Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime

FBI Prioritizes Copyright Over Missing Persons 372

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-that-makes...-something dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The FBI has limited resources, so it needs to prioritize what it works on. However, it's difficult to see why dealing with copyright infringement seems to get more attention than identity theft or missing persons. In the past year, the FBI has announced a special new task force to fight intellectual property infringement, but recent reports have shown that both identity theft and missing persons have been downgraded as priorities by the FBI, to the point that there are a backlog of such cases."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FBI Prioritizes Copyright Over Missing Persons

Comments Filter:
  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @07:59PM (#33210662) Journal

    The FBI exists to protect profits. In fact the government exists to protect commerce, the very basis of our society

    • by black3d (1648913) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:02PM (#33210682)

      Precisely. Missing people don't pay their bills.

      • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:54PM (#33211050)

        Or, alternatively, missing people do not have a powerful lobby. Well, MIAs in Vietnam had one, but that's about it. It's a bit disturbing though to see how far corporate support goes in shaping priorities. Or the priorities of the American President. Obama's and Biden's hard-on for IP isn't helping.

        • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:04PM (#33211102)

          Put another way:

          There's no money in solving actual crimes. On the other hand, doing the dirty work of the MafiAA is a way to collect some kick-ass bribes.

          • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:48AM (#33212466)

            There's no money in solving actual crimes. On the other hand, doing the dirty work of the MafiAA is a way to collect some kick-ass bribes.

            The entertainment industry is worth billions of domestic spending and export dollars. It is a labor-intensive and generates a lot of high wage - high skilled - jobs.

            It is important to the economies of states like New York, California, Florida and so on. The Senator from Nebraska votes wheat and corn. The Texan cattle and oil.

            Think interests not bribes.

            • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:51AM (#33213026)
              i'd make one correction there, it makes a lot of high skilled jobs and a lot of high wage jobs and a smattering of high skilled - high wage jobs
            • by marcello_dl (667940) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:29AM (#33213134) Homepage Journal

              It's the same government that let outsourcing happen. Why should they care about one industry and let entire sectors like manufacuring be lost?

              I tell you. Entertainment has the double role of propaganda (proposing models for our youth, so they think they're against the system by spraying paint on walls or paying to get brain and ear damage, and measuring art and success in terms of $$$), and the trojan horse to push for IP laws. Intellectual property is just the big guys excuse to transform the virtual world into a market: in a purely virtual world a startup can compete with estabilished giants. When IP laws shape it, though, being first and being bigger begins to offer an advantage again like scale economy and banks covering your ass do in the real world.

          • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:53AM (#33212478) Homepage

            So, is it "MaFBIaa" now?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by linzeal (197905)
            That is why the vast majority of money besides directly levied taxes does not come from criminal fines for murder/rape/molestation but DUIs/Speeding/Parking. In fact, some counties now depend on that money to operate because they have factored the money raised by these fines in their budgets and can even borrow against the future returns using crimes that have not been committed as collateral, and you thought government was here to protect you.
        • by GlitchCog (1016986) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:24PM (#33211568)
          "MIAs in Vietnam had one" MIAs were exploited to demonize the Vietcong. If people don't hate communism, it's a very big threat to profits. There were guys missing in action in WWII also, but they didn't go on about how they were secretly still being held years after the war ended. They just said they were dead and moved on.
          • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:59PM (#33211774) Journal

            We knew they weren't holding MIAs after WWII because we won the war and had boots on the ground. It would have been kinda hard to hold an American prisoner in Germany with GIs all over the place. Besides according to the stories my grandfather and great uncle told there was a reason why we had so many MIAs. It was because during the push across the Rhine the Germans, desperate to slow us down, actually used the FLAK 88 as an antipersonnel weapon, like a civil war cannon. Great Uncle Jerry said when a man was hit by a FLAK 88 all there was left was red mist, not even his boots survived that monster.

            As for TFA, can we stop the whole "We, The People" bullshit now and just change the anthem to "Money Talks" by AC/DC? It isn't like our elected officials are even pretending to give a shit anymore. It is just disgusting that a person's life would be deemed worth less than nabbing a fucking MP3 downloader. Just fucking shameful.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by khallow (566160)

              It was because during the push across the Rhine the Germans, desperate to slow us down, actually used the FLAK 88 as an antipersonnel weapon, like a civil war cannon.

