Sunday, March 25, 2012

Intellectual Property Rights


There’s an article on Fox News website, Senators call for federal probe over employers asking for Facebook passwords, as if they didn’t already know the answer.  This is nothing more than show boating; and besides, look who they are asking,

“Two U.S. senators are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews are violating federal law, their offices announced Sunday.”

{…}

“Specifically, the senators want to know if this practice violates the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Those two acts, respectively, prohibit intentional access to electronic information without authorization and intentional access to a computer without authorization to obtain information.”

If an employer asks you for the combination to your safe with the belief that you may or may not have stored information which they think they deserve to have as a condition of employment, is that any different than asking for an electronic password which would unlock entry to an internet file?

Why bother asking Eric Holder to investigate anything of importance?  Holder, who has refused to do his job, Holder who turned a blind eye to Black Panthers intimidating voters at the polls and developed a massive brain cramp when asked about gun walking in Fast & Furious.  Should anyone expect a reasonable answer regarding the legality of something as simple as individual property rights? 

“I think it’s going to take some years for courts to decide whether Americans in the digital age have the same privacy rights” as previous generations, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Catherine Crump said in a previous interview with the AP.”

A good portion of modern law is based upon the writings of Bastiat who wrote:

“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?”  (The Law pg 6)

Just in case you missed it, “For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?”  Your thoughts, stored on a sheet of paper or digitally in a virtual file, are property and are protected by natural laws which existed before governments were formed as Bastiat recorded on the same page:

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

Here’s a solution which would avoid lengthy court battles and require very little effort; have employers request “friendship” status of any employee with a Facebook or Twitter account.  The information employers desire would then be available to them, as it would anyone else consider friendly to that individual.  I suspect most folks wouldn’t mind having their company listed as a friend; or not.

Individual property rights have been under attack from many directions.  Let’s remind lawmakers of a line in our Declaration of Independence (tell Nancy Pelosi it’s not in the Affordable Care Act or as it has become known, “Obamacare”)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

The pursuit of Happiness refers to property; the accumulation of tangible property as well as intellectual property.  (Here’s an aside for Nancy Pelosi; taking money from those who have earned it and handing it to those who have not is called theft, a violation of individual property rights.  Obamacare requires the use of wealth redistribution; government acting to force some individuals to relinquish, under threat of force, their property to pay for medical costs for those who chose not to pay themselves.)  Thomas Jefferson admonished anyone who might trample upon an individual’s right to property:

“The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

With all due respect to Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, have you ever read any of our nations founding documents?  From what can be gathered, the answer is no.  Why are you two sitting in honored seats representing a freedom loving people?  Time for you both to step down and let someone else represent the people.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

4 comments:

Right Wing Theocrat said...

I would have thought that holder would come down quickly on the side of the facebook users seeing as a lot of them, if not the majority of them, would be democrat voters. And if he doesn't, it's a good thing, let them find out the hard way about the nanny state they wished for.

"I suspect most folks wouldn’t mind having their company listed as a friend; or not."

I don't think so, from what I've seen, most wouldn't want their boss anywhere near their facebook page, you'd be surprised at the 'questionable' things people put up there when they have a false sense of anonymity.

And I'm really surprised the ACLU said this - “I think it’s going to take some years for courts to decide whether Americans in the digital age have the same privacy rights” - I thought they would be arguing vehemently for the facebook users. Maybe they think it's full of Conservatives or something, I know they're rarely keen to fight for our rights.

T. F. Stern said...

Holder should have been indicted by now for his role in Fast & Furious. At the very least he should have been relieved of his duties and replaced by someone willing to do the job. As far as the ACLU goes, they make an appearance now and then to make it look like they really care about individual rights when in fact what they want is a totalitarian state where the collective comes first.

1389 said...

What kinds of Faustian bargains are we being expected to make?

What part of “None of anybody’s damn business!” do they not understand?

I do have a Twitter account (@1389). But I don’t reveal my real-life identity online and I don’t reveal my blog/Twitter/etc. identity in person. Immediate family members know; they can take over if anything happens to me.

My husband and I have never had Facebook accounts and never intend to have them. (Just as an aside, I don’t know whether any FB pages exist that match my screen name or my real-life name, but if so, they aren’t mine. I know that there are some living people who have the same first and last name as I have, and if an employer googles my name, other people’s info will probably come up.)

I don’t talk about anything online that is any concern of current or future employers. No trade secrets, nothing illegal, nothing derogatory about them. It has nothing to do with them whatsoever.

Would I give any information about my online identity to a current or future employer?

No. Way. In. HELL!

RamanMaan said...

I am agreed that we have right to defend against our property. But it is true only for common man when it comes to luminaries then the case is some different. At that time only money and power works.

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