Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Communications Networking Your Rights Online

Proposed Peer-To-Peer Law Sparks Animosity 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the series-of-tubes dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission and Distributed Computing Industry Association locked horns over a proposed law that would govern how peer-to-peer networking technology would be used and regulated. Before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission expressed its doubts about companies protecting sensitive consumer information (PDF) or sensitive data over P2P internet file-sharing networks. It doesn't help the P2P cause that the technology continues to pop up in bad practices. Recently a company that monitors peer-to-peer networks said it found classified information about the systems used onboard the president's helicopter in a shared folder on a computer in Iran, after a file containing the data was accidentally leaked on a peer-to-peer network last summer. Meanwhile the DCIA said any laws would likely be ineffective and stifle the business opportunities P2P can generate." An article on CNet points out that the wording of the bill would make it apply to just about everything related to communications on the internet.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Proposed Peer-To-Peer Law Sparks Animosity

Comments Filter:
  • It's True (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:56AM (#27846745) Journal

    Recently a company that monitors peer-to-peer networks said it found classified information about the systems used on board the president's helicopter in a shared folder on a computer in Iran, after a file containing the data was accidentally leaked on a peer-to-peer network last summer.

    It's true, I saw these files and it appears our nation's most important secrets have been released to one of our most dangerous enemies. They are a move-by-move account of every Freecell game played by Obama. From that, the Iranians have been able to extrapolate his strategy for the Iraq theater and predict his every move, ergo, peer to peer file sharing must be stopped.

    Reading this story kind of makes me want to draw up a huge exploded view diagram [wikimedia.org] of Marine One [wikipedia.org] with Hello Kitty on a treadmill in the middle of the cabin powering the main rotor ... and then seed it as top secret documents on Bittorrent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by B'Trey (111263)

      The CNN article commenting on the proposed bill says:

      Another example: Web browsers could also be regulated and subject to Federal Trade Commission enforcement action unless "informed consent" is obtained each time the desktop icon is double-clicked. (Every Web browser allows the user to "designate" files to be uploaded--ever post a photo?--and request that files be downloaded.)

      This appears to be covering things like uploading a photo or downloading a program to install. That doesn't even cover the half of it. What happens when you visit a web page? Your browser sends a GET request and downloads the file - it copies a file from the server to your computer. If the page is not static, of course, the file is generated on the fly by scripts. But if that isn't covered, then I'll simply code my P2P app to ROT13 all files. When y

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        And it absolutely does not matter that it is ludicrous. Because the person who gains from this will not care for all the things you mention. It could even be the very point of installing that system.

        Never think you politicians were stupid, when someone can obviously gain something from in. ^^

        • That AND they are stupid.
        • And it absolutely does not matter that it is ludicrous. Because the person who gains from this will not care for all the things you mention. It could even be the very point of installing that system.

          Um... I can't think of any lobbying group that could convince Congress to disable the internet. I'm pretty sure that everyone else in the country - including big businesses - would show up with torches and pitchforks.

          • These people, perhaps? [wikipedia.org]

          • Well, if you're one of those people, who miss the "good" old times, where the only way to inform themselves was the unidirectional stream of bullshit that is called TV, and there was a strong suppression of free thought / self-thinking (compared to now), then I bet you want to go back to where it was easy to control people.

            The Internet really opened a can of worms. For the first time, it was impossible to control information anymore. On a global scale. Must have been a disaster for some people.

      • by mrops (927562) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:15PM (#27847967)

        This is so ludicrous that not even Congress could pass it.

        I think you are putting way too much trust in Congress.

        • That's true. I hear they don't even read the bills put in front of them these days.

          I do, however, think we can put a little more trust in the courts. It's ultimately their decisions that decide whether such a law is unenforceable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You know whats funny about the whole situation is if they didn't want them on the internet they wouldn't make it there if they had a good security team in place.

    • The slackjawed,walleyed, bucktoothed, illiterate, inbreds that brought you "The war on drugs" "gun control" the DMCA and all the draconian shit supposedly to "save the children" and make sex offenders out of teenage boys who make the mistake of screwing teenage girls.

  • YAY! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by reidiq (1434945) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:56AM (#27846751)
    More government control over our lives!!!!!
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      There's change you can believe in. Well, believe as in it is going to happen anyways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Perhaps you missed the fact that the Representative who introduced this bill is a Republican? Kind of hard to pin this particular piece of idiocy on Obama.