              As an aside, the 88 gun [wikipedia.org] was one of the most flexible pieces of military hardware in the Second World War. You could shoot just about anything with it. I imagine they were shooting people with it long before they got to the above level of desperation.

              • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @08:37AM (#33214038) Journal

                While I'm sure they used it before the Rhine, Uncle Jerry said by the time they hit the Rhine it truly was a different war. Before the Rhine it was strictly German Army regulars (which BTW both my uncle and grandfather respected the Germans and HATED the Italians. They both said the German soldiers, while tough as hell, did follow military code for the most part. The Italians were backstabbing SOBs according to them that would pretend to be on the side of whomever they thought were winning that week. NO loyalty according to them) by the time they both got to the Rhine they said anything and everything they could throw they did.

                Uncle Jerry told a good story that illustrated this, while at the edge of the Rhine he dropped a sniper. He said while he and his CO were stopped in their jeep checking a map the CO's head was blown clean off by a sniper. He saw the flash, hit the ground by the jeep, and emptied about 3 clips from his Garand (a wonderful field rifle in his opinion) on the position. He said when he reached the position he found a woman roughly 6 months pregnant and damned if she wasn't reaching for her rifle to try to get another shot, so he dropped her on the spot. "Did it bother you to kill a pregnant woman?" I asked, "Fuck no!" he said "By that time I had seen friends ground up in the hedge, sniped, burned, and turned into nothing but red mist by the 88s. We all knew the war was as good as over with the Russians gaining as fast in the east as we were the west and damn it, my ass was gonna go home to my family and not in a fucking body bag".

                He said by the time he and my grandfather made it to Germany it was unlike anything you can imagine. He said all the black smoke and craters looked like some scene from hell, but damned if those Germans would give up. He said one of his happiest days was when he learned we dropped the Atomics on Japan, because he had two brothers in the Pacific and knew the Japs were even worse than the Germans for refusing to surrender and he knew that an invasion of the home islands would have been a bloodbath on both sides. He said it was only a shame we didn't have it in 42 or 43, maybe we could have dropped one on Berlin and saved those millions of German men that died at the fronts for nothing.

          • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:08AM (#33212074) Homepage Journal
            The Vietnam MIA issue can be traced via http://www.amconmag.com/article/2010/jul/01/00010/ [amconmag.com] by Sydney Schanberg (two George Polk awards)
            Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid, congress did not seem to be interested in spending anymore.
            No aid, no POWs. France paid up after Dien Bien Phu.
            Every US gov seems not to want to admit they left them behind, so the cover up goes on. Better the fog of war than the reality of been left to rot.
            The FBI might face the same with missing persons. Start digging and they find slavery, cults, sweatshop, sex trade and the deep state and federal links that cover/protect year after year.
            Generation profit and evil.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Simple, accuse the missing person of copyright infringement, rat them out to the RIAA and MPAA,
        and you'll have them back in no time.

      • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jws[ ]he.com ['myt' in gap]> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:16AM (#33212556) Homepage Journal

        For quite a while, they have had significant interest in high dollar crimes, versus no dollar crimes. A missing person is a missing person. Unless they are a high profile person (celebrity, politician, or wanted fugitive in the media), there is little to no interest.

        I do recall a few instances (personal knowledge, not from the media) where there was a crime committed. They did involve a financial loss. About 15 years ago, the amount had to be greater than $3,000. About 4 or 5 years ago, the amount had to be greater than $6,500.

        If, for example, someone broke into a large network, which incurred a large dollar amount of damages (securing equipment, changes of company security protocol, recovery of lost data from backups, loss of income due to media coverage), that's a big deal. High dollar companies always donate well to political parties. While it makes the news that Company X donated to a particular politician, you'll likely find that they did the same to all politicians. Businesses don't usually gamble on anything as unpredictable as elections. They'll play all sides to ensure they are covered. Donations to the wrong people are just considered part of playing the game.

        Compare that to say a serial killer who has killed 3 people in the last 5 years, and those victims were not well politically tied to anyone. The interest level goes down to almost nil.

        There was a bit of activity regarding a known serial killer activity [latimes.com]. It likely involved 500 female victims. Wow, 500 women killed by serial killers, they'll surely put everyone they can on it. The last update was in 2009, and in 5 years there were 10 suspects in custody, suspected to be involved in 30 murders [fbi.gov]. Have you heard any updates on this? "Suspects" in custody does not mean the killers are in custody. They're just people who they believe may be the killers. Meanwhile, the murders continue.

