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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords 275

Posted by timothy
from the password-so-strong-you-yourself-don't-know-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "House Republicans today defeated an amendment introduced yesterday that would have banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. While the practice isn't widespread, it has caused a big brouhaha after reports surfaced that some organizations were requiring workers to hand over Facebook passwords as a condition of keeping their current job or getting hired for a new one."
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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:26AM (#39508377)

    When is the last time Congress passed *any* law that benefited consumers at the expense of corporations? If a near national economic collapse can't even get Congress to reinstate Glass–Steagall [wikipedia.org], you think ANYTHING is going to get through without the coporatocracy's seal of approval?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:38AM (#39508513) Journal
      It's all very simple, really.

      'Consumers' is just a code-word used by deep cover leftists to disguise the fact that they are really talking about "the masses", just like commies. Thus, the only way to Preserve Freedom is to avoid aiding these so-called 'consumers' in any way. Since, by definition, it's only oppression when the state does it, any bad things that should happen to happen to them during interactions with corporations are 100% non-oppressive.
    • by meburke (736645) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:47AM (#39508621)

      You are jumping to conclusions: It is not the corporatocracy, nor is it a conspiracy. It is just dickering over the reins of power.

      I, for one, am tired of the huge number of bills passed by our lawmakers. Many journalists this week commented on the number of laws passed each year, and most of them agree that we don't even know what they are, so we can't always be sure we are in compliance. In trying to pass comprehensive bills, our lawmakers are trying to "program" human behavior and they use lousy tools. (Imagine trying to write a program to make everyone and everything do exactly what you want done. Now imagine trying to write it in a language that only describes what is NOT allowed.)

      I imagine a day will come when laws are written in explicit classes as objects with explicitly testable functions. (Right...not in My lifetime..)

      • Agreed, this law was not needed. FB accounts are already protected by employment law.

        1) Give it to them
        2) let them see your post about how Jesus is great
        3) file suit
        3.5) witness HR drones getting fired
        4) profit

        • by Thuktun (221615)

          I'd prefer to see this plan executed successfully before trying it myself, thanks.

          • by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:52AM (#39510757)

            I'd prefer to see this plan executed successfully before trying it myself, thanks.

            Why?
            Just take a day off of your current job to do a circuit of interviews at random places.
            Then sue the ones that took the bait.

            You're not jeopardizing your employment by doing that. And hell, you may actually be offered a job better than your current one.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:53AM (#39509681)

        My "if I could change the world" fix is this:

        1) Create standard formatting rules for a bill. X page size, maximum X words per page, etc. (To prevent any of that squeezing of the margins etc.)

        2) For every X measurement (say every page) a bill is long, that is one day that it cannot be voted on. So a 3 page bill cannot be voted on until 3 days later.

        3) Only one bill can be in the queue at a time for each house.

        4) On the leadup to a bill being put in the queue for debate, it can (as usual) be amended, changed, debated, etc. Once that bill is "locked in" and put up for vote, it sits around and cannot be change. A bill being entered into the queue has to be voted on, so it prevents politicians from creating a thousand page bill or something to abuse their power.

        5) Failure of a bill to pass will render any and all provisions in it unable to be placed in a subsequent bill for a period of at least one year.

        My system would generally encourage people to think about bills and make them as concise as possible. It'd rein in a lot of corruption, too. Add in some potential for citizen commentary during that period and you've got a real winner.

        Sad that it doesn't look terribly likely to happen. Maybe I'll get lucky and a Slashdotter will get in Congress or the House.

        Oh, and if you can find any flaws with my little plan, please share 'em. I enjoy thinking things through.

