Digital rights group alleges Google invades student privacy

Complaint alleges Google collected students’ internet search requests through Chromebooks

student-privacyGoogle is being accused of invading the privacy of students using laptop computers powered by the internet company’s Chrome operating system.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, depicts Google as a two-faced opportunist in a complaint filed in early December with the Federal Trade Commission.

Google disputes the unflattering portrait and says it isn’t doing anything wrong.…Read More

Anonymous message board app raises concern

Messages, posted anonymously via the app, are hurtful and unnecessary, administrators say

anonymous-appAn anonymous message board app that students in some districts are using to tease teachers and fellow students has parents and educators alarmed, not only because of how it is being used, but because the app, Gaggle–Local Message Board, shares a name with Gaggle.Net, a popular safe online teaching and learning solution.

District leaders are urging schools to block the app and are asking parents to be on the lookout for it, due to the negative way students are using it.

Student use of the app at one high school in the Katy Independent School District prompted the school’s principal to block it from the school’s network and send an eMail to parents to alert them to the situation, according to one local news outlet.…Read More

Apple settles with FTC after kids blow millions on the app store

Apple agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday after a formal complaint said the company was billing customers for millions of dollars worth of App Store purchases made by children without their parents’ consent, readwrite reports. The initial complaint, filed January 15, alleged Apple was in violation of the FTC Act by not informing parents that once they initially entered their Apple ID username and password combination to purchase an app or an in-app item, their iOS device would approve any further purchases for the next 15 minutes without asking for further authorization…

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Steubenville school superintendent indicted for obstruction in teen rape case

A school superintendent has been indicted on charges of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence by a grand jury investigating the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, by two football players, reports the Washington Post. Several other adults were indicted on lesser charges. The state’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: “How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?” The indictments stem from a case earlier this year when two Steubenville High School football players — members of a team that was held in great esteem by the community — were found guilty March 17 of raping a West Virginia girl…

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Teen convicted for sending Facebook friend request

Over the past few months, Facebook has either been the pointed cause for murderous acts of violence being committed, or it has been on the other side, helping criminals be served to justice, The Inquisitr reports. Now Facebook finds themselves in the middle of yet another case. A teen was recently convicted for sending a Facebook friend request. Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? Before you hesitate on sending another friend request, one should know that the teen had a restraining order prior to his Facebook request. According to Sweden’s The Local, a Swedish teen was arrested after he tried to friend a person that had already filed a restraining order against him. That move is probably a big fat no no at the top of every Facebook social etiquette lists…

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Apple found to have conspired to raise eBook prices

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired to raise the prices of eBooks. The eBook publishers at issue — CBS’s Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Pearson’s Penguin Group, Macmillan and News Corp.’s HarperCollins — settled and didn’t go to trial. Apple held out, and the U.S. Department of Justice brought a civil antitrust suit against the company in 2012. The DOJ alleged that Apple and the publishers engaged in a “conspiracy” to team up against Amazon and fix the price of eBooks — and Apple was the ringleader of the deal…

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Court: No class-action status in Google book case

Google Inc. got a friendly ruling from a federal appeals panel that stripped a group representing authors of class-action status as the search engine defends itself against claims that its plan to create the world’s largest digital library will violate copyrights, the Associated Press reports. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was too early for authors to be considered as a group in a lawsuit brought against the Mountain View, Calif.-based company by the Authors Guild. A three-judge panel of the Manhattan court said a judge presiding over the 8-year-old case must consider fair use issues before deciding whether to consider authors as a class…

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Apple trial defense: A guilty verdict would send chills across internet industry

Apple lawyers on Thursday closed their arguments in a federal antitrust trial with fierce warnings that a guilty verdict would sends chills across the internet industry, The Washington Post reports. After three weeks defending Apple against Justice Department charges that it led an e-books price-fixing conspiracy, the company’s attorney said Apple acted legally when it aggressively pursued business deals with publishers. “The government is taking perfectly sensible business agreements to infer sinister conduct,” Apple attorney Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn said in his closing remarks at U.S. District Court in Manhattan…

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Boys guilty in Fairfax ‘sexting’ case

The West Springfield High School student crept up to the car where his buddy was having sex with a teenage girl, a prosecutor said, and shot a cellphone video before laughing and running away, the Washington Post reports. Three boys, ages 16 and 15, were found guilty of felony ­charges Thursday in juvenile court in Fairfax County, opening a window on the dangers — and potential criminal penalties — when teens mix technology, alcohol and sex. The explicit recording was one of a series the teen and his two best friends from school made of their sexual encounters. They shared them among themselves. In each, the girls testified at a trial Thursday that they did not know they were being taped…

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Conn. student disabled on school trip wins $41.7M

A jury on Wednesday awarded $41.7 million to a woman who sued her prestigious boarding school after contracting a tick-borne illness on a school trip to China that left her unable to speak and brain damaged, the Associated Press reports. The federal jury in Bridgeport ruled in favor of Cara Munn, 20, in her lawsuit against The Hotchkiss School, a private school in Lakeville. The school said it would appeal. Munn, of New York City, was a ninth-grader at Hotchkiss when she joined a school-supervised trip to China during the summer of 2007, according to her lawsuit. The then-15-year-old suffered insect bites that led to tick-borne encephalitis, her attorneys said. The school failed to ensure that the students take any precautions against ticks and allowed them to walk through a densely wooded area known to be a risk area for tick-borne encephalitis and other tick- and insect-transmitted illnesses, her attorneys said…

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Court backs student in textbook copyright case

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that textbooks and other goods made and sold abroad can be re-sold online and in discount stores without violating U.S. copyright law, ABC OTUS News reports. In a 6-3 opinion, the court threw out a copyright infringement award to publisher John Wiley & Sons against Thai graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, who used eBay to resell copies of the publisher’s copyrighted books that his relatives first bought abroad at cut-rate prices. Justice Stephen Breyer said in his opinion for the court that once goods are sold lawfully, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere, publishers and manufacturers lose the protection of U.S. copyright law…

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Student who got kicked out of college over ‘Hot for Teacher’ essay sues for $2.2 million

A former student at Oakland University in the suburbs of Detroit is suing the school for over $2.2 million after he was kicked out in September 2011 for penning a salacious essay entitled “Hot for Teacher,” the Daily Caller reports. Joseph Corlett, 57, a builder who now resides in Florida, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, reports the Detroit Free Press. He claims the public university violated his First Amendment right to freedom of expression. He says he also suffered mental anguish and humiliation when he was forced to leave the school. The suit names the school’s board of trustees and two high-ranking officials as defendants. When Corlett wrote the essay, he was majoring in writing and rhetoric and working toward a bachelor’s degree. The class at issue was English 380: Advanced Critical Writing. The comely blond instructor was Pamela Mitzelfeld…

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