Anti-Big Brother Bill Moves Forward In New Jersey [AUDIO]
New Jersey lawmakers have given final approval to the "Anti-Big Brother Act."
State Senator Donald Norcoss says the measure would require a school district that furnishes a student with a laptop, computer, cellular telephone, or other electronic device to provide students and their families with written notice that the device may record or collect information on the students' activities.
He says the idea here is to make sure that parents are aware that when an electronic device from school comes home it could track or record their children.
"This a parents notice, and it's very important that they know if a device that's coming home from school is going to watch their children," Norcross says. "More and more devices are able to either track your movements, listen in or watch, and those devices are now going into our school systems, whether they're laptops or GPS or otherwise. And all we're saying very simply is, let the parents know what the kids are coming home with."
Bill Prompted by Laptop Spying Scandal in Pa.
Norcross points out the measure was crafted after a situation developed in the Lower Merion School District in Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania, where students without their knowledge or consent were recorded and monitored in their homes through school-issued laptops.
"They were able to not only listen, but watch what was going on when that laptop was open," says Norcross, "totally unacceptable, especially for children. That was outrageous and we don't want it to happen in our state."
Norcross adds, "If my kids came home with some sort of tracking device, and dad didn't know about it, there would be hell to pay. So, the fact of the matter is that's why this has to get done. Parents need to know what the kids are bringing home from school…Our most valuable assets are children - and they need to be protected- and this is just another way that we need to protect them."
The measure, which has already been passed by the state Assembly, now heads to the Governor's desk for his consideration.