Author Topic: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password  (Read 4564 times)

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Offline Groovy Metal Fist

This needs to be outlawed immediately and anyone who asks for this after should be legally treated as a hacker:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116209-Colleges-and-Employers-Now-Requiring-Applicants-Facebook-Passwords

Should I give them my email password and keys to my house too?

Offline Walter

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 03:28:52 PM »
Yeah this is simply absurd. It'll get cracked down. The law moves at a slower pace than corporate practices and the Internet.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Vampire_Hunter_Bob

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 04:17:58 PM »
Yeah this is simply absurd. It'll get cracked down. The law moves at a slower pace than corporate practices and the Internet.

I can't wait for the Libertarian rhetoric: "Do you really want MORE Government interference? They're stripping away our rights when they tell businesses they can't ask for Facebook passwords."

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 04:56:20 PM »
anyone who asks for this after should be legally treated as a hacker

I wish people would stop overusing the term "hacker". Asking for someone's password is "hacking" now?

Anyways, this sounds ridiculous, but feels almost inevitable in a way. As people's personal lives become more and more visible on the Internet, institutions and corporations will be increasingly tempted to spy on them. Hopefully it'll be outlawed, but with all of what's going on these days, who knows...

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 05:07:27 PM »
I wish people would stop overusing the term "hacker". Asking for someone's password is "hacking" now?

From merriam-webster:
Quote
to gain access to a computer illegally

If it's illegal to coerce an employee to reveal their Facebook information stored on a remote server, then it is hacking. Not all hacking requires computer wizardry.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 05:23:27 PM »
From merriam-webster:
If it's illegal to coerce an employee to reveal their Facebook information stored on a remote server, then it is hacking. Not all hacking requires computer wizardry.

You're cute, but really you ought to stay quiet if you don't know what you're talking about. In this case, requesting that someone willingly gives you access to their facebook account (which isn't a "computer" and so doesn't even fit this outdated and inaccurate definition from Merriam-Webster) if they want to join your computer/sports team does not constitute "hacking", despite being an abusive demand.

Offline SuperVegetto

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 06:12:55 PM »
Just one of the billion dumb laws men created.

Offline Walter

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 06:29:41 PM »
Just one of the billion dumb laws men created.
What law would that be?
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline SuperVegetto

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 06:31:22 PM »
What law would that be?

I was talking about this case being legal.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 08:19:10 PM »
That's more the absence of a specific law, so in that regard what we actually need is another dumb law (as half the Prince of the Saiyans, you should really know this). Hopefully this will be self-regulated at a community level in the meantime; it isn't worth the trouble/backlash to a lot of employers to invade prospective employees privacy like this (or, at least we shouldn't let it be). In any case, my plan to circumvent it is to suspend my facebook account when I'm interviewing (which I basically do anyway) and truthfully tell them I haven't got one. An alternative with some tradeoffs would be to change one's name and picture on facebook. Or, one could get fake papers and attempt to smuggle themselves over the wall into West Germany and... oh, sorry, got my wires crossed with history/poli sci study. Honest mistake. =)

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 11:41:55 PM »
In this case, requesting that someone willingly gives you access to their facebook account (which isn't a "computer" and so doesn't even fit this outdated and inaccurate definition from Merriam-Webster) if they want to join your computer/sports team does not constitute "hacking", despite being an abusive demand.

You access an account through a server, a computer with a dedicated purpose, so illegally obtaining a facebook password does fit the merriam-webster definition. Virtually every news article about hacking is about people obtaining unauthorized access to a server; so the definition isn't outdated. If someone's password gets stolen and their account is accessed that person will usually say they were 'hacked'. I will agree that it doesn't cover every use of the word and that there is debate over its scope. The main point I was making was that obtaining a password through coercion is morally comparable to a man in the middle attack. I believe in the eyes of the law, these people should be treated in a similar way. The individual circumstances may vary, but that's what courts are for.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 02:08:53 AM by Groovy Metal Fist »

Offline Walter

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2012, 01:19:41 AM »
You access an account through a server, a computer with a dedicated purpose, so that does fit the merriam-webster definition. Virtually every news article about hacking is about people obtaining unauthorized access to a server; so the definition isn't outdated. If someone's password gets stolen and their account is accessed that person will usually say they were 'hacked'. I will agree that it doesn't cover every use of the word and that there is debate over its scope. The main point I was making was that obtaining a password through coercion is morally comparable to a man in the middle attack. I believe in the eyes of the law, these people should be treated in a similar way. The individual circumstances may vary, but that's what courts are for.
Husband: Hey babe, what's your bank password?
Wife: 99999999kittens
Husband: Oh right, thanks. I'm just checking our balance. We have $2,000,000, so I can pay the electric bill on time this month.
Wife: Wait, you hacked into my account?!
Husband: Wait, what? No. You just gave me the password.
Wife:THAT'S HACKING ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER!
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2012, 01:39:54 AM »
Husband: Hey babe, what's your bank password?
Wife: 99999999kittens
Husband: Oh right, thanks. I'm just checking our balance. We have $2,000,000, so I can pay the electric bill on time this month.
Wife: Wait, you hacked into my account?!
Husband: Wait, what? No. You just gave me the password.
Wife:THAT'S HACKING ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER!

