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Public Statements

Perlmutter Re-Introduces Facebook Password Privacy Measure, Precludes Government From Establishing Chinese-Style "Great Internet Firewall"

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

More and more employers want to access your Facebook and social media accounts with your password for job screening purposes. "Dislike", says Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) who re-introduced a provision that would prevent employers from requiring current and prospective employees to hand over their personal passwords as a condition of either keeping or getting a new job. It also prevents the federal government from establishing a Chinese-style "Great Internet Firewall" which would preclude access by the public to social media sites altogether.

Perlmutter said, "The United States does not need to follow the example of China and their "Great Internet Firewall," where every user's personal information, and activity is monitored. That is not who we are as a nation. People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter. They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment. Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications. Employers essentially can act as imposters and assume the identity of an employee and continually access, monitor and even manipulate an employee's personal social activities and opinions. That's simply a step too far. "

"Contrary to Republican's assertions, this amendment does not kill HR 3523 by sending it back to committee. This motion to recommit with instructions would not leave the House floor if it were adopted. Instead, it would operate like any other amendment -- if it passed, the underlying bill would be amended to include the amendment language contained in the instructions," Perlmutter continued.

Last month, House Republicans voted 236-185 against a similar amendment, which was included as part of the FCC Reform Act (HR 3309). TODAY -- House Republicans voted 233-183 against this provision which was an amendment to HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011. Perlmutter plans to introduce a stand-alone bill when the House reconvenes the week of May 7.


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