Congress: P2P Promotes Identity Theft! We Need New Laws!

from the maybe-one-of-these-will-stick dept

It would appear that the entertainment industry’s friends in Congress are now trying to blame just about anything evil online on P2P technology. A few months ago, a group of representatives started saying that P2P technology had to be regulated because it was a national security threat. The reasoning behind this? Because some idiot gov’t employees ignored policies forbidding the use of unauthorized 3rd party apps (or putting sensitive data on home computers) and misconfigured P2P apps… ending up in secure documents being available for download. In other words, even though the real fault was stupid gov’t employees ignoring policies and misusing the technology… it was the technology’s fault.

Apparently, that argument didn’t generate enough support for a new law against P2P technology. So now the exact same group of Congressional Representatives is claiming that P2P technology is evil and must be stopped… because it promotes identity theft. The politicians (many of whom just so happen to come from places where large entertainment firms are based… though, we’re sure that’s a coincidence) are clearly trying to come up with an excuse (any excuse) to come up with new laws against P2P systems. Today’s action involved asking the FTC to investigate this perceived threat from P2P systems and also asked whether the FTC felt it had enough enforcement powers to address this problem, or if it needed help from Congress. In other words, the well-choreographed dance has begun. We’ll soon see legislation introduced to crack down on file sharing systems, officially in the name of stopping identity theft, but really thanks to campaign contributions from the entertainment industry who still hasn’t realized that it’s harming itself. The more they do this, the more real innovation will move elsewhere.

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Comments on “Congress: P2P Promotes Identity Theft! We Need New Laws!”

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20 Comments
MadJo (profile) says:

By banning it, they are pushing it further underground.
We’ve seen it happen before, when Napster was outlawed.
If they think a new law will change that, they are mistaken.
I don’t condone blatant copyright violations (though I have to admit, that the current copyright laws not exactly consumer-friendly are), but I also don’t want to see this new technology (that can easily be used for good as well), be destroyed by pure greed from the media companies and ignorance from the lawmakers’ side.
For a lawmaker, ignorance is not an excuse. If he or she should get knowledgeable on the subject he or she wants to make laws for, preferably from independent people and not from lobbyists.

Barrenwaste (profile) says:

Brothers! I stand here to tell you of a threat to your imortal soul! Of something so insidious that even the devil himself stands awed. Yes, brothers, I speak to you of P2P….

Congress is combining two of the greatest motivational policies ever. A revival mixed with a witch hunt. I guess it was inevitable. I mean, when has the american people been satisfied with only one subject for witch hunting (read sex offenders, drug addicts, or any other “Popular” crime)? I’ve said it before in conjuction with other laws, and I’ll say it again. When the majority of a people are labeled criminals, then there is something wrong with the laws, not the people. Maybe it’s time we excercised our constitutional right to find a new government. Scrap congress and half the laws of the last couple decades and start over from the ’40’s or maybe even the ’30’s. Couldn’t be any worse than it is now.

TheDock22 says:

What the heck are they thinking?

I can’t even think of a connection between P2P and identify theft. Is it even possible to steal someones identity through P2P software? Well, maybe it is if the person shares their entire My Documents directory and then puts sensitive information in that directory, but that would actually be pretty complicated to set up for someone who has no idea what they are doing…

Izzy23 says:

It's really a matter of lack of education

This issue with P2P and identity theft isn’t really a matter of idiocy, it’s really about a lack of education. Most users don’t know that other users can access all their files — music and personal — if they don’t set the right security levels before using. But it is scary what information you can access just by using P2P software. If you go on a P2P site like Limewire and search tax returns, users’ tax returns are showing up. So there is a legitimate identity theft threat here, but a glitche that can be easily solved.

John (profile) says:

Ban Microsoft, Dell, Apple, and Sony

We need laws against Microsoft, Dell, Apple, and Sony. Their computer software and hardware makes it too easy for people to share information.
Before the days of computers, people had to physically go into an office and steal files and folders.

These companies have made it too easy to share information over the internet! Pass a law banning computers!
Plus, without computers, nobody could share movies or music, nor could they post critical blogs! A bonus win for the MPAA and RIAA!

(sarcasm off)

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