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White House Decides P2P Isn't All Bad? 45

Posted by Zonk
from the someone-took-some-night-school-classes dept.
ethericalzen writes "An article this week at Cnet revealed that the White House doesn't necessarily hate everything about P2P. The Bush Administration apparently has called into question a law, known as the Federal Agency Data Protection Act, that would force all federal agencies to have plans guarding against the risks of P2P file sharing. In a Congressional hearing on IT security threats, the LimeWire founder was questioned about how his service warned users about the files and folders they are sharing. Karen Evans, the chief information officer for the federal government, stated that she was against singling out a particular technology when issuing computer security requirements. As it is the government already has a law which requires federal agencies to report on information security plans and risk assessments known as FISMA."
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White House Decides P2P Isn't All Bad?

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  • by MikeRT (947531) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @09:33AM (#22445156) Homepage
    There is absolutely not a single good reason for anyone outside of a handful of employees at the Department of Justice who investigate copyright infringement and pornography to have Limewire installed on a government machine. That is precisely how the head of Limewire should have responded to Congress.

    There are some limited applications for P2P in the government, but not an implementation like Limewire.

    But then, why am I not surprised that Congress once again doesn't do the job we pay them to do? See, this is why I have come to the conclusion that maybe we need to call a new constitutional convention through state legislatures, and add in a constitutional amendment that contains an entire article of civil and criminal liability for each part of the body politic.

    Personally, I think legislators ought to be held civilly and criminally liable where necessary for the negative outcomes of their laws. They don't hesitate to hold engineers, doctors, programmers, etc. accountable for their mistakes. Here's turnabout for them:

    1) Establish two legal distinctions: misdemeanor and felony unconstitutionality. The distinction is that felony unconstitutionality is a blatant, obvious to anyone, violation of the constitution such as passing a gun ban in direct violation of the 2nd amendment or outlawing political speech. Everytime a law is declared unconstitutional, everyone who voted for it gets effectively put on trial. If it's at the Supreme Court, everyone gets sanctioned, without right to a trial, for supporting it. I mean, at that point, how could you argue that they should get their day in court when it is the SCOTUS ruling against their law?

    2) Allow private citizens to sue members of Congress for loss of life, liberty, property and/or emotional distress caused by the enforcement of any unconstitutional law.

    3) Declare that the only political activity that can be legally done while Congress is in session is government-related work. Make campaigning effectively timecard fraud that can cost the legislator their position. Allow the leadership of both parts of Congress to sanction members who go on a tangent like Arlen Spectre going after the NFL. Repeat offenders can be censored from entering Congress for up to one month. Imagine going back home to your district, and having to explain why you were so off topic from what is constitutional, that the Speaker of the House told you to shut up and go home. That's great for reelection.
  • by Coraon (1080675) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:53AM (#22445666)
    everything you have written here makes perfect sense, there just a few problems. 1. the objective of a politician is to get into power and stay there, as long as possible. therefore anything that could remove them from power will be struck down, as they are the ones voting on it. 2. your under the mistaken impression that enough voters care about what happens in government. The Americans have been so brow beat into thinking that their vote doesn't matter, with that much voter apathy I doubt you could get enough people angry enough to get those resolutions passed. 3. America is heading to a police state, there arnt going to submit anti police state legislation.
  • Fly in the Soup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MacWiz (665750) <gzieman54.gmail@com> on Sunday February 17, 2008 @03:49AM (#22451618) Journal
    I'm looking at the comments on this page and I have to wonder if anyone remembers what file sharing is at its basic level.

    Back in the late 80s, I was the editor of an entertainment supplement that ran in the newspaper in three mid-size towns. We had to use a modem to connect to each other and sometimes we could get a whole 1 kbps transfer rate to move text files. Within the office, file sharing was faster because we could swap floppy disks.

    While I know you're all talking about swapping movies, music, games, etc., every corporate environment involves the sharing of information. A newspaper is a real good example of how you have to pull files in from your "peers" to collect and assemble them. Every day.

    We spent so long looking for faster ways to move files around and now we've reached the point where this basic function is finally is working so well that we've gotta screw it up.

    File sharing/information sharing is the purpose of the Internet. To even consider trying to stop it is ludicrous. You might as well just shut down the entire net because that's the only way file sharing stops. Then we'll just go back to faxes and snail mail.

    Should it really be up to the guy that owns LimeWire to tell the government that maybe they shouldn't be using it at work? We have an Intelligence Department, but no one can figure out that, if they are going to use p2p, to do it from a machine with no sensitive information?

    Probably not.

    After all, most of the government still uses Windows, so security must not be that important to them.

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