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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  1. identicon
    Edmond Woychowsky, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:00am

    Not P2P

    P2P isn’t to blame, idiots are. The only issue is that if idiocy is outlawed then most elected officials will be outlaws. Hmm, no big change there.

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

  2. identicon
    adymax, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:04am

    Power and Money

    They have to blame somebody and since they are idiots they can not blame themselves so they blame the technology. P2p is the most revolutionary file sharing technology and they want to destroy it. It’s all about money and power!! Unbelievable!!!

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

  3. identicon
    Casper, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:12am

    They hate progress....

    Everyone hates progress, especially as you get older and start to get left behind. Rather then admit they have been out of the loop for the past few decades, they would rather kill the new technology. Brilliant!

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

  4. icon
    MadJo (profile), 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:31am

    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.

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

  5. identicon
    MEoip, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:47am


    Ban Paper it promotes identity theft, everyone's seen the commercials were a guy snoops around in a trash can and pulls out all he needs to steal an identity. Clearly we need to regulate paper.

    OR... Congress could pass a law reducing the number of things I need to give away my SS number for.

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

  6. identicon
    bshock, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:58am

    this was going to happen eventually

    I stopped watching Hollywood products last year. No American films, no American tv. As for the American music industry, I gave up on that in the early 90s.

    Now I just download whatever media I want from other countries. That's P2P to me.

    Hollywood doesn't just want us to eat shit -- it wants us to enjoy the flavor.

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

  7. identicon
    norman619, 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:23am


    Congress promotes terminal stupidity! We need new congressmen.

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

  8. identicon
    Barrenwaste, 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:26am

    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.

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

  9. identicon
    TheDock22, 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:31am

    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...

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:37am

    It is confirmed, the US congress is mentally retarded.

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

  11. identicon
    amaress, 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:39am

    re: Barrenwaste

    Be careful saying things like that. They'll arrest you for terrorism and execute you quietly.

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

  12. icon
    Nick (profile), 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:55am

    I am so leaving this country the first chance I get. Stockholm, Sweden or Paris, France, have not decided yet.

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

  13. identicon
    Celt, 18 Oct 2007 @ 10:10am


    Don't go to Paris. They'll just surrender you back over. Or they'll just surrender to you.

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

  14. identicon
    mike allen, 18 Oct 2007 @ 10:49am


    Amsterdam great freedom there Paris they dont speak english,

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

  15. identicon
    iphone, 18 Oct 2007 @ 11:03am


    really go live in paris for a year or two, you will realize amerika is actually not so bad...

    sweden? you like 50% taxation? hot girls but costs a fortune to get them drunk...

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

  16. identicon
    norman619, 18 Oct 2007 @ 11:40am

    Re: re: Barrenwaste

    Rendition... Shhhhhh...

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

  17. identicon
    Sammy, 18 Oct 2007 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Ban

    No No No, we need laws to prevent garbage! After all if there were no garbage thieves couldn't go through it to steal identities.

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

  18. identicon
    CrazyDave, 18 Oct 2007 @ 8:25pm

    When are they just going to finally ban the internet and open up the intertube system.

    I'd rather have over priced media drivel delivered quickly to my always-on TV, then to have open ideas from all over the world at my choice with only a few clicks.

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

  19. identicon
    Izzy23, 19 Oct 2007 @ 8:50am

    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.

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

  20. icon
    John (profile), 23 Oct 2007 @ 2:15pm

    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)

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

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