        • The problem with (5), is that it would be easy for a party to prevent the other from getting anything they want by creating bills that they want to fail with a giant laundry list of everything the opposition wants, vote it down, and prevent the opposition from getting anything for a year.
        • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:34PM (#39512433)
          The real seats of power in Congress are the Committe Chairmanships, currently assigned by the party leadership in majority, usually by seniority. Wanna shake up the system? Random drawings for Committee leadership seats at the beginning of every new Congress and after every major break. I'd go one more and have the drawings done from all Congresspersons, not segregated by party, as the worst thing that happened in US politics was the ossification of just two parties that are now quasi-branches of FedGov. Of course, the only way this would happen would be after the revolution when all the current porkbarrelers are, uh 'brusquely excused' from power.
    • by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:59AM (#39508773)

      consumers

      It's a labor issue, not a consumer issue.

    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      I'm not sure this law is necessary. Isn't that practice unconstitutional?
    • by poity (465672) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:17AM (#39508965)

      After reading the article, you can tell submitter left off a significant portion of the context in the summary. Even in the Republican's statement of opposition to the amendment, it's clear that they don't want employers access to employee passwords. It's probably useful to also look up the bill that the amendment tries to fix. H.R. 3309 is a bill that outlines new procedure for the FCC in its rule making process. It mostly has to do with transparency, 30-day public overview of new regulations, etc. You can read it here http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3309/text [govtrack.us]

      So in a bill that is altogether unrelated to pro-privacy legislation, some rep proposes a highly specific instance where the FCC would be immune to the outlined procedure. It's kind of like adding an amendment to a general police powers bill that suspends proper procedure in a highly specific instance like when they catch a carjacker. Sure that sounds good to people who have suffered from car jacking or are afraid of what carjackers can do, but does it make sense to be in this bill or would it be better in a separate bill? I understand the sense of urgency that people feel, and I'd probably agree with those who want some federal rules on what employers can demand of their workers. However, it's also not unreasonable when you read the amendment to think that it doesn't really belong in this particular bill.

      The more I think about the context, the more it looks like a way for a rep on one side to embarrass the other side without trying to do anything significant. You can probably put this in the same category as "think of the children" amendments that come from the Republican side meant to embarrass their opposition politically in the realm of public opinion. Only this time it comes from the Democrat side. What saddens me is that since the summary puts Republicans in a bad light, we at /. are more willing to take the summary at face value, and don't get as many nitpickers willing to pore through the context to find the bullshit.

      • Yeah, because heroic Republicans never attach unrelated crap amendments to a bill and then attack Democrats for voting against it.

    • When is the last time Congress passed *any* law that benefited consumers at the expense of corporations?

      Maybe not the most last, but recent examples include:

      Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010)
      Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010)
      HITECH Act (part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) (2009)

    • It's a good thing that the House killed this bill.

      If a potential employer asks to see your Facebook page then you'll have a pretty good idea of their other official (and unofficial) policies. I'd like to have as much insight as possible into the employers intrusive tendencies during the interview process than after I've been hired.

      Think of it as a litmus test.

  • From the text. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BStroms (1875462) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:32AM (#39508457)

    Oregon Republican Representative Greg Walden responded to Perlmutter during the floor debate by saying:

    I think it’s awful that employers think they can demand our passwords and can go snooping around. There is no disagreement with that. Here is the flaw: Your amendment doesn’t protect them. It doesn’t do that. Actually, what this amendment does is say that all of the reforms that we are trying to put in place at the Federal Communications Commission, in order to have them have an open and transparent process where they are required to publish their rules in advance so that you can see what they’re proposing, would basically be shoved aside. They could do whatever they wanted on privacy if they wanted to, and you wouldn’t know it until they published their text afterward. There is no protection here.

    I'm not so naive as to take his reasoning at face value, but neither am I so cynical as to assume it's a lie outright. The one thing the text does show me is that I don't know enough about how things currently stand or how the amendment is worded to make an informed decision on whether I would have supported it or not.

    • Re:From the text. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:38AM (#39508511)
      From earlier in the text:

      SEC. 5. PROTECTING THE PASSWORDS OF ONLINE USERS. Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to limit or restrict the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a rule or to amend an existing rule to protect online privacy, including requirements in such rule that prohibit licensees or regulated entities from mandating that job applicants or employees disclose confidential passwords to social networking web sites.

