» The key word here is “purported.” Critics of SOPA alleged that the text of the bill was too draconian, and would have allowed for shutting down entire websites for questionable infractions (for example, linking to a message board with a comment that directed users to a site with copyrighted material). Opposition to CISPA, however, comes due to privacy concerns: Critics say the bill allows private companies (such as Facebook and Microsoft which opposed SOPA but support CISPA) to exchange personal information and private data with the government a bit too easily. We’ve still got to delve into the nitty-gritty here, but we recommend you seek out a few different takes on the legislation. TechDirt and Geekosystem are both opposed, GigaOm is so-so, and Lifehacker has a nice rundown as to why Facebook and Microsoft opposed SOPA but support CISPA.
As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan • Responding to a recent Associated Press story that discussed potential employers who would ask job applicants for their passwords. Facebook thinks that’s a no-no, and promises it may even consider legal action against companies that use Facebook information in this way. It’s good to see that Facebook is on the same page as us about this matter.
» An advertising play: “We can provide more relevant ads too,” Google points out. “For example, it’s January, but maybe you’re not a gym person, so fitness ads aren’t that useful to you.” More relevant for users, possibly, but more relevant for advertisers, too? It’ll be interesting to see what happens a few months down the line with this policy.
» There’s one particularly amazing line in this story: ”In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly — only in order to locate and retrieve them.” If you remember, the FBI had to stop using tracking devices as the result of a Supreme Court ruling that ruled that the practice was illegal without a warrant. So everyone, have a small chuckle at the fact that FBI can’t find some of its GPS devices.
Facebook asked me to pass this on to you. They require it of all visitors to their facilities. It only applies to things that you might accidentally stumble upon while you are there and covers nothing discussed during our news conference. Please either bring a signed copy or be ready to sign upon arrival.An official for Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna • In a message sent prior to a press conference that McKenna was holding with Facebook at the company’s Seattle office. Yes, that’s right: Facebook wanted journalists to sign non-disclosure agreements TO COVER A PRESS CONFERENCE IN THEIR BUILDING. Talk about being all paranoid about privacy or something. The company later backed down before the press conference began, with another McKenna official saying “You may disregard the non-disclosure agreement that we sent earlier.” Fail.