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FBI Investigating Student Laptop, Candy Scandal

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 59 comments

Apparently, the student was caught on his webcam eating Mike & Ike candies, which looked like pills.

In one of the more bizarre happenings in recent memory, the FBI has now stepped in to investigate the claim that a school has wrongfully used the ability to remotely control student webcams.

Student Blake J. Robbins is suing LowerMerionSchool District in Philadelphia allegedly remotely activating his webcam. The remote activation of his webcam was exposed when student Blake J. Robbins was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" by the Vice Principal, who provided a photo taken by the webcam as evidence.

The school confirmed that it has the ability to control the webcams, but that the capability has since been disabled in response to the recent issue.

The AP reports that the FBI is now investigating the matter to see if LowerMerionSchool District officials broke any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws.

Also revealed in the story is that LowerMerion issued an Apple laptop to each of its 2,300 students. Supposedly only two employees in the technology department were authorized to activate the cameras in the event of a missing laptop. The remote activation is only supposed to capture images, but not sound.

Now things are about to get even more bizarre. Robbins' attorney said on camera that the boy was caught on the webcam handling Mike & Ike candies, which could be mistaken for illegal pills.

We have a feeling that this is far from over.

Display 59 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    Nightsilver , February 22, 2010 8:37 PM
    Wait, wait. School officials are disciplining children for what they do at HOME?
  • 27 Hide
    kyeana , February 22, 2010 8:21 PM
    "Take the blue pill to see just how far the rabbit trail goes...and the red one, and the green one, and the yellow one and the blue one again."
  • 27 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 22, 2010 8:24 PM
    wow... This just keeps getting more bizarre and ridiculous. I can't help but feel like someone from that school is gonna get fired.
Other Comments
  • 27 Hide
    kyeana , February 22, 2010 8:21 PM
    "Take the blue pill to see just how far the rabbit trail goes...and the red one, and the green one, and the yellow one and the blue one again."
  • 27 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 22, 2010 8:24 PM
    wow... This just keeps getting more bizarre and ridiculous. I can't help but feel like someone from that school is gonna get fired.
  • 23 Hide
    Teirdome , February 22, 2010 8:28 PM
    As American public schools are federally funded entities, wouldn't this qualify as the government spying on its citizenry?
  • 21 Hide
    dantheman1001 , February 22, 2010 8:28 PM
    Wow is right... I'd be shocked if nobody gets fired here... There are so many BETTER ways to prevent laptop theft, how could anyone have thought this was a good idea?
  • 20 Hide
    curnel_D , February 22, 2010 8:35 PM
    flyinfinniwow... This just keeps getting more bizarre and ridiculous. I can't help but feel like someone from that school is gonna get fired.

    Not just fired, but escorted to his/her new federally funded vacation home.

    Prison is a pain in the ass, and they deserve every bit of it.
  • 31 Hide
    Nightsilver , February 22, 2010 8:37 PM
    Wait, wait. School officials are disciplining children for what they do at HOME?
  • -8 Hide
    enderwiggen , February 22, 2010 8:39 PM
    I bet you the camera caught him swallowing the "candies" whole rather than chewing.
  • 14 Hide
    the_krasno , February 22, 2010 8:47 PM
    kyeana"Take the blue pill to see just how far the rabbit trail goes..."


    Fail movie quote: Neo ate the red pill.
  • 7 Hide
    dj1001 , February 22, 2010 8:54 PM
    the solution is so simple

    put a piece of electrical tape over the lens whenever you are not using it

  • 10 Hide
    vishon , February 22, 2010 8:55 PM
    I'd like to know what sort of illegal pills look like Mike & Ike candies. And furthermore, how could they establish he was eating pills (note the plural), or swallowing them when its a supposedly a single still picture?
  • 21 Hide
    babybeluga , February 22, 2010 8:55 PM
    Good thing he wasn't sucking down a big, fat chocolate bar at the time...
  • 5 Hide
    micr0be , February 22, 2010 9:00 PM
    i miss the old days ... when it was the students that had full control of the schools network ....(sub7even, netbus) ..... good times
  • 20 Hide
    greenmachineiijh , February 22, 2010 9:03 PM
    I find the whole thing nauseating. What the heck is a school official disciplining a child for after school home activities in the first place? In all of these articles and interviews, no one has mentioned that that is its self is highly illegal. The moron who decided to watch and pursue a kid in his home has much bigger issues and apparently there was no "thought the laptop was stolen" lie if the original disciplinary action was for "improper Behavior" at home instead of "You stole our laptop". It is obvious he was being watched after school hours off of school campus. This begs the question, how many other children has the school been watching non-pursuant to their "Only for a stolen laptop" cover-up?
  • 9 Hide
    enderwiggen , February 22, 2010 9:06 PM
    vishonI'd like to know what sort of illegal pills look like Mike & Ike candies. And furthermore, how could they establish he was eating pills (note the plural), or swallowing them when its a supposedly a single still picture?


    They probably been watching him for a while. He probably sells pills to other kids and they thought they'd stop him, or it was actually Mike&Ikes. Either way it was stupid as hell to think that spying on him was not going to cause this whole fiasco.
  • 4 Hide
    duk3 , February 22, 2010 9:16 PM
    Lower Merion School District v Mike and Ikes
  • 1 Hide
    nixname , February 22, 2010 9:20 PM
    animal_chinThis would never have happened if they gave the children Windows based systems.


    True, instead of just the school, EVERYONE would be able to watch these kids eat candy...these kids and their damn sweet toothes...
  • 16 Hide
    Mousemonkey , February 22, 2010 9:24 PM
    Quote:
    Look like the media is turning a simple rain into a storm.

    Perhaps, but how many other students have been watched whilst they were getting changed or undressing before taking a shower?
  • 10 Hide
    NapoleonDK , February 22, 2010 9:31 PM
    dj1001the solution is so simpleput a piece of electrical tape over the lens whenever you are not using it

    Nope, sorry. Won't work. These are Macbooks, remember? Big black electrical tape would look right at home on a Dell Latitude E6400, but to mar the beauty of a crystal white Mac? Heaven forbid...

    HOLY CRAP I CAN'T SAY THAT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE!!! LOLOL

    BTW, activating the webcam while the student is at home = ILLEGAL in my book. Invasion of privacy FTL. Do not want.
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