Privacy Advocates Win Round Against Bozeman, MT

It isn’t often that we can report here in the Barr Code, or anywhere else for that matter, that citizens advocating for privacy rights have won a round against the government — any government.  But, the citizens of Bozeman, Montana, in solidarity with people all across the country, have done just that.  Based on public outcry against a Bozeman policy to demand job applicants surrender to the city all their passwords to Internet social networking organizations, the city has backed down and rescinded its ill-advised policy.

When the city of Bozeman implemented the privacy-invasive policy in mid-June, it defended it by claiming the detailed information giving its bureaucrats access to applicants’ personal Internet passwords would be used only “to verify application information,” and that refusal to supply the information would not be held against an applicant.  Thankfully, such disengenuous explanations failed to stem the tidal wave of negative comment the city received; including from some of the state’s legislators.

Although the policy was ill-conceived and clearly crossed the line from reasonable, pre-employment information to private, personal information, the city of Bozeman ought to at least be congratulated for recognizing its mistake and rescinding the policy.  Most other governments — including the feds — would have dug in their heels and continued to defend their turf.  Ever heard of Uncle Sam admitting a mistake and then voluntarily repealing a bad policy?  Neither have I.

8 comments Add your comment

Jim Callihan

July 3rd, 2009
8:09 am

Good point Bob.
Here’s another reminder of the deceitful guile in our government:
The ‘Department of Energy’ was instituted on 8-04-1977…

TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh?????

AND NOW IT’S 2009, 32 YEARS LATER … AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS

NECESSARY DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR.

IT HAS 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY

100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE!

“Mission Accomplished”?

And NOW – we are going to turn the Banking System, Health Care & the Auto Industry over to government, errr…the Federal Reserve?

WAKE UP!!!

jt

July 3rd, 2009
9:00 am

Don’t forget the War on Drugs.

It’s easier for a kid to buy a spliff than a pack of cigarettes.

booger

July 3rd, 2009
10:46 am

I applaud Bozeman, but fear privacy may become the least of our worries if this out of control spending isn’t curbed by someone. Apparently the Repubs. are not going to do it.

Did you know that the cap-and-trade bill has a brand new entitlemnt program buried on page 1193? To offset the increase in cost to low income citizens, a check will be issued by our government to all citizens who have an income at 150% of poverty level or lower. In addition page 1209 has an increase in the earned income credit payments.

How on earth can th US afford all this Stuff? Where is the media coverage of these new and expanded entitlements. When will a real grown up come forward and put an end to this?

Michael H. Smith

July 3rd, 2009
11:29 am

The nation’s purse is controlled by Congress and what political party controls the Congress?

Your Democrats.

And O’samer is no better at finding the veto pen than his predecessor. In fact he will spend more than all of the Presidents this country ever elected combined before he leaves office.

Moving back closer onto the topic of this blog: One more piece of Dunkey Dung from O’samer, the Flip-flopper n’ Chief.

Cybersecurity Plan to Involve NSA, Telecoms
DHS Officials Debating The Privacy Implications

President Obama said in May that government efforts to protect computer systems from attack would not involve “monitoring private-sector networks or Internet traffic,” and Department of Homeland Security officials say the new program will scrutinize only data going to or from government systems.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202771.html?wpisrc=newsletter

David S

July 4th, 2009
10:49 am

An even better solution to all of this would be to dismantle government and eliminate all government jobs. The private sector is fully capable of providing competitive alternatives to EVERY task performed by government at all levels. After all, every task is done by an individual. Government has no monopoly on the individual. It might take a large company to do some of the things like roads, etc. but private roads exist all over this nation and all over the world – with better quality and far lower cost.

On this 4th of July, we should examine how dependent we have allowed our society to become on the provision of services by overpriced and unaccountable government agencies. Every time the government does something, we give up freedom, choice and liberty.

Our founding fathers would be truly ashamed of what we have allowed this country to degenerate into.

Both parties are equally to blame for the socialism and fascism that has destroyed us, as are the ignorant voters.

Michael H. Smith

July 4th, 2009
11:55 am

Our founding fathers would truly be on the brink of engaging in another revolution. Come to think of it, with over 1,300 Tea Parties underway across the nation today in protest of what has become of the founding fathers Republic, they might be proud this moment.

Mary

July 5th, 2009
10:47 pm

Where do they jerks get off demanding private passwords. I wouldn’t give them my passwords to facebook any more than I would giving them my passwords to my ISP email account. I sue Facebook for networking and job hunting. These people need to get a clue. Looks like somebody gave to them by hitting them over the head!

StJ

July 7th, 2009
10:03 am

They had absolutely NO right to ask for ANY information not relevant to the business purpose (in this case, employment). What’s next, requesting that you give them your banking password so they can “verify” your mailing address?

Correct answer: NYFB (NONE OF YOUR FREAKIN BUSINESS).