US Gov't Briefing For All Employees: All Music Downloads Are Stolen, Risky

from the accuracy-not-so-important dept

A bunch of folks have sent over a post on Slashdot detailing how a mandatory US gov't briefing on "information security" uses incredibly hyperbolic and inaccurate information, including the idea that all music downloads are theft and insecure. You can see the (flash-heavy) video briefing. The actual part with the music downloads is pretty far into the presentation (you can jump forward through the chapters), when it hits an interactive bit where you get to go through "real-life scenarios" of "threats." In the bottom left corner, there's a scenario involving a colleague who says he's found a "cool site" from which you can "download music" and asks you how do you respond:
The choices?
  1. I'd rather download the music from home -- email me the link
  2. Is it safe to download?
  3. Since we're on our lunch hour, I see no harm. Here's my thumb drive!
  4. That's stealing.
Choices one and three seem obviously wrong, but choice two actually does seem like the most relevant. After all, the "cool site" in question could be any number of "cool sites" that offer up legal free music, like Jamendo or CCMixter. But what happens if you select the second choice and ask if it's safe to download? You're told no, that's wrong:
And then are scolded, saying that it's illegal and prohibited, followed up by another lecture about how not only is it illegal and prohibited, but unethical and "may result in criminal" liability.
Someone should tell the folks at that cool Jamendo site.

Now, to be fair, it's rather obvious that the briefing is designed to keep gov't employees from using file sharing programs and potentially exposing confidential gov't documents via file sharing. And that's reasonable. But why not be accurate and honest about it? Lying about it makes no sense.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    I guess they forgot how P2P is also used to download and share legitimate things, or how some music groups are using it to spread their newest works, etc.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    I found this cool application called iTunes. You can download tons of music with it!

     

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  3.  
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    Michael, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:44am

    Legal

    Does anyone know what the law says about a DoD employee intentionally violating DoD policy? That may, in fact, be a crime.

    However, that would then put into question the "Download from home" option that may eliminate their criminal liability.

    It's pretty interesting that the videos like this get put together by people that really don't understand the topic though. I have to watch things like this regularly.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    Awesome

    As the nations largest employer, how can this be seen as ANYTHING other than a war of psychology on the American people, perpetrated by industry, and currently being tested on government employees?

    I mean, the fight for vocabulary is a fairly public one, even though it doesn't get much mention: everything from the privatization of Encyclopedia and Dictionary producers, to industry involvement in the education system at a level that indicates collusion, etc. etc. etc.

    Seriously, how is this not a blatant attempt to infuse new, industry driven terminology into the American public?

    Anyone?

     

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  5.  
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    Mark, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    While its unfortunate that the entry into the dangers of P2p software of government computers uses this type of language.

    If you click on the 'Learn More', it goes into a good explanation for why P2P software should not be used on government computer. It gives good, logical reasons as to the dangers of P2P software on both government and home computers, and especially highligh the security risk that it opens up.

    The message in this section is pretty sound and reasonable. It's a shame they had to confuse the issue on the first part of the scenario.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Awesome

    Oh, and it would be EXTREMELY instructive to find out who scripted this, who they work for, and who they have ties to.

    If the tireless "National Security" denial isn't invoked, that is...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    All music is illegal and unsafe to download. ALL OF IT! I mean, dang. Look at iTunes. All that music is loaded with viruses. Every single song has like 800 viruses, 100 trojan horses, 50 worms, and a goat with a gimp horn. Every website out there that *aren't* US Government websites are crawling with at least a dozen hackers out there waiting for you to visit their music website so they can get your network and get to all of your important top secret work and post it to the world. Doesn't everyone know this?

    It doesn't matter if the song is an mp3, a wav, or even a midi file. In fact, the song by Madonna that Microsoft used to show off Vista is a deadly WMD that can suddenly blow up the entire Internet and kill everyone right through their keyboard. We should be thankful that the DoD is looking out for us.

