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back to article Stockholm schoolgirls fined for bugging staff room

Two Stockholm schoolgirls have been slapped with a fine for bugging the staff room at their seat of learning. According to The Local, the mid-teens pair intended to listen in to a meeting convened to decide pupils' grades in the hope they might "glean information that would enable them to get their grades improved". Handily, …

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Anonymous Coward

Amateurs!

Honestly, when I were a lad you designed and built your own elint stuff, none of this shop-bought crap! Also the motive - better grades? How very American. We thought it more fun to bug the girl's sixth-form room for out petty teenage amusement.

Sadly, it was rumbled when one of our own blabbed, thus proving what all computer security experts have known all along: it is ultimately the human users you can't trust.

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Boffin

Except that Stockholme is in Sweden

"Also the motive - better grades? How very American"

I think Europeans are more grades driven, at least those prone to sinister espionage style behaviours. Germany particularly, those guys are very dedicated.

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Paris Hilton

American

I expect the "How very American" quip was intended as an insult. Much like if I were to describe something/someone as "blonde" - it has no reference to the actual colour, merely to the attitude/intelligence.

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required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Schools aren't likely to scan for bugs, so a simple FM transmitter was the bug of choice when I was at school - even got to make them with school facilities when I were a lad...

But teachers were able to do interesting things which increased my understanding of a subject, rather than boring stuff I could regurgitate in an exam.

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Anonymous Coward

American?

The report here http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/spies.pdf says (page 14) "Americans most consistently have cited money as the dominant motive for espionage, and over time money has increased in predominance among motives."

During the cold war era the British were generally motivated by ideology, which was the basis of my joke: comparing the academic-based spying of the schoolgirls with our amusement-based efforts.

Don't worry, next time I will use the Reg's "Joke Alert" icon to clear up any ambiguity and avoiding any feeling of insult.

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Silver badge

Re:"avoiding any feeling of insult"

You' re on the Internet, bud. There is no way you'll avoid insulting somebody.

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Anonymous Coward

Stoopid!

First rule about Spy School is: don't talk about Spy School!

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Alert

Grades improved??

"glean information that would enable them to get their grades improved"

Other than, you know, studying or answering the questions in the exams better?

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Yeah, here's a radical suggestion for them

You want better grades? Don't spend so much time on Facebook.

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"Other than, you know, studying or answering the questions in the exams better?"

Or blackmail?

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10 out of 10 for their use of ICT skills

-10M for good thinking.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

ICT skills

I thought ICT skills involved being able to set margins in Word, knowing what a spreadsheet looks like and being able to produce a simple presentation in Powerpoint as well as the ever important knowledge about why one shouldn't bend 5¼" floppy disks and why we'll have a paperless office by the year 2000.

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Big Brother

Society needs to make up its mind one way or the other....

Its interesting how it keeps happening how we all get fined and punished for spying on anyone in authority, yet they expect to add ever more ways to spy on all of us. Its like the way photographers have had such a bad time with the police and also another example is how its not only illegal but also considered an extremely serious offence to tap a phone, yet we have our own government planing to spy on everyone's Internet connections. We keep getting examples like this.

Society needs to make up its mind. Either the people in power want spying powers in which case we will also spy on them or none of us have spying powers. They can't have it both ways! ... not least of which because a lot of our government people are *our* government representatives, so they work for us.

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Correction: it would be nice if society makes up its mind...

...but no one does hypocrisy like soceity

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Hmmm

I see where you're coming from and do agree that there seems to be inconsistency about what society views as being acceptable, but where do you draw the line? Obviously, police and the intelligence services have been bugging people for years. I suppose this is ok if it's with a proper warrant obtained against decent grounds for suspicion of a sufficiently serious offence.

I think the problem with state-sponsored surveillance is that people view it as something that is done to 'someone else' (regardless of the accuracy of this mindset), whereas something done arbitrarily, by you for example, and against A. N. Other individual, could more conceivably have been targeted at me personally - cue shock, horror, and demands for your incarceration.

I suppose the problem is in convincing people that privacy is something *you* (not you personally, but you in the first person sense) need, even as a law abiding inidividual. It's not simply something that prevents the Police from apprehending those nasty criminals.

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WTF?

yes but.. yes but...

Ok. It's a bit like the Americans spying on the UN security council to see how they could influence the vote on the second resolution:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/mar/02/usa.iraq

But, uh.. at the risk of stating the obvious. States have souvereignty?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty

That means that for exemple, they get to impose taxes, build armies, and lock people up, whereas you don't. Not fair eh?

