Big Maaa is watching you.
(Picture re-educated from here.)
(Picture re-educated from here.)
Cameras in your home, watching your every move, controlled remotely by some secretive and fervent drooling pervert with a nine-pack-a-day man-size tissue habit.
It can't happen. Nobody is going to let any authority do it. If they tried it we'd just tape over the cameras and pretend there was a technical problem. There is no way anyone will voluntarily allow a camera in their homes unless they are certain they control it themselves.
Bought a new laptop recently? Look at the top of the screen. Most of them have a built-in webcam but that's no problem. It's your webcam. You control it.
That's what these American kids thought when they received shiny Mac computers to help with their schoolwork. It never occurred to them that the donors of those laptops might have installed software to allow the cameras to be accessed remotely. Who would imagine such a thing? They are educational tools, nothing more.
Well, turns out they were a little more after all.
The district retained remote control of the built-in webcams installed on the computers – and used them to capture images of the students, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court this week.
The ruse was revealed when Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton high school, was hauled into the assistant principal Lindy Matsko's office, shown a photograph taken on the laptop in his home and disciplined for "improper behaviour".
Improper behaviour - in his own home! The kid was disciplined for something he did in private, at home, when he thought nobody was watching. What he did must be left to the imagination of the reader, but whatever it was it wasn't illegal. If it was illegal the police would have been involved. No, he did something in his own home which Big Brother deemed inappropriate. Big Brother was watching. Through a webcam this kid thought he had control over.
My computer has no camera attached. I have a laptop with a lid camera but it's no use to me so there's a bit of tape over it. Paranoid? Read the article again. I'm no computer wiz. I can't tell if that camera is on or not. There's no indicator light. I can't tell if there is software pre-installed that runs it. I can't tell if that software is running or not.
Keep in mind that this kid was shown a photo of this 'improper behaviour' when the school hauled him into Room 101. Then read the last paragraph:
"The district never activated the security feature for any other purpose or in any other manner whatsoever," he wrote. "We regret if this situation has caused any concern or inconvenience among our students and families."
They claim the webcam control is to catch someone who has stolen the laptop. They claim they have never used it for any other purpose. Yet they showed this kid a photo of whatever he was up to. The doublethink here is impressive. We say it didn't happen so it didn't happen, and it can't have happened because we say so, but the punishment stands because he was caught and we have the proof in the form of surveillance we are not doing.
There are already cameras in most homes. Eye toys, TVs which can be controlled by waving at the installed cameras, and so on.
Who's watching at the other end?
We'll find out when they ban smoking, then drinking, then fatty foods in the home.