    And seeing as how the author of that flash movie went to such great lengths to research exactly what they're speaking of. It's obvious they went to Harvard and got those two Master's degrees, especially with that list they wrote... You can see they really know how a list works in a document, too.

    -------------------------------------------------
    "P2P is used to download Other."

    "Downloading without purchase is may result in criminal or civil liability."
    -------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, I want to download an 'other'. Nice to see the people running our government can't even put together a coherent sentence properly. What'd they do? Outsource the government officials and documentation, too??

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    And let's not forget that the United States Supreme Court has already determined that copyright infringement is not stealing.

    Dowling V. United States, 473 U.S. 207 (1985)

     

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    Trails, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Fear mongering

    I went through a fair bit of this ting, to get to the stuff you mentioned. While the stuff you mentioned is pretty misleading, there's other stuff that's worse. In the beginning, they outline a scenario where a 15 year old new zealand hacker manages to cause global chaos, and involves things like issuing himself billions of dollars in cheques drawn on us gov't accounts, and american banks suspending us gov't accounts as a result. Neither are likely, and banks would never lock out the us gov't.

    They claim this stuff is a service, but it's not. It's fear mongering, not informing. Feeding users disinformation does not help them protect gov't IT security.

     

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  10.  
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    Paul (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    A Web site for downloading music....

    A Web site for downloading music. That is what your "friend" is telling you about, right?

    Then the various lectures you get when you hit wrong answers lecture you about P2P applications... Which CAN BE insecure, to various degrees depending on which ones you are talking about, let's be fair.

    But if we are talking about a WEB SITE... And you are not supposed to use ANY P2P type program... (I'll generalize and simply assume they mean an application commonly used to download music)...

    Doesn't that description by definition have to include your Browser?

     

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    y8, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    it's a DoD thang!

    1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for.

    They are not talking about your personal home computer, nor are they talking about some secretary in the White House Information Office, they are specifically talking about Department of Defense (DoD).

    Not only are those computers federally owned equipment (which makes misuse -- including personal use -- a FELONY) but from my experience they either lock the computers in a safe every night, or they pull the hard drives and lock them in a safe every night.

    These are the computers that you hear about on the news that the Chinese stole nuclear secrets from because some moron was running P2P software on.

    Would I prefer that they not sound so draconian? Sure, but people have and will lose their jobs over being stupid (remember these are federal government employees we're talking about, not brain surgeons). Would it be nice if they said, download on your time from your computer may or may not be legal? Sure, but it isn't really the point of the presentation, nor the responsibility of the government.

    On a side note, when you use Google toolbar to spell check Whitehouse, it suggests Whorehouse. Must be left over from the Clinton admin!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    *yawn*

    The Government is telling the truth, in very, very simple terms. You guys are all going geeky and technical on it, forgetting to think like someone who still spends time looking for the "any key" to push to continue.

    The only real error? They should add the word "most", as in "most P2P", and then it would be perfect.

    Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?

    Geez. this is a no brainer, only outrageous to those who wish to be morally outraged at everything.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Re: Fear mongering

    "banks would never lock out the us gov't"

    Careful with that never word. It isn't likely, but given that most of the banking elite belong to globalist groups and societies that are supra-national and actively working to disolve borders, there may come a time when the US Govt. they are propping up is no longer of use to them...

     

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  14.  
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    Difranco, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    It's actually not inaccurate...

    y8 and Anonymous Coward have it correct.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    It's not infringement if the author licenses under a creative commons license.

     

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  16.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    "Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?"

    There are people working at the DoD, FBI, CIA, and IRS that are looking for the "any key"?

    That seems like a bigger issue than P2P software.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Awesome

    national security, roflol. Everything you do is a threat to national security so stop breathing because you're threatening our national security.

     

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  18.  
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    Call me Al, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    "1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for."

    Okay so if that is true why isn't the first answer on the list allowed?

    "1. I'd rather download the music from home -- email me the link"

    As for "Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?"

    I'd like to think that the DoD had enough faith in the intellect of such staff to educate them properly on the proper use of their computer and enough trust in their judgement to tell them the truth on the issue at hand. But hey thats just me being optimistic.

