The Campus Surveillance State

 

Be sure to read this great piece in The Guardian on the parallels between NSA surveillance and what campuses have been doing for years.

In the article, my colleague Nico Perrino highlights particularly embarrassing examples of administrative snooping into the lives of students and faculty at Harvard, Valdosta State University (which I talk about at length in my book), and University of Montana, to name just a few. Nico also points out that the cheerleaders for such surveillance and the providers of the surveillance itself are big business:

As a result of schools’ increased interest in monitoring their communities for potential threats, a whole campus security industry has sprouted up that has caught the eye of civil libertarians. At a recent National Behavioral Intervention Team Association conference, the group organized sessions on “fostering a comprehensive reporting culture within the institution” (See something? Say something, one supposes) and “using mandated psychological assessments” (“using” for what, one might ask).

Another of my colleagues, Robert Shibley, expanded on this theme in great detail in a 2011 Daily Caller column entitled, “How federal regulations are making college ‘risk management’ lawyers rich.”

Privacy invasions are nothing new on campus. If you’re unfamiliar with FIRE’s 2007 case at the University of Delaware (also covered at length in my book), I hereby challenge you to watch the video below without wanting to pull your hair out:

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Bulldawg

    I seem to recall that at the SAE house at Valdosta State, we somehow attracted all sorts of unwanted attention by the, then, college officials.

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    @MikeK

    Do they still use the abbreviation “Stasi?”

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    @ScarletPimpernel

    Did most students protest this indoctrination?  In light of how they are socialized in our grade schools and high schools, by the products of our Ed schools, I suspect that many did not think there was anything wrong with the program.

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    @RichardFulmer

    This is a great example of the kind of thing that will turn the public against the progressive agenda if conservatives, libertarians, and Republican politicians will get out there and talk about it. 

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    @BarkhaHerman

    I am glad that this is being written up more.  I wish we didn’t have to get the articles from the Guardian though.  Where are the American rags on this?

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    @TFiks

    The Delaware student orientation sessions described in the video reminded me of Nurse Ratched’s group therapy sessions in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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    @PaulStinchfield
    Barkha Herman: Where are the American rags on this? · October 22, 2013 at 1:48pm

    If they were at all bothered by this they would be all over it.

    It has become obvious that they don’t care–no, make that they approve.

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    @PaulStinchfield

    It bears remembering that the people who are running the universities today were sixties radicals, and that movement was thoroughly fascist. Fascist to the core. In fact, one of the most amusing pranks that was played on the radicals now and then was to read them quotations from Benito Mussolini. They applauded enthusiastically until they were told who it was.

    Today’s campus tyranny is the logical and inevitable outcome of the sixties.

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    @GregLukianoff
    Barkha Herman: I am glad that this is being written up more.  I wish we didn’t have to get the articles from the Guardian though.  Where are the American rags on this? · October 22, 2013 at 1:48pm

    We shopped the piece to a number of them but no dice!

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    @GregLukianoff
    Scarlet Pimpernel: Did most students protest this indoctrination?  In light of how they are socialized in our grade schools and high schools, by the products of our Ed schools, I suspect that many did not think there was anything wrong with the program. · October 22, 2013 at 1:34pm

    What was scary was that students did oppose it but they lacked the vocabulary to explain why. Mostly they said they were “offended” by it.  That really scared me. 

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