Saturday, December 29, 2012

China's Internet Policy Should Not Be Followed By NCAA Athletic Departments

China is a communist country and enacts laws that are designed to keep its political system intact.  Many countries enact legislation that is designed to keep the power status quo.

The United States' First Amendment provides its citizens the strongest freedom of speech protections available in the world.  It states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Even though our First Amendment rights have some limitations, our ability to be able to be anonymous when speaking is well grounded in our history.  China recently enacted legislation that strips its citizens of these rights online.  While this law may be acceptable in China it has no place in the United States.

Unfortunately, some NCAA schools are following China's lead and believe it is legal to require its student-athletes to register their digital usernames and/or passwords and/or download cyberstalking software onto their personal accounts and electronic devices to keep their scholarships and/or participate in intercollegiate activities.

There is no valid reason for any public academic institution to require their students to provide their social media credentials to play intercollegiate sports.  These types of policies have no place in the United States.  At least 4 states have recently enacted legislation to ban this activity and Congress has introduced a ban on this practice.

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com.

Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.