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:58AM (#27846773)

    Recently a company that monitors peer-to-peer networks said it found classified information about the systems used onboard the president's helicopter in a shared folder on a computer in Iran, after a file containing the data was accidentally leaked on a peer-to-peer network last summer. Meanwhile the DCIA said any laws would likely be ineffective and stifle the business opportunities P2P can generate."

    How do we know that this government employee didn't purposefully 'leak' the documents online or plant them at an Iranian I.P. address so that the government could have an excuse to pass an archaic and oppressive internet law?

    An article on CNet points out that the wording of the bill would make it apply to just about everything related to communications on the internet.

    One person, a government worker, leaks a document, and now we must all pay.

    If a government worker drunk drives should we all lose our licenses and cars?

    • by internerdj (1319281) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:14AM (#27847025)
      One person, a government worker, leaks a document, and now we must all pay.

      If a government worker drunk drives should we all lose our licenses and cars?

      The annoying thing is by making those documents available on p2p, the worker was already breaking countless laws and regulations. There are existing protections in place for this type of thing but rather than rely on the fact that he could be fined/fired/arrested/barred from future government work and if he was a contractor his company was also fined/penalized against future contract bids, the solution is to make yet another law standing in the way of legitimate use of p2p.
      • by sumdumass (711423)

        That's probably the worst part of the democrats. They vilify the republicans for wanting to enforce the rule of law unless it's something they can use to their own political advantage yet they always ignore existing laws and attempt to put massively draconian new laws in place because of the lack of enforcement of previous laws as some knee jerk reaction just to appear to be doing something.

    • Yes... it does seem rather odd that such an important document would be "accidentally" torrented... I mean really if it was that important it should have been encrypted and mounted on its own partition or at the least not anywhere near other files.. I mean honestly how do you accidentally torrent such a critical file?

      • by blueg3 (192743)

        Usually these leaks occur over a Gnutella-like network, not BitTorrent. Misconfiguration with low-quality software or malicious P2P software is the problem.

        I mean, is the problem, not including the fact that proper data security practices weren't in place.

      • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:32AM (#27847287)

        The leaking of a government file is only the excuse. The real goal is to eliminate ignorance by the user of what the software does for purposes of prosecution of the user for sharing copyrighted works.

        I.e. this is meant to inform all users of P2P software of their overt actions in making available files so that the RIAA has a stronger case.

    • There's nothing "archaic" about it.. this is the future.
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      It is the very nature of governmental secrecy to expand, reach out and try to control absolutely everything, everywhere at all times.
                  The solution is to allow far less secrecy in government. After all, we pay for all of the information that government possesses. That is to say that we own it but are disallowed from knowing what it is.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Well, if the drunk driver hit the president's motorcade, they might try to ban alcohol again.

  • Why does it seem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That under the old admin everybody was screaming in fear about 1984... And now with the new admin... it still feels the same
  • ZOMG!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:00AM (#27846815) Journal

    Those Iranians, Arabs, and Terrorists use P2P networks! Lets regulate or ban them. ZOMG, they use television too. Lets ban TV networks. Oh noes, they use cars and roads too... Well, walking is good for you. Damn, they use elections too. We don't want to be like 'them' so no more elections. How much more ignorant are reporters and politicians going to get?

    Oh no, they use television to broadcast government propaganda. No more .... wait, they copied that from us, so that's ok.

    I'm waiting for the first idiot legislator to suggest that foreign governments and terrorists are using Linux so it too must be banned.

    • Re:ZOMG!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:10AM (#27846965) Journal

      ZOMG, they use television too.

      It's true. Both sides use CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, etc heavily. And yet there is no new laws proposed to regulate CNN. Probably because it's less anonymous but also because it's considered "the press" and the phrase "government regulating the press" in America is worse than insulting your favorite sports team.

      You know, it would be an interesting strategy to turn the bittorrent protocol into a means of disseminating news and blogs as well as large files. I mean they're just smaller files but could have huge legal implications for regulations of it. It would be nice to see (and make sense bandwidth wise) CNN distributing their video content with embedded advertisements in torrents. How popular would they be? I'm not sure. But it would give P2P advocates a case to cry foul when the government tries to regulate the software & protocol.

      I guess "Now I can't share DVDs" just doesn't sound as patriotic as "The government is controlling and censoring a new press outlet and must be stopped."

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by maxume (22995)

        I propose new laws to regulate Fox all of the time.

