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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 gmanterry (1141623) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @03:36AM (#39836095) Journal

    This is the USA. We haven't had a Constitution since 2001. 9/11 to be exact.

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @03:38AM (#39836103)

    I had an argument with somebody with a very pro-liberty (even if at the indirect cost of others) stance.

    When asked if he believed that companies should be allowed to ban African-Americans from doing business with them, his reply was along the lines that indeed they should be allowed to, and in a free market there would simply be some other store that welcomes them, that's how the free marker is supposed to work, and the government should butt out of businesses' decisions.

    When asked what happens when there is no viable competition - say for a drug that can save lives but which is administered in private clinics so as to keep competing pharmaceuticals from gaining direct access to the drug - his reply was that he would then just grab a gun, go to that clinic, and get some of that drug himself and woe the person who would get in his way.

    Rather than accept that governments may have to regulate some aspects of life and business for a healthy society, which in the latter case would mean no company could limit a drug via discrimination*, he would resort to violence.

    In your scenario, he would choose homelessness...at least from the comfort of his recliner. Some people are just wired that way, I guess.

    ( * I know some drugs are so ridiculously expensive that one may as well recognize their availability as being subject to class discrimination. )

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @04:08AM (#39836217) Journal

    So if there's no bill banning a certain activity, a company may engage in it, is that how it work in the USA? You know, in other western countries corporations aren't allowed anything unless it's granted to them explicitly.

    Is there a bill forbidding cavity search by corporations? Or one that forbids corporations from harvesting the organs of their employees? It seems apt to ask, in case I ever dream of working in the USA.

  • Right to Privacy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @10:08AM (#39837335) Homepage Journal

    People have a right to privacy. The Federal government has recognized it since the Constitution created the government: "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures [cornell.edu]" is to have privacy. Our privacy defines what is private vs what is public.

    Not only does the government of the US have no legitimate power to violate that privacy right, but neither does anyone else. It's our right. And we create governments like the US Federal government to protect that right, among others. Protect it from governments, individuals and corporations.

    This boundary should be the most fundamental and obvious fact in the US, but it's not, since the enemies of privacy have steadily gained so much power. We need a new Constitutional amendment that spells out the privacy right and goverment's obligation to protect it from all enemies, public and private. It must say that "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" is to have privacy that the government may not violate and must protect except as provided in the Constitution.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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