[iDC] Computrace query

Tom Novelli tnovelli at gmail.com
Sun May 23 17:00:29 UTC 2010

That's creepy.  If I were you I'd buy my own laptop and refuse to use
any computer provided by the IT department.  (Besides, I'm a
programmer who uses Linux, which I doubt Computrace would support
anyhow.)  People ought to stand up to this crap.  I've worked for
plenty of employers that trusted workers with laptops, vehicles, etc.
This is crazy.

Tom Novelli

On Sun, May 23, 2010 at 2:30 AM, Jonathan Beller <jbeller at pratt.edu> wrote:
> Dear IDCers, a moment of your expertise if you have the time (I beg you to
> forgive the ignorance which the question below betrays):
> At long last (6 years) my institution has agreed to buy me a new computer.
> Long story short I asked to bypass our IT department and receive the unit
> directly, but Pratt requires the installation of Computrace, and will not
> turn the computer over to me without it. My preliminary investigation of
> this program by the aptly named company, Absolute Software, shows it to be
> spyware capable of grabbing real time screen shots from my computer,
> monitoring key strokes, and remotely deleting the hard drive. Supposedly
> these features are activated only in the event of the computers theft, but I
> do not take much comfort from such assurances. First is this assessment of
> Computrace's capacities correct and second, does it not seem that
> acquiescing to the installation of such programs institutes an unprecedented
> level of surveillance over our intellectual and sensual
> exploration as well as our very creativity. We know that in principle our
> every screen-view and inscription is retrievable by those who have immense
> power over us. If this understanding is correct, how can we tolerate that
> our liberal arts institutions allow a window open to the possibility of human freedom be closed not only for us but
> --should this situation become the standard -- perhaps for all time?
> Your thoughts will
> be greatly appreciated and also used to develop an arsenal to change
> our institutional policy should that prove to be the proper route.
> With thanks,
> Jon Beller
> Jonathan Beller
> Professor
> Humanities and Media Studies
> and Critical and Visual Studies
> Pratt Institute
> jbeller at pratt.edu
> 718-636-3573 fax
> _______________________________________________
> iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity
> (distributedcreativity.org)
> iDC at mailman.thing.net
> https://mailman.thing.net/mailman/listinfo/idc
> List Archive:
> http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/
> iDC Photo Stream:
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/idcnetwork/
> RSS feed:
> http://rss.gmane.org/gmane.culture.media.idc
> iDC Chat on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2457237647
> Share relevant URLs on Del.icio.us by adding the tag iDCref

More information about the iDC mailing list