      I'm not even sure if Walden read the amendment, because I can not in any way see how he derived his criticisms from this text. On a personal note, this is sad. I'm starting to think that Republicans are actively trying to drive us moderate Republicans away. I know at this point in the election process they play to the far right, and they won't really care about the middle until the general election, but they need to realize that if they keep going like they are, pretty soon there won't be any of us left to listen. We'll have already left.

      • by fizzer06 (1500649)
        From TFA: "Republicans are not convinced the amendment is necessary, but did say they would be open to addressing the issue in separate legislation."
        • by Nidi62 (1525137)
          The only problem with that is that too often in politics that means "We don't like this, but we don't want people to see us voting against it. But we will if we have to, and you know it won't pass, so don't even bring it back up". They are hoping it'll blow over and be forgotten, as it probably will with the public, just not in here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Spad (470073)

        At this point, American politics has become so partisan and so self-destructive with your elected officials taking more and more extreme positions on endlessly unimportant issues that I'm amazed any of you are willing to support the Republicans or Democrats.

      • Re:From the text. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:50AM (#39508661)

        I'm starting to think that Republicans are actively trying to drive us moderate Republicans away.

        Wow, you're just now catching on to that? They've been doing that since the 80's. The reasoning behind it is to increase party discipline and put the Dems on the defensive by playing a strong offense. I would say that's crazy, but I have to give it to them, the strategy has worked VERY well. By tightening up the party and eliminating moderate voices, the Republican party has become VERY disciplined--to the point when they can control Congress even when they're in the minority. Compare that to the Democrats, who are so fractured and undisciplined that they can't pass a law even when they have a clear majority. What's more, by driving their party farther to the right (so much so that Reagan probably couldn't even run in the modern Republican Party), they have driven the Dems to the right too. The modern Democratic party is further right than the Nixon Administration at this point.

        Crazy a strategy as it looks on paper, you can't argue with success.

        • Thing is, the modern Republicans demand strict conformity to an arbitrary standard of political correctness. If you miss out in any dimension, you're a "Republican In Name Only" and they'd rather expel you from their gated paradise.

          It goes along with their moral relativism, where Romney's health care plan designed by the Heritage Foundation becomes "unconstitutional" when promoted nationally by Obama - not because it's morphed into something other than Heritage and Romney designed, but because it was passed

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I left years ago. The republican party now panders to social conservatives. If you're fiscal or believe in small government it's not for you.. In fact, there is no party that's good on fiscal or small government issues anymore. Libritarians try, but most of them have some crazy social agenda as well.

        Since everyone wants it to be about social issues, I vote that way now. That means unfortunately for democrats. i don't believe the government should tell people what to do with their bodies or in their bed

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Well, unfortunately for you (and the rest of us), the Democrats and Republicans both agree the government should tell you exactly what you can and cannot do with your own body.

        • Oh, what I love is the current trend. Getting called out on being "big government" while wanting a small government? Move the "big government" laws to the state level. See? State, not fed. It is small by definition?

        • by Nidi62 (1525137)

          I left years ago. The republican party now panders to social conservatives. If you're fiscal or believe in small government it's not for you.. In fact, there is no party that's good on fiscal or small government issues anymore. Libritarians try, but most of them have some crazy social agenda as well.

          This is what has been driving me crazy the most: the hypocracy of the Republican "leadership" (by this I mean more the most prominent Republicans). WHen we have things like healthcare or redistributive policies, they scream big government and socialism. But when it comes to things like abortion or gay marriage, they want to pass legislation affecting these issues. It was like when Bachmann said that legislation allowing abortions would be forcing some one else's beliefs on her. What I want to scream in

      • by residieu (577863)
        It sounds like the amendment simply clarifies that the FCC already has the authority to pass this regulation. I don't see where he gets his complaint about it preventing Congress from apply transparency rules, but it sounds like the amendment is unnecessary.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Guppy06 (410832)

        "Moderate Republicans?" Is that a Republican who thinks contraception is permissible by married women with the consent of their husband? Or one who would allow a Muslim to convert to Christianity rather than killing them outright? Heal gays rather than hang them? Use conventional munitions against Iran rather than nuking them outright?

