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House IP Leader Endorses P2P Blocking

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the peer-to-peer-prohibition dept.

Privacy 178

Technical Writing Geek points out an Ars Technica report on comments from Representative Howard Coble (R-NC), who sits on the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. In a recent editorial, Coble attempts to discourage P2P file sharing among young people, and praises Ohio University for its ban on P2P applications last year. Coble also suggests that identity theft is a great danger from file sharing. Public Knowledge is running a similar analysis, which argues against the main points from the editorial.

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ID Theft? (5, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680722)

Excuse me? Aside from the standard malware risks and stupid users, how is P2P an ID Theft risk?

Re:ID Theft? (2, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680740)

It's just a FUD tactic, much like "You have no guarantee that open source software is 'safe'" and "Nobody ever got fired for buying $RESPECTED_MANUFACTURER"

Re:ID Theft? (3, Insightful)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680786)

Isn't there a way to demand that politicians explain the idiotic things they claim? If there is not, there should be, and then if they are proven wrong, they should be fined and beaten! Publicly!

Re:ID Theft? (5, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680884)

Yes, it's called the "voting box". If you don't like 'em, then vote 'em out.

Re:ID Theft? (5, Insightful)

muindaur (925372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681024)

Don't forget to call them out on their FUD in public to prevent others voting for them.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681034)

Well, unfortunately I don't live in NC and so I can't. Yet this dummy could affect the whole nation.

Re:ID Theft? (2, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681036)

To what? Another similar one? Face it, any mainstream candidate that has any chance of being elected falls in the same trap. Republicans, and Democrats both and also some independents. And until we can either get a large Pirate party here in the US or get some tech-savvy senators/representatives who can cut through the FUD that the RIAA has created we won't have a large enough majority to matter. It also doesn't help that I have never, never seen anyone (who was very popular) say much about P2P or other technology except "The US should have more tech jobs!!" which doesn't tell you anything about how they stand, and no writing letters/e-mails doesn't help.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681088)

The voting box is broken when the media doesnt spread the news. If a politician lies and is proven to be lieing it should be all over the news. He will then be thrown out. Unfortunately so many politicians lie that its not newsworthy, so it goes un/underreported and they DON'T get thrown out. Though maybe the sad thing is that the average joe is so stupid and uninformed that things not played 50x on fox news will never enter their heads.

Re:ID Theft? (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681192)

The voting box is broken when the media doesnt spread the news

The media doesn't spread the news because they are owned by the same corporations that "contribute" heavily to both "mainstream candidates" (IE, both the Republican and Democrat wings of the Republicrat Party) in every major race.

When Nader was running as a "third party" (Green) candidate, he wasn't on the ballot in enough states to gain the Presidency even if he won every state he ran in, and the media slobbered all over him. The Libertarians were on the ballot in 49 states, yet the media said nary a word about him.

Your corporate overlords, most of whom are foreign (Sony, BP, Shell, etc) aren't about to let go of their power. We, the People, lost and lost big a long time ago.

That said, I still vote, but split my vote between "third party" candidates. Because voting for a candidate that will vote against your interests is worse than wasting a vote, it's just plain stupid. People don't stay away from the polls because they're apathetic, they stay away because they know they have no real voice. Both candidates against legalizing something you love? Why vote?

Re:ID Theft? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681294)

So you can just vote in someone just like them?

I cant find a real difference in any of the politicians. Sure, they talk differently to appeal to different groups but the end result is the same.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682314)

I cant find a real difference in any of the politicians. Sure, they talk differently to appeal to different groups but the end result is the same.
That is because all the politicians you have heard of have a huge media budget behind them. This media budget was donated by the same people regardless of party. Ok, each company will have its favourites that it donates more too, but all politicians rely on donations from the same groups of companies.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681482)

I live in his district and he hasn't had a serious challenger since the Regan Administration and doesn't have any for this year. This story is getting zero coverage by the local press and it wouldn't matter to the vast majority of voters in this district anyway.

Re:ID Theft? (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680780)

Well, at least he didn't say that P2P would put pornography in the hands of the children... oh wait

Well, at least the kiddie-porn people would be stopped if there was no file sharing... right?

