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US Lawmakers Set Sights On P2P Programs 180

Posted by kdawson
from the noes-of-the-camel dept.
After the FTC sent letters to 100 organizations warning them that their data is being leaked on P2P networks — and now has requested detailed operational data from at least a subset of those organizations — it was pretty likely that anti-P2P legislation would get proposed. Two senators have introduced the P2P Cyber Protection and Informed User Act, which "...would prohibit peer-to-peer file-sharing programs from being installed without the informed consent of the authorized computer user. The legislation would also prohibit P2P software that would prevent the authorized user from blocking the installation of a P2P file-sharing program and/or disabling or removing any P2P file-sharing program. Software developers would be required to clearly inform users when their files are made available to other peer-to-peer users under legislation introduced Feb. 24 by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D."
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US Lawmakers Set Sights On P2P Programs

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  • "...would prohibit peer-to-peer file-sharing programs from being installed without the informed consent of the authorized computer user. The legislation would also prohibit P2P software that would prevent the authorized user from blocking the installation of a P2P file-sharing program and/or disabling or removing any P2P file-sharing program.

    They speak English on What?

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:06PM (#31286954) Journal

    It does. Though you can opt to use the mirror - though they only recommend it if the P2P Services don't work for various reasons.

  • by choongiri (840652) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:11PM (#31287060) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, that's a total mind-fuck of a paragraph. My attempt at parsing it:

    would prohibit peer-to-peer file-sharing programs
    {
       from being installed without the informed consent of the authorized computer user
    }
    and
    {
       that would prevent the authorized user from
       {
          blocking the installation of a P2P file-sharing program
       }
       and/or
       {
       disabling or removing any P2P file-sharing program.
       }
    }
  • Re:Minus p2p (Score:3, Informative)

    by julesh (229690) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:36PM (#31287482)

    If you remove 'p2p' from this, it almost makes sense. Not allowing software to stealth-install or block uninstallation? Why isn't that already a law?

    Here in the UK, it _almost_ is. The Computer Misuse Act 1990 states:

    (a) he does any act which causes an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer; and

    (b) at the time when he does the act he has the requisite intent and the requisite knowledge.

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite intent is an intent to cause a modification of the contents of any computer and by so doing--

    (a) to impair the operation of any computer;

    (b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer; or

    (c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data.

    (3) The intent need not be directed at--

    (a) any particular computer;

    (b) any particular program or data or a program or data of any particular kind; or

    (c) any particular modification or a modification of any particular kind.

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite knowledge is knowledge that any modification he intends to cause is unauthorised.

    The only problem is the requirement that you have to know the modification is unauthorised before you can be prosecuted. In practice, this means that people who intentionally install malware on systems can be prosecuted, but malware authors generally can't (unless, of course, they're the same person).

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday February 26, 2010 @03:34PM (#31289468) Homepage Journal

    Also, among Linux geeks, it is common knowledge that a GNU/Linux system comes with third-party software that most people expect to be present (e.g. Apache, KDE).

    You mean like Transmission, a BitTorrent client? Or Samba, a set of tools for sharing files in a way compatible with Windows? Or Ubuntu One, which allows users to back up files to a 2 GB online space (or, in a future version, across the local network) and share some of these backed-up files? All of these are included with the Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux, and both are "P2P" software.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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