February 23, 2010 |
IT REMAINS unknown to the public exactly how many photos Lower Merion School District officials secretly snapped using the embedded webcams on laptops issued to high school students in the district. And the wealthy Montgomery County district, which is now under investigation by the FBI and local authorities, apparently is in no rush to turn that information over to the attorney who exposed the highly controversial "security feature" in a bombshell lawsuit last week. Mark Haltzman, who filed the invasion-of-privacy suit on behalf of a Harriton High School student, popped off at the district yesterday outside the Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia.
July 19, 2010 |
The laptops are locked away for the summer, new school policies drafted, court orders signed, and public apologies extended. But students and parents in the Lower Merion School District who hoped to begin the next school year with the webcam-monitoring furor behind them might think again. The lawsuit that first exposed the district's practice of secretly activating webcams on student laptops shows no signs of ending, with lawyers last week trading barbs over who was delaying the case and why. The U.S. Attorney's Office will not discuss its probe into the matter.
October 12, 2010 |
Tuesday didn't feel all that different, Blake Robbins said. Sure, he might have heard a comment or two in the Harriton High School halls. One kid flashed him a thumbs-down, Robbins said, but he couldn't be certain why. Otherwise, the school day was routine, said Robbins, a 16-year-old junior. He took home his school-issued laptop. Even used its webcam to snap a photo, he said. But Tuesday wasn't typical. About 3 p.m., Robbins and his parents signed papers to settle their headline-getting claim that the Lower Merion School District used a laptop webcam to spy on him in their Penn Valley home.
May 29, 2010 |
The Lower Merion School District argued Friday that the district's insurer should pay what could be a million-dollar tab to resolve a lawsuit over its now-disabled laptop tracking program. In a counterclaim filed in federal court, attorneys for the district also accused Graphics Arts Mutual Insurance of New York of breaching the terms of the multimillion-dollar policy it issued last year. "To date, Graphic Arts has not fully paid for all the defense costs and fees incurred," the lawsuit said.
March 2, 2012 |
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A Rutgers University police officer told jurors Thursday that he knocked on the door of a dorm room shortly before 10 p.m. Sept. 22, 2010, for a well-being check on one of the residents, Tyler Clementi. The other freshman who lived in the cramped room answered, the officer testified, and said that when he had last seen Clementi five hours earlier, everything was normal. The jury will likely hear otherwise in coming days in the trial of Dharun Ravi, who is accused of using a webcam to spy on Clementi's intimate encounter with a man. Ravi faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
March 13, 2012 |
NEW BRUNSWICK - Dharun Ravi was "stupid . . . ignorant . . . immature," his lawyer told a Middlesex County Superior Court jury this morning, but he was not a criminal. Attorney Steven Altman hammered away at that theme in a lengthy summation in the Rutgers University webcam spy case, urging the jurors who will decide his client's fate to remember that he was "an 18-year-old kid" just starting his first year in college when he saw his roommate kissing another man via a webcam stream from his dorm room.
June 7, 2010 |
Legal fees in the Lower Merion School District's webcam case are inching toward $1 million, a sum that could end up handed to local taxpayers. A district spokesman on Monday disclosed that the bills to defend the use of the now-disabled laptop tracking system have grown to about $780,000. At the same time, the lawyer whose lawsuit over the webcam monitoring drew worldwide attention disclosed in court papers that his fees - costs he is likely to ask Lower Merion to pay - were more than $148,000 and climbing.
May 13, 2010 |
From the outset of the Lower Merion School District's webcam saga, a question has persisted: How many students were like Blake Robbins? How many were secretly photographed in their bedrooms by a school-issued computer, then confronted with one of those pictures by a principal? A hint of an answer came Wednesday: Maybe none. In a new filing, the attorney for Robbins and his parents said they would drop plans to seek monetary damages for all Lower Merion students, acknowledging that his case, the one that began the firestorm over the district's laptop tracking, was unique.
April 17, 2009 |
Such a simple thing, really: An egg cracked. Then another. Two tiny hawks wriggled free, teetering feebly in their nest on a third-floor ledge of the Franklin Institute. But a webcam was watching and, through it, thousands of viewers. The all-day spectacle yesterday high above the busy streets kept people around the world glued to their computers, from One Logan Square to Missouri to England. "It's nature taking its course, right here in front of us," said Dennis Wint, the institute's president and chief executive officer.
September 13, 2011 |
Dhuran Ravi showed no surprise. At least I couldn't detect any from my seat in Superior Court in New Brunswick on Friday, as Judge Glenn Berman rejected a motion to dismiss all charges against the Rutgers webcam spying defendant. Flanked by his attorneys, Ravi, 19, looked like a kid despite his somber suit and subdued hair. The toothy grin of his now-famous high school yearbook photo was absent, and no wonder: The allegations that have derailed his life require a cautious approach.