Well, at least Ms Spears would be able to pay her medical bills if there were no file sharing... there, we can all rest happy now.

WTF? This is just an attempt to make it seem ok to filter some things. Slowly but surely they will work on filtering everything for us so we won't have to worry about criminals - except those who work as legislators.

Re:ID Theft? (1, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680844)

By linking the two big bogeymen of the internet, they're trying to justify more regulation. It's the same crap they pull with buying SUV's == supporting terrorists, etc.

Re:ID Theft? (5, Funny)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680850)

Don't ask silly questions! What don't you get about, "think of the children?"

"Think of the children" is the Congressional equivalent of the Jedi Mind Trick; "these are not the droids you're looking for." Upon further consideration, he may have substituted "Identity Theft" instead of "terrorists" since he's talking about the Interweb. I applaud his restraint in not using any analogy to tubes. This is progress.

Re:ID Theft? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680902)

Here's a fun hobby of mine. Open up Limewire, select documents, search for "resume.doc". Watch in shock and awe at the stupidity of people as resume after resume appears.

Then have more fun. Right click on one, browse host.

Watch in amazement as you now have access to their pictures, word documents, cookies, anything you might find interesting. All because they're too stupid to properly define the Sharing folders when they started using Limewire.

An ID theft's wet dream, all thanks to P2P.

Re:ID Theft? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681206)

I save my resume as 'resume.odf,' so there!

Re:ID Theft? (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681512)

I save my resume as 'resume.odf,' so there!

That would imply that you're smarter than the average P2P'er, and probably don't have your entire user folder (or disk!) shared to the world.

Re:ID Theft? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681546)

Those same users would have the same problem, if they ran ftpd instead of limewire. So it's not "all thanks to P2P," it's all thanks to users serving all their files.

Re:ID Theft? (4, Informative)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682262)

Where I work we have a separate, open, WIFI network with 100Mb/s bandwidth to the Internet. Download an ISO in minutes. This attracts a lot of people who park around the campus. It's amazing how many people have read/write access open to their entire hard drive. It's amazing how much personal information, such as what type of adult movies and mp3 they enjoy, is left wide open.

Most of these people have some sort of P2P client installed such as Limewire.

Windows should warn you if you have your entire C: drive shared read/write to guest and open through the firewall. In fact, I think they should remove that capability all together. Guest never should have full read/write access to c:\.

Re:ID Theft? (3, Informative)

thewils (463314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680972)

how is P2P an ID Theft risk

'cos the idiot users don't realize they are sharing their entire disk.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681178)

I don't know of any p2p software that shares the entire disk by default. Torrent software only shares stuff you specifically tell it to.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681440)

I don't know of any p2p software that shares the entire disk by default. Torrent software only shares stuff you specifically tell it to.
Some brain dead versions of Limewire share the whole disk. Limewire is crap anyway though and only the mentally deficient are using it at this point. Probably the same set of users that are running un-patched versions of Windows, IE, and Outlook.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682174)

Ah, I wasn't aware that Limewire had this behavior. The rare occasions I used it in the past, I specifically told it to download to folder X, and to only share from folder X.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680974)

Excuse me? Aside from the standard malware risks and stupid users, how is P2P an ID Theft risk?
Not that I agree with this argument, but it is possible to argue that a P2P user might eventually download potentially harmful software, like an "infected" program, one that has an embedded malware that will grab you credit card and social security numbers and send it back to the malevolent ID thieve.

Re:ID Theft? (3, Insightful)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681128)

While this is true, the risks are equal to people using Internet Explorer to look at porn.
So should we ban porn? Should we ban IE because it's easily exploited?

And while limewire and kazaa (and the many other programs) have a a good chance of infecting you, what of bit torrent, it's quite a bit safer. Why should it be banned when it's has so many good uses.

(Yes I realize you don't agree with the argument.)

Re:ID Theft? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681466)

Better be safe and just ban computers. For that matter, most electronics these days pose a security risk, so we should probably ban electronics as well. Remember, the Amish don't worry about identity theft.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681134)

Just because someone is as Family Guy puts it well, "Borderline Retarded" and happens to get a virus from P2P doesn't mean P2P is a haven for identity thieves. That's like saying that because there is terrorism in the middle east and US soldiers have been killed there may be terrorism in the US. It's not really something that has a correlation :)

Re:ID Theft? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681232)

Excuse me? Aside from the standard malware risks and stupid users, how is P2P an ID Theft risk?

