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stop employers from asking job applicants for their password to Facebook and other social networking sites.The House of Representatives has rejected an effort to give the Federal Communications Commission the power to
The effort was an amendment, proposed by Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, added to legislation to reform the FCC.
"What this amendment does is it says that you cannot demand, as a condition of employment, that somebody reveal a confidential password to their Facebook, to their Flickr, to their Twitter, whatever their account may be," Perlmutter said during a speech on the House floor.
The amendment would have added the following paragraph to the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012:
While this might sound like Republicans hate privacy, that's not necessarily the case. The actual proposal that was being debated was the FCC Process Reform Act, which is a Republican-backed and Democrat-opposed bill. The FCC Process Reform Act wants to require the FCC to be more transparent, and Democrats believe it's unacceptable to require the (currently Democrat-controlled) agency to do this.
As CNET points out, Perlmutter's amendment was merely a "transparent, if clever, delaying tactic." After all, CNET's Declan McCullagh says, "If Perlmutter actually wanted to add that pro-privacy section to the bill, he could have suggested an amendment instead of returning to the committee."
Perlmutter may not care nearly as much about our privacy as we think he does. In 2008, he voted for anti-privacy legislation. The FCC Process Reform Act did pass, by a vote of 247 to 174.