        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Then you are far more un-American than the tools at Fox, which is quite an impressive feat.

          "I disagree with what you have to say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it."

      • It would be nice to see (and make sense bandwidth wise) CNN distributing their video content with embedded advertisements in torrents. How popular would they be? I'm not sure. But it would give P2P advocates a case to cry foul when the government tries to regulate the software & protocol.

        Why would any of the news channels want to do that? You're suggesting it'd be great because it would invalidate the marginalization of P2P technology by media companies that are threatened by P2P activity. But then those news organizations are all owned by those same media companies.

        The big media companies (including the large news organizations) want broadcast networks. It gives them control over their own product and makes competition more difficult. Even if the bittorrent would make their lives much

    • Ban Element 8! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by number6x (626555) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:36AM (#27847355)
      <sarcasm>

      It is a well established scientific fact that 100% of terrorists use a readily available, totally unregulated oxidizing agent to maintain their very existence here on God's green Earth!

      This extremely destructive agent has been used in nuclear missile propulsion systems, high explosive devices, and is a leading cause of infrastructure collapse!

      Known as 'Element 8' This substance must be banned! Our wise and benevolent leaders have been combining Element 8 with simple carbon atoms in order to render it harmless and reduce its availability to the terrorists. These valiant efforts are opposed by environmental activists who are merely duped by our socialist enemies!

      Write to your Congressman and Senator today and have them join the fight to ban 'Element 8', before it is used to destroy us all!

      </sarcasm>

      • by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:48AM (#27847533)

        It sounds a lot like Dihydrogen Monoxide.

        The Invisible Killer

        Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

        Dihydrogen monoxide:

                * is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
                * contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
                * may cause severe burns.
                * contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
                * accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
                * may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
                * has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

        Contamination Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions!

        Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest, and recently California.

        Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

                * as an industrial solvent and coolant.
                * in nuclear power plants.
                * in the production of styrofoam.
                * as a fire retardant.
                * in many forms of cruel animal research.
                * in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
                * as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

        Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

        The Horror Must Be Stopped!

        The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Nyvhek (999064)
          Yeah, that's what happens when you accidentally combine Element 8 with hydrogen instead of carbon.
      • Meh, DHMO still kills more people per year and they put it in your food.
        • by number6x (626555)

          DHMO contains Element 8! Every DHMO caused death is an Element 8 caused death.

          Element 8, on its own, can kill in many ways that DHMO cannot!

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:09AM (#27846955)

    It doesn't help the P2P cause that the technology continues to pop up in bad practices.

    It's people, not software that are the problem. Software is a tool and is neither good or bad. The people using it on the other hand...

    Not to start anything, but this is why I am generally amused by the term "Computer Ethics". Computers are simply a tool; there might as well be something called "Blender Ethics". The real issue is simply "Ethics", which I fear some are lacking.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Nope, IP is the problem. No network, no sharing across them.

      All kidding aside, "ethics" ( and morals ) are relative.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      There are blender ethics.

      Don't shove someone hand into one. Don't thrust the exposed spinning blades at people.

      For a violation of some blender ethics, see the movie 'Goonies'

      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        For a violation of some blender ethics, see the movie 'Goonies'

        Or Fargo. 'Cause a wood chipper is just a really big blender.

      • Fortunately, a government inspector doesn't have to drop by to see what you're blending each time you use it.

        ...or whatever analogy would link this to the original article :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chabil Ha' (875116)

      The real issue is simply "Ethics", which I fear some are lacking.

      It does reveal (in some aspects) the childishness of our society. We have to be so explicit in the "dos and don'ts" and aren't left to our own to think what our actions might really entail. We are left with a "Four legs good, Two legs bad" impression of our world without the understanding of what that really means.

      I would try education before legislation.

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:32PM (#27850067) Journal

        I wouldn't agree that it is childish. It's the way our society was created and is the halmark of freedom and liberty. You see, we operate under the assumption of we can until something with authority says we can't. Now morals, like this impressed by religions, fraternity groups (eagles, elks, boy scouts) civil societies (bar associations, trade groups/unions) and so on are all relative instead of absolute now.

        It used to be a system of absolute morality in which it was a given of what was expected and how we treated each other as well as expected to be treated. but in out enlighten society, it's all about relative morality now. This took us from a solid how will my actions effect others to a how will my actions effect me. With that shift has come a shift the stuff that you seem to think makes us childish now.

