Unintended Consequences: P2P 'Warning' Law Could Impact Browsers, FTP
from the politicians-who-don't-understand-technology dept
We discussed recently how entertainment industry lobbyists have been pushing this story about how P2P software needs to be regulated to prevent gov't data from leaking, incorrectly blaming the software for user error. So, of course, it's no surprise that legislation has been introduced that tries to force any P2P software used for transferring files from one computer to another to include a big warning and require the user to give "informed consent" when installing the software and every time it's used. Yes, every time it's used. This is a bad idea for a variety of reasons. Has it occurred to anyone crafting such a bill that when you pop up such a notice and require "consent" every single time software is used, most people will just ignore it? But, more importantly, as Declan McCullagh points out, the wording of the bill suggests that this "notice and consent" solution would apply to lots and lots of products, including browsers, FTP clients and backup software. Tons of software these days involves transferring files between two computers. This is, of course, symptomatic of legislation being written and introduced by people who don't understand the technology. They think that software to transfer files is limited to things like LimeWire or BitTorrent, not recognizing that it's a core part of the internet itself.