Students Charged as Felony Hackers – Password Written on Back of iBooks

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Date: Friday, August 19th, 2005, 10:39
Category: Opinion

Arrest Me I Know The PasswordIn other educational news – 13 high school students in the PowerPage’s home state of Pennsylvania (the Kutztown 13 as they’re known) were charged with third-degree felonies for misusing their school-issued Apple iBooks. Their heinous crime? They used the administrator password (which was taped on the back of the computers, no less) to install unauthorized software. Not BitTorrent, not Limewire, but iChat AV. Sheesh. Read More…


Arrest Me I Know The PasswordIn other educational news – 13 high school students in the PowerPage’s home state of Pennsylvania (the Kutztown 13 as they’re known) were charged with third-degree felonies for misusing their school-issued Apple iBooks. Their heinous crime? They used the administrator password (which was taped on the back of the computers, no less) to install unauthorized software. Not BitTorrent, not Limewire, but iChat AV. Sheesh.
Now that’s not the only thing that the kids are accused of doing, they also turned off the monitoring software (Apple Remote Desktop?) and even used it to monitor the admins. In addition, they’re accused of using hacking tools to find the new admin password when it was changed from the password that was taped on the back of the machines.
James Shrawder, uncle of fifteen-year-old John Shrawder set up a Web site, CutUsABreak.org, to tell the students’ side of the story. They even posted the letter sent to the students charged with the felonies. The site sells t-shirts and bumper stickers, including my favorite: “Arrest me, I know the password!”
The Kutztown Area School District issued a press release detailing the laptop policy violations but the charges still smack of heavy-handedness to me.
Do they really want to graduate a class of students that must check “Yes” for the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Give them community service and suspend their computer or Internet privileges, maybe, but felony convictions for being kids? Give me a break.
UPDATE:
New charges were filed yesterday against the teens. A charge of computer theft has been lodged against all 13 defendants, so that they are now charged with three variations of computer trespassing.

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