        I would try education before legislation too but without a shift back to absolute morality to some degree, it will be more or less an exercise in futility.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      A class called Bender Ethics would be hilarious.

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        Reply one: Especially since Bender would fail that class.

        Reply two: Especially since Bender would be a terrible teacher for an ethics class.

  • The cat is out of the bag so to speak. There isn't any going back now. People have realized the usefulness of P2P - and no piece of legislation anywhere is going to prevent its use. Worst case scenario - rewrite some protocols to encrypt data and make it look like normal traffic. Instead of writing dumb legislation how about a proactive approach (sorry for the management speak). How about some sort of coherent plan for how to deal with emerging technology in a way that makes sense?
    • Worst case scenario - rewrite some protocols to encrypt data and make it look like normal traffic.

      You mean, more or less, what Freenet [freenetproject.org] does.

  • This is a joke, right? We don't need yet another association.

  • the punishment of those who obey the laws and prosperity of those who do not.
  • by frith01 (1118539) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:18AM (#27847089)

    FTFA ::

    # warnings to application users and notices about the number and types of files being shared;
    # default settings that limit what is shared upon installation of an application; controls for users to
    # stop sharing any file or folder; protections against any user attempt to share sensitive folders or
    # file types; and simple means to disable the file-sharing functionality

    As always, our good intending congress critters will not understand the over-reaching ramifications of trying to make an application behave legally. It makes good theater for the masses, and a whip to use against any software that is not paying to the "re-election" pac.

    The only guidelines that need to be implemented in any secure workplace are to not run filesharing apps on ANY end-user computer. ( torrents, etc. should be done on a machine reserved for that purpose.)

    • by gclef (96311)

      I disagree...the only p2p apps running should be *approved* ones. I realize that's splitting hairs, but the distinction is an important one. For example, I thought the Groove application from a couple years ago was a great idea & a good business use of p2p. That's the sort of thing that I could see being an approved p2p app. BearShare? not so much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Who decides what "p2p apps" to ban and which to approve? Furthermore, what criteria do they judge them on?

        There is increasingly a separation between the actual applications (the clients), and the protocol itself, case in point: there are dozens of bittorrent clients. Do only sleazy malware clients get banned, or do entire protocols? What exactly makes a protocol "bad"? Why should anyone be in the business of telling me what sort of software I can write and run myself?

  • If you had any doubts about the unintended consequences of net neutrality regulation, this should help clarify it for you. The same folks who would be "handed the keys to the Internet" to enforce net neutrality will be the ones regulating shit like this. Rather than get the government involved, we should maintain individual responsibility by boycotting ISPs with bad practices and draconian ToS.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      as usually, people saying that missing the practical picture; which is ALL THE ISPs will institute the same crap so you won' have a choice.

      This is why net neutrality must be maintained.

      • by brian0918 (638904)

        as usually, people saying that missing the practical picture; which is ALL THE ISPs will institute the same crap so you won' have a choice.

        And drive away all their customers? How would they stay in business?

        Given that people don't have a right to internet access, neither we nor the government can force them to do anything against their will, even if they make stupid decisions. They should be permitted to succeed or fail by their own actions.

        This is why net neutrality must be maintained.

        Then you're begging for the government to violate all your other rights. If you want people to respect your rights to free speech, liberty, property, etc, you have to respect everyone else's rights to th

  • I'm all for using P2P and bashing the US government like the next guy, but all this bill says is:
    * Software that is capable of both sharing and downloading files (that is, indicating available files to others, sending those files to others, and recieving files from others) must inform you of this fact upon installation (include it in the EULA).
    * Prior to sharing files (parts 1 and 2 above), the software must inform the user of what files are to be shared and recieve their consent.
    * You must be able to unins

    • by lgw (121541)

      WOuld this outlaw Freenet? Or would you only have to inform the user about *that user's* files being shared, not other traffic through the node?

      They'd have a hard case to make that Apache maliciously configured itself without your consent, though.

      Sendmail, OTOH ...

  • by robkill (259732) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:24AM (#27847187)

    Bill is sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono. Big surprise. She was behind the 1998 Sunny Bono Copyright Extension Act and has worked very closely with the RIAA and MPAA in the past.

    From the CNET article:

    Bono's Informed P2P User Act says that it will be "unlawful" for P2P software to cause files to be made available unless two rules are followed. First, the utility's installation process must provide "clear and conspicuous notice" of its features and obtain the user's "informed consent." Second, the program must step through that notice-and-consent process every time it runs.

