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On February 6, 2013, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) reintroduced the Social Networking On-line Protection Act (SNOPA).  The goal of the proposed legislation is to set down federal law precluding employers from requiring or requesting access to an employee’s or prospective employee’s social media or private email account, or from taking disciplinary action for the failure to provide such access.  The bill also applies similar rules to Colleges and Universities covered by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as well as public elementary and secondary schools and agencies.  A similar bill was introduced in the last Congressional session, but died in committee when the session ended.  While the bill has a long way to go before becoming law, this is a step towards comprehensive federal legislation in a key area of social media.  Click here to view the proposed legislation.

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