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Got expelled from college. Is this illegal?
zootreeves




msg:320910
 11:39 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I found out that my school uses typo3 (Ready made template software) to
manage their intranet and that they had not changed their default
username and password (It was just user:admin & pass:password). I
logged in and changed my sisters report. Anyway they didn't think it
was very funny and i got expelled, just wondering whether anyone knows
whether that is illegal or not (as that was their main arguement)?

 

pmkpmk




msg:320911
 11:41 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

In my country you would have commited a crime and could even go to prison.

oddsod




msg:320912
 11:43 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is funny... but I shouldn't laugh.

Before anyone takes a moral stand one way or the other I must interject to say that the specific activity is illegal in the US and the UK.

zootreeves




msg:320913
 11:52 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well i'm in the UK. I was thinking that maybe it wasn;t illegal becuase the username and password was freely available and they did not make me sign or agree to anything stating that I wasn't allowed in the system.

[edited by: zootreeves at 12:02 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2005]

pmkpmk




msg:320914
 11:53 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it legal to go into a private home, just because the keys stick on the frontdoor?

You should have gone to the principal or the IT-person and pointed the problem out to them. They would have thanked you.

Lord Majestic




msg:320915
 11:59 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

IANAL - Relevant law in the UK: Computer Misuse Act 1990 (c. 18)

Computer misuse offences
1 Unauthorised access to computer material.
...
3 Unauthorised modification of computer material.
...

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both; and
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine or to both.

Link to the law: [opsi.gov.uk...]

Conclusion: you lucky they did not press charges.

You can try defence trying to prove that what you did was with your sisters consent (this may or may not stand) and/or technicalities of not having notices referring to rules governing access to data - but in all probability by joining your school you had to sign paper that clearly details that.

If I were you I'd talk to solicitor.

[edited by: Lord_Majestic at 12:00 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2005]

lawman




msg:320916
 12:00 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did they have a dictionary in the college library - or is argument spelled differently where you live?

trillianjedi




msg:320917
 12:04 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry to hear that you got expelled for what is, essentially, a school-boy prank. When I think of the chaos I caused at school when we spoofed the head IT guy into typing the root password into a dummy login screen :-). We didn't destroy any data though.

So I can see their point of view. Illegality to one side, you did go in and cause willfull mutilation of their data. And you knew that when you were doing it.

I think the main objective is that you try and get back into the college. Have you tried begging, pleading reformation and asking nicely?

TJ

Wonderstuff




msg:320918
 12:07 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also, how did you get caught?

zootreeves




msg:320919
 12:16 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did they have a dictionary in the college library - or is argument spelled differently where you live?

My education is going down the pan already and I've only been out of school for two days.

Thanks for your replies. I didn't not change anything maliciously, the changed report was quite clearly meant to be a prank. I didn't actually save it on the system, I just printed it off. But they were more concern about the principle, than what I actually did. So I guess theres not much I can do really.

It's at the worst time as well, because It's half way through the year and so no other school's want to take me and my A level exams are just around the corner.

Have you tried begging, pleading reformation and asking nicely?

I tried everything apart from begging.

Also, how did you get caught?

My mum took the report in to see what was going on and they put 2 and 2 together. I admitted it was me straight away as I didn't think it was really that serious.

oddsod




msg:320920
 12:23 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> so no other school's

Just to be mean you... there shouldn't be an apostrophe there. :)

But, try an appeal to their security fears. Offer to tell them where else there could be holes.

trillianjedi




msg:320921
 12:24 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's a good idea OddSod ;-)

To catch a thief....

It's at the worst time as well, because It's half way through the year and so no other school's want to take me and my A level exams are just around the corner.

Have you told the college that, and that really this potentially could destroy your entire education?

Seems odd to me. What you did was serious, but rectifiable.

Are you sure you're giving us the full story? Anything else you did while you were in there?

oddsod




msg:320922
 12:29 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months

Applicable to 16/17 year olds? At that age are they even "people"? :)

Lord Majestic




msg:320923
 12:33 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Applicable to 16/17 year olds?

I am not sure it applies to 16/17 - at the time of posting I assumed the original poster is 18+, but I actually think it may apply to 16+ : whether this is right or wrong its another matter.

In this case however I'd say applying criminal charges would have been too harsh and Crown Prosecution Service probably would not have taken the case, but exclusion from school is almost certain, as it actually happened.

This is a very serious issue - getting solicitor or at least talking to Citizens Buraue (sp?) is a must have thing.

oddsod




msg:320924
 12:38 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree, there is no substitute for good legal advice. However, if the school isn't suing him I think his best chances are to kiss some ass and keep working on the amicable route. Unless, of course, TJ's suspicions are confirmed and there's a lot more to the story.