        In the party that put forward Sarah Palin in 2008 and packed Congress with Tea Party freshmen in 2010, just what exactly makes one a "moderate?"

        • Those are mostly (if not completely) social issues. Some of us Republicans feel we should respect the rights of our fellow human beings, live and let live, while also feeling that Big Government is a bad idea and fiscal conservatism is good. Not everyone that identifies with either major political party is intently "Black or White" in their ideas; in fact, I'd say those who don't identify themselves as being in the "Grey" are the people you need to worry about on both sides.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Nidi62 (1525137)

          "Moderate Republicans?" Is that a Republican who thinks contraception is permissible by married women with the consent of their husband? Or one who would allow a Muslim to convert to Christianity rather than killing them outright? Heal gays rather than hang them? Use conventional munitions against Iran rather than nuking them outright?

          In the party that put forward Sarah Palin in 2008 and packed Congress with Tea Party freshmen in 2010, just what exactly makes one a "moderate?"

          I know you're trolling, but I'll feed you anyway. A moderate Republican is someone who doesn't think the government has a right to tell you who you can marry, or whether or not you can ahve an abortion. A moderate Republican is someone who is willing to pay taxes, but wants to keep most of their money that they earned without the governmetn telling us what to do with it (like forcing us to purchase health insurance). A moderate Republican is someone who doesn't go out looking to start wars, but is willin

        • This.

          Basically, saying one is a 'moderate Republican' is saying "I don't agree with much of what my party proposes, but I'm too much of a pussy to oppose them, and I'm too good to be a stinkin' liberal."

          The day I don't get a massive headache from modern politics is the day every religion-based candidate, and every politician that doesn't observe common sense and decency is 6 feet under. So basically, not in my lifetime.

      • I'm not even sure if Walden read the amendment, because I can not in any way see how he derived his criticisms from this text.

        I think it was the "Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to limit or restrict the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a rule or to amend an existing rule to protect online privacy" in a bill designed to limit the ability of the FCC to do things without advance publication of proposed rules....

        Face it, "limit or restrict" is w

      • I'm starting to think that Republicans are actively trying to drive us moderate Republicans away.

        I'm not trying to be snarky or sarcastic here, but you are only just now starting to think that? The nutty fringe of your party is taking over my friend. And unlike some liberals, people like you don't scare me. I can work with you. I can compromise to get things done with you. If you guys don't confront the nuts soon, we're all in trouble because either the nuts will take over everything in a Christian Taliban kind of way, or the Republican party with crash and burn. And honestly, I think we need you guys

  • Make the point moot. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:32AM (#39508461)
    Walk out of interviews where you're asked for these details, then post online so people in the sector know not to even apply there.

    Ironic "Boycott Facebook login details requests at interviews" Facebook group anyone? We made Rage Against the Machine Christmas No. 1... Surely we can apply this logic to something which actually matters.
    • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:41AM (#39508545)

      There are of course problems with this.

      Yes, I personally would tell an employer to go pound sand. I don't even have a facebook account, but the fact that they do that as part of their interview process would mean it's not a company I want anything to do with.

      I'm also in a position where I can probably find another job after leaving the interview. A lot of people arn't. Times are tough right now, and if it's a choice between losing the house or standing up for your ideals.. a lot of people are going to go for the former. Also worth noting that in a lot of companies, the HR department and the people you are actually working for are very different. The HR guy might be an ass, but the company itself might be great.

      Further to that, right now it is a rare practice. If it catches on it'll become hard to find a decent job without this kind of requirement and we won't get to be smug either.

      I definitely think the law needs to limit what employers can use on the net in the same way they limit things like race/sexuality questions.

      • by Anrego (830717) *

        * giving up a password to get the gig or losing your house and standing up for your ideals :(

      • Say "Facebook? What's that?"

