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House IP Leader Endorses P2P Blocking 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the peer-to-peer-prohibition dept.
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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House IP Leader Endorses P2P Blocking

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  • ID Theft? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by calebt3 (1098475) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:00PM (#22680722)
    Excuse me? Aside from the standard malware risks and stupid users, how is P2P an ID Theft risk?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KublaiKhan (522918)
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Missing_dc (1074809)
        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? (Score:5, Informative)

          by KublaiKhan (522918) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:11PM (#22680884) Homepage Journal
          Yes, it's called the "voting box". If you don't like 'em, then vote 'em out.
          • Re:ID Theft? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by muindaur (925372) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:22PM (#22681024) Journal
            Don't forget to call them out on their FUD in public to prevent others voting for them.
            • by afxgrin (208686)
              They can't do shit and they know it.

              All the copyright holders can do is cross their fingers and hope all this "piracy" gets income from other means or over time.

              I look forward to Gene Simmons suing some "freckly-faced college kid" [brooklynvegan.com] for downloading his music and making it a spectacle on his show. The outcome would probably be the "college kid" wearing all his KISS gear showing up to court, wondering what's wrong with Gene.
          • by plague3106 (71849)
            Well, unfortunately I don't live in NC and so I can't. Yet this dummy could affect the whole nation.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by webmaster404 (1148909)
            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 tec
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Lord Flipper (627481) *

              and no writing letters/e-mails doesn't help.

              Email is a waste of time, agreed. It's not even considered by politicians, but letters, you know, on paper, in envelopes, signed and posted with stamps? That's a different story. For whatever reason, they are taken seriously. I think the 'metric' is:
              1 Letter = 2k implied similar viewpoints
              Why? Don't ask me. I think it has something to do with time, effort, and the general lethargy of the gripers, as a rule... hence a 'rule', of sorts.

          • by nurb432 (527695)
            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.
            • by Ash Vince (602485)

              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: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hairyfeet (841228)
              You hit the nail right square on the head. Who cares when your choice is "Lobby loving back stabber A" or "Lobby loving back stabber B"? If it end up Clinton VS McCain,I just won't bother. Clinton will sell us out to Hollywood,while keeping the war going to show she is tough,while McCain will sell us out to the defense contractors,while keeping the war going to show he is serious or them thar terrorists. Either one will just be a big old pile of suck. I am just glad Huckabee dropped out,as I live in AR,and
          • 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.
            • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
              Would it be inappropriate to call Representative Howard Coble (R-NC) a "stupid cunt who works for Disney and Fox instead of the people"?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cheater512 (783349)
            We are talking about America here. Voting boxes are mostly empty.

            I'm from Australia where they are always full and voting makes a difference.
        • They should be mercifully dragged out into the street and beaten mercilessly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zappepcs (820751)
      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 thos
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      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.
    • by a-zarkon! (1030790) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:09PM (#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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:12PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I save my resume as 'resume.odf,' so there!
        • by Lxy (80823)
          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.
          • 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.
            I am curious, how many P2P users have you surveyed in establishing this fact?
      • Re:ID Theft? (Score:5, Informative)

        by ACMENEWSLLC (940904) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:58PM (#22682262) Homepage
        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:\.
        • by smoker2 (750216)
          Windows DOES warn you if you attempt to share the root of any drive. I've never used Limewire so I don't know if this app bypasses the warning.

          Given that the network is the future of computing, then it will be up to the governments and software writers to secure the vulnerable parts, as the users have consistently shown in every relevant area, that they are largely incompetent when it comes to self preservation. See seatbelts, hard wired ac plugs, "May contain nuts", hot coffee, etc etc.

      • 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.

        "Member of Cuban government 1970-2005. Speaking of which, due to the recent health problems of our beloved leader, Fidel Castro, I wish to move some of my personal assets out of the country as insurance against any political instability that might arise. To do this I require a bank account out of country to receive this money. If you ha

    • Re:ID Theft? (Score:4, Informative)

      by thewils (463314) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:18PM (#22680972) Journal

      how is P2P an ID Theft risk

      'cos the idiot users don't realize they are sharing their entire disk.
      • by rmadmin (532701)
        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.
        • 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.
          • by rmadmin (532701)
            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.
          • by STrinity (723872)

            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.
            Hey my extremely cute next door neighbor uses Limewire! And has an unsecured WiFi router.

            Did you know that if you share a folder in Limewire, it's automatically shared across your LAN?

            Come to think of it, what am I doing posting to Slashdot.
            • by rtb61 (674572)
              Did you know that discovering the answer to that question is a criminal offence ;).
      • by master_p (608214)
        It's not P2P's fault though. It's the people.
    • 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.
  • just like guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KevMar (471257) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:02PM (#22680744) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Itninja (937614) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:12PM (#22680904) Homepage
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:19PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by MaXMC (138127)
          What are the non-violent uses of a gun?

          Paper weight?

