As a student in University of Wollongong, I think one of the matters that most invades my privacy is university’s computers being monitored by Administers. This tale brings up a major question, which is whether educational institutions have the right to monitor university’s computers. Considering our existence in the ‘Information Age’, our society is growing to obtain any information that exists in the world and one the easiest ways is through computer and internet. Matt Mahurin (1999), in Time Magazine, claimed that during our protest toward a more informed society, the right to privacy has been illegally violated and trampled. Due to controversial debate on the student’s right of privacy, law was placed that universities can monitor students if they are aware of it. Another issue regarding illegal monitoring such as searching student’s computer for different information is that overhead supervision violates First Amendment rights, exclusively the freedom of speech since in some universities they keep an eye on phone conversations. Throughout the assignment activities, students have to download different softwares, which is inclusive of the likes of Kazaa or MP3s in the assignments or project works, whatever maybe the case suited to their desires, in order to make it more attractive. Do conducting such activities gives the university management the right to monitor the computers or censor some of the information? These question concerns the student’s right to increase their knowledge by experimenting such ideas. On the other hand we know that students limit their rights when they register in university and they have to follow the rules and restrictions set by university. One of the advantages is the mentioned activities such as downloading software are cost effective. In conclusion the issue of student’s rights of privacy has been unsolved over the past few years. Although educational institutions have been monitoring the student’s activities on the university network, some of colleges give each students amount of Kilobytes that they can download from internet. A reasonable and logical solution I can put forward is to give a login ID to each student that has certain amount of download permission. This will enable them to work out their project works and download amounts of whatever information they consider is essential for them to include. Reference: Mahurin, M. (1999). Invasion Of Privacy. Retrieved on November 25, 2003 from
here's my reply:
Keep in mind that the computers we use in the university do not belong to us (the students...) they belong to the university; and the university has the right to monitor their porperty. Now if they were doing the same thing to people's lap tops or computers that have students' names on them; then things would be different. Then students take resposibility for their own equipment.
University doesn't want to be held responsible for anything illegal found on the computers on the premises of the university. Let's say a student downloads some pornography and leaves it on the computer after copying it onto a CD to take home with him. Then the Ministry of education pays a surprise visit to UOW and finds that file; who will they hold responsible? The university; not the students. And this sort of violation, in this country, can get an educational facility closed down in no time flat.
Here's a curious question: Why would you need KaZaA or an MP3 for a project? I'm wondering.. throughout my time here I never had to make a project that NEEDED/REQUIRED for me to use illegal ways of obtaining my sources. How do you site that anyway? "KaZaA, downloaded January 23, 2003." I've never seen sources like that...I don't think teachers accept KaZaA as a source since it's not exactly a reliable source of 'information'....
I bet they all hate me by now..
First Amendement rights, we don't even have those here because we aren't even a democracy!!! :: shakes her head::