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Twitter removed a student’s tweets critical of exam monitoring tool due to DMCA notice; EFF claims it is textbook example of fair use

Twitter removed a student’s tweets critical of exam monitoring tool due to DMCA notice; EFF claims it is textbook example of fair use

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  1. I have to use this for my classes at my school. I was caught “trying to hack into the system“ when I attempted to turn off chrome permissions for the extension after the test was over. Needless to say my account is suspended and I have to go through a loophole to take the test. In addition, the software stores every face scan you’ve ever done on its database. The software pulls up old photos of my face from past exams from past courses when it can’t match it. Funny thing is I intentionally move my eyes around and talking during the entire test so I get flagged and the instructor has to review through it?


    weird thing is only our school uses this junk which we are a small, commuter school and some of my friends who go to top 20 schools and larger state schools have no proctoring for any of their classes. Dumb as hell I must say considering it is much easier to bypass these systems if you are fairly tech savvy

  2. These proctor software are dehumanizing. No eating or drinking, no moving your eye, no speaking in your own room. Not to mention you are giving foreign actors near total control of your computer.

    If my University starts to go this route I will immediately do everything I can to drag their name through the mud.

  3. I’m glad I did not buy movie or TV shows for at least 6 years since MPAA started DCMA. I stopped subbed to any streaming service since 2017. My family saved over $2,000 – 5,000 a year for not purchase movies in almost lifetime. Technically, I’m boycotting MPAA for that many reasons but also I did lost interest to watch entrainment shows anymore.

  4. This is why:

    1. I only take college exams with IRL proctoring

    2. And if I have to use proctoring software like HonorLock, I load it on a clean PC (my Chromebook), do the test as they please, and immediately uninstall that shit and reset the computer. Everything’s cloud-based so I won’t lose data.

  5. Not surprising since their fine with a list being created for “night if knives 2.0” by the modern brown shirts

  6. Reading through the article, Proctorios basis for complaint literally appears to be, “we don’t like what you wrote about our practises”.

  7. Here are my two cents on the topic:

    I have just started my physics degree and had to undergo a similar proctoring test to be eligible for the University I’m visiting now. The proctoring tool had pretty much the same functions and requirements.

    As per my usual luck, I’ve lost the connection during the test and was freaking out a bit. I had the ability to chat with the agent which told me I can just go on and that it’s alright. Later in the test I was whispering or rather mumbling the questions while reading since I find it easier to understand what I’m reading that way. The agent noticed it and asked me to stop reading it out aloud, which I of course complied by.

    Long story short, while it has invaded my privacy I was just using it during the test. They saw what one room of my apartment looks like, so what? I didn’t feel bothered more by this than if I would sit in class room with the teacher looking around if anyone cheats.

    I think proctoring is not perfect but fine for the function it serves for. It does what it should do and yes, if you are a student of course you’ll be watched while taking a test. Nothing new here.

    That being said, I think it’s a really poor reaction on the proctoring firms part in this article. While I can’t agree with the student writing these tweets, he has every right to write them. What he did fell under fair use and filing a takedown notice is just a really poor decision on their part. Not only did it weaken their reputation but also put proctoring in general up for debate.

    You can look at this positively or negatively but honestly I would much rather have them see me in my home writing my exams rather than sit in a class room with 80 other students, still being watched but also getting distracted by someone coughing or asking a question, not to mention having it much more comfortable on my own chair, at my own desk.

    You can agree or disagree with me on this one but I think while we have serious privacy issues going on, this ain’t it. We don’t need to rebel against everything, just the things that make sense to rebel against.

  8. “eye-tracking software”

    “..students had complained that the proctoring software they had to use could not recognize darker skin tones…”

    “Falling foul of any of these checks, whether known to the student or otherwise, could result in failing the test altogether.”

    So a black man with nystagmus, aka dancing eyes, taking a neurology exam will always get flagged as cheating. Systemically sardonic.

  9. Oh Boy that is not going to help their marketing. Hopefully this Streisands

  10. Had to use a similar software during nursing school called examsoft. I hated that shit, it fucked up my whole computer and made me lose literally everything at the time because it completely kicks you out of your computer during tests, but then is too shitty of a program to properly unlock it.

