News Article

NJ Senate Passes 'Anti-Big Brother Act'

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 26, 2012

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Senator Donald Norcross (photo by Phil Gregory)

The New Jersey Senate has passed what’s being called ‘The Anti-Big Brother Act.’

The bill was drafted in response to a suburban Philadelphia school district’s monitoring of students in their homes by remotely activating cameras on school-issued laptops.

Senator Donald Norcross is the primary sponsor of the legislation that would require parents to get written notification when schools furnish students with electronic devices that could monitor their activities.

 “I know if I found out my children were being spied on or listened to without their permission, we would have a major issue, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

Norcross says there’s no indication schools in New Jersey are monitoring students without their knowledge.

 “Well we haven’t heard of it yet hopefully because it’s not happening. Some of the abuses that took place in Pennsylvania the administrations in schools have listened to that and said we don’t want to do that here.”

Schools that give students the devices and fail to provide the form for parents to sign could be fined $250.

The legislation is still awaiting consideration by an Assembly committee.

Governor Christie has not indicated whether he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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