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Bozeman, MT Drops Password Info Requirement

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the backlashed-into-submission dept.

Government 163

mcmoodle writes "Bozeman, Montana has decided that they don't want applicant personal information after all, citing a worldwide backlash on the issue: '"Effective at noon today the city of Bozeman permanently ceased the practice of requesting that candidates selected for positions under a provisional job offer to provide their usernames or passwords for candidates' internet sites," said Chris Kukulski, Bozeman City Manager. ... Kukulski says after a 90 minute staff meeting held earlier today, officials decided asking applicants to provide their passwords to sites such as Facebook or MySpace, "exceeded that which is acceptable to our community." Kukulski apologized for the negative impact the issue has generated from news organizations and blogs around the world.' I didn't have any doubt this would be immediately squashed. Now I'm just curious as to how many personal accounts they actually went through!"

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First Trout! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400285)

and my password is... "i am a fish"

Myths and History (0)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400297)

Personal security is a myth that rose from the ashes of wishful security.

One thing in defense of their actions: I prefer to know when people need that access, compared to someone randomly searching through those things. (tyvm Patriot Act)

While Bozeman's government's actions aren't kosher, can we really defend against it? Records are records, and if they decide that they absolutely must have it for such and such, it's not something you can completely prevent. In the future (say... 50 years from now), would it be law to allow or even require record requests from (larger) internet companies?

Re:Myths and History (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400315)

Reality is 9/10th of the law.

Re:Myths and History (2, Funny)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400599)

Reality is 9/10th of the law.

perception is reality

therefore

perception is 9/10 of the law

Re:Myths and History (4, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400651)

Reality is 9/10th of the law.

perception is reality

therefore

perception is 9/10 of the law

Laws are meant to be broken. - Ref some Wall Street lawyer

Re:Myths and History (4, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400385)

Are you implying that a person's passwords to their personal accounts on websites are subject to public information requirements?

Because the FBI has maintained that obtaining a person's passwords without their consent is a crime.

Re:Myths and History (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400483)

Because the FBI has maintained that obtaining a person's passwords without their consent is a crime.

You are using the credibility and authority of the FBI as a case for privacy rights. I suppose they are more credible than the NSA.

Re:Myths and History (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400777)

Actually, it's more like "Well, even the FBI, which not the most "privacy conscious" of organizations, thinks that accessing someone's personal accounts without their permission (or a warrant, or special PATRIOT act permission) is a crime."

Heh.

Re:Myths and History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401685)

Well actually, since they would have willingly put their information down, it wouldn't be a crime in that aspect. The people giving out their passwords would actually be violating the End User License Agreement for sites such as Facebook.
However it was ridiculous for these people to ask for the passwords in the first place.

Re:Myths and History (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400875)

Are you implying that a person's passwords to their personal accounts on websites are subject to public information requirements?

Because the FBI has maintained that obtaining a person's passwords without their consent is a crime.

Consent is the requirement.

Re:Myths and History (3, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400447)

While Bozeman's government's actions aren't kosher, can we really defend against it? Records are records, and if they decide that they absolutely must have it for such and such, it's not something you can completely prevent

This is nothing but the typical "if you don't have anything to hide, then you should be OK giving up your information" defense, slightly rephrased. Please read Daniel Solove's excellent evisceration of this argument here in PDF [familyrights.us] , and stop accepting the blanket "interests of national security" line without questioning on a case-by-case basis if it is reasonable.

Someone needs to create a privacy argument checklist for /. like the "why your spam solution won't work" checklist.

The ignorant are often dishonest. (2, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400591)

I've found that when managers are ignorant about technology they often pretend that they understand. Chris Kukulski, Bozeman City Manager [bozeman.net] , seems to be one of those. Yet he says, "Integrity, leadership, service, and teamwork are the core values of our organization..."

Although he has stopped asking for passwords, there is no evidence that he actually understands, because the story says this: "... although the city will stop asking for passwords Kukulski says the passwords already given by previous applicants will remain the confidential property of the city." That's a surprisingly ignorant position to take, since site owners can change their passwords at any time.

Some people can see that technology is re-shaping our world in an exciting way and want to be part of that, but they don't want to do the work of actually understanding how and why.

It would be interesting if someone would collect all the Slashdot stories about managers pretending they understand the more complicated world surrounding technology, but actually being very ignorant. For example, yesterday there was this story about a university needlessly losing money: IT: Univ. of Wisconsin's 30-Year-Old Payroll System Needs a $40 Million Fix [slashdot.org] .