        It isn't due to mismanagement of resources exactly. Companies lean on their political "friends". The politicians then lean on the FBI, and the work gets done. While this should be considered mismanagement, the FBI is a government organization, and political pressures do come into play. Sure, if my company just lost $100 million dollars, I'd prefer the FBI take that over another case, but it shouldn't work that way. I, a multibillion dollar firm (I wish), may need to remind a few Congressmen that they are in office because of my huge donations, and my case will get priority.

        Political pressures aren't the only ones they are under. High profile media cases get handled differently. A friend of mine was a victim of a Nigerian scam. It was a high dollar case. First I laughed at them for being stupid. There was an exception to the normal case though. The scammer was still in communications with them, and they hadn't told the scammer that they figured out what happened. They called the local FBI field office, and their statement was taken. A couple weeks went by, and nothing had happened with the case.

        I pulled a couple strings, and I asked a media outlet to make a friendly request that it be looked at further. The media outlet was very friendly about it. They simply sent an email over saying "Please have a look at this. We understand the difficulties in prosecuting such a case. If you do manage to make an arrest, we would love to publish the story. If not, we won't run anything about it." They mentioned a bit more about the information on the case, and that the scammer was still in contact asking for more. My friend got a call at 9am from a FBI investigator, and they were at my friends house later that day (agreed upon by my friend). Emails between the parties were gathered (with consent, not warrants). My fir. A voluntary tap

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Arancaytar (966377)

        Ironically, with the tax breaks corporations get, they don't pay much of the bill either. Of course, they finance the government in a less direct way via campaign donations.

    • so that is bigger then going after rapist in the DNA lab?

    • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msauve (701917) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:17PM (#33210784)
      property rights.

      Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good.

      --- John Locke, 2nd Treatise of Gov't vis-a-vis US Const, 5th and 14th Amendments.

      The argument then becomes whether ideas can be property. The US Constitution, by implication, says no - "Writings and Discoveries" are an "exclusive right" only for a "limited time," a clear statement that "intellectual property" is not property at all, but a limited and artificially constructed grant of rights.

      • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:20PM (#33210814) Homepage

        Of course, the law of property -- at least for everything beyond what the owner can personally defend against the world by means of force -- is also one of limited and artificially constructed grants of rights. Which isn't to say that copyrights are a branch of property law, but rather that property rights are just as artificial.

        • Re:Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by msauve (701917) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:04PM (#33211096)
          You can state that as fact, just as Locke states the opposite. Hobbes vs. Locke, it appears.

          the grass my horse has bit; the turfs my servant has cut; and the ore I have digged in any place, where I have a right to them in common with others, become my property, without the assignation or consent of any body. The labour that was mine, removing them out of that common state they were in, hath fixed my property in them ... The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. ... The great and chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.

          ---Locke, ibid.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by toastar (573882)
            Wow.... "the turfs my servant has cut".... He was a slave owner this brings new meaning to "preservation of their property."... I'm thinking we need a 21st century idea of rights, not ones based around the idea that the state existed to preserve ones right to oppress other people.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by erroneus (253617)

          To some degree I have to disagree with you in the sense that "property" has always existed and have always been defended by [threat of] force. Adding force of law behind it actually serves to limit the amount and type of force allowed when protecting one's property. In Texas, I can't shoot a man on my front porch, but I can shoot a man in my home. So if I shoot a man in my home and he flies out the door, I had best drag him back in before the police arrive. Also, if someone is outside messing with my ca

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Aceticon (140883)

          One could make the case that the notion of property for physical things is natural - "I have aquired/received it therefore it's mine". How many times have you heard small kids fight about something and one of them says "It's mine, it's mine".

          From the notion of property (aka ownership) in the physical realm to the notion of property rights (aka being entitled to control what is done with one's things and choosing if/when/how to part with them) is a natural evolution: it's simply a mechanism to avoid conflict

      • Re:Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by skywire (469351) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:24PM (#33211240)

        It is odd how "intellectual property" has come commonly to be misapplied to copyrighted works. I'm not sure whether it is due to an intentional propaganda campaign, or just careless speaking. The works themselves are not property. What is property is the copyright. So no, the argument is not whether ideas can be property. Even those who support copyright, if knowledgeable about the Constitution and the law, do not claim that ideas are property. I fully agree with you that a copyright is a limited and artificial monopoly, but it nonetheless bears all the characteristics of property (for which see any introduction to property law), however artificial and unjust you and I may agree it to be.

