This started a few years ago
, when suddenly grandstanding Congress-folk started blaming Limewire
for "leaking" a confidential terrorist threat assessment. Of course, that was misguided. The problem wasn't Limewire (or any file sharing software), but idiotic gov't employees who (a) put file sharing software on gov't computers (b) didn't properly wall off the software and (c) put confidential info where it could be shared. Earlier this year, suddenly, the issue came up again
(again targeting Limewire). It was instigated by some aggressive entertainment industry lobbyists, who have concocted this huge story about how Limewire is to blame. And politicians always seem willing to buy it.
The latest is that some in Congress are planning legislation
after claiming that "Secret Service safehouse locations, military rosters, and IRS tax returns" were available via Limewire (funny... those are the same things mentioned in the PR email I got from the entertainment industry lobbyist's PR person...).
Our Congressional critters tried to one up each other in stupid proposals, with one, Rep. Bill Foster, even tossing out the idea of passing a law to block the Gnutella protocol
(though, he admitted it wasn't likely to work). Others just planned to pass laws that would ban the use of file sharing software on gov't computers (you need a law
for that?!?) and to have the FTC investigate Limewire. And, of course, the real goal in all of this, politicians want to pass a law demanding that the gov't "undertake a national campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of file sharing software."
That last one, of course, is actually the end-goal here. The entertainment industry and their shills such as the group Arts+Labs (who was behind much of this campaign) have been demonizing file sharing software completely, and now want the gov't to help. So the best way to do that was to find some folks who misused the software, get some headlines about how P2P software "exposed" Obama's safehouse locations
and then get the gov't to put in place some entertainment industry propaganda. Arts+Labs wins completely. It's backers include the various entertainment firms (bonus! gov't pitching their propaganda story) and a few tech companies who sell filtering/blocking technology (bonus! gov't increasing demand for their technology).