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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the password-so-strong-you-yourself-don't-know-it dept.

Facebook 275

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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275 comments

Was anyone suprised? (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Was anyone suprised? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39508513)

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.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | about 2 years ago | (#39508585)

Right except this was killed by house "republicans"... not "leftists"... I guess it's in facebooks hands to implement a ip login filter to detect logins from another ip and beef up account security if the ip's don't match.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508609)

Super robot monkey whoosh hyperforce go!

Re:Was anyone suprised? (4, Insightful)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#39509459)

There are no leftists in Washington. If there are, then they are hiding in a corner waiting for the right moment to strike (pun intended?). The people who are there are corporatists--for lac of a better word. It matters not, who or what struck this down, only that they serve concentrated interests and that we are arguing over a ruse.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508565)

If employers can legally request workers to hand over a Facebook password then the obvious solution is to not keep a Facebook account.

That's Facebook's loss.

I'm not sure how that benefits Facebook.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (5, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39508861)

But they can't. Seriously. It is illegal now. 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.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (4, Insightful)

meburke (736645) | about 2 years ago | (#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..)

Re:Was anyone suprised? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509295)

Mod parent up. So True.

Re:Was anyone suprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509413)

Have you ever read a bill? Legaleze is painful, the last piece of coherent legislation I read left me with a headache for over an hour. On top of that, most congressional activity is not in the form of coherent legislation, it is usually in the form of adjustive legislation. In many, many cases the text consists of something similar to: "Amend bill number 834,361 by replacing 'if' in section 5 subsection C with 'if or only if.'"

Re:Was anyone suprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508769)

Congress has never been of, for, and by the people. If a bill passes, it is because it benefits the current president in office, or it benefits one or more congressmen. See, making employers asking for Facebook passwords illegal doesn't benefit anyone in congress, so they won't pass it. Or, maybe they did want to pass it, but some idiot decided to tack on something to the bill and that extra shit is why the bill failed.

Privacy really needs to be the next US Consitutional amendment. Otherwise you also get Privacy Policies that look like the one for the CVS ExtraCare rewards card:

"PRIVACY AGREEMENT: We value your privacy and NEVER give or selll any identifiable information about you to other companies for their marketing purposes. We may at times use outside companies as CVS/Pharmacy's agents to help provide you with promotional information and offers; beyond your name and addresses, these agents do not receive any personal information about you from CVS/Pharmacy and are bound to keep your information strictly confidential."

(So in other words, they ARE trading personal information to outside companies to third parties for THEIR marketing purposes, and all we have is their word that the company they use won't store the information.)

Congress, as a whole, is a bunch of representatives of their own or corporate special interests, and the entire concept of representative democracy has no integrity anymore.

Seems like political posturing (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

They'll repeal Sabannes Oxley (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509291)

Not only will Glass Steagall not be put back, read the Republican agenda, all of them want to eliminate Sabannes Oxley, the law that requires CEO's sign off the accounts of companies as truthful and pay back any bonuses they received if the account turn out to be false.

The excuse is 'accountancy burden', i.e. the claim that to get the accounting numbers correct enough to sign off on means that they spend too much money!

Mitt Romney: "Corporations are people folks", has tax cuts planned, 58% of which target the super rich. I mean they're not even pretending at this point. The Koch brothers are using the 'corps as people' ruling to send their employees to political seminars (i.e. Republican brainwashing camps), money is pouring in from Wallstreet to ensure they keep their 30:1 lending facility from the Federal Reserve. Santorum is claiming Netherlands euthanizes 10% of old people and Fox is backing him up with the lies.

Why do you keep voting this lot in??!

lol @ facebook users (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508453)

only retards and kiddies use facebook

Re:lol @ facebook users (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39508495)

... and only "forever alone" guy trolls Slashdot.

What's your point?

Re:lol @ facebook users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508623)

Forever alone Slashdot troll is still a step above Facebook users.

Re:lol @ facebook users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508719)

This!

Facebook is garbage...

Re:lol @ facebook users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508723)

Rather have 5 real friends than 2,342 fakes ones.