Its called FUD. Take something people don't understand, add something they are scared of and the result they are more likely to vote in your favour.

Re:ID Theft? (1)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682144)

Newbies that accidentally share data that they don't want available on the P-2-P network. For instance, search on E-mule for ".tax" and see people's tax return documents shared on their. Besides the accidental sharing of data, I guess the risk of ID theft could be caused my malicious software downloaded and executed.

just like guns (5, Insightful)

KevMar (471257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680744)

Guns dont kill people, people kill people.

We should outlaw cars too, look at all the people they kill.

I know this has nothing to do about murder, but they are blaming the technology for the crimes. If you get rid of P2P, something new will replace it.

Thats assuming you can get rid of P2P. P2P will not go away any time soon.

Re:just like guns (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680904)

Not that I want to jump on the gun control bandwagon, or that I want to block P2P transfers, but....

Your comparison of gun and cars is a bit flawed, IMO. Guns were invented to take lives; that is their purpose in the universe. Whereas cars are tools that countless uses and, Death Race 2000 fantasy aside, none of them are to kill people. I don't want to start a flame war here, just something I noticed....

Re:just like guns (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680984)

Guns were invented for that, but that has nothing to do with their current applications. There are many non-violent uses of guns that preclude that, and a technology should never be classified as to it's claimed "purpose". Indeed, P2P (first made famous by Napster) WAS invented to pirate media, but it's now also been purposed towards many non-illegal things as well. Neither should be subject to any banning attempts based on "what they were meant for" originally.

Re:just like guns (2, Insightful)

MaXMC (138127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681158)

What are the non-violent uses of a gun?

Paper weight?

Using a gun is always a violent act.

Re:just like guns (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681198)

Won't someone PLEASE think of the clay pigeons?!?

Re:just like guns (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681382)

What if a cop pulls their gun on a criminal assaulting someone, and forces the criminal to the ground without firing a shot?

What if a dangerous animal is getting near a group of people, and I fire a few shots off into the air to scare it off?

What if a burglar breaks into my house, sees me wielding a gun, and takes off?

Seems like these are a lot of useful, non-violent uses of a gun. A gun doesn't have to take a life to be useful.

Re:just like guns (1)

atlastiamborn (1252206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682120)

Many consider the threat of violence as just another form of violence. Or so I've heard.

Re:just like guns (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681406)

Well as someone who is heavily into target shooting (I fire at least 5,000 rounds per year in a non-violent manner), I'd have to say you're wrong.

Re:just like guns (4, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681534)

What are the non-violent uses of a gun?

Paper weight?

Using a gun is always a violent act.
Competition shooting comes to mind. There are also "violent" acts one can commit with a gun that are perfectly legal, such as hunting. Furthermore, guns can be used defensively, in which case shooting an attacker is a protected right, and perfectly reasonable thing to do. The alternative is for everyone to carry around knives in which case we'll probably have a lot more instances of both attacker and victim bleeding to death after stabbing each other.

Nonviolent Gun Uses: (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681812)

Hunting animals for food comes to mind. As does collecting guns. Or buying and selling them for profit. All of these are non-violent uses.

Re:just like guns (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681078)

I've killed more things with my car(s) than I have with all of my firearms.

Re:just like guns (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681104)

The "solely to kill" idea is a complete farce.

Why are there no substantial restrictions on the ownership of bows, crossbows, or even powered repeating crossbows? (the last is very fun to shoot)

Not only do they exist solely to kill, but they kill quieter than a silenced gun(which are generally illegal to own).

Re:just like guns (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681208)

You're right - guns weren't designed 'solely to kill'. 'Solely to kill or incapacitate' may be more accurate. Better?

When lawmakers propose a bill to allow "concealed crossbow" permits, then I'll take the threat of bows & arrows a little more seriously. Until then, have fun on the target range.