Re:The ignorant are often dishonest. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401153)

Didn't you know? The ability to lie convincingly and effectively is the most important criteria for any job in this "service" economy we have built. You won't see it on any job listing, but the way the interview process works practically guarantees it.

ignorant often dishonest: remember Tuttle, OK? (3, Interesting)

KWTm (808824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402281)

I've found that when managers are ignorant about technology they often pretend that they understand.

I'm giving up mod points to voice my agreement with you. Anyone else remember Tuttle, Oklahoma [wikipedia.org] ? I don't expect managers, even IT managers, to know everything [tuttletimes.com] , but it would be nice if they admitted they made mistakes [theregister.co.uk] rather than acting like jerks [centos.org] .

Re:Myths and History (3, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400465)

It's completely unenforceable. People can just claim they have no Slashdot account (for example) and therefore not have to give their passwords away. Why anybody would be stupid enough to randomly give every potential employer their passwords is beyond reason. I could understand setting up temporary proxy accounts that would be used to, for example, say good things about the company in anticipation of a job interview.

The people who thought up this scheme are obviously stupid. How do people get into Management?

Re:Myths and History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400645)

People can just claim they have no Slashdot account

And my case, it's even true!

Re:Myths and History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400961)

Yeah , this Post Anonymously is a godsend.

Re:Myths and History (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400709)

Why anybody would be stupid enough to randomly give every potential employer their passwords is beyond reason.

1. Give employer passwords
2. Have an alibi while some friend posts kiddieporn/whatever to one of the pages from an open wireless AP.
3. Sue them because nobody else had the account data so it must be them.
4. Profit.

Re:Myths and History (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400723)

It's completely unenforceable

Don't start down the "acceptance" road already - this "hacking into job-applicants' email" malarkey was always unacceptable and should never have happened and should never happen again and any law purporting to support it must be removed, as should any politician who votes for it.

It's not time to fall-back to the "this is okay so long as it's not enforced" argument which justifies stunts like this.

Re:Myths and History (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401347)

Exactly. If you ignore it because it's unenforceable, then what happens when 5 years down the road they figure out some way to _actually_ enforce it.

You'll complain, but your complaint will be meaningless, because "It's been that way for 5 years, and you're only just complaining now? If this was a problem, you would have brought it up before now. Obviously you're not as concerned as you say you are. We'll go ahead as planned."

Re:Myths and History (3, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401333)

The people who thought up this scheme are obviously stupid. How do people get into Management?

I would think the statement answers the question..... :-)

Re:Myths and History (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400563)

Records are records, and if they decide that they absolutely must have it for such and such, it's not something you can completely prevent.

Records are records, but information that could be used to harm an individual in any way must be defended. The risk for that is just too great.

I don't mind if any employer wanted my Slashdot user name just to see what I post here (well, they'd have good time hunting some of the boring comments I've posted as AC). What I post is publicly available information. If they wanted my password, I'd be a little bit worried if they would suddenly start spamming corporate propaganda under my name - that would be a little bit awkward, now wouldn't it?

Re:Myths and History (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400869)

Personal security is a myth that rose from the ashes of wishful security.

Passwords are passwords: designed to distinguish those who have the rights from those who don't. If you grant anyone else the right to modify your personal website (except of course those who maintain it under your supervision), you shouldn't be a politician.

Oh, and any information that gets into a buerocratic machine is public from a security point of view. Take my word for it. [google.hu]

Re:Myths and History (1)

htdrifter (1392761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401855)

...it's not something you can completely prevent.

You can prevent it by saying NO and walking away.
If you don't have the stones to say no then your password is the least of your problems.

Wow, worldwide backlashes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400301)

What else can we start worldwide backlashes against? They seem to fucking work.

Re:Wow, worldwide backlashes. (3, Funny)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400593)

I read: Re:Wow, worldwide backslashes.

I thought you were proposing some new installation art. Big, fluffy backslashes shrewdly placed next to global landmarks to signify the growing dominance of technology over world culture.

Re:Wow, worldwide backlashes. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400791)

Hmmm, maybe it will work for Windows!!!

\\server\sharepoint

We are the Law (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400303)

In a system like ours, each branch of government has a specific role to play. The legislature crafts and passes laws. The judiciary determines whether the laws are valid. And the executive branch takes actions prescribed by the laws.

But only the executive branch has the power to actually do anything about the laws. It is almost a travesty how much power this puts into one single branch of government. Where we expect checks and balances, there is only unbalance in favor of the executive branch.

FTFA:
The city will continue using the internet as part of background checks to judge the character of applicants, and although the city will stop asking for passwords Kukulski says the passwords already given by previous applicants will remain the confidential property of the city.