-- Ethanol-fueled, perma-banned from Slashdot because fascist editors.

From the text. (5, Insightful)

BStroms (1875462) | about 2 years ago | (#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. (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:From the text. (2)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 2 years ago | (#39508611)

From TFA: "Republicans are not convinced the amendment is necessary, but did say they would be open to addressing the issue in separate legislation."

Re:From the text. (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39509259)

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:From the text. (1, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#39508631)

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. (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:From the text. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509069)

Since it almost destroyed them and their rubber stamp congress in 2008, I think your logic might be flawed.

Re:From the text. (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39509175)

Are you kidding, that was PERFECT for them! They got to duck out on the worst recession in decades and blame it all on the Dems.

Re:From the text. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508683)

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 bedrooms.

Re:From the text. (3, Informative)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#39508959)

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.

Re:From the text. (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#39509143)

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?

Re:From the text. (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39509221)

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 her face is that it is the exact opposite. What is forcing someone's belief on someone else would be outlawing abortions. No one would be forcing Bachmann to have an abortion, but she wants to force people to not have abortions. What they need to understand is that, when it comes to social issues, you shouldn't legislate, you should educate. Don't make gay marriage or abortion illegal because you think it's wrong. Instead try to teach people why you think it's wrong. If you have a logical and reasoned argument, you will win people to your side. But to avoid debate and just try to legislate your morals means that you know your morals won't be able to stand up to sound reasoning and questioning. Because if they keep this up, the center right will start leaving in droves. It may take a while, but eventually there will be the critical mass necessary to form a third party if both sides keep up this act. They can stop this from happening and actually capture that mass into the party, but they have to move away from this farcical sideshow act that they are playing right now.

Re:From the text. (2)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#39508853)

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:From the text. (1, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 years ago | (#39509033)

"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?"

Re:From the text. (2)

BlastfireRS (2205212) | about 2 years ago | (#39509337)

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:From the text. (2, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39509395)

"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 willing to respond to agression and fight a war if necessary to protect our country and our allies. A moderate Republican is someone who wants a strong, efficient government that is only as big as it has to be, that doesn't try to legislate morality. A moderate Republican believes that the Second Amendment is important, but it doesn't mean that we all need automatic weapons with 100-round drum magazines. A moderate Republican thinks that separation of chruch and state means separation of religion not just from government, but from politics in general(and this includes atheism, as many bring that to the point of religion as well). Otherwise all you get are irrational arguments and debates. And I am a moderate Republican.

Make the point moot. (5, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Make the point moot. (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Make the point moot. (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39508645)

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

Re:Make the point moot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508825)

2 facebook accounts: the real one and the one where you spend all your time volunteering at the soup kitchen and going to church.

or better, the interview one prominently displays all the stuff that it is illegal to discriminate against under title VII. if they don't hire you, you can claim it is discrimination (they asked for the information in the interview by asking for your fb pw) or if they do hire you, sue anyway claiming they the salary&benefits are too low because of discrimination.

Re:Make the point moot. (1)

0racle (667029) | about 2 years ago | (#39508929)

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.

Re:Make the point moot. (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Make the point moot. (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | about 2 years ago | (#39509041)

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 hide, but out of principal my response would be -'-('.')-'-

Re:Make the point moot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508873)

I think that American workers need to do more to stand up for themselves. As hard as it might be to do it, you need to be willing to walk away when being asked to something want to do. Some may choose to do this through collective bargaining, and that is OK if your issue applies broadly to all or most employees. But in general we need to stop looking to the government to solve problems with our employers. If more people would just take a stand and quit, businesses will change their tune quickly.

Re:Make the point moot. (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39508885)

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.

Re:Make the point moot. (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#39509019)

If a significant majority goes along with this we could end up with most employers asking for passwords. It's the same with drug testing. If people refused to degrade themselves and pee into a cup maybe the majority of employers wouldn't be doing this. And, since the US doesn't have any sort of safety net, for a lot of people this is a choice between personal degradation and poverty. How are we even considered a 1st world country any more with these standards of living?