Re:just like guns (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681802)

How about "designed make small things move faster than throwing them would". On the other hand, I'd agree that ammo manufacturers may design their wares to kill or incapacitate:)

And while there are no meaningful restrictions on the purchase and crossbow ownership is legal in all 50 states, most states and cities require CC permits or do not permit concealed carry, especially those without a CC for firearms. Same for any concealed weapon, really.

Re:just like guns (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681214)

Why are there no substantial restrictions on the ownership of bows, crossbows, or even powered repeating crossbows? (the last is very fun to shoot) ...and why ARE there restrictions on dynamite, hand grenades, C4, crates of fertilizer, sarin gas, and nuclear bombs? After all, the 2nd amendment doesn't mention "guns", just "Arms". (It's funny how many people forget that the 2nd amendment actually doesn't use the word "gun" at all, but does use the phrase "well-regulated".)

Re:just like guns (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682034)

Because bows were designed to hunt game and feed people. Like knives, taking human lives was a secondary use. And as for crossbows, they're just guns that shoot bolts instead of bullets.

Re:just like guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681216)

The first guns weren't so much made to kill people as to knock down walls.

Re:just like guns (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681350)

something also of note is that the comparison is also invalid because p2p was designed to assist in the sharing of files, ie information. the fact it is often used to share music/movies whatever legal or not does not mean p2p should be outlawed any more than cars should be because they are occasionally used for illegal purposes.
Mbr />guns are designed as a weapon, not necessarily to kill. their primary function is to disable which doesn't in of its self require the death of whatever you're aiming at. even then, there's nothing saying that they are even used as "weapons" to disable/kill something- a lot of people use them for target shooting and don't actually hit anything alive. in any case, regardless of what the tool was designed for, it is the human controlling it that decides what it is used for good or ill.

Re:just like guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681708)

I would argue that guns were created to save lives.

Eh? None of cars uses are to kill people? (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681870)

"Death Race 2000 fantasy aside, none of them are to kill people" Might want to rephrase that a bit there, sonny. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=charged+with+Vehicular+homicide&btnG=Search [google.com]

Re:Eh? None of cars uses are to kill people? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682116)

I didn't say they are not used to kill people. I said they are not designed to kill people.

Re:just like guns (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682276)

Your comparison of gun and cars is a bit flawed, IMO. Guns were invented to take lives; that is their purpose in the universe.
I'm assuming you're talking about guns designed for shooting at people, not hunting rifles or competition shooting. The purpose of such guns is not to take lives. Their purpose is to degrade an opposing force's fighting capability. Often the best way to do that is not to kill, but to wound. If you kill someone, the opposing army just leaves his corpse and carries on. If you wound somebody, he's on the ground screaming and demoralizing his peers. They have to devote resources to carrying him back from the front lines. Once he's back, they have to devote medical resources to treat him. Afterwards they have to devote even more economic resources to assist him through his recovery (which may last a lifetime).

From a strictly military standpoint, wounding an enemy is much, much more advantageous than killing him. It's one of the reasons NATO dropped from 7.62mm rounds to 5.56mm rounds - the smaller bullets tended to enter the target and tumble, causing more wounding. The 7.62mm rounds tended to pass straight through, meaning the most effective way to use it was to kill. Guns aren't designed to kill, they're designed to intimidate, often working even when no shots are fired or (if shots are fired) nobody is even hit. The decision to use the weapon to instead kill lies with the shooter.

Re:just like guns (2, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680988)

I wish I could download guns. :(

Re:just like guns (1)

venkythegeek (860551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681498)

Another flaw in the above argument is the fact that guns are a cold blooded way to kill anyone, it is very different from stabbing or clubbing a person to death, and therefore there needs to be greater control on it, a mad person may not kill 100 people in a university by stabbing them , but he sure can kill 100 people using an assault rifle or a bomb. I just do not understand why are people again stringent control over gun distribution, please explain it to me, I do not get this obsession against responsible gun license distribution.

Re:just like guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681752)

We should outlaw cars too, look at all the people they kill.
If there were an equivalent method to transport people and goods that didn't have the risk of killing people, cars would probably not be allowed on public roads anymore. For the time being, cars are registered and drivers are required to be trained, tested, and licensed.