It doesn't matter if searching online is legal or not. In fact, it may be illegal to consider anonymous online sources as actionable information. As long as the executive branch says it is going to do something, there are no laws that can truly restrict it.

Re:We are the Law (3, Interesting)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400389)

Your analysis of the checks and balances system is a good one.

Few companies are willing to stand up to abusive governments, especially when it's expensive to do so (lawyer fees, etc). Also, there are ways around the no-password thing (electronic surveillance is already here), and in general, passwords are not required when you play your trump card (we'll send the suits if you don't comply).

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The purpose of central government is regulation; because that is where power can be utilized in a non-biased fashion.

Some would say that "bias is human" and such, but anyone can contrive an excuse to do something or not to do something. Placing the actions of the government (in this case, the hiring process) just to filter out applicants who say... have a fetish of any sort would have a hard time knowing whether or not their rejection was for that reason.

It's not "wrong" for Bozeman to do what it's doing, but is it doing so with the appropriate regulations? Are things truly non-biased there, or does the system there need further tweaking? Those things should be brought to light, because a broken system only benefits a select few. Any executive decision needs the balance of proper legality.

Re:We are the Law (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400669)

Maybe it isn't illegal for them to have required that information, but I would consider it wrong to be required to hand over enough information for them to control the account. I like the fire metaphor of government, some is needed and quite beneficial, too much and it's destructive. Letting some possibly unaccountable power have that kind of access and control is too much. I'm surprised that it was a Montana city that did this, last I heard, there was a simmering anti-government sentiment there, I know a few people that lived in Bozeman, MT.

I wonder when a private business of any significance will require that you "Friend" the recruiter so they know what you're all about. I imagine that they'd get away with it for a while.

Re:It is illegal (Lori Drew) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401203)

According to the Lori Drew precedent, violating the ToS of a site is no different than hacking into that site. That makes it a conspiracy to violate the federal anti-hacking laws. Facebook and the other sites involved would be well within their rights not only to sue the city, but to have whoever came up with that policy arrested on federal hacking charges.

Re:We are the Law (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400571)

A company I worked for stood up to abusive government practices. Now the people in the government makes them miserable by conducting many audits a year, arbitrarily mandating rules that only apply to our business and not the others in the state that are in the same business we are.

Change your passwords, IMMEDIATELY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400711)

If you provided your password to people like this, when you get home, change them all immediately. Duh.

We could be the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401061)

It is almost a travesty how much power this puts into one single branch of government. ... As long as the executive branch says it is going to do something, there are no laws that can truly restrict it.

There is a movement to remove the executive and the legislature from every system and replace them with the wisdom of crowds: http://metagovernment.org/wiki/Main_Page [metagovernment.org]

Re:We are the Law (2, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401559)

"As long as the executive branch says it is going to do something, there are no laws that can truly restrict it."

The executive branch is subject to the same laws you and I are, at least in theory.

I always thought the legislature could overturn and/or make new law. That's pretty powerful stuff - and as long as they stay within the confine s of the constitution, the judiciary can't do much about it. The judiciary CAN strike it down if it's unconstitutional.

The executive is supposed to take care of *running the business* of the country. The president can Veto, sure, but congress can overrule that.
The executive cannot just "do whatever it wants" unless congress and the judiciary let it.

Re:We are the Law (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402003)

as long as they stay within the confine s of the constitution, the judiciary can't do much about it. The judiciary CAN strike it down if it's unconstitutional.

People keep saying this in this thread. But the judiciary system can also issue writs, which are quite powerful enforcement tools. Injunctions and writs of mandamus, for example, are two writs that can be aimed directly at an executive branchketeer to force compliance.

Fascinating... (4, Insightful)

Sorthum (123064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400325)

Interesting that they declare the passwords they've already received to be the "property of the city."

Bodes not well, that's for sure-- and it shows that the city still doesn't "get it." They likely just know that a lot of people got very upset, and figured they'd back away from something they just don't grasp...

Re:Fascinating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400347)

Interesting that they declare the passwords they've already received to be the "property of the city."

Well, hopefully those people will go change their passwords. But, if they supplied their passwords in the first place, they probably dont care, or are too apathetic about it all.

That, and with, say YouTube, MySpace, or any forum, all you need is the person's username to see what they have been up to.

Re:Fascinating... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400493)

The reality is that most of the elected representatives and employed professionals were largely unaware of what was going on. This is just the typical act of a power mad 'perve' someone who lies to pry into other people's lives, get a sexual kick out of having that level of control over other peoples lives.

It would be really interesting to find out who put in that clause and thought it was suitable and who else knew about it.

