Yes, I'm absolutely sure that they're straight-up lying. My point was really aimed at people who assume that the feds are honest and virtuous. If you assume that they are, then their statement means that they're dangerously incompetent.
No, it's not against the law. The reason that employers usually don't say anything (good or bad) about former employees aside from facts (start date, end date, eligible for reemployment) is because of fear of lawsuits. Years ago, there were a couple of high-visibility lawsuits involving this (where the comments the former employer made were part of an active effort to make sure the employees could never be hired by anybody for vindictive reasons.
Although the lawsuit involved uncommon behavior that pretty much everybody would consider actionable, not just routine "he slacked off and was always late" stuff, ever since then the collective wisdom has been to not take any chances.
I'm not seeing any facts in that article that change a thing. It is an opinion piece, much like this article is an opinion piece. We have two opposing opinions, but where is the disagreement about facts?
I love the firm's comment in so many ways. I can't decide which has greater comedic value -- the wondrously frothy diatribe or the fact that any doubts one might have about the accuracy of the complaints of the ex-workers are immediately destroyed by it.
"you had one person flat out admit that the 'trade' deals had to be kept secret because if the public knew what was in them they'd object and the deals might not go through as a result."
Yes, this was (and still is, I think) the official explanation for the secrecy. They usually phrase it a little differently, though. The line is that trade deals have to be negotiated secretly because there will always be strenuous objections from the public no matter what the deal contains. Those objections would derail the entire process because the fighting would never end.
This is the model I see as the future of TV. Each show existing like its own "channel", with its own web presence where you can watch it, and probably (but not necessarily) also distributing through an aggregator like Hulu, YouTube, etc.
Basically, much like a refined form of podcasting.
"We as a society will have to learn that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has pasts. Everyone has teenage nudes on the web somewhere."
From what I can see amongst my kids and their friends, folks from their mid 20s and younger totally get this already. We'll have a period where the old farts like me will stand in their way, but I think it will be a pretty brief period.