Re:just like guns (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681826)

they are blaming the technology for the crimes

Yes, this is an aspect of the situation that has always puzzled me. Clearly they do not understand the pervasiveness of p2p protocols. If you're going to ban "p2p" don't you have to ban my HTTP and FTP servers as well? (The first rule of USENET...)

I've been sorely tempted for quite some time to re-implement something like bit-torrent to run entirely on an HTTP connection (with a SOAP like API?) just to see how long it takes the "ban the technology" freaks to try to attack HTTP as weapon of mass infringement.

In most of the world you will not get arrested for owning, or even using, a gun. (It's called hunting, and you can still do that even in the most (gun) restrictive societies such as Canada or the UK.) But if you start gunning people down in the streets there will be consequences. Why this is not obvious is a mystery to me.

Personally I have no interest in low quality (and often illegal) copies of badly written and produced movies and other media, I don't even have time to watch all the things I can access legally, but they will have to pry my Ubuntu ISOs, VMWare images, and WoW updates from my cold dead fingers.

Damn kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680818)

First thing they'll be doing will be sharing music files on P2P. Next thing they'll be handing out political pamphlets. Do we really want to have a politically active youth that cares about their rights--like France?

Clueless legislators (5, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680838)

"Hey, X can be used in illegal ways, therefore we should make it illegal!"

Let's see, that can apply to everything from raw sugar to automobiles. Quick, file legislation to make them all illegal!

Compromised Windows systems are being used to flood the internet with spam in violation of various state and federal laws. Outlaw Windows!

Why cant these congresscritters get it through their thick skulls that there are plenty of legitimate uses for P2P, even in a university environment. A university in Holland is using bittorrent to manage 6500 workstations [torrentfreak.com] and it's saving them time and money. The university I work at uses SystemImager [systemimager.org] on its high performance research cluster to manage the software on all the compute nodes. SystemImager supports the use of bittorrent as a transport mechanism. If these aren't legal, legitimate, and highly useful implementations of bittorrent then I don't know what is. These are just two working examples of P2P being used in university environments in responsible ways, but I'm sure those stuffed shirts in Washington could care less.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680918)

Sorry, but I really find it hard to believe that these people really are clueless.

I find it easier to believe that the cluelessness is simply a temporary condition caused by big wads of money being put into their hands by shady lobby groups.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680992)

Oh it could be either one. Sometime people hear that so and so is evil and will come out against it without even knowing what it is. In this case this moron obviously doesn't have a clue how P2P works or he would realize that there is no way to block it completely.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681248)

Reminds me of Brass Eye. Fantastic series.

Re:Clueless legislators (2, Insightful)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681064)

Why cant these congresscritters get it through their thick skulls that there are plenty of legitimate uses for P2P, even in a university environment.
Just to play the devil's advocate: Could it be because the supposed benefits are outweighed by the known and (currently) uncontrollable abuses (piracy)? A poor analogy might be control of drugs. Certain drugs have benefits, but the negative abuses by the public encourage total prohibition. Yes, I know it doesn't stop people from doing drugs... but I'm sure it hampers it.

- John

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

genericpoweruser (1223032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681212)

Ah but interestingly... Nobody has every (AFIAK) recommended total prohibition on drugs. It would be disastrous.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681302)

Ah but interestingly... Nobody has every (AFIAK) recommended total prohibition on drugs. It would be disastrous.
Sorry, I should have made myself more clear. I wasn't referring to all drugs, but merely certain drugs; and this most definitely applies towards the public.

Advocating the prohibition of all drugs might be more analogous to prohibition of all file sharing... which would also be disastrous.

- John

Re:Clueless legislators (4, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681318)

Just to play the devil's advocate: Could it be because the supposed benefits are outweighed by the known and (currently) uncontrollable abuses (piracy)?

Show me an independent report from a neutral party that shows the level of P2P piracy outweighs legitimate uses and I'd accept your argument. Better yet, show me that these idiots in Washington have read such a report.