Re:Fascinating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400521)

Surely they just change the password!?!!

Re:Fascinating... (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400551)

shows that the city still doesn't "get it." They likely just know that a lot of people got very upset, and figured they'd back away from something they just don't grasp...

Kukulski says after a 90 minute staff meeting held earlier today, officials decided asking applicants to provide their passwords to sites such as Facebook or MySpace, "exceeded that which is acceptable to our community." Kukulski apologized for the negative impact the issue has generated from news organizations and blogs around the world.' I didn't have any doubt this would be immediately squashed. Now I'm just curious as to how many personal accounts they actually went through!"

Yeah, I would say they don't fucking get it. It took them 90 minutes to decide it was a bad idea apparently and that the backlash was not worth it. 90 minutes. 1 1/2 HOURS. If they understood it at all, the implications of what they were doing, the violations of people's privacy and freedoms, it would *not* have taken anywhere near 90 minutes. I can imagine it was mostly about how they could spin it a different way and still get the information.

You can see it was just marketing PR with their half-assed insincere apology about it being unacceptable to the community.

Now their curious about how many accounts they actually got. Translation: "We had to stop doing it because of the whiners, but at least we got to find out how many people would put up with our shit".

Re:Fascinating... (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401033)

Looking back at history, people put up with feudalism for centuries and embraced fascism by the millions. It isn't real surprising that some bureaucrats think they need control over what the minions they hire think (a big part of the problem is that they think they have minions).

Re:Fascinating... (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401579)

Now their curious about how many accounts they actually got.

Actually, that was the submitter's comment, not the City Manager's comment.

Re:Fascinating... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400663)

What exactly does the TOS for Myspace/Facebook et al have to say about this? Isn't sharing your password a no-no?

The Lori Drew case showed that violating a website TOS is worth jail time, so I wonder what trouble the city has earned itself.

Re:Fascinating... (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401573)

If sharing passwords violates the TOS and is worth jail time, then I'd say the people who handed out their passwords are the guilty ones as well.

Re:Fascinating... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400793)

> Interesting that they declare the passwords they've already received to be the "property of the city."

If only there were some way of changing your password...

Re:Fascinating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401047)

If it was my passwords that they now considered "property of the city". They could have them. As odds are I'll already have the fucking things changed. Hell, I'd have them changed the day after I was hired since if they only needed them for "background checks" for employment, then they already have whatever they needed and have no further reason to be rummaging around through my shit.

Of course, I would have likely just dropped my application for the job upon hearing that it demanded passwords - and potentially checked with lawyers to see if a lawsuit had any chance of going anywhere.

REMOVE LOUIS FROM L4D (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400333)

I propose that we remove Louis from L4D, nobody can relate to him because he is a nigger.

I'm sure people that play left 4 dead will get on their computers and join a lobby for some No Mercy campaign fun, only to find that all the infected are taken. this is undeniably the case most of the time.

You decide "oh well, at least you can play as bill, hes a badass Vietnam veteran and probably raped some azn girl while he was setting villages on fire" But, you are disappointed as somebody already joined and took him first... hes always taken first god damnit.

well, then there is the next best choice, Zoey. The lovable teenage slut has always provoked some kind of perverted thought in L4D gamers and when they go to patch her up with first aid they cream themselves at getting this close to a woman, virtual or not. So with all the extra help around, playing as Zoey should be a breeze, right? Well, some fucker already took that second... now the sudden realization dawns on you, you have two choices left.

One is the faggot biker Francis, that only acts like hes interested in Zoey as to throw of the trail that he secretly would fuck Bill so hard in the ass given the chance. The other choice, though, is worse. it's a fucking nigger.

I mean sure, he isn't hindered in any way, well... not in physical gameplay at least. But you soon will realize after playing a couple rounds being a nigger, every time you get pounced, smoked, or somebody accidentally clips him with a bullet, he has to open his fat lips to shout louder then any of the other survivors and speaks in a vernacular that just makes me sick to hear it.

If we were to get rid of Louis, teamkilling "accidents" will be cut down by 50%, and the survivor morale will increase dramatically, no longer burdened by some filthy, loud, beast.

But, I am only one person, I will need the help of all you fellow people that enjoy L4D, but their experience is hindered by the sight of this dirty chicken eating coon. Shall We receive enough signatures, Valve will soon know the errors of their ways and create an alternative to being such a disgraceful character.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Re:REMOVE LOUIS FROM L4D (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28402239)

You can forget Valve ever removing niggers from their games. The coont, Alyx, in Half-Life 2 is the spawn of the unholy union of ape seed and a white woman. Then, later in the game, they pair her nigger daddy up with yet another white slut. Valve loves the thought of niggers fucking white women and I'm sure they stage make-believe zoological ape/human sexual orgies with their developer tools when the lights are out. It's disgusting.

