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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 9, 2012.
Password Protection Act of 2012 - Amends the federal criminal code to subject to a fine any employer who knowingly and intentionally: (1) compels or coerces any person to provide the employer with a password or similar information to access a protected computer not owned by such employer; or (2) discharges, disciplines, discriminates, or threatens to take such actions, against any person who fails to authorize access to such computer, has filed a complaint or instituted a proceeding regarding such action, or testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding.
Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the authority of a court of competent jurisdiction to grant equitable relief in a civil action, if the court believes that the information sought to be obtained is relevant to protecting the intellectual property, a trade secret, or confidential business information of the party seeking relief.
Exempts an employer's actions from such prohibition if: (1) the employer discharges or disciplines an individual for good cause; (2) a state enacts a law that specifically waives such prohibition with respect to a particular class of state or agency employees and the employer's action relates to an employee in such class; or (3) an executive agency, military department, or other executive branch entity specifically waives the prohibition with respect to a particular class of employees who may have access to classified information.