Last semester, the Texas A&M student body found out that their very own university has been trying to crack down on cheaters and ne’er-do-wells by surveilling them through laptop webcams. After learning about the university hacking into their computers and spying on them, many students have been fighting back to help protect their privacy.
With little money and a whole lot of creativity, college students have been using new state-of-the-art technology to block A&M’s signal to their webcams. There are rebels in every class and study area because of how popular this new tactic has become. Sticky notes, the unsung heroes of the movement towards internet security, have been spotted on almost every laptop on campus, belonging to those with the courage to stand up against “The Man.”
“I think that this is the best way to keep our private life private,” said Rebecca Flemington, a junior business major. “I mean, nobody wants to be looked at when they are studying in the library or taking notes in class. My face is personal, and I don’t want anyone to see it.” There has been a lot of outrage about security in the past several months, and Flemington claims that if everyone were to put a sticky note over their computer cameras, then nobody would be able to spy on average, rule following students.
Despite its simplicity, millions of dollars and countless hours of surveillance research are rendered useless by sticky notes. “There is nothing we can do about it; the university can no longer spy on students if they have sticky notes over their webcams.” said Michael Rogers, director of the Texas A&M Honor Council. “We catch so many cheaters and liars by spying on these kids, but now we have to send actual agents to sit in on lectures to do surveillance.”
Most students are concerned with people looking at their faces 24/7, and sticky notes seem to do the trick. The movement was avalanched into effect by local whistleblower Eddie Winters, who was also concerned with the university looking at his face without his permission. Winters used to work for the Honor Council and when he found out about A&M spying on students, he blew the lid off of the project and defected to Baylor.
The main problem students have with the university spying on them is that they do not believe A&M has been taking proper security measures to protect their technology. “I know that sooner or later they will have a breach, and every pervert on campus will be able to hack my computer and see my face through my own camera,” claims Flemington. When asked why she doesn’t have sticky notes on her iPhone’s front and rear facing camera, Flemington ignored the question while putting a Snapchat video on her story.