BoingBoing, the four-faced giant of technology blogs, had a couple interesting law-related posts in the last week. Widely traveled tech writer Xeni Jardin reports that a middle school teacher faces up to 40 years in prison because malicious popup software hijacked her classroom computer with an endless parade of porn come-ons.
Teacher Julie Amero claims that the stream of, um, disruptive imagery came from that malicious software trick that just as you close one window, it pops up several more, each worse than the last. Sometimes used to hawk mass-market gizmos, the adware technique is best know for just this sort of invasion: Smut, smut and more smut.
Slipshod investigative techniques, dubious (arguably stupid) “expert” witnesses and a school whose filtering software had expired (placing the school in violation of federal law) make the case all the more interesting. BoingBoing’s report includes interesting notes from readers and links to press coverage and relevant stuff. A disturbing read if you’re interested in education, “protecting the children” and a judicial system in which exposing kids to dirty pictures (apparently through no greater a misstep than using a browser as bad as Internet Explorer), which everyone agrees ain't good, can draw more time than rape, manslaughter and many a murder conviction.
— Brian McDonough