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Bronze badge

@Dan 10

Very well put, the dividing line is never easy to define and is determined by the phrasing of the question. Any change in the circumstances of the question or how the person being asked defines the words in use will change the answer beyond all recognition. What we end up with are wooly phrases which are the legal equivalent of elevator music; intended to cause minimum disruption to the populace as a whole without actually satisfying anyone individually.

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"glean information that would enable them to get their grades improved"

Or "find dirt for blackmail" as we call it here.

Waste of court time though.

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FAIL

We'd have gotten away with it too...

...if it wasn't for that pesky Web2.0rhea !

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Judicial oversight

The difference between you bugging someone and the government bugging someone is that the government, by law usually, has to get an independent judge to sign off on it. That way they prove there is a reason for it. If you want to get into the game, lobby for a law that allows citizens to apply for a wiretap warrant! Personally, I would rather you didn't have that power!

However, when the goverment starts to try to conduct surveillance without independent oversight, that is when you know something is not right. Sweden has a far better reputation than the UK and the US in this regard. Even so, the security services in the UK don't have the right to conduct surveillance on anyone they want. However, the issue of independent oversight does need to be substantially improved.

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Coat

In Nordic Sweden

Schoolgirls bug you!

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Coat

Shades of St Trinians ...

Any pictures?

<-mine's the dirty mac. Sorry for being a bit non-PC.

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Go

The names have been changed....

Many moons ago I worked in a high-tech studio that had a funky hands-free intercom system.

Two patch leads later and we could tape the Boss from anywhere in the building and create rather obscene edited conversations between him and his manageress. Oh joy!

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Nice but dim

Sounds like they *need* to improve their grades, if they are stupid enough to put this on Facebook.

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Happy

Re: Nice but dim

They have grades for basic common sense in Sweden? Who knew?

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Happy

@MinionZero

So if the police has the right to break speed limits chasing crooks (and when they feel like it) you should have the same right when you feel like it (and when chasing crooks) .

Not that easy, but certainly we should never forget to have a close look at what our so called representatives do (day and night).

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They used a transmitter?

Why not get a laser listener instead? Bounce it off the window and you'll pick up everything without needing access to the room itself. It's how I did^H^H^H would do it.

Then again, they were obviously unfamiliar with the rules of covert intelligence gathering. Especially the covert part.

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Stop

Script kiddies

The fact that they bought the bug says it all.

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FAIL

You know...

What they did required a reasonable amount of time, effort, planning and even some intelligence (we'll assume the one who didn't blow their cover on Facebook was the criminal mastermind, and the blabber was merely the sidekick).

I can't help but think that had they applied the same amount of effort into just learning what they were taught, they could have improved their grades anyway. I'll admit though that what they *did* do is a hell of a lot more fun sounding than study!

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Megaphone

Cough cough....

All sing along :

Maidens of St Trinian's, gird your armour on.

Grab the nearest weapon; never mind which one.

The battle's to the strongest; might is always right.

Trample on the weakest; glory in their plight.

St Trinian's! St Trinian's! Our battle cry.

St Trinian's! St Trinian's! Will never die.

Stride towards your fortune boldly on your way,

Never once forgetting there's one born every day.

Let our motto be broadcast: "Get your blow in first!"

She who draws the sword last always comes off worst.

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Thumb Up

'A' for initiativel; 'G-' for intelligence

When are people going to learn that Facebook and other social web sites are the dumbest things to do on-line, especially given Facebook's pathetic record for breaching privacy.

The idea was a good one although the practical might have been more difficult in interpreting the recordings as people have a tendency to talk over one another.

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Let's see...

Incompetent, young, possibly attractive, spying with common technology, undone by Facebook. They've got a future with the KGB!

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Stop

"A" for initiative; "G-" for intelligence

People should learn that Facebook has more leaks than the US Government, who no doubt has at least moderator rights to FB, and is even worse due to their lack of concern for privacy.

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Anonymous Coward

I have four words for you:

stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Happy

Better article lower down

The next article in The Local is 'Blow for bishop as orgasm church flops' Playmobil please!

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To bad the girls didn't bug the offices of our beloved Minister of Primary and Secondary Education,

Major Jan Arne Björklund ! Now those would be really conversations I'd love to hear - where, Julian Assange, is Wikileaks when we need it ?...

Henri

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