Once Again, Congress Wants To Blame Limewire For Stupid Staffers, As Arts+Labs Propaganda Campaign Works

from the limewire-ain't-the-problem dept

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).

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Companies: arts+labs, limewire

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Comments on “Once Again, Congress Wants To Blame Limewire For Stupid Staffers, As Arts+Labs Propaganda Campaign Works”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:

New Rule #1

Ok, I’m going to try to start keeping track of how many new rules I, Lord Helmet, have to enact in order to keep people from shitting all over themselves trying to get through American life. This is #1:

“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…).”

Ok, this new rule is for members of Congress. If you’re making any claim of a nature that ought to have statistics or empirical data associated with it, you must AT THE VERY LEAST cite the source of that data that you’re basing your legislation upon, or the support/dissent of others legislation. No more quoting lobbyist’s papers, no more reading straight from press releases, no more speaking as if you are an informed authority when you aren’t.

If you violate Rule #1, you are not allowed to propose ANY legislation in your house of Congress for a period of one month, which will piss off your consituents. 2nd offense is a 3 month penalty. 3rd offense is beheading.

So Lord Helmet has written it, so it shall become…

IshmaelDS says:

I don't see the problem

Obviously it’s limewire’s fault that people are able to share secret documents. I mean come on. They should have a built-in security that doesn’t let you share files you shouldn’t be sharing. Just like it’s the auto manufacture’s fault when you get in an accident. They should have a built-in security that doesn’t let you get in accidents.

Brian (profile) says:

Yeah good idea

When are these guys going to learn? If you start a national campaign against file sharing, guess what’s going to happen… you’re going to draw even MORE attention to file sharing! Let them start a national “education” campaign… heck, let the RIAA run it for all I care.

“File Sharing is WRONG! It’s illegal and we’ll come down on you hard if you do it! And we all know how easy it is… I mean how hard is it to go to lime wire’s website, follow the easy installer, create an account, search for your favorite music and download it at no cost?”

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sigh

“Every time you share a file terrorists beat a puppy to death. Don’t share files.”

Nah, it’d be more like: “Lime-Wire is a gateway application to harder file-use. You may think, hey, I’ll just take one toke on from this file, just a byte here, a KB, there. Soon your so strung out from lack of “sharing” that you’re throwing yourself out of windows just to get the high back”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Um, yeah, on that website idea...

Right. Good luck with that. Hah. A few months ago, I talked with several industry lawyers in Los Angeles which led me to a desire to meet with Howard. Your efforts are not going anywhere. The best advice I can provide is to get out of your parents house and into a job that will pay you.

I love popcorn. But this is a special occasion, and I’m going to order a 30-Lb Carmel Popcorn kits.

Let me warm up the machine, so it’s ready when UPS drops it off…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Um, yeah, on that website idea...

That’s fresh. Our solution included independent music. It didn’t fly. In fact, I’ve decided to order a second case of caramel popcorn and am considering a third case made with real cheddar cheese, made from Happy California Cows.

Dark Helmet, be sure to get Hephaestus and you to post a URL to your new site here.

I’m totally looking forward to this. Baw hahahaha!

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Um, yeah, on that website idea...

How about instead you use your experience WITH us and offer us some constructive criticism on our efforts so that we can all bring this to fruition.

You’ll excuse me if “your idea isn’t going anywhere” just isn’t acceptable to me. If the idea is good in principle, I’ll MAKE it go somewhere. If not, then it’ll be a lesson learned for the next opportunity.

Open arms, my friend. Learn me some of your experience.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Um, yeah, on that website idea...

Damn I leave for 2 hours and a name calling match occurs … stop or I will send you to your respective rooms…

AC – I will ban you to the land of Direct current appliances

Dark Helmet – I will sick Yogurt on your sorry ass … Big Ole Grin

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Of course Congress wants to pass a law.

After all, the leaking of sensitive information is a problem, and the congresscritters have to be seen to be doing something about the problem.
Of course, they could simply hire competent managers to make sure the employees are working rather than downloading music during working hours. Oh wait, that would mean they wouldn’t be able to reward their friends with government positions. Never mind.

Eirik Iverson (user link) says:

p2p software law

We don’t need another law that makes legislators ‘feel good’ for codifying something in writing but not necessarily solving the problem, which is fundamentally a lack of operational awareness and control over computers:


As for educating individuals about the dangers of P2P, well, okay but don’t expect major impact.

As nature has provided for millions of years, there are always foolish individuals, such as those dinosauers that walked into tar pits, and the even more foolish ones that went into them to feed one ones already trapped.

Organizations need to have some individuals not in jeopardy from Darwin’s law that can keep and eye on federal agency computers and remotely do what is necessary to mitigate the risks. Nothing new need be invented. No great mysteries need be solved. The answers are here and have been. Just do it!

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