Re:Make the point moot. (2)

The Moof (859402) | about 2 years ago | (#39509137)

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.

Which business lobby killed this one? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#39508487)

Businesses just hate it when they can't use dirty pool against workers.

Re:Which business lobby killed this one? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39508709)

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.

Re:Which business lobby killed this one? (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 years ago | (#39509145)

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 examples of employers do this that I have seen are actually government bureaucrats themselves, which of course are always exempted.

Catch-22 (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39508491)

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 (4, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#39508529)

Who is Congress' employer?

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

Re:Catch-22 (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509021)

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.

Re:Catch-22 (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#39508555)

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.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39508839)

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!'

Re:Catch-22 (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39509039)

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.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509063)

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.

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508577)

Didn't you get the memo? Congress doesn't answer to anyone...

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508617)

I only have a limited understanding of this (I'm Canadian, don't have facebook, and am at a point where I can be choosy about my employer) but it looks more like the disagreement was on the effectiveness of the wording to do what it intends. That is, idea is right, approach is wrong.

Re:Catch-22 (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509113)

I am sorry, but as a Canadian you do not realise that the American voter has the attention span of a goldfish. They only can remember the first line of the sound bite, and act accordingly. The actual meaning is lost on almost everyone. Ooops... Gotta go. Bridezillas is on.

Themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508651)

Who is Congress' employer?

Themselves. You can choose to believe in "government by the people" if you are so inclined; I'll continue to believe in reality.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 2 years ago | (#39508949)

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.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#39509247)

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 (4, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why (1)

aslagle (441969) | about 2 years ago | (#39508755)

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 clue what the entire language of the amendment was.

Re:Why (2)

aslagle (441969) | about 2 years ago | (#39508837)

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 amendment gutted the whole purpose of the bill currently under consideration for a whole class of regulation, and that's why it was bad.

still GOP fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508713)

Except GOP didn't present an alternative, so they still failed. And what's worse, they didn't even try.

Re:still GOP fail (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509179)

That was not the place to do so. Doing so at that time would have violated the procedural rules of the house. Then the headline would have read, "Evil Republicans Violate House Rules to Pass Bad FaceBook Password Bill." And for the record, the republicans are evil. As are the democrats.

Re:still GOP fail (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 years ago | (#39509239)

How about they just pass a rule that says no government agency or agent of government can do this, because despite the hype over this issues, it's really just governments, police departments, and schools that have been caught doing it. But, of course, that doesn't fit the Progressive and Mainstream media's agenda ("companies BAD, government GOOD").

citizen activist opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508515)

Why expect government to do anything?

Someone could set up a web site to gather the list of companies that are doing this. Better yet create a blacklist on FaceBook. If the applicant pool is reduced then hiring becomes more expensive or quality suffers. Hit 'em in the purse.

Not every dramatic headline requires a law (5, Insightful)

wynterwynd (265580) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not every dramatic headline requires a law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508735)

So its not 'voted down' it is 'hey this is a rider to a bill that does xyz not abc make your own bill that does abc and let it stand on its own'. That actually sounds reasonable... That is how we end up with 2700 page bills if we let riders in...

Re:Not every dramatic headline requires a law (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509223)

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.

Re:Not every dramatic headline requires a law (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#39509501)

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 your job if your boss demands your FB password, or negotiate not to use FB while at work, or (per parent post) wait for FB to sue.

And if you don't have a FB account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508557)

How would you prove that you have no password to hand over?

Re:And if you don't have a FB account (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#39508741)

Right. The employer can assume you have something to hide and only consider the suckers who hand over their FB accounts.

That's why legal action is needed. Once employers are allowed to do this everybody gets screwed.

Re:And if you don't have a FB account (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509269)

So sue. Your FaceBook includes a lot of protected information that they can not ask for by law. If you do not get the job, sue. You will probably win, and have a job at a company willing to violate the law against you... This is what you want, right?

