A criminal record will prepare these kids for college! Give me a break.

I'm glad I didn't go to Kutztown. 13 students are facing felony charges for misusing their school-provided iBooks. Their infractions were obviously against the school's acceptable use policy, but from what I've read, they didn't really do anything malicious. And how did they first bypass the system's security measures and commit crimes such as installing iChat? They typed in the administrator password, which was taped to the backs of the computers.

It looks like the school district got embarrassed by their obvious incompetence and went to the police out of desperation and for revenge. I think that's even more embarrassing. Wouldn't a more appropriate course of action be to hire competent IT staff and to punish any rule-breakers by suspending their iBook privileges?

An uncle of one of the students has created this website in defense of the students, and to give the issue some publicity.

Now that I have at least one diploma in my hand (on my wall, actually), I'll admit that I first learned a password of a school computer back in 5th grade, when I noticed that the school had not set an administrator password for At Ease. Since there was no administrator password, anyone could view the teacher's password in clear text and gain access to the Finder by simply opening the At Ease preferences, which were openly accessible from the menu bar. I found this just out of curiosity, as I like to explore software by simply looking at all of the available commands. And no, I didn't abuse my knowledge of the password. I didn't tell the teachers about it either, because after watching so many of them struggle with operating a VCR, I figured it would only confuse them. Plus, I liked having something that might offer me an advantage someday, just in case.

Posted: Wednesday - August 10, 2005 at 09:19 AM