Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

ASCC report reveals ‘unethical spying of students, restriction and censorship’

Sophia Castillo
Amy Parker, the Director of Equity and Diversity for ASCC, points out the different categories that are monitored from the College’s website on Jan. 23.

The Director of Equity and Diversity for ASCC, Amy Parker, released her report that claims the college is monitoring data from the WiFi and that her due process rights were ignored throughout her investigation.

Parker did a first reading of the 60-page document on Jan. 23 at 2 p.m., the first student government meeting of the spring semester.

Throughout the document, the two main people accused in the report were Vice President (VP) of Business Services Felipe Lopez and Director of Information Technology Patrick O’Donnell.

The document claims that VP Lopez and Director O’Donnell violated the California Public Records Act and that the IT Department is monitoring information from the college’s public WiFi.

Parker made clear that the monitoring can only happen when on the college’s WiFi and when the student is on campus.

“Once you’re no longer connected with the Cerritos College WiFi network, then they are no longer tracking your information,” she said, “Once you’re off-campus, you don’t have anything to worry about.”

Parker reveals that the library’s reference and instruction coordinator gave her screenshots of “categories of websites that were either allowed fully, monitored/logged or blocked” on Dec. 5.

She explained what the word ‘monitor’ meant in the Dec. 5 screenshots, “It means that there’s an individual entry they can search through saying ‘this person visited this category of site on this day.’”

Some of the monitored categories include personal topics like global religion, abortion and “health and wellness.”

Lopez gave examples of blocked categories that include “Extremist Groups, Gambling, Pornography and Malicious websites.”

The banned categories named by Lopez match the screenshots Parker provided in her report.

However, according to Lopez, “Cerritos contracts a third-party security vendor that monitors all of the logs of our systems for security purposes.”

Lopez said that they don’t look at what students access; Parker argues that even if that’s the case, it’s still a huge issue.

“The fact that Cerritos has the information at all is a problem, and if the vendor is actually looking, that introduces even more problems,” Parker said, “that is extremely concerning.”

“When you log into the Cerritos network, you have to log in with either your name/email address or your student ID,” she said, “because of that, they know exactly who you are and they know it is you in particular.”

Parker also revealed that she submitted three Public Records requests, sending them to Lopez and O’Donnell, but those requests were declined due to a “security risk.”

“A list of the blocked domains or even categories of domains, poses no threat to the college,” Parker said.

Lopez said that users can report websites that are blocked for review and actively block the majority of websites that are requested that should not be blocked.

Talon Marks reached out to O’Donnell and he did not comment but asked us to contact Lopez.

Parker’s hope is that there’s more transparency and she says she wants some of these harmful policies to stop.

“I recommend that we strive for a greater culture of openness and transparency at Cerritos College,” she said.

For the full story and for Parker’s perspective, check out her 60-page document.

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About the Contributors
Samuel Chacko
Samuel Chacko, Editor in Chief
Samuel Chacko is the Editor-in-Chief for Talon marks covering sports, politics, news and opinion. Sam enjoys playing video games, watching sports and music. Samuel is hoping to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in 2023 and work for a prestigious Journalism outlet one day. Contact [email protected] to meet with him and for news tips.
Sophia Castillo
Sophia Castillo, Opinion Editor
Sophia Castillo is the Opinion editor for Talon Marks. Sophia also enjoys thrifting and attending concerts. She hopes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in the fall and hopes to work for Vogue Magazine.
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  • A

    Amy ParkerMar 22, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    Alejandro – I can’t reply to your comment for some reason, but, if you want to attend ASCC meetings, go to the Student Activities webpage and find the Zoom link for each meeting or come in person. We’re in the east-side library telecommunications room for Senate, and Auto Partners for Cabinet and Court. Senate meets Wednesday 2PM, Cabinet Monday 2PM, Court Tuesday 11AM. The Board of Trustees also meets every other week Wednesday 6PM-7PM (typically). Individual committees have their own meeting times.

    • A

      Amy ParkerMar 27, 2023 at 9:04 pm

      Correction on BOT: 7PM, except for special meetings which *may* be 6PM.

    • L

      LizaJun 27, 2023 at 1:25 pm

      Hello Amy,
      Thank you for your advocacy. I personally think you’re doing an outstanding job. I am a current student a Cerritos College. I’ve been trying to get in touch with you, But have been unable to locate an email address for you. Is there an office I can go through to get a hold of you directly? Thank you in advance.

  • M

    M.MJan 30, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    This entire article is BS and a waste of peoples time. Parker needs to learn how to “act” like an adult if your going to be attending community College. Cyber security goes over this person’s head. Security checks should not be up to random peoples discretion. Let the professionals do there job!

    • A

      Amy ParkerFeb 3, 2023 at 7:36 am

      Hi MM! While I understand your concerns, there’s many direct college policy and state law violations going on here – and recognizing that is fairly clear. I did lead this investigation, but I checked over everything I reported with multiple people, including those much more knowledgeable than me. I’ve also been in this industry for several years.

      Further, attacking my age is a low blow. And it also doesn’t make sense – is not standing up against illegal and unethical policies and behaviors the most “adult” response here?

      • A

        AlejandroMar 9, 2023 at 1:46 am

        Amy, doing the right thing isn’t at the times the most popular thing. It is apparent you trully care to educate fellow Students and your efforts are greatly revered. I’m sure there are others/Students and or Faculty, afraid to assert their rights that thank you secretly for this. It is apparent that there are unethical practices behind the scenes, within the Institutions Administrative practices. Any disbeliever, I invite you to listen to Board Of Trustees “Public commentaries” or google Professors’ opinions of how the Executives handled their requests for cost of living increases. Then those persons can comment with inteligent data.
        Those that challenge this students? or others, somehow affected by this communication/transparency?
        food for thought?

        • A

          Amy ParkerMar 13, 2023 at 11:57 am

          Hello Alejandro! Thank you so much. I’ve spoken to a lot of faculty who’ve all felt like students are finally starting to say what they can’t – finally criticize those they’re barred from. I can’t name any names, but I’ve heard a lot of complaints about other facets of the administration that are just truly awful – and faculty generally can’t do anything about it, because their jobs are on the line. My hope is that, as a student body, we start saying the things that normally go unsaid – reveal that which normally goes unseen – because that’s the only way we’re going to bring change at Cerritos. If it wasn’t for Rosenblatt leaking me the December 5 document, for instance, this whole investigation would never have happened – because IT, Business Services, and the college’s legal department have been suppressing legally obtainable public records ad infinitum. I never would’ve been able to see this without someone else revealing it exists and providing it to me – because that’s the kind of lack of transparency and lack of ability to speak up that occurs at Cerritos.

          • A

            AlejandroMar 14, 2023 at 1:03 pm

            Hi Amy!
            It is important for Students to know how to attend Student Government meetings, to be instrumental/participatory in their Academic experience/Success. This is not easily found on the College Website. How do we Students, access/attend said meetings?
            Thank you!

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ASCC report reveals ‘unethical spying of students, restriction and censorship’