I've already shown a couple valid uses for P2P. Here are a few others:
  • Content delivery networks like Akamai that help keep popular websites responsive
  • The delivery of software updates in everything from operating systems to games
  • Peer applications like Groove are built upon a foundation of P2P
  • Legal music/movie downloads from a growing number of websites

I bet that most people don't realize that by simply visiting popular websites like Google you're relying on P2P to some extent. They may not be using well known products like bittorrent or limewire but the data moving around the back end of search engines, the images you see on websites like Microsofts, and even the videos you watch on a site like youtube, are all distributed in part through P2P systems of some sort. They may be entirely custom built or they may rest on top of a protocol like bittorrent. The bottom line is that there's a lot of data being transferred legally via P2P for a number of purposes. I bet if somebody could come up with a realistic and impartial set of numbers you'd be surprised at how much legitimate P2P traffic there is compared to illegal P2P traffic.

Re:Clueless legislators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681130)

Compromised Windows systems are being used to flood the internet with spam in violation of various state and federal laws. Outlaw Windows!
bad example.

Re:Clueless legislators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681396)

Seems like a perfectly reasonable example to me. This Representative wants to outlaw P2P software because it's being used by some people for illegal purposes. The botnets that distribute the vast majority of spam these days are all running Windows. So Windows is being used by some people for illegal purposes, therefore by the same logic it should be made illegal as well. A little extreme, maybe. But basically the same thing.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

WaHooCrazy7 (1220464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681434)

Would outlawing windows really be that bad? Better yet lets outlaw M$.

Re:Clueless legislators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681818)

"Hey, X can be used in illegal ways, therefore we should make it illegal!"

I think you chose a really bad example. I have never heard of any way ecstasy can be used legally. It's just stupid to try and make it illegal twice!

Re:Clueless legislators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681836)

Dude, you said 'congresscritter'. You are officially an old fart.

Re:Clueless legislators (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682238)

"Hey, X can be used in illegal ways, therefore we should make it illegal!"
Nice try, but the situation is more like this:

"Hey, X is used illegally in an overwhelming majority of cases, therefore we should make it illegal!"
Wait, maybe I should add something extra:

"Hey, X is used illegally in an overwhelming majority of cases, and was created solely for those illegal purposes, therefore we should make it illegal!"
Nope, there's still one more thing missing:

"Hey, X is used illegally in an overwhelming majority of cases, was created solely for those illegal purposes, and many people commit those illegal acts completely unknowingly, therefore we should make it illegal!"
OK, IMHO, that's not be a reason to make X illegal, but at least it's not nearly as clear-cut as you make it sound.

Congressman says something stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680864)

...film at 11.

Many Don't Seem to Understand (5, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680872)

Let me preface this by pointing out I'm a generally conservative young Republican. We're in a generational battle with our parents and grandparents and (more directly) the politicians that come from them over redistribution of our wealth and misappropriation of our technology. They want to put the screws to young people to maintain control, whether it's economic control (in the case of robbing the young to pay the old Social Security and Medicare), or entertainment control (draconian legislation in favor of the media cartels), or electronic expression control (clamping down on the freedoms enjoyed currently online). And we'll continue to lose this battle unless there's a shift in the political paradigms over these issues.

Re:Many Don't Seem to Understand (1)

asterix404 (1240192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681038)

Did I just read that he is afraid of personal information sharing? Does he not know what you have to do to buy a song online from sony, or that a P2P means that you don't have a clue who you download from, you just download and thats alright? I hate it when people make laws about things they just don't understand.

Re:Many Don't Seem to Understand (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681292)

You're fighting the wrong battle, kid. The fight is between those in power, the corporations and their lobbyists, and we, the people.

And you're helping them fight us.

BTW, I'm a geezer.

It's said that if you're a conservative when you're young you have no heart. If you're a liberal when you're old you have no brains. I'd say if you consider yourself boxed into outdated ideas like "liberal" and "conservative" you have neither brains nor heart.

When I was in my tewnties, marijuana was going to be legal as soon as my generation got in power. Well, so much for THAT generational battle!

Re:Many Don't Seem to Understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22682236)

however, there IS an undeniable generational element - very few young people are heads of major corporations, such heads are almost all 50+ silverbacks^Wgreyhairs.

Not all old people are enemies of information liberty. Most enemies of information liberty are old people.