    In other words: a "This gun shoots bullets, which may be lethal." notice every time the program is used, made further annoying by a list of all files that would be shared.

    Should a user have a way of finding out exactly what the software they are using is doing, and an easy way to configure it correctly? Absolutely. Should it provide a way for me to view the configuration and what it will share? Hopefully, and I'd look for software that does. Does that mean all software should be dumbed down, and force me to go through such a notice every time I use it? Absolutely not. Of course the end result will be no different than what users currently do with EULA notices during software installation.

    All in all a law requireing a bad and onerous implementation of what a good program should do anyway, and potentially the thin end of a wedge to add more restrictions to P2P software. The law could be used to go after some forms of spyware, but I'd much rather see a law carefully crafted for that purpose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blueg3 (192743)

      Hey, someone who actually read an article and figured out it's (a) not much of a regulation and (b) about software, not networks.

      Whether or not you need to be warned each time depends on the interpretation of "initial activation" in "immediately prior to initial activation of a file sharing function of such program..."

      Otherwise, yes. For already-sane P2P clients, this adds minor annoyance, and nothing else. It does, as someone pointed out, seriously injure the "I didn't know I was sharing it" defense for ch

      • by lgw (121541)

        What about networks like Freenet that route traffic through all nodes? The user provably cannot know the files he is sharing, and that's a key feature of Freenet.

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          Spirit of the law suggests that what they actually want the application to tell you is which of your files (i.e., those not wholly mangaged by the application) are available to others. It would probably be wise to include in the "this is a P2P application" notice mention of the fact that Freenet is using you to store and transmit unidentifiable data from other peers.

          As far as the letter of the law goes, I don't think it was written realizing systems like Freenet. You could probably get away with being pedan

          • by lgw (121541)

            I guess that when a country reach the point where it feels the need to outlaw Freenet, it won't much matter if existing laws could be twisted to do so. You're in a full-on totalitarian state at that point, so laws will be created as needed to outlaw whatever.

  • by Thaelon (250687)

    Assuming this is true:

    Recently a company that monitors peer-to-peer networks said it found classified information about the systems used onboard the president's helicopter in a shared folder on a computer in Iran, after a file containing the data was accidentally leaked on a peer-to-peer network last summer.

    This is a problem for the person or persons responsible for leaking that file and has nothing to do with peer to peer networks.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:31AM (#27847275) Homepage

    Any security breaches are not the fault of P2P per se. Why was there a computer with classified documents where the user was allowed to install software and connect directly to the Internet? The user could have installed Apache and made the entire hard drive accessible through HTTP at that point.

    Ultimately the entire Internet is peer-to-peer. All these "P2P" applications do is make it easier for the peers to find each other.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      Ultimately the entire Internet is peer-to-peer.

      For a peer-to-peer system, it has a lot of heirarchical order.

      Of course, this bill actually targets peer-to-peer file sharing software, not some vague notion of "P2P applications". It even mentions one of the critical functions that a P2P file sharing application performs -- making files on your computer available for transmission to other Internet hosts. A P2P network (a) organizes peers using the same application and (b) indicates available (shared) files to other peers. The appearance of (b) varies a lot

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nine-times (778537)

        For a peer-to-peer system, it has a lot of heirarchical order.

        In what way? Maybe DNS has some hierarchy to it, but ultimately the internet is peer-to-peer. It's certainly not a broadcast network.

        The FTP servers on the Internet constitute P2P file sharing. Same with web servers. You can install apache on your computer and I can install it on mine, and then we be peers who have access to share each others' files. Google's search engine is the tool that most of us use to indicate what files are available, as well as to find them-- but really, Google is just another

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          The physical structure is very much a strongly-organized hierarchy. It doesn't have to be, but it is. DNS has a very strong hierarchy.

          Google indexing files is at a different level than peer-to-peer communications. That a Web server is a "P2P application" is murky, but an FTP server probably is by this definition. It certainly has a set of files that are made available (and this set of files is available to others on the network) and others on the network can request these files. However, it's not clear in t

          • Google indexing files is at a different level than peer-to-peer communications. That a Web server is a "P2P application" is murky...

            I think you're missing the point. The Internet is not a broadcast system. Communication is two-way, and there's nothing about the Internet itself that designates one computer as a "client" and another as a "server". Your computer may only be configured for being a client or a server, or you may use firewalls to block certain communications, but as far as the Internet is concerned, every computer is both a client and a server at the same time. Therefore it is a peer-to-peer network.

