By Associated Press Writer
updated 2/19/2010 4:44:32 PM ET 2010-02-19T21:44:32

A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case says the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into a Pennsylvania school district accused of activating webcams inside students' homes without their knowledge.

The official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, says the FBI will explore whether Lower Merion School District officials broke any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws.

Lower Merion officials say they remotely activated webcams 42 times to find missing student laptops in the past 14 months, but never did so to spy on students, as a recent lawsuit claims.

The Montgomery County district attorney also is gathering information to determine whether to open an investigation.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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