     

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  19.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: it's a DoD thang!

    then how about a little notice like "any personal use of this computer will result in termination of offending employee." Or maybe something more out in the open like "This is a DoD computer for use for DoD work. Anything else will get you fired." The messages don't have to be worded to sound like all P2P use everywhere is illegal. Or, you know, make it sound like the DoD only cares about P2P.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    Helmet, if you got out of Mom's basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate.

    In the workplace, there are plenty of people (example 50 somethings) who still think a touch tone phone is a big deal. For them, a computer is a mysterious box that does stuff. They don't know X from Y. When their granddaughter sends them a link to download "this cool thing" that is really a hoax mail directing him to a root kit / back door install, he doesn't have a clue.

    Seriously, go get some real world experience, and then check back in.

     

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  21.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Re: it's a DoD thang!

    "On a side note, when you use Google toolbar to spell check Whitehouse, it suggests Whorehouse. Must be left over from the Clinton admin!"

    ...nice...

     

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  22.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Re: Awesome

    This could also be a case of the government's left hand smacking its face for the stupidity created by its right.

    I mean, they have allowed RIAA a LOT of leeway in their social engineering litigation campaign (for starters the fact that they ALLOW the social engineering litigation campign at all). This could very well be the first indication of *forward thinking (problem avoidance in a twisted way) by the government in a long, long time.

    This could be a wall of plausible deniability to prevent the music industrinuts from suing an entire government agency (again not normally permitted, but perhaps they are rightfully afraid of the leverage this industry has in congress).

    Then again, you're probably right... its all propaganda mind control tricks.

     

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  23.  
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    Call me Al, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    "Helmet, if you got out of Mom's basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate.

    In the workplace, there are plenty of people (example 50 somethings) who still think a touch tone phone is a big deal. For them, a computer is a mysterious box that does stuff. They don't know X from Y. When their granddaughter sends them a link to download "this cool thing" that is really a hoax mail directing him to a root kit / back door install, he doesn't have a clue.

    Seriously, go get some real world experience, and then check back in."

    I'm sure at some point that there were objections to the use of charcoal for drawing on the basis that many people were quite happy scraping at rocks, thank you very much.

    Just because some people can't cope with the technology does not mean you should restrict everything to their capabilities. If you do then we'll never get anywhere.

     

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  24.  
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    Dan J. (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re: Legal

    That depends in part on what you mean by "law" and "crime." Downloading music and similar activities is prohibited by DoD policy on DoD computers. Violation of that by military members is essentially failure to obey a direct order, which certainly does open up the member to prosecution. It's doubtful (though not impossible) that the member would go to a Court's Martial, but members have received Non-Judicial Punishment for violating IT policy. Non-military personnel, such as civilian employees or contractors, would probably not face legal prosecution, but could face consequences, including loss of their job.

    So it's arguable that the information provided is factually correct. However, it's extremely misleading in that it seems to imply that the act of downloading music is always in and of itself illegal/immoral. The training should distinguish between illegal downloading, and legal downloading that violates DoD policy.

    (I'm retired Navy now working as a Network Engineer on a DoD network. I haven't had to take this training yet but I probably will in the near future.)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Helmet, if you got out of Mom's basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate."

    Aww, but Mom makes the best spaghetti...

    And I am out in the real world, thank you. I would just hope that these "mesmerized by touch tone phone" folks aren't working for the IRS, DoD, CIA, and FBI.

    But yeah, that's totally unreasonable, so good point there, sparky...

     

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  26.  
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    Richard, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re:Not Computer Literate

    Then they need this first...
    http://xkcd.com/627/

     

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  27.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How about you get some real world experience or stop being the stereotypical elitist IT person. Open your eyes, vary few people are that computer illiterate and those who are won't touch a damn computer long enough to get to the "press any key to continue" (and if they ever did they aren't that dumb). That's a dumb ass myth like the one where everyone ran away from the first movie screen because it was a picture of a train coming, or everyone is going to shit their pants because someone on TV is pointing a gun at the camera.

