Dear Temasek Polytechnic(@temasekpoly) please do not force your students to use a VPN software that invades their privacy.
This petition made change with 1,096 supporters!
25/10/2014: Direct Internet access to the e-learning site has been restored!
21/10/2014: Temasek Polytechnic has begun restoring direct internet access to the e-learning portal (See update 21/10/2014 #1).
The software must be installed on the student's personal computer in order to access learning materials. No details about the software is made clear to the students.
The VPN software tunnels all internet traffic through the school network no matter if the student is accessing the school's resource or other non-school related traffic.
It is worth to mentioning that the VPN traffic is tied to the individual student's account and all traffic going through the VPN could be recorded and tracked by the polytechnic including the student’s personal information, financial information, personal social media accounts, and any data that is transmitted through the system.
While the polytechnic has already been implemented in the past; it is done to non-essential school services like the virtual desktop as it would be only used by students to access software that they may not have on their computers. Students whom do not wish to use the virtual desktop would not be required to use the VPN.
The e-learning portal is an essential part of the student’s learning process as course documentation, assignments, and submission of assignments all use the same platform. Basically, a student could not access any of their learning materials without the VPN software. (Update 21/10/2014 #2: The VPN software is available on Andriod and iOS however it still tunnles all traffic through the school servers.)
By forcing the students to use a VPN, the polytechnic is setting the students back by restricting the access to learning materials to only specific machines. Students once was able to easily reference a lecture through their mobile phone for a quick revision must now use their computer and login to the VPN before being able to access the lecture. This is a great step back for the polytechnic
This is a clear invasion of the student's privacy and while it is clear that the polytechnic’s intension was to have a more secure system in place, it does so at the cost of the student's privacy.
There are so many ways to secure the portal and forcing students to use a VPN that may invade their privacy is not the best solution.
Students of Teamsek Polytechnic, please let the school know that the VPN not only is an invasion of our privacy, it completely disable access for those who do not have a compatible computer or mobile phone.
The rest of the public, please also let Teamsek Polytechnic know that an educational institute should not restrict their student from learning materials, and potentially invading their privacy by tunnelling all their traffic through the school network even outside school compounds.
Please respect your student’s privacy.
The e-learning system was accessible without a VPN before 13th October.
More information about the VPN and its use can be found here: http://lms.tp.edu.sg/VPN-Notebook.pdf
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