I’m confused: Is snooping good or bad?

Teachers will soon be expected to snoop on their pupils via the social media they use, says today’s Grauniad.


Though it’s couched in the friendly guise of ‘guidance’, you can’t help but feel that the creep of online surveillance is slowly making coppers’ narks of us all.


Except that it’s not – and teachers shouldn’t get too carried away with their snooping, as any attempt at entrapment might backfire spectacularly.  


That’s because, as Bill Thompson illustrated earlier in the week, your liberty is now at risk if you create fake accounts in social networks.  This news comes on the back of a recent US court decision based upon the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which now effectively criminalises such behaviour – whether your intentions are benign or malign. 


And just as the crimes of the few seem increasingly to be encroaching on the liberty of the many, one social network (Faceparty) has taken the ultimate step in risk-aversion, and banned most of its subscribers over the age of 36 from using its site, according to today’s Register.


Who said social network hysteria is yesterday’s news?

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