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Bill Banning Employer Facebook Snooping Introduced In Congress 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-we-technically-employ-congress dept.
suraj.sun writes "According to The Hill, 'The Social Networking Online Protection Act, introduced by Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), would prohibit current or potential employers from demanding a username or password to a social networking account. "We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private," Engel said in a statement. "No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education. This is a matter of personal privacy and makes sense in our digital world."' Ars adds, 'The bill would apply the same prohibitions to colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. ... Facebook has already threatened legal action against organizations who require employees to reveal their Facebook passwords as policy.'" Maryland beat them to the punch, and other states are working on similar laws too. We'll have to hope the U.S. House doesn't kill this one like they did the last attempt. The difference this time is that the concept has its own bill, while its previous incarnation was an amendment to an existing bill about reforming FCC procedures.
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Bill Banning Employer Facebook Snooping Introduced In Congress

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  • by gapagos (1264716) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @02:52AM (#39835983)

    Why not simply an affirmation that private companies, corporations both foreign and domestic, as well as individuals, are fully bound by the constitution and all of it's amendments

    Because there's always a lawyer who disagrees on what the constitution means in practice.
    This is why more explicit laws are created.

  • Re:er (Score:5, Informative)

    by houghi (78078) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @04:12AM (#39836229)

    It amazes me that this is even legal.
    In Europe, at least in Belgium, this would be illegal as hell. At some jobs they might do background checks, but these are clearly identified and will be e.g. jobs at NATO.

    At some jobs (e.g. banks) you might be required to show a proof of your criminal history. Then the company can decide if they hire you or not. There are even people who want to make these stricter and limit the information.
    That way a pedophile will show up if he wants to work at a school, but not when he is going to work at e.g. a banks call center. With a bank robber, it might be the other way around.

    Where I work I know of one person not getting the reason, because something on it was a too high risk. Another person had something on it and we still hired that person, as we decided it wasn't a high risk at all.

    Things we will NEVER ask: Are you with a union? Are you pregnant? (They are allowed to lie to that question. Once they are hired and tell they are pregnant, you can't fire them.) What is your religion?

    What we do have is a 6 month trial in which both the employer and employee can decide if this is an OK situation workwise. If it isn't, we can end it or they can end it with a weeks notice. After that it will be a much longer notice period for both the employer and employee.

  • Constitution? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fnj (64210) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @04:41AM (#39836325)

    Why not simply an affirmation that private companies, corporations both foreign and domestic, as well as individuals, are fully bound by the constitution and all of it's amendments

    That question is easy to answer. Because the constitution bounds the powers of the FEDERAL government. Period. It says very little about what state and local governments can't do, and it certainly doesn't say what employers (and private citizens) can't do. The word "murder" doesn't appear in the constitution either. The constitution isn't concerned in the slightest whether Joe Blow goes on a killing spree. In fact the laws against murder are all state laws. A state could decide not to have any law against murder as far as the constitution is concerned.

    Dig it. It took an act of congress to implement a ban on discrimination and desegregate the public schools. There was an amendment passed at the same time as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically to ban poll taxes, but that was the extent of it. Similarly, there is nothing in the constitution that says an employer can't ask employees for various concessions. That is for states to limit.

    The Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That's the ENTIRE text. So the First Amendment says CONGRESS shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. It doesn't stop a state from limiting free speech.

  • Re:er (Score:4, Informative)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @05:24AM (#39836417)

    That part is the same in Europe. The common courtesy is to give the same period of notice as your pay period. People paid each month give a month's notice, people paid weekly give a week, people paid daily give one day. And if you don't give that, then you won't get a good reference. But nothing stops you from walking out at any time.

    Indeed slavery has been illegal for a long time, so it can't be any other way.

  • So say a state makes a law abridging the freedom of speech. That does not violate the constitution in any way.

    Evidently you failed high school civics class. Article Six doesn't say anything about Congress; it specifically binds *judges* to rule according to the *Federal* Constitution in the event of a conflict between it and the laws or constitution of any state. Note also that it doesn't say anything about State or Federal judges--it says *judges*, period.

    US states that do not exist only in your imagination may not enact laws that contravene the US Constitution. States may not restrict or take away rights that are guaranteed by the US Constituion. Period.

  • by Tancred (3904) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @12:59PM (#39838179)

    Only one Republican voted for it. 183 Democrats (and Independents?) did. So there's a real difference.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Proposed+Amendment+to+Prevent+Employers+from+Asking+for+Facebook+UsernamesPasswords+Fails/article24337.htm [dailytech.com]

    If you don't look too close, you can call it bipartisan and be pissed at both parties. If you look closer, however, you see the blame falls primarily on one side of the aisle, as with this amendment. Same thing with CISPA, SOPA and PIPA.

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Monday April 30, 2012 @08:17AM (#39843579)

    Lincoln invaded the South to preserve the union, not to "free the slaves". The war began in April 1861. The Emancipation Proclamation wasn't issues until January 1863. Furthermore, the proclamation applied only to the states that were part of the Confederacy, There were still border states where slavery was legal and they were unaffected. In addition, any confederate state willing to re-join the union was also promised an exemption.

    Other nations managed to eradicate slavery without a bloody civil war. It was clearly the bitterness engendered by armed conflict and the North's attempts to basically rub the South's face in their defeat that perpetuated racial hatred in the country.

    State powers are enshrined in The Constitution. The Southern states had a very valid legal argument.

    The unfortunate fact is that when people bring up the issue of state powers and the 10th Amendment these days, the absurd counter-argument is that rolling back federal power-grabbing means that South Carolina could and would re-institute slavery.

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