Feds Probe Possible Webcam Spying
The U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI say they will investigate whether Lower Merion school officials used laptop computer webcams, activated by remote control, to spy on students in their homes.
U.S. Attorney Michael Levy says they will work with the Montgomery County district attorney’s office, county detectives and Lower Merion Police to determine whether any crimes were committed. He says federal agencies do not normally confirm investigations, but the justice department has an exception for matters that get a lot of publicity or matters where the department sees the need to assure the public that law enforcement is investigating. A lawsuit filed by the parents of Harriton High School sophomore Blake Robbins says a camera on his school-issued computer took his picture while he was at home, in violation of the state wiretapping law and federal civil rights laws. The American Civil Liberties Union says there is no doubt that any picture taken by remote control inside a student’s home is an illegal search, and a federal judge has ordered school officials not to make any software changes that would destroy evidence. They must also get permission from the Robbins family lawyer before talking about the case.