      • by 0racle (667029)
        Because no one will, the problem will increase.

        This is not something that you can just rely on everyone else to do. Everyone has to stand up for their own privacy rights or they don't exist.
      • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:18AM (#39508969)
        The few times I have been asked, I let the interviewer know the laws they just violated. In Texas, it is a state jail crime. (I am sure in other states too, but I do not know all the laws.) The FaceBook TOS forbids sharing passwords, and using another password is "accessing a computer or system without the express permission of the owner" and put both the user and the employer in violation of the Texas hacking statute. Also, my FaceBook includes information that is protected under a few employment acts. It includes things like race, sexual preference, age, and religious affiliation. By asking, they are breaking employment law.

        The few times I have done this, the HR person has been genuinely surprised. In one case I was offered the job, but declined. That request (which came down from the top) was not the only short sighted thing they were doing, by far. Often, this question is a symptom of how the company is managed, and in that case it is good to know early.
      • by Tyr07 (2300912)

        By accessing my facebook account at work (which we can do, as there's legal repricussions if a manger or someone access FB and isn't terminated etc, since it's all logged) they may see what's in my facebook. Data is monitored and we are told from the start for our online activities that we cannot expect privacy if using the companies resources.

        They may or may not have looked. I don't care, nothing important on there anyway.

        However if they asked for my password to login and look, not that I have anything to

        • You have things to hide. You may think you don't and that's the problem.

          You don't determine what another person may care about. For all you know you could be the literal median Amerian, but it's the person snooping on you who decides if thatsl is a 'good or bad' thing.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:10AM (#39508885) Journal

      Are you a member of any protected class? Display that information prominently on your Facebook page. When you are asked for your account information, give it to them. When you don't get the job, sue them.

    • by The Moof (859402)
      I agree that nobody should give up their passwords, but walking out isn't the best course of action. Rather, refuse and give them a reason about why your refusal makes you a better candidate than everyone who willingly hands over password. Basically, use it as a springboard to demonstrate how your information security views and policies are better than Johnny and Suzy Looselips who they just interviewed.
  • Businesses just hate it when they can't use dirty pool against workers.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      I'd be curious if any big companies are doing this. This seems like the kind of thing a small shop would do. It seems legally dubious enough that big companies would fear lawsuits.

      • Big companies stopped fearing lawsuits years ago...
      • I'd be curious if any big companies are doing this. This seems like the kind of thing a small shop would do. It seems legally dubious enough that big companies would fear lawsuits.

        Well the Virginia State Police is not a company at all, but they are a pretty large employer. They don't ask you to turn over your passwords, but they do require you to log into your account so they can check out your postings [businessweek.com]. In fact, from what I have seen, it appears that most of the organizations doing this are government organizations like police departments [daytonsnewssource.com] and government agencies. [msn.com]

        So this whole thing is misguided, as they are targeting private companies for the restriction, when in fact all of the

  • Catch-22 (Score:4, Funny)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:34AM (#39508491) Homepage Journal
    OK, so Congress thinks it's perfectly OK for employers to demand access to employee social media accounts, right? Let's think about that for a second:

    Who is Congress' employer?


    Time to start flooding congresscritter inboxes with requests for their facebook passwords.
    • Re:Catch-22 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:40AM (#39508529)

      Who is Congress' employer?

      The campaign contributors, aka the same corporations that ask for passwords to your personal accounts.

      • Who is Congress' employer?

        The campaign contributors, aka the same corporations that ask for passwords to your personal accounts.

        Yep. Your employer is the one who pays you. The public is just the HR department.

    • The Corporations of course. So there's no catch-22 at all.

    • Re:Catch-22 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sique (173459) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:42AM (#39508555) Homepage

      Coercing credentials and accessing foreign computer systems with them is already illegal. So why forbidding it again?