    Being an IT person for over 600 doctors offices, I work with a lot of those 50 somethings. They aren't that stupid. I only ever heard one person say "where's the any key" and it was to piss off their elitist IT person (the guy was a dick and no longer their IT).

     

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  28.  
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    Ben, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    I think something may have overlooked is that statement that music downloading is prohibited on DOD networks. When you work for an agency, company, anyone at all who owns the network infrastructure (computers, laaptops, pays for bandwidth), they have to right to restrict and monitor what can and can not be done on their equipment.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:36am

    Re: Legal

    Well, the choice isn't "That's illegal." the correct response is "That's stealing." So, no, its a technicality.

     

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    Ron (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    So?

    It says "...downloading without out purchase ...". Well, if the site you're at is licensed for free downloads, then you have, in face, made a purchase, allbeit, the price was zero (just like free apps at iStore). So, what they say is correct. Maybe heavy handed, but still correct.

     

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    Call me Al, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    "And I am out in the real world, thank you. I would just hope that these "mesmerized by touch tone phone" folks aren't working for the IRS, DoD, CIA, and FBI."

    I speak to the IRS on a regular basis and sadly I am sure it is full of technically inept people. Its so bad that when they actually succeed in doing something I get this ridiculous feeling of euphoria.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Cool that the "correct" answer is actually incorrect. They could have done thousands of things (like explaining that when you share you share, and that may lead to sharing files you didn't mean to, that downloading is infringing and it's not that cool to infringe on a government facility, that you should always check if what you're sharing is legal or not (which is actually an unacceptable answer here), etc). Dumbing down the personel of DoD, in the only country in the world that still believes in war... now that's smart.

     

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  33.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Fear mongering

    Wait, wait... your helmet is actually made of tin foil??

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Fear mongering

    "Wait, wait... your helmet is actually made of tin foil??"

    Sigh, no that would be stupid.

    I's LINED w/tin foil...

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Apparently most have not read or listened to the script that follows no matter what answer is selected.

     

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  36.  
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    Ilfar, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Re: Fear mongering

    Nothing drives home the fact I wasted my 15th year of life like reading stuff like that. I could have been a billionaire! ;_;

     

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  37.  
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    NPGMBR, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:08am

    Not Govt Wide

    This is specific to the Department of Defense.
    As far as iTunes another other programs, I'm sure the system configureation prevents employees from installing anything just as it is here at State. Nothing that can be connected to the PC is allowed. Putting something to the the PC with a USB connection quickly sends a message to IT services telling them what you are doing. This is old news.

     

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    MattP, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Legal

    'That's Infringing'

     

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  39.  
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    Greg, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

    Any DoD computer system, web site, document and application has FOUO on it. For Official Use Only.

    For example: This is at the bottom of the Tricare Online web site:

    * For Official Use Only (FOUO)
    TRICARE Online is a Department of Defense (DoD) computer system. Use of this site is governed by multiple DoD policies and terms outlined in the center area. Many of these policies are designed to protect the privacy of your personal information. We encourage you to review these policies.

    If the FOUO tag is there, this automatically means do NOT put your own stuff on it or use it for personal downloading.

     

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  40.  
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    Paul (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    Re: it's a DoD thang!

    "1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for."

    You can't use a browser without downloading things to your computer.

    Are you seriously going to claim this is illegal?

    But you do have some valid points about some government jobs, and some government computers. Not all government jobs, and not all government computers.

    Some companies are just as strict, and just as sensitive to risk.

    It is all about common sense, after all. If your system handles HIPAA data, or classified data, or documents with trade secrets ... you need a certain level of security, and security training for your users.

    If your system is really just there for email and access to generally public information about your company.... you need a certain, much lower level of security.

    To one extent or another, everyone with a job has need of both sorts of access. In my past jobs as a government military contractor, consultant to government human services, game development, Microsoft, IBM, and even my own companies, I generally used different machines (and accounts... yeah, I am that old) with different and appropriate levels of security.