  11. Lol my instructor last term made us (CS students) use Proctorio. The number of proccesses this web browser plug-in uses caused my laptop to heat up and was distracting while taking a timed test. Laptop fans were maxed. I cussed the whole time too saying how shitty this software was haha Screw Proctorio.

  12. This is the same company that protects Trump’s tweets from destruction. It’s time to stop pretending there’s any standard behind the decisions of corporations except what’s going to make them the most money.

  13. There needs to be a penalty for wrongful claims as well as perhaps some kind of nominal fee.

  14. > When reached by phone, Olsen claimed that Miami University had accepted the company’s terms and conditions on behalf of Johnson, and that Johnson allegedly violated those terms when he tweeted about the code.

    The DMCA is not for enforcing your EULA!

    Don’t get me wrong: the DMCA is bullshit. But this guy’s bullshit is *too bullshit even for the DMCA*.

    A DMCA takedown notice requires the sender to state that they have a good-faith belief that their copyright has been violated. That is the *only* available justification for a DMCA takedown. If they want to try to enforce a contract that restricts the user more than actual copyright law can, they can bloody well do it in a civil action.

    (By the way, the relevant part of the Ts&Cs seems to be a clause that, ludicrously, prohibits the user from attempting to “perceive the source code”. Of a frickin’ JavaScript application.)

  15. If I ever had to do this I would demand to be sent a Chromebook and a prepaid return label to send it back. No way I, or you, or anyone else should be letting that shit fly on your regular hardware.

  16. <<< educational institutions >>> being bad while preaching about being good… That sounds familiar…

  17. Proctorio? Isn’t that the one with the douchebag CEO who posted a students support chat transcript publicly to reddit without permission?

  18. Isn’t how this software is working the same way izzard got in trouble for their game warden that scanned people computers

  19. ” Olsen is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year he drew ire after posting private support chat logs from a student, which [he later deleted](https://www.reddit.com/r/Professors/comments/hhletz/proctorio_ceo_mike_olsen_under_fire_for_releasing/) and set his Twitter account to private following the incident.”

    Time for every school to dump Olsen and his software. Student governments need to take action if the schools do not see this as a wake-up call.

  20. The best way to handle this bullshit is to install Gentoo or some shit and say “the software does not support my computer and I can’t afford one that it does support” then go borrow a machine from the university for only test taking. Doesn’t matter if they can spy on the university’s data.

    Every single university has a place or department or office dedicated to ensuring “fair and equal access to technology” or something similar. You may have to look for it, but I guarantee you it’s there. Mine has a pretty open policy of “if you need it, we’ll get it” with just about anything within reason. DSLR cameras, high end calculators, a damn eGPU setup, whatever.

  21. Wow, I didn’t even know such bullshit invasibe proctoring software existed, can hardly believe someone in a trustworthy institution would want to push this piece of garbage on their students, much less make them pay for it themselves to have their privacy violated, discriminated against for not being able to afford a webcam or good internet, or not having a space to live alone in a noiseless area.

    This also seems extremely cumbersome. Even if you do have that space you’d have to clear the whole damn room of anything else and uninstall software you may be using (I found it blocks harmless software I use myself on that list, like android camera apps or virtual audio mixers… even VLC is block, ffs) and repeat that every time you need to take an exam. All that to still be defeated by the dumbest cheating tactics like shoving wireless earbuds into your earholes with the materials as looped audio, that they obviously can’t do shit about.

    This is like software DRM in games, even if it’s ultimately worthless at stoping what it claims to prevent it’s still marketed as a failproof solution to predate on insecure idiots (in this case the school administration)

  22. **Update:** Hours after publication, Johnson [tweeted](https://twitter.com/ejohnson99/status/1324542661991239681) that Twitter had released his tweets after it found Proctorio’s takedown notice to be “incomplete.” You can read his fully [restored tweet thread here](https://twitter.com/ejohnson99/status/1303121786637373443).

  23. This seems so insane to me how a company can have software like this. Huge privacy invasion for a damn test. If a school is using this type of software, are they making students aware during registration because i would not go to a school that uses this type of software.

  24. Thank you for posting this. I’m still unclear as how this was ever considered a DCMA thing by anyone. Proctorio’s CEO should be fined a couple billion usd for choosing to abuse the system.

    This does lead me to a question though. The plagiarism detector softwares, is that fair use or do they need permission for each document they scan (including the potential plagiarizer’s)?