I have a great deal of objections to these, and Herman Cain has nothing to do with that.
Americans have a right to free speech, which to me means the right to speak freely. If you sign such an agreement, you give up that right; and here's the rub: I don't feel any American can legally do that. It comes with citizenship.
People fought and died for that right, and you feel you can give it up, just like that? Nonsense. The blood of patriots argues against it. Why can't current legal opinions see it the same way?
When governments or businesses want you to say nothing, something's wrong. The pressure they bring is but the modern day equivalent of the rack and the Iron Maiden; of being drawn and quartered. So why are we putting up with it?
I agree there are military secrets and proprietary business items, but you don't, or shouldn't protect them by trampling on traditional freedoms. Charge people with aiding and abetting a rival nation or firm, by showing how that entity profited, not by abrogating the First Amendment.
Remember those "inalienable rights?" "Inalienable" means incapable of being surrendered or transferred. You got it, or you don't.
But, some argue, you gave it up voluntarily. NO you didn't. Somewhere there was a threat or a promise; sign this and we'll pay you or sign this or you'll go to jail. Hardly voluntary.
In my view, as long as you are an American citizen these rights are yours and you can not surrender them. Giving up your American citizenship would be the only way.
Is this an absolutist view? Darn right, and about time we got back to putting freedom and liberty above what passes for security these days, which is often nothing but a chimera.
Don't like my absolutist views? Fine, that's your right..until you sign it away these days.
I'm just sayin'...