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Proctorio sued for using DMCA to take down a student’s critical tweets

A university student is indicting exam proctoring software make Proctorio to” quash a campaign of persecution” against reviewers of the company, including an accusation that the company ill-use copyright laws to remove his tweets that were critical of the software.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the lawsuit this week on behalf of Miami University student Erik Johnson, who also does insurance investigate on the side, alleged Proctorio of having” exploited the DMCA to undercut Johnson’s commentary .”

Twitter secreted three of Johnson’s tweets after Proctorio filed a copyright takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, alleging that three of Johnson’s tweets flouted the company’s copyright.

Schools and universities is progressively leaned on proctoring application during the course of its pandemic to invigilate student exams, albeit virtually. Students must install the school’s selection of proctoring software to grant access to the student’s microphone and webcam to spot potential cheating. But students of colouring have deplored that the application fails to recognize nonwhite faces and that the software also requires high-speed internet access, which countless low-income mansions don’t have. If a student miscarries these checks, the student can end up miscarrying the exam.

Despite this, Vice reported last month that some students are easily cheating on exams that are monitored by Proctorio. Several academies have restricted or discontinued expending Proctorio and other proctoring application, quoting privacy concerns.

Proctorio’s checking software is a Chrome extension, which unlike most desktop software can be easily downloaded and the source code examined for glitches and blunders. Johnson examined the code and tweeted what “hes found” — including under what circumstances a student’s measure would be terminated if the application identified signals of potential cheating, and how the software monitors for questionable nose gestures and abnormal mouse clicking.

Johnson’s tweets also contained links to snippets of the Chrome extension’s source code on Pastebin.

Proctorio use DMCA to take down a student’s critical tweets

Proctorio claimed at the time, via its crisis communications house Edelman, that Johnson infringed the company’s rights” by copying and announcing extracts from Proctorio’s software code on his Twitter account .” But Twitter reinstated Johnson’s tweets after concluding Proctorio’s takedown notice “incomplete.”

” Software business don’t get to abuse copyright law to undercut their commentators ,” said Cara Gagliano, a staff attorney at the EFF.” Using sections[ of] system to explain your research or help critical treatise is no different from quoting a diary in a book review .”

The complaint argues that Proctorio’s” pattern of baseless DMCA notices” had a chilling effect on Johnson’s protection research work, amid fears that” reporting on his findings will elicit more harassment .”

” Copyright holders should be held liable when they falsely accuse their reviewers of copyright infringement, specially when the goal is plainly to coerce and undercut them ,” said Gagliano.” We’re asking the court for a declaratory judging that there is no infringement to prevent further law threats and takedown aims against Johnson for using code excerpts and screenshots to support his comments .”

The EFF alleges that this is part of a wider pattern that Proctorio uses to respond to criticism. Last time Olsen affixed a student’s private schmooze logs on Reddit without their dispensation. Olsen later position his Twitter account to private following the incident. Proctorio is also suing Ian Linkletter, a teach engineering expert at the University of British Columbia, after affixing tweets critical of the company’s proctoring software.

The lawsuit is filed in Arizona, where Proctorio is headquartered. Proctorio CEO Mike Olson did not respond to a request for comment.

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Senator:’ More opennes is needed’ by quiz proctoring tech firms

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