Congress Members Push For Social Networking Online Protection Act(SNOPA)

US Congress seems bit too interested in internet and social media these days. It has been trying to put curbs on internet at one hand, and at the other some of its members are lobbying to keep the social network profiles of users private. For this purpose, these gentlemen are pushing for the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA).

Apparently, what has caused the issue to be raised and brought forth in the form of a proposed act is that it has been reported recently that a number of employees have been demanding from prospective as well as current employers to reveal all the details of their social network profiles. For instance, some interviewers have sought the Facebook passwords of the individuals they were interviewing.

This is definitely a sick and unethical practice and to probe into someone’s personal life for the sake of gaining an insight of how talented he is, it utterly wrong. Naturally, this put some members of Congress on edge and they have now brought forth this issue in the form of SNOPA. Among other things, the bill would:

  • Prohibit current or potential employers from requiring a username, password, or other access to online content. It does not permit employers to demand such access to discipline, discriminate, or deny employment to individuals, nor punish them for refusing to volunteer the information.
  • Apply the same restrictions to colleges and universities, and K-12 schools as well.

Rep. Eliot Engle, who was among those who tabled the Act, is of the opinion, ‘I don’t believe people should be pressured into giving away their civil liberties. In a democratic country, people have a fundamental right to privacy.’ At least its good to know that in a Congress which is adamant on controlling internet whichsoever way it wishes to, some sane-minded representatives are working on actual issues.

Engle goes on to say, ‘”It’s important to set down a couple of markers now, that someone’s private information should remain their own private information. I don’t know [the frequency of the incidents] but if it happens five times, it’s five times too many… I’d rather nip it in the bud right now.’

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