The FBI will reportedly begin investigating allegations that a suburban Philadelphia school district spied on students using remotely activated Web cams without students being aware of it.
According to CNN, the FBI is looking into whether the Lower Merion School District in Philadelphia broke any wiretap or computer intrusion laws when school officials activated webcams on laptops that were issued to the students, without their permission.
The first case was reported last week when the parents of one 15-year-old Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton High School accused the district of illegal spying.
Lower Merion School District officials turned on the webcams without Robbins and other students noticing and “captured students and family members as they undressed and in other embarrassing situations, according to the report.
The school confirmed that its laptops can remotely monitor Web cam input, but stressed that the security feature was only used to locate lost, missing or stolen laptops.
The school went on to deny that an assistant principal used a Web cam photo to discipline Robbins, or that administrators even have the ability to remotely monitor laptops themselves.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Robbins, claims that he was reprimanded by an assistant principal for improper behavior in his home which was captured by the laptop camera.
According to the Inquirer, Robbins said that the school official mistook Mike & Ike candies he was holding for illegal pills, and accused him of selling drugs.
Only two members of the school's technology department can access the feature, the school said. In any case, the school apologized for not clearly describing the software in the usage agreement families are required to sign.