School Security:Blaim the kids & send them to jail

So now you can now send kids to prison and charge them with felonies when your security is so lax that they can waltz in. Here’s the long story.

Here’s the short story.

A school handed out Apple iBooks to 600 students in a school. These laptops had various “security” features on them to keep them from accessing parts of the internet, or installing anything. They also had monitoring software that allowed a school administrator to see what was being viewed on the student’s laptop. I appologize that I don’t know if the software was custom made or if it was a known package. In any case, the password used to bypass these features was foolishly taped to the back of the laptops.

Using this password, the kids bypassed the software so they could download iChat to talk to each other. They also reportedly turned the tables on their school by monitoring the administrator’s desktops instead of the other way around.

This is typical childhood behavior. Kids are currious and given the opportunity to explore, they are going to do so. Given a challenge that they “cannot do x”, they will do x, y and z to prove you wrong. As the kids pointed out, and I oddly enough agree with the kids for once — the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I’ll go one step further to say the punishment doesn’t fit the right people. Those involved with the “security” of these systems need to be shot. We’ve had examples of disobience to simple rules that date back to Adam and Eve and a simple piece of fruit. What makes you think that history will somehow change itself and kids will simply obey an order? If they are curious, and you leave the door open enough to fit their fingers through, they will find a way in.

In my mind, the correct response to this would be to give them a slap on the wrist for the disobedience, put the kids in some sort of programming course , nurture their natural abilities, sack the programmers who wrote the systems to begin with, and charge the kids with designing a better system. To me, that’s education!

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