If you have nothing to hide... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400359)

If you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't worry about this. All this was designed to do was to allow a more thorough background check to be done for prospective candidates for government positions.

There was plenty of backlash when some of Obama's selections for cabinet posts were revealed to have a few skeletons in their closet. Unfortunately, because of people who are overly protective of privacy, it's practically impossible to do a thorough background check and find these skeletons early in the process.

Why would you be worried about a background check if you have nothing to hide? The excessive protection of privacy is doing more harm than good.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400403)

So close...

First, you should use a real username. There's no point to post if half the users are going to ignore you anyway.

Second, your concept of tying this to Obama is correct, but you need to make the connection more concrete. You could have mentioned that the people who will be undergoing this background check are government employees, and therefore the employees of all MT citizens. What's more, these employees would be actually in a position of power over the citizenry, so the utmost care should be taken to ensure we choose the best people for the job.

Skeletons in the closet, etc. is all fine, but you really need to bring out what you mean to be truly taken as inciteful.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401431)

you really need to bring out what you mean to be truly taken as inciteful.

Such an insightful typo....

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400419)

First, this is not a cabinet position. This is fucking Bozeman, Montana, which no one had heard of until they pulled this stunt.

Second, who watches the watchers?

Third, define "nothing to hide"? As a simple example, I don't think my body is horrible, though it could certainly be better. That doesn't mean I want to be strip-searched to get on the bus to go to work.

It's not about whether you have anything "suspicious" worth hiding. It's about whether you have anything you'd consider private. There's a reason privacy is part of the universal declaration of human rights.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (3, Funny)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401625)

This is fucking Bozeman, Montana, which no one had heard of until they pulled this stunt.

In Star Trek: First Contact, Zefram Cochrane launched the Phoenix from a missile silo just outside Bozeman, Montana. But yeah, that's about it.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28402197)

Holy shit! That's the missing piece! Now we know what's really going on: the Bozeman government has been infiltrated by Borg on a Terminator-style mission to eliminate Zefram Cochrane! They must've been aiming for the year of his birth and miscalculated. Obviously by checking out everyone's facebook and whatnot, they can trace the social relationships more quickly and find some of his grandparents, instead of having to wait 20 years.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

JacobMar1ey (695944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402393)

It's also the base station for some of the best backcountry skiing and riding in the US. And home to Montana State University.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400513)

If you have nothing to hide...

Maybe if you posted with your name and address and some way of validating who you are instead of Trolling with an AC moniker then people will take you more seriously.

Was this just a puplicity stunt . . . ? (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400373)

. . . well, the world now knows that there is a place called Bozeman, Montana.

"Come visit Bozeman this summer for vactation . . ."

"See the lovely lakes . . . "

"Please leave your passwords at the door . . ."

"What out for the moose . . ."

Re:Was this just a puplicity stunt . . . ? (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401197)

"See the lovely lakes . . . "

You forgot the wonderful telephone system.

Re:Was this just a puplicity stunt . . . ? (1)

RemusX2 (726167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401209)

Oddly enough I have lived here in Bozeman for 4 years now and this is the first I've heard of this stuff.

Bozeman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400383)

Isn't this the place the Vulcans landed?

Re:Bozeman? (2, Funny)

chip_s_ahoy (318689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400561)

Yes, it was. But Vulcans don't give up theirs passwords.

So they were evicted with GUNS!!!!

Re:Bozeman? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400675)

Only in the Mirror universe. Yes, there were some good Enterprise episodes.

Unprintable charecters (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400393)

I gave them all my passwords, but each had at least one character that was unprintable, unpronounceable and ambiguous when written down.

Re:Unprintable charecters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400477)

********

Re:Unprintable charecters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401121)

So yours is the password formerly known as Prince?

14th amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400405)

It would seem the city has been caught with its pants down on this clear violation of the 14 amendment. If they did go thru any of the private accounts, they are in a heap of scotus doo doo.

BTW, We are legion/.

Change Password (2, Insightful)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400411)

1. Fill out form, including password.
2. Send it in
3. Change password

Sheesh.

Re:Change Password (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400431)

Or do the same without the hassle of changing your password by just lying. It's not like they'll subpoena records just to see if your password actually changed (and if it did, why did you fail to notify them?)

Re:Change Password (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400467)

Did they state in the form that you had to notify them of password changes ?

I they didn't, they couldn't hold anything against you. Password changes are a standard procedure in most secured systems so they couldn't assume that you add any wrong intentions...

