Republicans Tell Americans Privacy is for Corporations Not People

Apr 28 2012 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

When you opened your Facebook account, you probably thought it was a cool way to connect with friends and family.  You may have thought that no one could or should have access to your password.  Silly Americans, privacy is for corporations. At least, that seems to be what Republicans are saying.  Your password is something that increasing numbers of “job creators” are requiring as part of their background checks and twice now, the Republicans have blocked measures to protect employees’ privacy.

The first time Democrats proposed a measure to prohibit this sort of inquiry, Republicans dismissed it as a “stunt.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D- Col) made the effort a second time with a proposed amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act or CISPA  noting the obvious:

If an employer or the federal government poses as somebody by having their Facebook password, then they can impersonate, they can become an impostor,” Perlmutter argued. “And it is a two-way exchange of information so that somebody who is completely unrelated to the employer is now communicating with an impostor.

In short, this is about your privacy as well as your family, your friends and anyone else in your social network.  It’s also about the realities of social networking.  Someone with your password can impersonate you to your friends and family.

The Republican excuse for rejecting Perlmutter’s proposal totally misses the point of the amendment.

We can play games, we can do silly things. This amendment actually does nothing to protect a private password at home,” Rogers argued, suggesting hackers around the globe were a much larger threat.

In short, yes it does do something to protect private passwords because you have a better chance of protecting them if you don’t have to put them on your resume.

While it is not a guarantee, it minimizes the risk of being hacked.   You set up reasonably hacker proof passwords, and you don’t hand your passwords out to other people. It’s very simple. Even a Republican should understand that.

Their opposition to protecting our privacy is, to put it mildly, insensitive to Americans who are employees.  Access to someone’s password, raises security issues and it is a blatant invasion of privacy because they would have access to communications for which we do have a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Comments on one’s wall, or in one’s tweets are accessible without password access.  In my view, I’ll grant that that those can be reviewed by anyone, including actual or potential employers.

But accessing your account’s private messages as would be the case if a potential employer has your password is a whole different story.  There is a reasonable expectation that when you send someone a direct message on twitter or a personal message on Facebook, that message is for that person’s eyes only.  Moreover, that person has a reasonable expectation that the messages they receive from your account actually came from you.

Simply put, if you’re discussing a family situation or talking to a friend about a personal matter, it isn’t your actual or potential employer’s business.

That probably offends “job creators” and their proxies in the Republican Party, but at this point in these crazy politics, I really don’t give a *()&.

Considering that the GOP values privacy only when it comes to the money they receive from their corporate sugar daddies, they have no basis whatsoever to invade our privacy or block efforts to protect it.

Moreover, protecting our privacy from nosy “job creators” does not in any way compromise national security.  Suggesting otherwise is not only offensive on a political level it’s an insult to every American’s intelligence.

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