    And I have taken these courses (and courses like them) through the years. And yes, they are always stupid. You just turn your brain off about information, and on about what they want you to say, and you can pass them just fine.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    I like the list:
    Movie, Music, Pornography and others... Apparently, Pornography is a new form of media, and not a content. Though to be fair, given the bandwidth that P2P apps can take, it might make sense the DoD does not want it taking up the network bandwidth.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    So, tearing apart curriculum designed for the 8th grade level? This could go on for days.

    There are plenty of topics that cannot be approached properly and thoroughly depending on the target audience, so you choose to deliver the fail-safe method.

    You tell your children playing with fire is bad, but then you light fireworks. It seems to be the same conversation.

     

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  43.  
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    chris (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Awesome

    national security, roflol. Everything you do is a threat to national security so stop breathing because you're threatening our national security.

    That's stealing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    and with the DAR solution implemented option 3 is FTL

     

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  45.  
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    chris (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    It's not infringement if the author licenses under a creative commons license.

    That's stealing.

     

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  46.  
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    _skhn (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: it's a DoD thang!

    It's not illegal to 'download anything' to a DoD computer. Let's see. In the DoD people check their email, visit websites for their jobs, etc. Using a network for anything besides sending-only involves downloading. Quit with the gross exaggeration.

    The truth is that Government IT runs about 3 or 4 or 5 or more years behind the normal world in terms of adopted technology because of fear, laziness, stupid vendor contracts, required training, and deployment testing. Not too long ago DoI was still defaulting to IE 6, long after IE 7 and 8 had been out, with users only allowed to use one of the new browsers by request, no FF allowed. Why? No good reason.

    And the basis of all government IT presentations like this basically always amounts to the generalized, but false, line of approximated by the statement 'government employees doing anything but government business is illegal because the bureaucracy owns you, thus bye extension any technology that the we haven't adopted after years of internal testing and stupid arguments, and which some guy in some office somewhere does not have complete control is also illegal. And remember, just because we gave you a laptop or cell phone doesn't mean you can use for anything personal, either. If you plan on replying to your wife's email while on a business trip, you better take 2 laptops.

    Of course most stretch these policies as much as they can.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    Nor if you buy rights legally. Don't forget that the sweeping generalizations of this training video would include itunes music store and Amazon commercial sites.

    I like the "here's my thumb drive" option. I wonder why that one is a bad idea. That one doesn't even put the music on the DoD computer, so the DoD PC Use Policy can't even be relevant.

    Also, I like the way this video is delivered in Flash. I sure hope no copies of it were stored in temp caches, because that would be wrong, Davey.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

    OK... so if they want to simplify it why don't they just add a "personal use will result in termination". They don't have to simplify it to the point where it says everything is illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: it's a DoD thang!

    "1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer... They are not talking about your personal home computer"

    Whoooaaa. Wait. Yes they are. See option 3, "download it to my thumb drive"? How is that a thread to the DoD? Maybe I just want to take it to my car which has a USB port and plays MP3s.

    You've exaggerated too much with the use of "ANYTHING", and somewhat downgraded your credibility. DoD PCs download stuff all the time - if you connect to a network, that's almost a certainty. You can't browse or send email otherwise. Then you neglected the third answer where no DoD asset at all is put at risk -- yet still the mere act of downloading/sharing is cast as rife with risk and fraught with unethical stealing.

     

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  50.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    A valid counter-argument. There are benefits to under-estimating the intelligence of the average person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Thumb drives cannot currently be used on DOIM networks. And in most cases they are issued to clerks, they would not be referencing a personal thumb-drive, as that is illegal to begin with.

    And when i download something to my thumb drive it doesnt page to a temp location on the hard drive before passing to the external device?

     

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  52.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Re: Dont' call me an overlooker, overlooker

    No, not overlooked at all. You state the very, very obvious, and it has been discussed at length. Read some of the other comments before posting.

