside of Philadelphia, gave students at Harriton High School laptops that they could take home to use to do their work. It did not tell the students, however, that the laptops were equipped with special software that allowed them to observe the students through the computers’ built-in cameras. The purpose, the school district later explained, was to protect the laptops from theft or damage.

Using this surveillance capability, school officials found images that led them to believe that Blake Robbins, a 15-year-old student, was using illegal drugs. Mr. Robbins said the “pills” he was seen consuming were Mike and Ike candies. His parents filed a lawsuit against the school district, charging that it had illegally spied on their son.

Conducting video surveillance of students in their homes is an enormous invasion of their privacy. If the district was really worried about losing the laptops, it could have used GPS devices to track their whereabouts or other less-intrusive methods. Whatever it did, the school had a responsibility to inform students that if they accepted the laptops, they would also accept monitoring.

The law should also do more. The Wiretap Act/link] prohibits electronic eavesdropping on conversations and intercepting transmitted communications, such as e-mail. It does not cover visual surveillance. That was a mistake when parts of the law were passed in 1986, but it is an even bigger problem today, with the ubiquity of cellphone cameras, and online video services.

The act should be amended to prohibit video and photographic surveillance of people without their consent in their homes, hotels, and any other place in which they have a legitimate expectation of privacy.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

 
© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation