A bunch of folks have sent over a post on Slashdot detailing how a mandatory US gov't briefing on "information security"
uses incredibly hyperbolic and inaccurate information, including the idea that all music downloads are theft and insecure. You can see the (flash-heavy) video briefing
. The actual part with the music downloads is pretty far into the presentation (you can jump forward through the chapters), when it hits an interactive bit where you get to go through "real-life scenarios" of "threats." In the bottom left corner, there's a scenario involving a colleague who says he's found a "cool site" from which you can "download music" and asks you how do you respond:
- I'd rather download the music from home -- email me the link
- Is it safe to download?
- Since we're on our lunch hour, I see no harm. Here's my thumb drive!
- That's stealing.
Choices one and three seem obviously wrong, but choice two actually does seem like the most relevant. After all, the "cool site" in question could be any number of "cool sites" that offer up legal free music, like Jamendo
. But what happens if you select the second choice and ask if it's safe to download? You're told no, that's wrong:
And then are scolded, saying that it's illegal and prohibited, followed up by another lecture about how not only is it illegal and prohibited, but unethical
and "may result in criminal" liability.
Someone should tell the folks at that cool Jamendo site.
Now, to be fair, it's rather obvious that the briefing is designed to keep gov't employees from using file sharing programs and potentially exposing confidential gov't documents via file sharing. And that's reasonable. But why not be accurate and honest about it? Lying about it makes no sense.