Economy - Longevity - Performance
The #1 Source of TDI Information on the Web!
Forums Articles Links Meets
Orders TDI Club Cards TDIFest 2016 Gone, but not forgotten VAG-Com List Unit Conversions TDIClub Chat Thank You

Order your TDIClub merchandise and help support TDIClub

Go Back   TDIClub Forums > Forum and Web Page Info > Testing

Testing Test your signatures, smilies, and any other thing you might want. Nothing in here is archived, this is simply a testing area.

Thread Tools
Old February 25th, 2007, 09:38   #1
TDIClub Enthusiast
ToofTek Inventor
bhtooefr's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newark, OH
TDI(s): None
Default Testing quotes... read this story about an injustice


Originally Posted by Andrew Kantor
Police, school get failing grade in sad case of Julie Amaro
Updated 2/23/2007 12:37 PM ET

Imagine you know next to nothing about computers. You're a substitute teacher for a seventh grade class. There's a computer in the classroom and, knowing you're going to be sitting there for a while, you ask a fulltime teacher if you can use it. He logs you in with his password and tells you not to shut it off because you couldn't get back on.

Not that you have a clue about this stuff, but that computer is running Windows 98 and the outdated Internet Explorer 6.02. Its filtering and anti-virus software have expired, and it has no anti-spyware software.

You step out of the classroom for a moment. When you get back the kids are clustered around the computer, checking out hairstyle websites. But one is actually a link to porn sites, and it loads a Trojan onto the unprotected computer.

Suddenly, pop-ups start appearing — X-rated popups.

You start to panic. You're not supposed to shut the machine and you don't realize you can just shut the monitor. You try to block the screen, but — like normal seventh graders — the kids are curious and pushy.

You run to the teacher's lounge for help. Finally you get some and the crisis ends. But the kids have seen the porn. They tell their parents. The parents tell the school.

You tell the school administrators what happened, but they don't bother (or don't know how) to check the computer for the adware you described. Instead they fire you.

And soon you're arrested and charged with four counts of "risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child." You're facing 40 years in prison.

Welcome to the nightmare of Julie Amero, a 40-year-old substitute teacher in Norwich, Conn. That's what she says happened to her at the hands of the technologically illiterate Kelly Middle School, technologically illiterate police, a technologically illiterate prosecutor, and a technologically illiterate jury.

If her life hadn't been effectively destroyed by this farce of justice, it would almost be comical. But it's not.

If you've ever seen a completely unprotected computer suddenly have a pile of adware come to life, it can be a sight to behold. Windows appearing on top of one another pell-mell; closing one only brings more.

(Want to try it for yourself? Turn off all your computer's protection and visit new-hair-styles.com, the site the kids were checking out when all this started. See how fast your PC is infected. On second thought, don't.)

Weeks later, with leisure time and 20/20 hindsight, officials came up with all the things Amero should have done. Of course, they didn't have to contend with the panic and shock of seeing random pictures popping up on an unfamiliar machine, and of 12-year olds pushing to try to see more.

She should have shut off the computer, they said. But Amero was told specifically not to do that. And, like a lot of people, I suspect, didn't realize she could turn off the monitor.

Amero was at the mercy of a machine that the school's negligence left unprotected.

Rather than admit that negligence, though, officials declared that Amero had deliberately been visiting porn sites.

Which of these scenarios makes more sense to you?

Scenario A: In the middle of class, a substitute teacher decided to surf for thumbnail-size porn images (an analysis of the hard drive showed that's all that ever appeared on the screen — tiny pictures).

Scenario B: A classroom computer running Windows 98 with outdated anti-virus software, no Internet filter, and no anti-spyware software began displaying popups after some kids visited the wrong site.

Assistant State's Attorney David Smith believed Scenario A, despite the ease of verifying Scenario B by checking the computer for adware and Trojans.

The school and the prosecutor declined to do that. Amero called an expert, one W. Herbert Horner. He confirmed everything she said: The computer was infected before she got there, a site visited that morning caused the pop-ups to start, and the porn was the result of pop-ups, not deliberate action.

But the judge refused to let Horner offer all his evidence.

Horner later wrote, "This was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career, knowing full well that the person is innocent and not being allowed to provide logical proof.

"If there is an appeal and the defense is allowed to show the entire results of the forensic examination in front of experienced computer people, including a computer literate judge and prosecutor, Julie Amero will walk out the court room as a free person."

For his part, the prosecution's computer "expert," Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury, testified that the computer logged deliberate visits to porn sites. Had Lounsbury actually been an expert, he would have known that a browser's log doesn't record whether a site came up because you clicked on something or because adware opened the link.

But a tech-illiterate jury didn't have the benefit of an expert's testimony. They convicted her.

One juror told PC World columnist Steve Bass, "If a 40-year-old school teacher does not have the sense to turn off or is not smart enough to figure it out, would you or any other person wanting her teaching your child or grandchild?"

Thus according to that jury, "not having the sense to turn off a computer" is a multi-count felony punishable by 40 years in prison. Wow.

The parents of the kids in Kelly Middle School should be demanding that school official explain why they let its Internet filter expire, why no one bothered to update the anti-virus protection, and why no one took the time to install free anti-adware software.

Julie Amero was a victim of a school that couldn't be bothered to protect its computers, of a prosecutor without the technology background to understand what he was doing, a police "expert" who was not, and a jury misled by all of them. "Miscarriage of justice" doesn't begin to describe it.

Andrew Kantor is a technology writer, pundit, and know-it-all who covers technology for the Roanoke Times. He's also a former editor for PC Magazine and Internet World. Read more of his work at kantor.com. His column appears Fridays on USATODAY.com.
I just want to know what sort of crack these jurors were smoking.

Originally Posted by Upton Sinclair
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!
bhtooefr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2007, 10:00   #2
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Between Toronto & Montreal
Fuel Economy: 5.3 l/100 km (at 115 km/h)

Originally Posted by bhtooefr

I just want to know what sort of crack these jurors were smoking.
I don't know if they were on anything, but I suspect they were all products of that same school system...

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

(Albert Einstein)

ymz is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:36.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright - TDIClub Online LTD - 2017
Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Forum Rules | Disclaimer
TDIClub Online Ltd (TDIClub.com) is not affiliated with the VWoA or VWAG and is supported by contributions from viewers like you.
© 1996 - 2017, All Rights Reserved
Page generated in 0.24880 seconds with 12 queries
[Output: 56.17 Kb. compressed to 52.07 Kb. by saving 4.10 Kb. (7.30%)]