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Facebook

House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords 275

An anonymous reader writes "House Republicans today defeated an amendment introduced yesterday that would have banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. While the practice isn't widespread, it has caused a big brouhaha after reports surfaced that some organizations were requiring workers to hand over Facebook passwords as a condition of keeping their current job or getting hired for a new one."
Government

Intuit Still Fighting Government Tax Software 374

Back in January we discussed Intuit's opposition to California's free, convenient software to file tax returns. TechDirt noticed a recent article in the LA Times about Intuit's continued lobbying efforts to get rid of those programs. Quoting: "Most importantly, Intuit is offering nothing that California doesn't already have. The state has arranged with other tax software providers to do exactly what Intuit proposes: Help low-income folks fill in and file state and federal returns for free — although Intuit refuses to participate. It apparently only wants in on this deal if the state knocks out its free programs, thereby creating a larger potential paying customer base for TurboTax. Not surprisingly, Intuit has been greasing the wheels in order to try to sell its scheme in California. Since 2005, public filings indicate that Intuit has spent $1.25 million on lobbyists in the state. Over the same period, it contributed an additional $2.12 million to statewide campaigns, including more than $1 million to state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), a ReadyReturn foe who is running for state controller. In all, Intuit has doled out cash to nearly 120 politicians. The impact has been clear, even if Intuit hasn't gotten its way — yet. As documented in The Times, in 2009 California Republican legislators held back their votes on 20 bills in an attempt to do the corporation's bidding and force the abolition of ReadyReturn and CalFile. They didn't succeed in killing the tax programs, but they did kill funding for domestic violence shelters, police and fire departments, and prevention of swine flu outbreaks."
Government

$2 Billion For Broadband Cut From Stimulus Bill 658

pdabbadabba points out a CNN report on changes to the planned economic stimulus bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [PDF]) that will remove the $2 billion allocated to broadband development. The changes also eliminated smaller amounts allocated to NASA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. $16 billion in school construction funding was removed, as well as another $3.5 billion for higher education construction. A variety of environmental projects were also cut or reduced (half of the $7 billion set aside for energy-efficient federal buildings, half of the $600 million for hybrid federal vehicles), and over $8 billion in health-related provisions are gone. The bill will likely go to vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

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