    Responding to your point, what about option 1 "I'd rather download the music from home -- email me the link" or option 3 "put it on my thumb drive". That does not imply use of DoD computers or networks.

    Remind us again how your comment relates to those two options out of the four. Then tell us again how WE "may have overlooked" something.

     

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  53.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: So?

    No, that's not correct.

    "Purchase 1. To obtain in exchange for money or its equivalent; buy."

    Purchase means getting goods or services in exchange for money (or something of value).

    So, next time you get technical or detail-oriented, try, I dunno, looking up the details. We're both off on this pointless tangent, but so long as you're here, you may as well get it right.

     

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  54.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re:

    Well, I sure read or listen. But unless it says: "April fools! The prior screens were all wrong." It probably doesn't change the discussion frame here.

    Could you be more specific and tell us what it says, or are you just casting aspersions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Re:

    You tell your children fire is the devil's window and when you light one, he can reach out of it and grab you and pull you into hell. Then you light fireworks.

    Fixed that for you. You see, yours was a bad analogy since, unlike the DoD training, it didn't include any false information that is overly negative and designed to demonize the activity and create fear.

    But you're right in your first line. Dumbing down the instructions is probably a reasonable strategy. I guess we just wish we didn't see the obvious results of the music industry's misleading fear-mongering campaign being accepted as fact and repeated in the DoD's IT policy.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "press any key to continue" issue is true, I got it not 2 years ago. And that really wasn't even close to the mind blowing calls I received working for a contracted help desk for fortune 500 companies.

    What IT elitists do is believe the own hype. Call center you can help 30 people, 15 at least will tell you "Wow you are so smart!" then you'll start to believe it after a while. People assume just cause you "get" computers you are smarter some how and it goes to people's heads.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Awesome

    'That's Infringing'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Legal

    Stop trying to play semantics, you ass. Stealing is illegal, hence 'That's illegal' is the same as 'That's stealing.' Fucking asshats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
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    Greg, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

    FOUO is supposed to cover all that. Of course, it also depends on what part of the DoD you work for. I work for DoD contractor, and we have a little more flexibility on using our computers here. We still can't just go installing anything we want on it, but personal web browsing and downloading pictures, etc, is permissable.

    If this was a place where more than just an ADP II security clearance was required, I'm sure it would be must stricter.

     

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  60.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    I told them it was bad. Then went and did something good with it.

    I was not nearly as specifically misleading, but gave an invalid statement nonetheless (easily strayed today are we).

    And please, do not confuse Computer Based Tutorials for Policy. DoD has no policy on P2p, simply P2P on its systems.

    And to be technical, if you are downloading music onto a government box you are stealing......a minimal amount of resources :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While I'm not technical in most aspects other than some limited parts of network security, I can definitely say that the little bit of programming we were taught in high school math/algebra/whatever has forever altered how I think things through and how I interpret what goes on around me.

    I've found that most of life truly does follow similar rules, like if/then commands: if you do something, you will for the most part get this response.

    I think most people would benefit from that type of learning, even if to a limited degree.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's stealing.

    That's stealing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Legal

    It's not semantics. It's a fine point of law. There has already been a mention of the specific court case that states infringing isn't the same as stealing here under this article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re:

    Look at the bottom of the screen. It is the same no matter what answer is chosen. It is a written script of what the narrator is saying.

    The third screen shot above generally illustrates this, but the text is too small to read clearly and, of course, cannot be scrolled.

    Now, you may nitpick at a portion of the script, but by so doing all you will accomplish is being hyper-critical of a message that in large measure reflects the realities of how P2P is being used by the majority of users.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
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    Greg, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

    must stricter? wow.. I need a vacation.

    MUCH stricter...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Cyanid Pontifex (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Legal

    It could also be implied that it's illegal to download any music on a DoD computer, whereas it would only be infringing if the music was uploaded illegally. So no, it's not just playing with semantics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    The 'learn more' section does explain P2P in more detail than I would expect of DOD IA. Even gives examples, which is very out of character as they generally seem to prefer (as they certainly assume) ignorance among the masses


    Excerpt of AR 25-2 - a little lengthy - but this is policy.


