Sep 012010
 
 September 1, 2010  Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Katie McVicker reports:

Despite the apparent outrage of some parents and community members posted on media websites, few people actually showed up at the meeting to voice concerns.

However, officials from the American Civil Liberties Union made it clear that they think the policy goes too far and the issue has attracted widespread media attention. Oak Harbor is among the first school districts to try to implement a new cell phone policy recommended by the state.

In a letter to Superintendent of Schools Rick Schulte, the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project Director Brian Alseth said searching a student’s cell phone differs from searching a backpack or locker because cell phones can store a lot of personal information. A search of a cell phone, especially a smart phone, could reveal the student’s political views, family or relationship problems, health issues, etc.

“We believe a more effective policy would be that school officials may seize devices that they reasonably suspect to contain illegal content and, without attempting to search the device, the school may offer to turn the devices over to law enforcement,” Alseth suggested. “Law enforcement officials must then proceed to obtain a warrant to search the device where there is probable cause to do so.”

Read more in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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