Law enforcement or the couple could probably settle whether or not that constituted unauthorized access. Either way, who gives out their password without asking how it's going to be used?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 01:54:42 AM by Groovy Metal Fist »

Offline Griffith

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 02:22:25 AM »
Either way, who gives out their password without asking how it's going to be used?

I should have thought of that before giving Walter my password for his example. :judo:

Offline Vampire_Hunter_Bob

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 03:53:52 AM »
Bah! Merriam-Webster.

Quote from: Oxford English Dictionary
hacking, n.1
d. The use of a computer for the satisfaction it gives; the activity of a hacker (hacker n. 3). colloq. (orig. U.S.).

1976    J. Weizenbaum Computer Power & Human Reason iv. 118   The compulsive programmer spends all the time he can working on one of his big projects. ‘Working’ is not the word he uses; he calls what he does ‘hacking’.
1984    Times 7 Aug. 16/2   Hacking, as the practice of gaining illegal or unauthorized access to other people's computers is called.
1984    Sunday Times 9 Dec. 15/2   Hacking is totally intellectual—nothing goes boom and there are no sparks. It's your mind against the computer.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012, 11:33:48 AM »
You access an account through a server, a computer with a dedicated purpose

That depends how you define "server". Nowadays a "server" often rather refers to a computer program to which clients connect through a network. The hardware aspect isn't nearly as consequential as it used to be (especially in the case of giant server farms). As far as Facebook goes, you access data via a user interface that is made publicly accessible on the Internet (can be accessed on a large variety of devices). That hardly corresponds to the definition of "computer" as provided by Merriam-Webster, which is why I called it outdated. It's all about the data.

so illegally obtaining a facebook password

Requesting that someone gives you access to their account before you hire them isn't illegal. That's what your article was all about. Much like me requesting that my friend gives me $100 if he wants to be invited to my party isn't illegal. In both cases the involved parties have the choice to refuse the offer that is made to them.

Virtually every news article about hacking is about people obtaining unauthorized access to a server

Actually from what I've seen it's more like 90% of articles about hacking are about kids DDoSing some website.

If someone's password gets stolen

Not our case here. And whether social engineering constitutes proper hacking or not is a whole different debate.

The main point I was making was that obtaining a password through coercion is morally comparable to a man in the middle attack. I believe in the eyes of the law, these people should be treated in a similar way. The individual circumstances may vary, but that's what courts are for.

I believe it's an abusive recruiting practice that should be banned. But that doesn't mean it's "hacking".

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 03:05:15 PM »
That depends how you define "server". Nowadays a "server" often rather refers to a computer program to which clients connect through a network. The hardware aspect isn't nearly as consequential as it used to be (especially in the case of giant server farms). As far as Facebook goes, you access data via a user interface that is made publicly accessible on the Internet (can be accessed on a large variety of devices). That hardly corresponds to the definition of "computer" as provided by Merriam-Webster, which is why I called it outdated. It's all about the data.

While hardware has become more efficient I would not consider it inconsequential. In fact Facebook's need for tens of thousands of physical server machines would be evidence that hardware is still very important. The server software you refer to is run on physical machines dedicated specifically to that process. When you interact with an interface to access data, you call upon software hosted on a physical machine devoted to handling your requests that isn't yours to get you that data. 

Requesting that someone gives you access to their account before you hire them isn't illegal. That's what your article was all about. Much like me requesting that my friend gives me $100 if he wants to be invited to my party isn't illegal. In both cases the involved parties have the choice to refuse the offer that is made to them.

I know it would not be treated as hacking in our current system. My argument is that it should be made illegal and treated the same way as other activities we refer to as hacking. Threatening a person's job for their password is comparable to key logging it in my opinion and has very different circumstances from your party scenario.

Quote
a whole different debate

The majority of this thread  :ganishka:. Completely inadvertent on my part.

Quote
I believe it's an abusive recruiting practice that should be banned.
Agreed.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 04:55:40 PM »
While hardware has become more efficient I would not consider it inconsequential.

It's not a matter of efficiency but of virtualization.

When you interact with an interface to access data, you call upon software hosted on a physical machine devoted to handling your requests that isn't yours to get you that data.

That sentence can be applied to what we're doing here with this forum and it's not illegal, nor is it hacking.

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: Government and Businesses can legally request your Facebook password
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2012, 05:07:13 PM »
That sentence can be applied to what we're doing here with this forum and it's not illegal, nor is it hacking.

I was clarifying how logging in to Facebook involves computer access in that part of my post. We can all agree, logging in to your own personal Facebook account is legitimate as is posting here.