            There's nothing murky

  • but I guess animosity is close enough...

  • This just goes to show you that these guys have absolutely no idea what they are actually talking about. To say we are going to make law about P2P file sharing is like saying, I'm going to make a law that says you can travel from point A to point B, but not in a three wheeled car. Only four wheeled cars. So, I can't use bit-torrent's protocol, so I will just create a similar one and call it something else and use it until you decide to include it in your law also. (a three wheeled car with a training

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      I can't use bit-torrent's protocol, so I will just create a similar one and call it something else

      Fail. You obviously didn't read the legislation because your "similar one" would still fall under the definition P2P software and thus the law.

  • Just maybe, mind you, they should just teach their employees how a computer works. I imagine that would help a great deal more. Why don't we stop babying everyone and if we REALLY want to do something, teach them how to use the software that they've got in a way that they don't have it scan their entire computer for everything all the time.

    I simply cannot fathom this kind of stupidity. Don't tell your P2P software to scan places with sensitive things in it and don't put those sensitive things in your
  • This is yet another piece of misguided legislation authored by politicians who do not have the necessary grasp of the technical issues they're addressing or of the full scope of the ramifications of their proposed bill. Furthermore it's a knee-jerk reaction, and it's being reported in such a way as to foster panic and outrage. What, we're all done with Swine Flu, we've got to have something else to panic everyone over? Really, what is it they're trying to distract us all from, anyway? Enough, already. This
    • by yuna49 (905461)

      While in general I agree with your evaluation of the bill's prospects, I still object to the entire enterprise on Constitutional grounds. What right does Congress have to tell anyone what they must include in computer software? We're not regulating automobile safety and mileage here, we're regulating speech. Can Congress tell novelists that they must include material describing the health risks of smoking whenever a character lights a cigar? What's the different between a book and Enhanced C Torrent [sourceforge.net]? (

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        Your comment more or less complements my original post; they don't have the right to do so, which is one of the myriad reasons this legislation will go nowhere. ;-)
  • Is not so much that somebody had made a copy of a file containing Presidential Helicopter blueprints, but, that, somehow, we found these blueprints on a server in Iran. Seems to me that we give as good as we get, at least on this one.

  • The law is specifically against uploading files without informing the authorized user of the computer. I don't think that's such a bad thing nor is it a bad thing that it applies to all internet communications. It helps to clear up some situations where spyware would otherwise be in a legal grey area. It's also interesting to note that the legislation, as quoted on C-Net, does not make any specific exception for law enforcement to get files from a computer without the user's knowledge. I suppose that's c
  • The issue is control. TCP/IP **IS**, by it's very design and essence peer-to-peer.

    It was developped by univertities for military use, and eventually released to the great unwashed masses(TM).

    Boy do the powers that are must regret that decision! The genie cannot be put back in the bottle...

    The pitiful restraints some ISPs try to impose ("no servers, no this, no that") are a reflection of the big power's fears when the people is allowed to express itself just like the big and powerful.

    Right now in France,

  • ... whether that beige box under my desk is a client, server, or a peer?

    For "peer-to-peer" to have any meaning in law or regulation, some definition of "server" is going to have to be written. It isn't going to be based on protocols or open listening TCP/IP ports. Practically every system I own has processes listening on various ports (Apache, sshd, etc.). So, we're going to need some legal distinction. Are "they" (whomever the infamous "they" is) going to make me apply for a server license? Not very lik

  • Of course government computers with classified information should NOT BE RUNNING ANY SOFTWARE THAT IS NOT COMPLETELY UNDERSTOOD AND PROPERLY CONFIGURED.

    Also, of course, it sucks that a p-p network in Iran is hosting secret information.

    How does passing a law regarding p-p in the US have any effect on these problems?

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:02PM (#27848777)

    Please remember that the architecture of the Internet makes it the world's first P2P system; albeit with a lousy user interface.

    All regulation of P2P systems and what you can do with them or not logically must apply to the Internet as a whole, because there is
    no fundamental functional difference between a fancy P2P system and the raw Internet.

    This is why all legislation targeted specifically at P2P systems is both misguided and extremely dangerous to the future of the net as a whole.

    • Of course they know this. "They" do not want a peer to peer system they want a (Government Controlled) Media to Peer system - just like good old TV used to be.

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...