So you’ve just left college. Spent 4-8 years studying. Put on that cap & gown, walked across the stage for your diploma and made you parents proud. Good job, now it’s time to enter the workforce.
What happens next ISN”T normal. you land your dream job. The perfect job, the perfect pay, the perfect perks, everything you worked so hard for. You’re in the final interview, they love you, you love them, it’ just a big old boardroom love-fest. Then it happens.
“Well Glen, we love you resume and education, we think you have a great attitude and would be a perfect fit for our team. We just need to complete the background check and you’re good to go.”
You smile and nod, you’re not worried, No criminal records, no drugs, barely even a parking ticket. Your former employers love you, your references are impeccable.
Then they slide a form across the table asking for the usernames and passwords of all of your social network accounts. The form also states that if employed, your employer must have constant access to all accounts and can terminate you if you are posting confidential company info or ANYTHING THAT COULD TARNISH THE REPUTATION of the company.
What could be considered tarnishing the reputation of the company? that is at the full discretion of the guy in HR monitoring your accounts.
Now most of you read my little scenario and are thinking; “wait, hasn’t this already been tried? and aren’t states slapping the hands of employers that try this?” yes.
Well, that’s all about to change. Those of you that follow me on Facebook or Google+ will have noticed me trying to raise your awareness of CISPA, the new internet security and safety bill that just passed the house by a huge margin, and is now on it’s way to the senate.
One of the key provisions of CISPA? yup, it gives your employers the legal right to discriminate against you and terminate you solely based on your social network content. This law will allow employers to refuse you a job if you don’t turn over the user names and passwords to all your social networks, it will also allow your employer to contact your friends and family on social networks while logged in as you.
So, ever post a pic of you at a strip club? maybe doing a keg stand? maybe an anti-Obama post or a pro-NRA post? All of these completely legal and socially acceptable things could cost you a job. And even better? CISPA would override ALL PREVIOUSLY PASSED STATE LAWS. so you have no legal recourse or protection on the state or federal level.
Make no mistake, this is the beginning of online censorship. Want to be a CEO someday? you better not post ANYTHING that will offend ANYONE. EVER.
let’s be practical, writing this very blog post could cost me a job.
If your congressman supports this bill, you need to get inviolved. This isn’t just stopping illegal downloads or terrorists or cyber-terroists. This is giving corporations the right to silence your voice. This gives the federal government unheard of power over the internet.
In a time when the head of the IRS recently said, on the record, that your emails have no right to privacy & warrants are not nessasary to acces your email, should we really be trusting our government with this much power? This isn’t right or left, liberal or conservative. This affects everyone in the US that uses the internet for anything. We are at a pivitol moment in our country, what side of history will you be able to say you were on when all is said and done?