This whole story sounds plain silly anyway ;-))

Re:Change Password (1)

anotheregomaniac (1439993) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402265)

Not that it makes it any more acceptable, but, most of the comments here seem to think the City was requiring continuous access to the accounts, and that was not the case.

There were no restrictions on changing the password after the city was done accessing the account during the hiring process. The password was used to access the account one time during vetting and the paper application form was stored "securely" after that.

Obligatory car analogy: Insisting on getting a peek in the trunk while saying they were only interested in the paint job still stinks.

Re:Change Password (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401913)

Or just write "none" where it asks for accounts. I don't have any accounts on social networking or other sites. Hell, I don't even have a Slashdot account. You can all testify to that, right?

How about this... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402369)

I don't have an account on any of those sites.

I don't use "Not Q. Real" for name on employment applications. I don't use my real name online. Completely different people, any similarity is a coincidence.

Re:Change Password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400807)

4. Provisional job offer withdrawn because they cannot see your info; you are an obvious non-compliant, non-passive, individualist with something to hide.

4.5 Name is put into "Don't waste our time ever again" list.

5. No Job, No Profit.

One clear example why petty government and officials have been railed against for, well, ever.

Yet another real-life Dilbert moment ... (2, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400423)

Let's hear it for management. Whilst much of "management" is honest (and necessary) work, the scope for idiocy is greater than anywhere else. And that's because much of management involves the wielding of power and authority. Challenging a management decision is never seen as an exercise in objective criticism, but always as a power struggle, and treated as such.

Whenever a management decisions will be visible to those who are not subject to the decision-maker's authority, "management" is often seen to drastically scale back the scope of what it first mandated as necessary, instated as "policy", and enforced. The downside is that climbdowns are rarely the result of a realization of "Oops ... what we did was really stupid, so lets not do it anymore", but mostly "Oops ... we're getting bad publicity on this one ... time to do some managerial damage control". Stupidity remains unchallenged (unless it can be used by a manager to discredit a rival).

This example is also a salutary lesson for those who thought that Dilbert stories are all based in an imaginary world. As Scott Adams said: many of his examples come from real-life occurrences that he either witnessed himself or were emailed to him.

What leaders are getting fired? (3, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400445)

... citing a worldwide backlash... ceased the practice of requesting that candidates selected for positions under a provisional job offer to provide their usernames or passwords for candidates' internet sites

The common sense question would be why hasn't the city Manager and his accomplices been fired without severance because of this severe incompetence and lack of judgment. Reacting to a reaction is the worse kind of Management. These people should show some Leadership and resign from their positions without asking for severance pay or Letters of Reference.

14th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400455)

It would seem the city has been caught with its pants down on this clear violation of the 14 amendment. If they did go thru any of the private accounts, they are in a heap of scotus doo doo.

BTW, As elephants... We are legion/.

I read the local news article (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400489)

about this, and decided I would leave a comment. A small-print note on the page said that registration was required to leave a comment. However, there was no login or register link anywwhere that I found on the page. So I filled out a comment anyway, and I got a popup window asking for my information. I filled out my information, and clicked submit, and... nothing.

My comment did not appear on the page, so I tried again to see if there was some kind of link to login, and I got some strange dropdown asking me what kind of authentication I wanted to use: gmail, Open ID, and about 7 others I did not recognize. I tried a couple that I thought might represent the agency I had just "signed up" with, but no go.

Man, their website is a mess. The upshot is, though, that I never got to tell them what idiots they were being.

Re:I read the local news article (1)

Brandano (1192819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400649)

Now however they know your personal details, and your opinion. No need to get your facebook account info, they already have all the info they were after :)

Slashdot Effect (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400573)

I was going to read the feature article, but I think the site is suffering from the legendary Slashdot effect, either that, or the link is broken...

Government only hires the worst of society (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400603)

A reaction taken from the article;

"Note to self, don't apply in Bozeman for a city job," one person wrote.

which is scary, because everyone knows that there will likely be at least one candidate who decides to apply for a job with the public service, which means the public service is going to get the cream of the intellectually dull and the morally bankrupt. They claim (as many other employers do) that it is important to hire based on a person's moral character. If these managers were not liars and hypocrites then they would insist that people prove that they are marijuana users and affirmed atheists before hiring. They would also confirm that these people are anti-war, anti-torture and against other right-wing neo-conservative ideals. If you are going to hire based on moral character, then you should make sure that the correct moral characters be hired.

That was fast (2, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400617)

The story broke on June 17 and by the 20th they had smartened up.