Re:Many Don't Seem to Understand (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681330)

robbing the young to pay the old Social Security and Medicare

Do remember that those "old" who are now collecting Social Security and Medicare were "robbed" to pay for SS and M for those before them. I'd be thrilled to eliminate SS and M - except that I've been paying into it for many years money I could have otherwise been investing and that I'm damned sure I won't get back if SS and M go away. Give me back all that money, with appropriate interest paid on it (that is, if it was invested in 1993, it should get the kind of return that well invested money in 1993 got) and I'll gladly help you dispose of the institutions. Otherwise, fuck off.

Re:Many Don't Seem to Understand (1)

farfenoogan (1182725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682164)

So tell me....did you attend a public school? Did you attend a university? Who do you think paid for the infrastructure all around you that you take for granted? I agree that there is a day of reckoning coming in regards to the entitlement programs you mention. Just keep in mind that most of what you take for granted was paid for by those "old people".

e-mail (4, Insightful)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680874)

If we're going to ban software used in identity theft I guess we can kiss the browser and e-mail client goodbye.

Re:e-mail (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680936)

If we're going to ban software used in identity theft I guess we can kiss the browser and e-mail client goodbye.
Along with image editing program and a slew of other apps. But why stop at software? We should ban printers! Can't make a fake ID with a good printer!

Heck with it, let's just ban computers altogether! Are you with me?

Oh, wait...

Re:e-mail (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680940)

And lets see what else....

Windows (For being easy to compremize and turn into a bot)
Apache (For hosting some identity theft websites)
Linux (For running Apache)
Unix (For also running Apache)
OS X (For being Unix)
Any text editor/word processor (For giving the criminals the ability to type fradulant websites)

You must be this smart to ride this ride (3, Funny)

theoriginalturtle (248717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680952)

Some days I wish the Capitol Building had one of those carnival signs next to the door. YOU MUST BE THIS SMART TO RIDE THIS RIDE.

Really? Identity theft over P2P? Anyone who identity is so weak they could lose it by grabbing a torrent of Ubuntu probably has bigger problems than this congressdroid wants to address.

Sign is in the wrong place (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681456)

You should have put the sign on the voting booth. Would solve all your troubles. Offcourse it is the end of democracy, but hey, that is a small price to pay right.

Oh, and the fact that you put the sign in the wrong place, doesn't that mean it applies to you?

They did this (2, Informative)

Jtmoney528 (1231638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681090)

At my university and it did not stop anyone from using P2P programs ... they just blocked certain ones and everyone just used different ones ... waste of time and money if you ask me.

Re:They did this (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681586)

That's probably because your university's IT people are clueless (since most of the better ones are hired away by the industry).

What they should have done is imposed a hard 1000 MB/day bandwidth limit or something like that. Enough for legitimate uses, not enough to be a bandwidth hog.

Re:They did this (1)

Jtmoney528 (1231638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681600)

They did a 10 gig a week deal too but then there were ways around it if you knew what you were doing.

No surprises here (4, Informative)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681092)

Follow the money - Coble's just taking care of his patrons [opensecrets.org] .

Hrm, who do I see here? The RIAA, ASCAP, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the American IP Law Association, all in his top 10.

The only surprise here is how long it's taken him to get around to taking care of them...

Re:No surprises here (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681526)

Looking at Ron Paul I see Microsoft Corp sitting at #4.

God bless America (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681112)

Your leadership in these past decades will be legendary.

why steal a student's identity? (1)

greenslashpurple (1236792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681164)

>> tax returns, credit reports, bank statements and student financial aid applications
>> These documents were stored on the computers of hundreds of victims, many of whom appear
>> to have been of high school or college age

If you're an Identity Thief, I guess you might be able to easily find a lot of tax records of high schoolers, but how is that gonna translate into loads of fast cash? You'd have to wait 6 to 8 years for them to graduate college, get good jobs, marry into wealth, etc. Then it might be profitable. Or maybe you're just stealing their ID to get the Student discount on MS Word?

Contact him (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681184)

Why stop there? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681250)

Why not just ban IP communications altogether?