          Using a gun is always a violent act.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MBGMorden (803437)
            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 (Score:5, Insightful)

            by orclevegam (940336) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:01PM (#22681534) Journal

            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.
            • 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.
            • by Kjella (173770)

              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.

              Well, since I don't wear red and blue tights with a big S on my chest, I'd rather take my chances outrunning a knife man than a bullet. Plus if you count freaks trying to take down everyone the body count is a lot lower, since you actually need to be within stabbing distance of everyone. Plus you forget criminals also use weapons "defensively", if you catch a burglar with a gun chances are very good someone will get shot. If I catch a burglar with a knife, unless we're right on top of each other chances ar

              • by Shakrai (717556) *

                If I catch a burglar with a knife, unless we're right on top of each other chances are he's not interested in a Murder 2 charge but rather getting the hell out, while I'm not interested in getting killed trying to stop some deadbeat.

                Of course if you catch him with a gun and your only weapon is a knife (since they are "less aggressive" in your mind) you might find yourself at a bit of a disadvantage ;)

                I'd say we avoid a lot of unplanned murders - victims, criminals and police - because people aren't forced into a situation where they feel either they have to shoot or be shot.

                You should look up the definition of murder. It's not murder if you kill someone to defend yourself or another human being. And personally, if somebody breaks into my house it will be the last thing they ever do.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Peter Mork (951443)
                  I take it you've never had somebody break into your house. The last time it happened to me, the guy who broke in was a drunk college student looking for the party next door. He thought that his buddies had played a trick on him, locking him out. In this case, despite my extreme annoyance at the imposition, I am quite glad that this was not the last mistake he'll ever make. (Instead he got a police escort to a place suitable for sobering up---a holding cell I presume.) Ending a life is not something to
        • by afxgrin (208686)
          Peer-to-Peer networks were invented to share files.

      • by Zerth (26112)
        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).
        • 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.
          • by Zerth (26112)
            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.
        • by samkass (174571)
          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".)
        • by Itninja (937614)
          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.
      • 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.
      • "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]
        • by Itninja (937614)
          I didn't say they are not used to kill people. I said they are not designed to kill people.
      • Re:just like guns (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Solandri (704621) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:01PM (#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.

      • You have a great point.

        Early stereotypical P2P applications (Napster, etc) were designed to distribute files. Napster was designed almost exclusively to distribute copyrighted works.

        It's true, the labels cried foul, maybe overreacted a bit. It was very similar to the way that they freaked out when people started creating mix tapes for each other, but it has only gotten worse. Sure, there was a very high demand for music and no legit way to purchase music online. People wanted to get their music from an onli
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Dr. Cody (554864)
      I wish I could download guns. :(
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      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

  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:08PM (#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.
    • 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.
      • by Bryansix (761547)
        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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JohnSearle (923936)

      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

      • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:45PM (#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.
    • "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 o

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:10PM (#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.
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:43PM (#22681292) Journal
      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!
      • by Kjella (173770)

        I'd say if you consider yourself boxed into outdated ideas like "liberal" and "conservative" you have neither brains nor heart.

        s/liberal/Democrat
        s/conservative/Republican
        (or vice versa, not the point)

        I've never been at an election where I didn't have a party to vote for (7 in sitting parliament) or at least some I was voting dead against. I've changed party to a different party with much the same politics because the leadership sucked, which means I could abandon poor leaders without abandoning good politics. My vote has always mattered through representative distribution of seats in parliament, no "winner takes it all" where the

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 s

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Apple Acolyte (517892)
        Yeah, they were robbed too, but we're really going to suffer the effects of it because of the expansion of entitlements, the expansion of beneficiaries and the expansion of the federal budget. The Baby Boomers are going to bankrupt these pyramid schemes, but that's just part of the fleecing we're experiencing. I forgot to mention the fact that the federal government has a vested interest in maintaing and increasing these broken systems since they bring in a tremendous amount of revenue. Retirees are paid of
  • e-mail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maestro485 (1166937) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:10PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      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...

    • 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)
  • 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.
    • 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 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jtmoney528 (1231638)
    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.
    • by megaditto (982598)
      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.
  • No surprises here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:27PM (#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...
  • Your leadership in these past decades will be legendary.
  • Why stop there? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:40PM (#22681250) Homepage Journal
    Why not just ban IP communications altogether?

    Or write-able drives? Or photocopiers? Or word of mouth... Or books.. Hell, lets ban knowledge.
  • Blocking is USELESS (Score:3, Informative)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:05PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:14PM (#22681688) Journal
    This old man has gone senile. As a voter in his district I will vote against him and I'm a conservative.
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:04PM (#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.
    • by laffer1 (701823)
      It's probably not the IT people. If you talk to someone working in IT at a University, you will soon realize they just implement the stupid ideas from above. At some point, an idiot says I want Groupwise or Outlook and they have to comply just like any large business. In this case, they might have viewed it as a cost savings or to avoid lawsuits. Talking to those same people, you will find P2P traffic is most of the on campus bandwidth.

      I agree it is a stupid ban. I just wanted to point out there are oth

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