Friday, September 26, 2014

RedEye's Weekly Rundown: What we know about #hsvboe SpyGate so far

Fist Dap Crowblog

What we know.

We know Huntsville City Schools, under the control and command of military colonel, turned superintendent, Casey WARdynski, has been secretly spying on students, and probably yours truly and who knows who else, since at least January 2014 and possibly since as early as May 2013

We know Wardynski said a call from the NSA, via a call to Al Lankford, tipped the school district to a student making violent threats on Facebook.

We know Wardynski said, "There was a foreign connection,"  explaining why the NSA would take time out of their busy day to warn HCS, Wardysnki said the student in Huntsville had made the online threats while chatting online with a group that included an individual in Yemen.

We know as a result of this "call" a student was expelled after HCS security searched their car and found a large knife, not a gun and a knife as originally reported, and it was not the student who was making violent threats while chatting online with a group that included an individual in Yeman.

We know  the student wasn't chatting on Facebook with a group that included an individual in Yemen, it was a student from Yemen,  and said student sent tweets (not to be confused with Facebook)  HCS say led to the warning from the NSA, which led Huntsville to begin monitoring student Facebook pages.

We know the editorial board tends to believe Wardynki over the NSA, and wants Congressman Mo Brooks to get to the bottom of this. 

We know some school board members said they didn't know about the spying program before they said they did know about the spying program.

We know this issue didn't come to light until after the school board election, and the District 3 board candidates facing each other in a runoff  have somewhat different takes on the Huntsville school district's secret surveillance of students' social media accounts.

We know candidate Elise Ferrell said the information she gathered indicated that a second call came to the district about that threat, from a company called GEOCOP, a cyber security software company, among other things.

We know this covert spying program, that may have cost taxpayers as much as $1,050,768.67, has not been overseen by anyone.

We know Casey Wardynski is doing the job he was hired which is to stand up to the aclu (sic) types, and, the ACLU  submitted an open records request to Huntsville City Schools in June seeking information about how the system monitors its students on social media, concerned blacks were being disproportionately punished. We also know Huntsville City Schools spokesman Keith Ward (not to be confused with the Director of Community Engagement) is "working on a response.

We know in a presentation about the monitoring system obtained by, photos show three black males and one black female. We also know all of the students that have been nabbed by the program are black and brown.

We know all of these dangerous gang members were either expelled or sent to the Pinnacle program.

We know taxpayers have been censored and silenced.

We know Big Brother isn't coming, he's already here.

Are we safe yet?
I was asked an important question yesterday by a good friend: “Do you ever worry that your activism will result in retribution against your kids?”
The short answer to that question is, simply, yes.
Next:   What we don't know about #hsvboe Spygate


Brian said...

After school violence like Columbine, Red Lake, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook we put pressure on school system personnel and law enforcement to better protect our students.

After the deaths of kids like Ryan Halligan, Megan Meier, Jessica Logan, Hope Witsell, Tyler Clementi, and Amanda Todd due to cyberbullying, we put pressure on school system personnel and law enforcement to protect our kids from online bullying.

Yet when it comes out that the schools were doing what has been asked of them in the past, we get upset?!?!?!

California was the first state to pass a law that allows schools to discipline students for online bullying (as well as offline).

Recent court rulings in the UK has made it possible for ISPs be to be held liable for the content of sites that the ISP hosts making it likely that the ISPs will be monitoring hosted content much more vigilantly.

A quote about government that I love (from "Government - If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions." We as a society have created this Big Brother.

Redeye said...

I would buy your little school violence excuse if this were about school shootings.

I would buy your little cyber bullying excuse if this were about cyber bullying.

If this were about school shootings/violence we would be talking about gun control which we aren't because the second amendment. Funny how the same ones willing to give up their fourth amendment rights in the name of safety cling to their second amendment rights with clenched fist.

If this were about cyber bullying all of those caught up in the trap wouldn't have been black/brown students, and the superintendent wouldn't have said it was about gangs.

A quote about the present state of our government that I love (from forward "When Fascism Comes to America, It Will Be Cloaked In Patriotism - See more at:

Brian said...

You're thinking of school violence and cyberbullying as seperate issues. I am saying we have had seperate events that have affected policies and those policies have similar goals and often get mixed together. Not saying it's right but we have asked our school administrators to keep our kids safe from violence and then we asked them to keep our kids safe from online threats. They put 2 and 2 together and got what many people would agree is a 4.

I know Auseel has said that what he posted was a joke, but but what would the reaction have been if it was not a joke...

We give up too much when we trade freedoms for safety.

Interesting article you posted, I loved his definition of fascism (which shows his bias):

In a nutshell, fascism is basically an authoritarian government for corporations, by corporations.

Where in reality, fascism is a combination of typically right-wing positions and elements of left-wing politics. Fascism borrows theory and terminology of socialism but replacing socialism's focus on class warfare with a focus on conflict between nations and races.

BTW, in their description of the Government demovitational poster says "They may seem inefficient and feckless at times, but your representatives in Washington just want what’s best for you. Assuming you’re a major corporation. Otherwise, you’re pretty much screwed."

Redeye said...

The only one talking about school violence and cyber bullying is Y-O-U. We do ask our school administrators to keep our schools safe and to provide an environment that is conducive for learning. How ever they can't cherry pick. For example, the school district is building a school less than half a mile from an active rock quarry without conducting a health risk analysis to see if it's a safe environment conducive for students to learn, and for administrators, teachers, and support personnel to work.

Anonymous said...

Good point about the difference between Twitter and Facebook. You don't invite people to follow you on Twitter, necessarily. I follow author Philip Pullman and movie director Duncan Jones, for example. I suppose if they wanted to check out who is following them and decided they didn't want me (unlike 10s of 1000s of others) to, they could block me. FB is different. You can send a msg to someone who isn't your "friend" but if that person doesn't have their profile set to "public" you can only see very basic info about the person.