iPod listed as “criminal tool” in Ohio felony
February 16th, 2007

There is an issue of criminal intent these days in our school venues: are mobile devices criminal weapons? In the New York City public schools, for example, students are scanned by police for knives, guns and electronic devices, all of which are confiscated if found. In a story picked-up by Engadget this week from Toledo, an iPod has been listed on the police blotter as a ‘criminal tool’ in a school hacking incident. As techDirt, which also picked up the story said: ‘. . . why not focus on the actual problem — the hacking into school computers — rather than some trumped up charges claiming an iPod is a criminal tool?’

The report in the Toledo Blade newspaper begins;

A former Clay High School student was charged yesterday with a felony after police said he hacked into school personnel and student files, downloading sensitive information onto his iPod.

The junior, who has since withdrawn from the school, was charged with unauthorized use of a computer, a felony. He was also charged with possessing a criminal tool – the iPod – since it was used in the crime, said Oregon Police Detective Janet Zale.

Oregon City Superintendent John Hall and a police detective said the personal information did not make its way beyond the student’s iPod.

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