      If your potential employer asks you for the password, tell him, that you would infringe on Facebook's Terms and Condition, and if he succeeds, he is infringing on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

      • speaking of TOS, that's your perfect excuse right there.

        tell your employer you never joined because the TOS is unacceptable to you.

        and it is! to all of us, here. its honestly not acceptable what they list in the TOS and it shows integrity that you understand this.

        there. say that and you have an 'honorable' way to say 'no, fuck off, you asshole company!'

      • If your potential employer asks you for the password, tell him, that you would infringe on Facebook's Terms and Condition, and if he succeeds, he is infringing on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

        Suggestion retracted; I like your way of looking at it better.

      • He and you both. Not only is he attempting to commit an illegal act, he is asking you to do so as well. I have brought this up a few times, and in one case I was later offered the job.
    • by ZaMoose (24734)

      Did you read the article? The amendment was defeated because it decreased transparency and oversight at the FCC under the guise of "privacy". The GOP is open to considering this sort of legislation in a separate bill.

      • Did you read the article?

        Skimmed it; obviously missed that part.

        The GOP is open to considering this sort of legislation in a separate bill.

        new legislation is superfluous; as Sique pointed out, the practice is a violation of the existing Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as facebook's ToS.

        No need to create new laws if we actually enforce the existing ones.

  • Why (Score:5, Informative)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:37AM (#39508505)

    Here's why it was voted down. Nobody disagreed with banning the practice, just the implementation:

    "I think it’s awful that employers think they can demand our passwords and can go snooping around. There is no disagreement with that. Here is the flaw: Your amendment doesn’t protect them. It doesn’t do that. Actually, what this amendment does is say that all of the reforms that we are trying to put in place at the Federal Communications Commission, in order to have them have an open and transparent process where they are required to publish their rules in advance so that you can see what they’re proposing, would basically be shoved aside. They could do whatever they wanted on privacy if they wanted to, and you wouldn’t know it until they published their text afterward. There is no protection here." - Greg Walden (Oregon GOP rep)

    • Re:Why (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:43AM (#39508569)
      The Republicans claimed to be against a practice hated by citizens, yet failed to explain how the amendment they killed does not protect people and failed to propose and alternative to protect people. Vague handwaving about addressing it in the unspecified future is worthless.
      • by aslagle (441969)

        Debate on the floor of the house is about the bill under consideration, not a place to introduce new legislation at the drop of a hat. You can't just say, "I'd do it this way," because that would be meaningless in the context of debate about an amendment currently being discussed.

        You bring up your version of the bill/amendment in committee, at a later time, following the procedural rules of the house/senate.

        And yes, he did explain why it was a bad amendment, he just didn't explain it to someone who has no c

      • by aslagle (441969)

        Okay, let me see if I can explain this. The amendment was to a bill that is supposed to ensure that the FCC has transparency in its rule making process, and that proposed rules are clearly identified and open for review before being implemented.

        This amendment didn't say, "No one can request your password as a condition of employment." It said that the entire language of the bill that was trying to force the FCC to be transparent, was out the window as long as the FCC was making a rule about 'privacy'.

        The am

  • by wynterwynd (265580) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:40AM (#39508533)

    Isn't Facebook planning to sue companies that do this in a civil court? And aren't there laws in place that effectively prohibit this? (the Stored Communications Act [wikipedia.org] and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [wikipedia.org] come to mind - especially since if you RTFA the Justice dept is already looking into whether these would apply)

    I'm all for some Republican-bashing, but we should really consider whether we already have a law in place for this before we add new ones. The legal code is cryptic and mountainous enough as it is without adding unnecessary cruft.

    It also may not have been appropriate as an amendment to this particular bill - note that the article states that Republicans would consider separate legislation.

    • but we should really consider...

      I think you found the problem. We do not consider, we react. It sure makes it easy for the when we do it, too.

    • Exactly. Congress would be happy to spend all year passing laws against something stupid that 1 percent of people do, rather than something like tax reform, immigration reform, social security, etc. People introduce laws like this when there is no time to spend on them, just to make the leadership look bad by killing it. Democrat (in Republican House) submits bill to stop torturing ponies, Republican (in Democratic House) submits bill to stop burning pictures of Jesus. There is a simple remedy - quit y
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:58AM (#39508771)

    Teacher Aide fired in Michigan. [wsbt.com]

    “in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly."