Scares the Crap out of me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508579)

My fear is I don't use facebook. At all. And if I am required to give up this information, I am just automatically deemed a liar and or passed over. If I don't try to represent myself as an agent of the business, my private online presence shouldn't matter to whom I work for.

Teacher aid FIRED for not allowing Facebook access (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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."

Re:Teacher aid FIRED for not allowing Facebook acc (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#39509117)

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)

Re:Teacher aid FIRED for not allowing Facebook acc (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39509375)

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 answer to that is "sure." The next question of "Will you friend me" is no... I think this case will settle out of court, and soon.

EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508809)

It is simple, the EULA prevents you from disclosing it to employers. If an employer were to deny you a job for not disclosing your logon details, depending on which state you are in, is against employment laws. In effect they are requiring you to void a binding contract (EULA).

Not a matter for the federal government (-1, Redundant)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 2 years ago | (#39508855)

Employers asking for passwords is reprehensible - I expect 99.999% of /. will agree.

However, just what makes this a matter for the federal government? It's not an interstate transaction, as least not normally. It's not even directly commerce. This is just another pathetic attempt at attention-getting "feel-good" legislation.

Frankly, the employer ought to be able to ask any damn think they want in an interview. You, as the potential employee, have the right to a spine. If some protections are really necessary, this is entirely within the power of the individual States. The last thing we need is more federal overreach.

Re:Not a matter for the federal government (3, Insightful)

E_Ron.Eous (2521544) | about 2 years ago | (#39508953)

Since a request such as this would violate your 4th Amendment rights, it is fully within the purview of the Congress to legislate against such an intrusion. All corporations are within scope as they are creations of legislatures.

Re:Not a matter for the federal government (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39509103)

needs to be a law. corporations ONLY fear laws. they don't fear market pressure since they completely control that.

only something with teeth (legal stuff) will force a corp to change, these days.

this is why the redundant law is needed. to 'send a clear message'. again. and yes, it IS redundant but the first law didn't scare the corps enough, it seems.

it will help employees a lot more if they can say 'you know, they just passed a new LAW about forbidding to ask these details...'. that will silence the company much more than your walk-out protest ever will.

Simple solution to all this (1)

Kaldesh (1363017) | about 2 years ago | (#39508925)

Well, I won't comment on the rather slimy move by the gov't, and their clear lack of ability to stand up for the reasonable privacy of their people... wait I think I just did. However, there is a simple solution to all this -- don't use Facebook. I used to use the site, but deleted my account about 6 months ago (permanently deleted... not just suspended as they do by default), and I've never been happier. I found I didn't like the practices of the sites owners, and it was just a constant drain on my time. I have better things to do with my day then look in on the lives of distant friends / relatives I don't care about. Anyone that I really consider a close friend doesn't need FB to see what I'm up to, nor do I need it to see what they're doing. If you don't have a FB account... certainly no employer can demand access to it If they ask you for your FB login information you can quite honestly and frankly tell them you don't use the service. Still, I think that it's supremely slimy for an employer to want this information from you. Just another reason that if you use these social networking sites, you should never post anything of significance on them.

Romney, Santorum: passwords please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508947)

Any republican applying for a public job, please submit your FB password to the public.

(stated without the benefit of reading TFA or the fine comments here pointing out that the Reps also dislike this practice)

submitter is an ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39508993)

timothy,

You're an ass for submitting such a misleading and inflammatory headline.

Police/Fire dept doing this now (4, Informative)

tguyton (1001081) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Forget about the politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509099)

Forget about the politics, looking to the government to solve our problems is a fool's errand, one past generations have mistakenly taken too many times.
Let's fix this problem ourselves, and let's start by listing and tracking exactly WHICH companies are engaging in this kind of activity.

Who's asking?? (1)

thefuz (1076605) | about 2 years ago | (#39509257)

Can someone point me to a list of companies/organizations that are making these demands of perspective employees? This is madness!

FB ToS: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39509311)

It's a violation of Facebook ToS in the first place:

(Registration and Account Security)

8. You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9. You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.

(other)

6. You will not transfer any of your rights or obligations under this Statement to anyone else without our consent.

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