I didn't actually save it on the system, I just printed it off.
... is also pertinent. Material wasn't modified.

zootreeves




msg:320925
 12:45 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is a little bit more too it.. As well as printing off the report, I also booked the libary out (the teachers have an online booking system and I booked the rest of term under the name DJ dumpling).

I was 17 when I first figured out how to login (I known about it for ages, but never done anything), but 18 when I committed the offence.

[edited by: zootreeves at 12:53 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2005]

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:320926
 12:48 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am not sure it applies to 16/17 - at the time of posting I assumed the original poster is 18+

... and some!

You are very clever for someone who hasn't yet sat your A Levels Mr. Reeves. ;)

trillianjedi




msg:320927
 12:48 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also booked the libary out (the teachers have an online booking system and I booked the rest of term under the name DJ dumbling).

Surely that's a 2 minute job to rectify?

Sounds to me like they're just really annoyed with you. And I can see that point of view to be honest!

I would try the begging route again, but leave it for a few days to cool down, and let them fix their system. In that time, at least make the effort to try and get into other colleges, so you can show this college that you did everything you could to try and get in elsewhere.

I think the advice to contact a solicitor is good, although I don't think there's much you can do to force the college to take you back.

Syzygy




msg:320928
 12:49 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

...and i got expelled...

What are the terms of the expulsion?

It is rare for any school/college to completely 'expel' anyone. Usually bans are enforced for specified periods of time, possibly with terms and conditions attached to returning.

Syzygy

zootreeves




msg:320929
 1:01 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What are the terms of the expulsion?

I'm allowed to come back and sit my exams if I cannot find another college where I can do that. But apart from that i'm not allowed in school.

Ok so most of you think that I should just beg to get my place back? Rather than go the route of saying I was unfairly expelled and try and see I can force them to take me back?

dragonthoughts




msg:320930
 1:02 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

My mother was a teacher in the UK in an inner city school about 10 years ago.

Pupils who committed crimes were expelled automatically.

Unfortunately, even if Mr Reeves isn't prosecuted, they do have reasonable grounds for expulsion. He also needs to remain nice to them, otherwise, a vindictive or annoyed head could still take him to court. Even if the case is dropped later, it will effectively prevent him from taking exams.

Incidentally, I am occasionally a guest lecturer at a British university. Two of my postgraduate students were expelled last year for collusion on an assignment.

pmkpmk




msg:320931
 1:11 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many years ago I learned in school that the British legal system is very much based on revenge, whereas for example the German legal system is based on rehabilitation/resocialisation.

Seems this is still the case.

trillianjedi




msg:320932
 1:17 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm allowed to come back and sit my exams if I cannot find another college where I can do that. But apart from that i'm not allowed in school.

Ah, ok. That seems fair enough to me. At least you can do the work yourself, or get private tuition.

TJ

zootreeves




msg:320933
 1:26 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

That seems fair enough to me. At least you can do the work yourself, or get private tuition.

Maybe your right, it's not the end of the world... I never really did any work at school anyway, just learnt everything in the week before exams.

Has anyone else on here ever been expelled?

jecasc




msg:320934
 1:27 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps you could volunteer for some social work or community service and then write a letter to your college, telling them that you regret the action and ask them to give you a second chance.

Maybe this self-imposed punishment would make them change their mind. Since they would see that you have thought about what you have done and are not only sorry that you have been caught.

pmkpmk




msg:320935
 1:34 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe they want to set an example? Like zero-tolerance policy?

In that case, some of the teachers or the principals might be willing to "pull some levers" behind the scenes to get you into a different school. Is there one among them you trust/like the most? Maybe you should talk to him/her about that issue with the goal to get help to get into a different school.

Span




msg:320936
 2:01 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What happened to the IT guy who didn't change the default username and password?

oddsod




msg:320937
 2:09 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What IT guy? It's a school. The history teacher probably doubles up as the IT guy because he once won a cordless mouse in a raffle.

ogletree




msg:320938
 2:12 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

It all stems from that stupid movie "War Games". The person in charge knows nothing about computers does not understand that a five year old could have done what you did. He thinks you are some hacker mastermind. I bet the IT guy made a bigger deal of it than they should to cover their butt.

zootreeves




msg:320939
 2:23 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What IT guy? It's a school. The history teacher probably doubles up as the IT guy because he once won a cordless mouse in a raffle.

Lol. he is an IT specialist, but he probably wouldn't even know how to use a cordless mouse if he did win one...

I bet the IT guy made a bigger deal of it than they should to cover their butt.

your exactly right. 90% of the teachers thought it was funny, but the It guy was furious (He actually threatened to hit me he was so angry).

[edited by: zootreeves at 2:32 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2005]

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