    • allowing access by a CURRENT employer and allowing logins by a future employer are galaxies apart (one can be done by simply Friending your employers account)

      • In what way? This is nominally personal, even private (if marked so) information. Consider it part of your "papers." You may share your odd manifasto - or your party pics - with close friends, or only with yourself. Those are not necessarily public information.

        Unless there is a formal complaint that you are exposing privileged information (which is not the case) there is no right or expectation that private work is accessible to an employer. If it is a matter of sharing confidential information, they sho

        • by Bigby (659157)

          Unless you are employed by the government, you do not have a right to privacy. In fact, you don't have a right to privacy. You have a right to keep your things private. Privacy comes into play when you have 1 option: divulge. In this case you have 2 options: divulge or quit.

    • Some problems here... "But University of Notre Dame labor law professor Barbara Frick said the school didn’t break any laws by asking for Hester’s Facebook information." That is a nice example of "those who can not do, teach." Sharing passwords in violation of the TOS is a violation of many laws, both state and federal. But, I think they are going with “He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook..." which is not sharing passwords, and not what the amendment was about. The a
  • by tguyton (1001081) <t_guyton@bellsou t h . net> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:23AM (#39509061)
    Heh, there was an article in our local paper yesterday about how our local police and fire departments do this and are proud of it. Well, they don't ask for the credentials, they have you log into your account in front of them and then hand the machine over so they can browse around to their liking. They called it an "in-depth background check" or something like that, and touted the usual "it's for the children!" BS. They have implemented this practice for all potential new hires, and have also said they will begin doing it for all current employees as well in the next month or so. Sigh.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:20AM (#39510225) Homepage Journal
    News at 11.

    If you work for a living, Republicans are not your friend. If your color spectrum falls outside 'beige', Republicans are not your friend. If your language is something other than English, Republicans are not your friend. If you're a woman, Republicans are not your friend. If your religion is something other than "Christian", Republicans are not your friend. If you don't toe the ENTIRE party line completely and unquestioningly, Republicans are not your friend. You may think you share their values, but if you fall into the above categories they do not like you and will never like you. They will say they do because you can't be THAT exclusionary and get anyone elected and they know that, but don't EVER think that they like you.

    Go read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." This is what Republicans actually believe. The world they want to bring about is an awesome place if you're a rich white man. The fact that everyone else will be living in varying degrees of squalor is something that does not bother them. Perhaps they simply choose not to think about it -- they don't like to think about "those people" if they can avoid it.

    If your employer starts asking for private passwords, start talking to the other employees about forming a union. Nothing makes employer assholes clench tighter than union-creating discontent in the ranks.

  • by IronOxen (2502562) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @12:52PM (#39511813)
    If I was interviewing a candidate for an IT position and that candidate freely gave me his passwords when I asked, there is no way I would hire him or her. In fact, if I was hiring for any position where the candidate would have access to sensitive corporate data or anything else that a company would not want disclosed to the public or competitors, I wouldn't hire an individual who gave up their password. If they offered to provide me with screen shots or print outs of their social networking pages, fine. But to hand over control of their account under any circumstances would automatically disqualify the individual for the job in my eyes. People like that are how users with just enough knowledge to be dangerous (or worse, someone with bad intent on a fishing expedition) end up with domain admin rights.
  • Redundant Law (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Raven (30575) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:30PM (#39513311) Homepage

    This entire fiasco is stupid. It's already completely illegal to request someone's Facebook login information as a condition of hire, since it divulges restricted information (marital status, age, orientation) that it is already illegal for them to ask of you. You can already tell them "I'm sorry, but that would divulge my marital status, age, and other information that is illegal for you to request."

    If you can't ask them to follow one law, what makes you think that you'll be able to ask them to follow a new law? This entire law is redundant, and it is quite right that it was eliminated.

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