Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week in Review

There is a fine line between speech that is protected and speech that is not. Cross it, and you may be in trouble. Events this week demonstrate how making this distinction is getting even harder -- and riskier -- as technology evolves. In Virginia, six sheriff's office employees were fired after they liked the Facebook page of their boss's re-election opponent. The district court disagreed with the employees' contention that their "likes" were protected speech, but both the ACLU and Facebook have already filed appeals to the Fourth Circuit. Over in Kansas, a federal judge's like of a sheriff's campaign post has made her the center of an ethics complaint.

Other individuals catching flack this week for their technological "expressions"include: a TV news director who referred to a homeless Native American as an animal, a Taco Bell employee who tweeted a picture of himself urinating into what he claimed was a platter of nachos, and creators of a Facebook page which depicts Aboriginal Australians as drunk welfare cheats. Only time will tell where each line will ultimately be drawn, but until then, tread carefully.

Technology and the Workplace
How Facebook "Likes" Can Still Get You Fired (Mobiledia) (Washington Post)
Duluth TV News Director Resigns After Disparaging Facebook Post (StarTribune)
Taco Bell Employee Fired After Tweeting Picture of Him Allegedly Urinating onto Nacho Platter (Time) (NBC)
Facebooking About "Naked Twister" May Doom One's Sexual Harassment Claims (Employer Handbook)
How to Protect Your Cloud From Being Hacked (CNN) (CBS)

Technology and the Law
Cybersecurity Bill is Blocked in Senate by G.O.P. Filibuster (NY Times)
Court Prompts Twitter to Give Data to Police in Threat Case (NY Times) (ABA Journal)
Judge's Facebook "Like" Leads to Ethics Complaints (DE Employment Law Blog) (Morning Sun)
Email Addresses of MN Citizens Not Private (La Crosse Tribune)
Facebook Pressured to Remove Page Deemed Racist (CBS)

There's an App for That
Starbucks Teams Up With Square to Offer Mobile Payment (NY Times)
Now You Can Deposit Checks Using the Bank of America iOS App (LA Times)
Help Wanted: Moonlighters for Mobile Apps (WSJ)
FlightTrack Now Offers Free App (CNN)
Tracking Consumer Sentiment? There's an App for That (WSJ)

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