Fascinating article here.
Upshot: employees may risk getting fired for what they put in their blogs — especially if they talk about who they work for. This kind of speech is NOT protected under the First Amendment.
My opinion: Duh. Just because you CAN say something without being thrown in jail for it doesn’t mean you SHOULD. When I worked for Novell there were all kinds of things that I was not to talk about openly, under pain of being fired with cause. It’s a no-brainer, folks.
The article also talks about NON-employees being targeted, and how they can defend themselves the same way mainstream media journalists do. In this case the First Amendment is pretty good protection. If what you’re saying is true, or at least substantiated, you can’t really be sued for it. And as a non-employee you certainly can’t be fired for it.
Anyway, the article struck home for me because of my relationship with Novell. For example, while employed by Novell I was not allowed to voice ANY sort of opinion about SCO’s lawsuits even though as an IT industry insider it’s obvious that I HELD an opinion. Following my departure from Novell, I cheerfully mocked SCO and McBride with impunity, expressing an opinion formed from publicly available facts and the application of the same intelligence available to any primate capable of walking upright.
The 21st century has elevated the street-corner soapbox well above “lectern” height and handed us all megaphones. Through the resultant cacaphony, there actually seems to be useful information… just be careful about discussing the fingernails of the hand that feeds you, dawg.