90 minutes? (3, Insightful)

lgftsa (617184) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400631)

Seriously people, pull your fingers out.

Then again, it could have been a 1 minute vote and then 89 minutes of pin-the-blame on whoever's not there.

It's the usual HR rubbish (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400643)

At the core it really comes down to wanting an excuse to justify spending half the day on the net looking at facebook etc. Also HR is very much seasonal work where there is really nothing to do most of the time but you need enough people to cover the busy periods, so we end up with riduculous scope creep with busy work invented so that HR people can justify their existence when things are not busy. In the places where they have facebook details they are probably spending a lot of time looking at current employees pages looking for an excuse to fire, which is a horrible waste of resources especially if they find something. A meeting where a boss has to justify keeping an employee that has put something lewd on the net from home is a complete waste of everyone's time - it has nothing at all to do with the job
I may be unjustly predjudiced here since I have not yet met a HR person that was capable of doing their job effectively, but I do see this poking about on social networking sites as an irrelevant waste of time that at best can exclude good canditates for entirely fictional reasons. Poking about people's sites and treating exaggerated stories of drunken parties as truth is not going to help the organisation at all and it's getting dangerously close the the slave owner mentality exhibited by the nastiest types of managers. What you do on your own time never matters unless that makes you a security risk (and that will hopefully be assessed by professionals and not some idiot looking on facebook or another idiot with a "lie detector") - but we're certainly not talking about classified positions here.
It's just a waste of time and evidence of a mismanaged HR department. Where I work the HR people deal with logistics during the quiet times - accomodation bookings, travel, making sure gear arrived on site etc. At a former workplace they organised social football and other activities, dealt with charities etc. There are plenty of things they could be doing if there is no hiring going on (and most of them should be left out of the firing process if possible - ethics is not the strong point of 99% of HR people IMHO).

Re:It's the usual HR rubbish (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400857)

You really have no clue what HR does, do you?

If my office, HR not only handles hiring and firing, but also payroll, workers compensation, benefits administration, discipline issues, coordinating annual and periodic reviews, reviewing and recording time off requests, dealing with employee complaints (e.g., too much perfume, bad body odor, breakroom behavior), facilitating employee-manager conflict resolution, revising and communicating company policy, investigating allegations of innapropriate behavior (e.g., harassment), placing employment ads, screening applicants, presenting training materials regarding workplace standards and policies, and handling vendor relations for each of the company's benefit options (e.g., 401K provider, insurance carrier).Heck, the paperwork regarding workplace injuries alone is dreadful!Every time there is a new hire, our HR person spends about six hours with that person, reviewing company policies, procedures, and benefit plans.

The company I serve has just about 100 employees. It wouldn't be a stretch to envision each employee requiring six (or more) hours of HR time (not necessarily face-to-face time) each year: handing time off requests, periodic questions, payroll, employee records, etc. That's not quite a third of a full-time year. Hand over another third to vendor relations, benefits administrations, and company policy. That remaining third? General administration, dealing with his/her own management, some loss to general chatter (like everyone else). Of course, HR people have vacation and sick time, too.

Judgmental opinions based out of ignorance really irk me.

Re:It's the usual HR rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401935)

How much of that typical year is spent writing job descriptions that don't make any sense? I can't even begin to count how many times I've seen job postings for things like, "Sysadmin with 5 years experience in Windows Server 2008".

Re:It's the usual HR rubbish (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402005)

You really have no clue what HR does

No, I have a very clear idea of what they are supposed to do where I am and what they actually do, but it appears you have a very different definition of HR if they do all of that described above.
Where I am payroll and superannuation is handled by people more competant in that role (accounts), discipling and reviews are handled by management (if HR do it that is a sign of weak or incompetant management so get out now), workplace health and safety is handled by those appointed as workplace health and safety officers (typically as part of another role). It appears that in your case general employee administration has all been put under the HR banner. There is no way I would want the typical HR person to be in charge of safety issues, you want somebody with experience in the type of work covered to do it and not someone with purely office experience. As for one of your examples, if a manager doesn't have the guts to deal with complaints about an employees body odour they should not be in the job - why waste the time of three people having a HR person to negotiate over such trivialities? Most of what you describe is the role of management.

Every time there is a new hire, our HR person spends about six hours with that person, reviewing company policies, procedures, and benefit plans.

I would regard that as a major WTF in my workplace but I don't know anything about yours. However in my workplace vast amounts of time is spent on safety inductions which at some sites can take that long - but it's the safety guys and not HR that handle that and it's dangerous places like mine sites to take that long.