Or write-able drives? Or photocopiers? Or word of mouth... Or books.. Hell, lets ban knowledge.

theft is theft (0, Troll)

moracity (925736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681308)

How is using bit torrent to obtain data that you would otherwise have to pay for any different from gathering up a thousand people, walking into Best Buy and walking out with all the music and software on the shelves?

This is not a rhetorical question.

I occasionally use bit torrent to download software and music. The way I rationalize it because:

1) I would not actually pay for that data if it were not available by any other means. I actually do purchase software that I would pay for.

2) I have already purchased that data at one point in the past and either lost it or am too lazy to rip all my CDs.

I don't believe either is a legitimate excuse for theft, but I do it anyway now and then. I've also ended up purchasing data that I have obtained through bit torrent.

Re:theft is theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681538)

How is blocking my access to legitimate uses of bit torrent (linux isos, WoW patches) going to fix that problem?

Yes, I do try and use it for those reasons (linux isos) and fail... thanks Comcast.

Re:theft is theft (0, Flamebait)

toriver (11308) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681594)

How is using bit torrent to obtain data that you would otherwise have to pay for any different from gathering up a thousand people, walking into Best Buy and walking out with all the music and software on the shelves?

Because copying electronic information which leaves the original behind is 100% different from removing a physical object without leaving anything behind. The LAWS recognise this, why cannot the industry?

I am appalled victims of real piracy and theft aren't attacking the entertainment INDUSTRIES (the artists are no longer the people calling the shots) for abusing the terms. And I am waiting for the higly profitable mass-market shovelware corporations to take the next step and say IP infringers are RAPING the artists. I mean, it's another loaded word to abuse.

Is this the best trolls can do these days? (2, Insightful)

LionMage (318500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682102)

How is using bit torrent to obtain data that you would otherwise have to pay for any different from gathering up a thousand people, walking into Best Buy and walking out with all the music and software on the shelves?

Because in the latter example, you're stealing material property. That crime is called theft. In the former example, you're copying data illegally -- that crime is called copyright infringement, and the difference is that nobody was deprived of a physical copy of the merchandise. Thievery means taking something physical or otherwise tangible (money counts) and depriving someone else of it.

As for admitting that you engage in willful copyright infringement... well, that just wasn't too smart, now was it? But people like you do give a bad name to those who use BitTorrent for legitimate purposes.

Blocking is USELESS (2, Informative)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681584)

Unless they want to disallow encrypted traffic (i.e. any traffic that they cannot decipher) entirely or squelch the amounts then what are they going to do about it? Probably nothing. It is also useful to look at the whole P2P blocking issue from an economic standpoint. What are the interests of the ISPs in this? They would like to preserve, to the extent possible, the perception of "good speed" for all of their users which might imply some mitigation measures merely to improve that value proposition for their customers...up to a point. However, the mitigation measures will have increasing marginal costs as more and more detection, protocol analysis, and monitoring hardware and software is purchased and installed until it gets to a point where it is cheaper to add more bandwidth (i.e. network capacity) than it is to invest in ever more expensive mitigation and monitoring equipment. The ISPs would also like to be protected from liability for what happens on their networks (or at least they should want this if they are smart...the MAFIAA lawyers would LOVE to be able to sue AT&T and Verizon for "allowing" P2P to continue on their networks) both as a hedge against expensive copyright infringement lawsuits AND even MORE burdensome government regulation of their business (i.e they are regulated already but additional regulation and the attendant costs would be unwelcome indeed to the ISPs and their investors). Finally, they would like to increase their customer base and if "content" is what brings in more paying ISP customers then secretly (although these companies would never admit it publicly) they would probably prefer to preserve the status quo of P2P if that keeps their subscribers coming back each month with those fees.

Sadly (3, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681688)

This old man has gone senile. As a voter in his district I will vote against him and I'm a conservative.

FailzorS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681794)

troubles of Walnut I thought it was my than this BSD box, quarreled on time I'm done here, Rivalry. While The project to and enjoy al the

when will they get it? (4, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682300)

>> ...and praises Ohio University for its ban on P2P applications last year.

Its one thing for some old politician to not properly understand the technology that he is trying to ban, but one would think a university would be better educated than to assume ALL p2p traffic must be copyright infringment.
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