    (1) Use of ISs for unlawful or unauthorized activities such as file sharing of media, data, or other content that
    is protected by Federal or state law, including copyright or other intellectual property statutes.
    (2) Installation of software, configuration of an IS, or connecting any ISs to a distributed computer environment
    (DCE), for example the SETI project or the human genome research programs.
    (3) Modification of the IS or software, use of it in any manner other than its intended purpose, or adding
    user–configurable or unauthorized software such as, but not limited to, commercial instant messaging, commercial
    Internet chat, collaborative environments, or peer-to-peer client applications. These applications create
    exploitable vulnerabilities and circumvent normal means of securing and monitoring network activity and provide a
    vector for the introduction of malicious code, remote access, network intrusions or the exfiltration of protected data.
    Installation of non-Government-owned computing systems or devices without prior authorization of the
    appointed DAA including but not limited to USB devices, external media, personal or contractor-owned laptops,
    and MCDs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ooo ooo! Can I play? Can I? I wanna play too!

    "That's Infringing!"

    Yay!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Travis, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Not Govt Wide

    Use of USB doesn't send a message. At our site, we just have the functionality for usb storage disabled as per the mandate. (Several types of flash drives were found to have malware built in to their firmware. DOD banned the use of flash drives completely rather than have to deal with testing and verifying every type.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Mike - I think your overstating things here

    Putting aside thoughts one way or the other about P2P networks, the bottom line is most of the traffic on these networks would be considered infringing. yes there are sites like Jamendo but let's be realistic, 9 times out of 10 an email with a link to a cool music site is going to be a site like the pirate bay rather than a site like jamendo.

    As for their responses,

    Downloading without Purchase is (note they did not say P2P)
    * illegal - (under current laws - this is correct)
    * unethical - (highly debatable)
    * Prohibited - (their computers = their rules)
    * may result in criminal or civil liability (again very true)

    Yes they were overstating things and painting all P2P with a very broad brush, but it's a friggin multiple choice questionnaire, shades of grey don't do too well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "What IT elitists do is believe the own hype. Call center you can help 30 people, 15 at least will tell you "Wow you are so smart!" then you'll start to believe it after a while. People assume just cause you "get" computers you are smarter some how and it goes to people's heads."

    So THAT'S why I have such a big head.. and this whole time I just thought I had sinus congestion.

    On a related note, does sudafed work on inflated egos too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL those people are dumb. I found the "any" key years ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    DS, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    "It's illegal and prohibited on DoD computers."

    Ok, so where's the complaint?

    Talk about tempest in a teapot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Trails, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Fear mongering

    "they are propping up is no longer of use to them"

    Um, 2 things: locking out the us gov't would cause a fair amount of chaos which would be BAD for banks.

    If it didn't bring down the us gov't , when things calmed down, the us gov't would bring the wrath of god down upon the banks.

    They'd never do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Legal

    Murder is illegal, hence "That's illegal" is the same as "That's murder". So it should say "That's murder". Much more effective.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    ChaimBitton, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Spell Check

    Speaking of spell check, there is a good program Spell Check Anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Net) it adds spell check to all programs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fear mongering

    "Um, 2 things: locking out the us gov't would cause a fair amount of chaos which would be BAD for banks.

    If it didn't bring down the us gov't , when things calmed down, the us gov't would bring the wrath of god down upon the banks.

    They'd never do it."

    Correct, but you're making two assumptions that I don't agree with.

    #1. The people that actually OWN the bank, either in majority or entirity, are only concerned with traditional banking incomes: they aren't. First of all, when you're an international banking organization like the Rothschilds, the detriment of one economy for the good of another is fine, because you're financing both. Winners and losers don't matter, only control and money supply does.

