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Thanks to the community for the amazing commentary and analysis
March 21, 2012 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Thanks to the community for the amazing commentary and analysis in this thread about employers asking for Facebook passwords.

I was hired last month for my dream job, working for the ACLU. I have been reading MeFi daily, but have just been too busy lately to put much time into it, comment-wise. However, I wanted you all to know that the referenced thread really helped to sharpen my thinking on this issue, and that when the press inquiries started rolling in, I was super-ready thanks to all of the amazing responses in the thread I mentioned. Because my affiliate was among the first to get hit with the recent wave of this story, your arguments and discussion will probably influence the response state and nation-wide.

Six-plus years in as a member, and this community still continues to amaze me. Thanks again!
posted by rollbiz to MetaFilter-Related at 8:24 PM (24 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

Very cool. And thanks for working for the ACLU. You're the good guys.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:48 PM on March 21, 2012 [22 favorites]


Excellent. Glad it was helpful and I'm so stoked for your new job.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 PM on March 21, 2012


THE ACLU IS MONITORING US!
posted by jacalata at 9:09 PM on March 21, 2012 [20 favorites]


I'm going to need your Metafilter password, jacalata.
posted by rollbiz at 9:12 PM on March 21, 2012 [19 favorites]


I wonder if the ACLU will provide us with a lawyer to defend ourselves from the ACLU.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:15 PM on March 21, 2012


As a Guardian of Liberty, I help pay your paycheck. I expect favorites.
posted by LionIndex at 9:17 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the ACLU will provide us with a lawyer to defend ourselves from the ACLU.

They were notably quite silent in the 1940s-1970s on the issue of persons accused of "communism".
posted by thewalrus at 9:26 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, excellent!
posted by rtha at 9:26 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was hired last month for my dream job, working for the ACLU.

I can't believe this, me too! How long have you been an aardvark collector, and when were you last in lower Uzbekistan?
posted by eddydamascene at 9:34 PM on March 21, 2012 [35 favorites]


I can't believe this, me too! How long have you been an aardvark collector, and when were you last in lower Uzbekistan?

It's a funny story...
posted by rollbiz at 9:46 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Uzbekistan, you say? Finally this T-shirt makes sense.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:49 PM on March 21, 2012


I survived the Ferghana valley police action and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
and torture
posted by Meatbomb at 9:59 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


IN SOVIET RUSSIA, YOU HELP THE ACLU.

wait, what? That don't make no sense.
posted by special-k at 10:04 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cool job! I loved Eyebrows McGee's suggested response to this type of request.
posted by arcticseal at 10:48 PM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


This why MetaFilter deserves teh hug. Noted.
posted by infini at 4:38 AM on March 22, 2012


I want to know if everyone at the ACLU are card-carrying members of Metafilter.
posted by crunchland at 5:26 AM on March 22, 2012


If you're still reading this, I find the invocation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the original thread really troubling. The CFAA was specifically designed to prosecute serious hacking and intrusion behavior, but because it was written in the 80's by a bunch of non-technical congressional aides, it allows for incredible overreach in prosecuting things like violating TOS, and prosecuting people for things like deleting personal information off a work computer, deleting work emails, and asking current employees to give a former employee info from a database.

It's a law that's badly in need of reform, and shouldn't be used as a legal bludgeon against an admittedly ugly work policy.

Ok. I'm done now.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:47 AM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awesome. The ACLU is more relevant than ever these days considering that new technology gives people in power the ability to deny people their rights in all sorts of new ways that aren't directly covered by existing laws or legal precedent.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:03 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The call is coming from INSIDE THE ACLU! Seriously though, congrats and keep up the good work.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:13 AM on March 22, 2012


Eh. I didn't love the direction that conversation took.

There were a few too many people making the "Don't ever write about yourself of the internet" argument, which really only seems like a skip and a jump away from "Don't ever do anything that could make a potential employer disapprove of you," or "If you don't have anything to hide..."

It's a bit too cynical and pessimistic for me. I don't want to live in a world where I have to actively work to conceal my identity. I spent long enough in the closet as it was.
posted by schmod at 9:27 AM on March 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you don't have anything to hide, dirty secrets can be placed in your profile or laws can be passed to create one from your lifestye. Don't worry, everyone is guilty and will be dealt with accordingly. Carry on consumer-citizen.
posted by fuq at 11:47 AM on March 22, 2012


If you don't have anything to hide, that leotard is still not a great idea.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:26 PM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"There were a few too many people making the 'Don't ever write about yourself of the internet' argument, which really only seems like a skip and a jump away from 'Don't ever do anything that could make a potential employer disapprove of you,' or 'If you don't have anything to hide...'"

Yes, I agree. As I've been saying for a while now, the solution to privacy problems (internet related and otherwise) is a combination of cultures developing appropriate behavior codes regarding respect for privacy (as we have in the past) and, where there are abuses of power such as in this example with employers, legal restrictions on what information about individuals such institutions can gather. The worst possible outcome for privacy is that all the responsibility goes to the person who wants their privacy protected. No, the answer isn't that I defend my home with a guard dog and a gun, the answer is cultural norms and, where those are insufficient, robust laws and enforcement that protect my property. The same is true with privacy.

There's a balancing act that each individual must work out for themselves, of course, in terms of their practical, right-now-when-things-are-much-less-than-ideal decisions. What is best, in general, for most people is to balance between being prudent about protecting your privacy while still refusing to shoulder then entire burden. If everyone is just pragmatic and takes all the responsibility onto themselves, then there will be no pressure for the needed reform.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:54 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


apropos:

Your Facebook Password Should Be None of Your Boss’ Business (from the ACLU blog 20 March.)

Today's 88 comment (so far) thread on the Hacker News of the ACLU blog post.
posted by bukvich at 4:10 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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