What a fantastic editing job (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400647)

Kukulski apologized for the negative impact the issue has generated from news organizations and blogs around the world.' I didn't have any doubt this would be immediately squashed. Now I'm just curious as to how many personal accounts they actually went through!"

Certainly, no one can mistakenly attribute that thought to Kukulski instead of the submitter!

A simple "mcmoodle further contributes:...." would be too much effort though.

Re:What a fantastic editing job (1)

mcmoodle (1560711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401187)

Kukulski apologized for the negative impact the issue has generated from news organizations and blogs around the world.' I didn't have any doubt this would be immediately squashed. Now I'm just curious as to how many personal accounts they actually went through!" Certainly, no one can mistakenly attribute that thought to Kukulski instead of the submitter! A simple "mcmoodle further contributes:...." would be too much effort though.

You know, it originally was formatted that way. It said "The article continues:" and that part was axed. Editors!

Not surprising (2, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400683)

In most of the places I have worked, Human Resources is stocked via lateral transfer from other areas. They're the deadwood that can't be easily be fired, but must be moved out for the good of the department. I'm entirely unsurprised that some HR drone came up with this idea. Unfortunately, they're still the first people job applicants usually encounter.

True, yet good HR should be a priority (2, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401029)

I was privileged to work for years with a really good HR guy. While he was in charge, no strikes, no industrial action, low staff turnover, and the quiet word in our community (this being politically incorrect years ago) was that gay people would never be subject to embarrassing questions if they applied for jobs. When he retired to grow fruit and win all the golf club trophies till they asked him to stop, he was replaced by a typical corporate drone who within six months had managed to lose two expensive wrongful dismissal cases, upset the union to the point of a strike, and cause several of the better managers to look for new jobs. Stuffing HR with idiots who should be fired is actually more expensive than getting a good HR person to work through the process of getting them legally dismissed.

We've come a long way (2, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400705)

At least the Bozeman city officials had some idea about "how them internets work". When their bad judgement was pointed out to them, they took the right path instead of digging in their heels and making complete asses [centos.org] of themselves

The whole password part... (3, Interesting)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401103)

It would have been one thing had they just requested applicants list all of their social networking sites. And even listed their usernames with each site so that they would know who they were on those sites since most people don't use their real names as their logins. Clearly my real name is not yoshi_mon.

It still would have been a very invasive and ethically dubious practice but not too surprising for a 'red state'.

But to then ask for peoples passwords? That is where the whole thing gets surreal. Why the hell do you need access to the accounts? I've yet to see any real explanation for that part of this nonsense. Not that there really could be a good explanation for it but I'd really like to see what kind of twisted rational was given.

Re:The whole password part... (2, Informative)

Calydor (739835) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401655)

Off the top of my head, I'd say it's to make sure they get to see ALL friends-locked posts.

But who lost their job at Bozeman (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401135)

I think the bigger question beyond the job application. I think this should spur an investigation into HR's and management's practice over at good old Bozeman. How many present employees at this place, have been forced to turn over passwords and other personal information and what was the scope information. Who else has been threatened with job loss, or loss of promotions and other intimidation. I would think if they treat prospects like this, then what about the poor souls already employed there.

When no one there saw the obvious in just how wrong that was, then you have to ask yourself. Just how persuasive is this mentality in the city structure as a whole, from top down?

"Celebrate Diversity" (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401241)

Personally, I think diversity is a Good Thing. It avoids the formation of a monoculture, groupthink and organizations susceptible to a single adverse event (see Wall Street). Of course diversity is not measured by skin color, but by many factors, such as culture, education, language, gender, sexual orientation, origin, tolerance of risk, and finally, character. When Bozeman says it wants to check job candidates' "character", you can be sure that it is not to create diversity, but to eliminate anyone with an original thought.

Bozeman is not unique in this regard, which is why I look at corporations' and educational institutions' pious diversity statements with such pity. Such a culture will be the loser in the long run.

Bozeman? (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401415)

Wait... Bozeman, Montana?

suddenoutbreakofwarpdrive

Re:Bozeman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28402303)

So there you go. We are writing the future history right now...

Bozeman, MT:
2009: Realizes that requiring full private data access from citizens is wrong

2010-2060: Based off this basic premise, Bozeman attracts the world's top developers based on a new premise of cooperative technology and open source.

2061: Warp Speed Ahead!!

This is not really a stretch, is it?

F8ro5t pist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401993)

can really ask of you're told. It's Task. Research [antI-slash.org]

Why? (0, Troll)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402115)

Why the hell are they using Facebook and MySpace anyway? These are adults, that shit is for teenagers. The fact that they HAVE these accounts should disqualify them from office.
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