Huffpost Technology

CISPA Amendment Banning Employers From Asking For Facebook Passwords Blocked

Posted: Updated:
A CISPA amendment that would have banned employers from asking for Facebook passwords was voted down in the House. (Photo via Alamy)
A CISPA amendment that would have banned employers from asking for Facebook passwords was voted down in the House. (Photo via Alamy)

Bad news, Facebook users. U.S. employers may soon be able to require employees to fork over their social media passwords.

A last-minute amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act -- known as CISPA -- banning such a practice was blocked by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, despite the passage of the broad cybersecurity bill overall.

The provision, proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.), was voted down 224-189, with Republicans constituting the majority.

"This is a very simple amendment that really does two things," Perlmutter told the House Thursday, before the vote. "It helps the individual protect his right to privacy and it doesn't allow the employer to impersonate that particular employee when other people are interacting with that person across social media platforms."

While Perlmutter warned of breached privacy and the potential to impersonate employees, as U.S. News & World Report notes, CISPA sponsor Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) called the Democratic congressman's proposal an attempt to kill the bill.

Perlmutter denied the claim, but Rogers still suggested that he instead address the employee privacy issue with separate legislation.

This is not the first time Perlmutter has introduced the pro-privacy measure. The Democratic congressman also attempted to tack on such a provision to the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012 and the earlier version of CISPA, both of which were never passed by the U.S. Senate.

After initially introducing the password privacy measure in 2011, Perlmutter explained in a statement:

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.

Though CISPA passed the House, 288 to 127, it could very likely be killed in the Senate -- as the first version of the cybersecurity legislation was -- or face a veto from the White House, which has already threatened the controversial legislation.

In the meantime, Anonymous has called for an Internet blackout on April 22 to protest CISPA.

Related on HuffPost:

7 Things We Forget We Do Online
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

CISPA Add-On Banning Employers from Seeking Facebook ...

Stop C.I.S.P.A. , The new US Anti-Privacy bill | Facebook

All About CISPA, the Bill that Wants to Erode Your Online Privacy

CISPA Goes to The Floor for a Vote, Privacy Amendments Blocked ...

Legislation Preventing Employers From Asking for Facebook Passwords Defeated

GOP Led House Passes Anti-Privacy CISPA Bill

House panel OKs cybersecurity bill; opponents fear more monitoring of Internet

America's Awful Computer-Crime Law Might Be Getting a Whole Lot Worse

 
From Our Partners