    #2 The government and the people that own the banks aren't the same people: they essntially are. When all of these people belong to the same country clubs, secret societies, and economics forums (CFR, Bilderburgers, etc.), where they discuss goals for government policy before the elected officials in the groups then carry them out, then they're effectively the same people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, because that's stealing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
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    Cody Jackson (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Gov IA training is laughable

    I give computer security training to military personnel and we are required to use the approved presentations by the DoD. However, I give the briefings a personal touch. Though I show the slides, I also explain some of the truth behind what the presentation says.

    For example, one brief talked about how commercial email sites can be avenues for viruses, ergo only DoD email accounts are allowed for using email on DoD computers. I also add that, even though Yahoo, Google, et al. offer email that _does_ have built-in virus checking, it's not DoD approved and therefore untrustworthy. That's why users can't use commercial email systems, not that commercial email is a virus vector.

    Additionally, I did take the training mentioned in this story. And I did get the question wrong for the exact reasons stated; the question is misleading because it's not truthful. However, I don't think anyone takes the training seriously. The tech savvy people blaze through it, giving the expected answers while knowing they may be wrong. The more clueless people simply ignore the training after it's done.

    So, in the end, the training is mostly pointless, except for the few who may actually learn something. I haven't found of them, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Legal

    Actually, lots of things are illegal. Therefore, your equivalence does not hold. Let us apply your logic:
    Terrorism is illegal therefore, 'That's terrorism' is the same as 'That's illegal.' And since 'That's stealing' is the same as 'That's illegal', 'That's stealing' is that same as 'That's terrorism.' Now that we have established that theft is terrorism, I suppose kids that steal candies at the supermarket should be sent to Gitmo for sleep deprivation interrogations...

    Furthermore, copyright infringement is not theft. That's from the Supreme Court.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    Moral v Ethical

    The activity being discussed is immoral rather than unethical because it applies to societies expectations of the conduct of an individual rather than rules of ethics conveyed as a result of their position in an organisation.

    In this case, they are asserting that the activity is always wrong rather than wrong in the context of the DoD alone. I doubt that the DoD ethics committee discusses the rights and wrongs of employee file sharing.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 2:02am

    Tick the box exercise

    Training of this type is principally given so that a reasonable defence can be presented if a problem arises. This is quite common in regulated industries where the training is given and the fact that the training has been completed is taken as "successfully delivered" (even though all the questions may have been answered incorrectly). This means that when a worker downloads an unpaid for song, the employer can terminate their employment because they clearly disregarded the training received. The employee may have otherwise mounted a defence that said that "they didn't know it was wrong".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    y8, Aug 28th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

    OK Derek, and Trigger, my use of 'ANYTHING' MAY have been hyperbole.

    "Whoooaaa. Wait. Yes they are. See option 3, "download it to my thumb drive"? How is that a thread to the DoD? Maybe I just want to take it to my car which has a USB port and plays MP3s."

    NO, use of the computer to transfer music to a thumb drive would be considered 'personal use' and is not allowed. (Same for the idea of e-mailing the web address -- if the option had been 'Hey let me write down that site to check at home' it would be legal).

    "You've exaggerated too much with the use of "ANYTHING", and somewhat downgraded your credibility. DoD PCs download stuff all the time - if you connect to a network, that's almost a certainty. You can't browse or send email otherwise. Then you neglected the third answer where no DoD asset at all is put at risk -- yet still the mere act of downloading/sharing is cast as rife with risk and fraught with unethical stealing."

    The concept of any data transfer being uploading and downloading is a little basic compared to the actual discusstion topic. E-mail would be connected to a DoD server, I assure you that DoD computers are not allowed to be used to check gmail accounts.

    I'm not sure about current restrictions on web browsing. My guess is that it is very limited, maybe only DoD controlled (hosted) web pages. Either way, you're not browsing e-bay on a DoD computer.

    Paul mentioned that he had to maintain a separate computer for a lot of work. That would be typical in the defense industry. The second computer would not be owned by DoD or connected to a DoD network (that means 'inside the firewall' for those of you with your heads stuck in the darkness of your backside)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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