UPDATE: ISU’s spy software

Proving this software was a really bad idea, it was shut down because the parent company was got hacked. The hacker sent offensive emails to users, Illinois State University is mentioned in the story as using the software.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/online-proctor-service-proctortrack-disables-service-after-hack/?fbclid=IwAR2YgGX-lvEdkPSQe27J27J9xm85lI8AC5L0ncdABx-o5ASyj8G47-_a2dU

The Proctortrack website has no information, it does guarantee privacy and security however. Evidently that isn’t true:

https://www.proctortrack.com/privacy-and-security-pledge/

In-person exams are not dangerous. If instructors don’t want to see students I’m sure they can find someone willing to proctor for them. Does anyone at ISU ever look at the COVID recovery rate? Is ISU staff planning to hide in their basements forever? The source code for this software was released on line according to the first story. It won’t be easy to fix or make parents paying the tuition bills feel secure in allowing their children to put this invasive software on their devices.



By: Diane Benjamin

I filed a FOIA request with ISU for information based on this story: https://blnnews.com/2020/10/06/can-isu-get-worse-oh-yes-they-can/

Just to review, parents and students think this software is an invasion of privacy and a security risk: https://sites.google.com/view/isuproctortrack/home?fbclid=IwAR2_W4THwJ6QNNkDH8NFg8OrnPe93pUG0JTxx6qTAHv3kuhG9ANDZM8KSL8

So far I have not received any emails, they want my request narrowed. I did receive the cost by FOIA and off the record comments from several ISU employees that many professors do not plan to use Proctortrack.

So far ISU has paid $50,000 for this software. The contract is based on $5 per test with a maximum charge of $100,000 for 20,000 tests. Note the ISU Purchase Order in this document says $99,999. Does $100,000 trigger different scrutiny? The Purchase Order date is 8/24/2020

Below is where I am attempting to connect dots, yes I’m wandering on purpose:

The ISU Board of Directors held a meeting on September 12th. This is a link to the unapproved minutes: https://illinoisstate.edu/downloads/trustees/091220.pdf

Video of this meeting is also available here: https://illinoisstate.edu/trustees/meeting-materials/

The cost of the software isn’t only $100,000 however:

Add another $300,000, not including hardware costs

A parent I’ve been talking to told me it looks like ISU has no intention of teaching in person next semester since they bought this software. She is correct. The minutes are loaded with information like 90% of students are learning on-line. They claim complaints from parents have decreased. Most of the students live here because many paid for housing last year and have jobs here.

Excerpts:


See the bottom of page 40 and following. President Dietz brought Jay Groves back to monitor social media. No word on what he is costing. His job is correcting misinformation.


PDF page 36. Athletics Director Larry Lyons apologizes again for saying “All Redbird Lives Matter”.


The most disturbing comments (to me – decide for yourself) during the Board meeting are ones concerning the race of students and multiculturalism. At ISU there is no American culture. We used to know getting a good education and working hard leads to success. Get married before having kids, staying married produces the best results for the kids and overall financial success and security. Race is immaterial or there would be NO successful minorities anywhere in the country. American values aren’t mentioned, of course people can’t be judged on the content of their character.

ISU promotes ethnic cultures. Larry Lyons learned it’s really easy to offend people who have their own culture with no published regulations other than to vilify anyone who mistakenly violates the unwritten rules. Lyons doesn’t mention retirement at this meeting.


Since ISU will not be meeting in person it does means one thing:

Masks don’t work

If they did ISU would be teaching in person.

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3 thoughts on “UPDATE: ISU’s spy software

  1. So this system looks like an electronic version of the control they have on students when they are physically on campus.

    George Orwell would be aghast at this electronic student tracker/shock collar.

    I bet these folks would love to just plug into every students brain so they could program them more efficiently?

    If they were smart (and they are not) they would get the students back as soon as possible. Do they not understand that the longer they have the students in remote learning, the sooner the students will demand lower tuition and fees from them or choose another cheaper online school or do the sensible thing and forget about a college degree all together?
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    Liked by 1 person

  2. This just REEKS of misuse of power!! HOW can the students even learn OUT of the classroom, when they don’t even do that well IN the darn place. THis is just a “grab and go” part on the state, higher education and the system itself, to just CRANK out these poor souls. This is BEYOND covid, this is basically taking advantage of the young and just ” saying HERE ya go!”…

    Liked by 1 person

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