      • by jd2112 (1535857) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:34PM (#33211292)
        It's called "Intellectual Property" because you only think you own it.
    • by Kepesk (1093871) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:20PM (#33210810) Homepage
      I must disagree. Government exists to protect the people and the peoples' resources. It has been hijacked with legal bribes in order to protect commerce over the people. That's what we're seeing here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      Actually, the US Government was a limited social contract to secure Life, Liberty, and Property.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:32PM (#33211614) Homepage Journal

      The FBI exists to protect profits.

      Who still doesn't believe our government is being run by corporate power?

      As far back as the Franklin Roosevelt administration, in 1933, when it looked for a minute like the US government might actually start putting people ahead of corporate interests, a group of men, owners of some of our largest industries, including the grandfather of George W. Bush plotted to over throw and replace him with a pro-corporate Fascist regime. A rogue general, Douglas McArthur's name was floated as the leader of the new fascist regime. It became known as the "Business Conspiracy" or "The White House Putsch". It was later dismissed by the American Right as "just cocktail chatter" but enough evidence exists to give the story historical "legs".

      Now, of course, an easier way has been found to accomplish the same thing. A simple Supreme Court case giving corporations unlimited political power by creating a new entity, the non-human person. There was an attempt by the legislative branch to attenuate the effects of this unusual and precedent-breaking case, called the DISCLOSE Act, which would require corporations who spend these unlimited funds to identify themselves, as candidates currently do on their campaign ads, and it almost passed, but was filibustered by Republicans.

      It's an interesting story, the "corporate coup of 1933" with more than a few similarities to our current situation. A good book about it is Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History by Hans Schmidt, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 0-8131-0957-4.

    • Federalism 101 (Score:5, Informative)

      by westlake (615356) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:21PM (#33211886)

      The FBI exists to protect profits. In fact the government exists to protect commerce, the very basis of our society

      In the American federal system, tracking down missing persons is traditionally a local and state responsibility, prosecuting economic and property crimes that have a national and constitutiobal dimension a federal responsibility.

      The FBI has 60 active Kidnapping and Missing Persons Investigations [fbi.gov]

      This may give a clearer idea of how small the FBI role in such cases really is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        okay, then please explain why when I contacted the FBI in regards to a violation of federal law, they hemmed and hawed about actually doing something about it. The only thing I could see that stood in their way was the fact that it was a company that had given money to US congressmen and would have taken a little effort on their part.
        I shit you not. Not in the least. It involved the transfer of technology to a foreign country in direct violation of a number of federal laws. There was an email that an o
  • by Pozican (864054) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:00PM (#33210670)
    Next time I'm kidnapped; I'll be sure to start pirating music and movies. Maybe they'll find me!
  • by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:01PM (#33210672)
    Identity theft and missing persons aren't costing $500 billion a year, are they?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:12PM (#33210754)

      The economy is shit precisely because of intellectual property. China will never buy IP - why would they? They can pirate all they want as US police have no jurisdiction. So anyone who produces IP, instead of things that can be exported, represents a net loss of wealth to the country - they take money *only* from other Americans, while spending that money all over the world.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        So anyone who produces IP, instead of things that can be exported, represents a net loss of wealth to the country - they take money *only* from other Americans, while spending that money all over the world.

        What does the US economy more good - buying a movie made by Americans or buying cheap imports from China? Reducing imports by producing something valuable domestically is just as important as increasing exports if you want to reach a trade balance. There's plenty of rich left in the US, but pretty much the whole meat of the economy has been moved to China so there's nothing produced in the US worth buying and so the unemployment stays at 10%. Killing a "local" industry, even if it doesn't contribute to expo

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DavidTC (10147)

          I'm glad someone else understand the problem. I don't know how to fix it either...I don't think encouraging spending is as pointless as you think, but that's simply because I have no other options.

          For the past three or so decades we've steadily been shipping jobs out while borrowing against everything we own so we can purchase stuff.

          It used to be US workers made something, and got paid via the profit on selling that, and with their paycheck they could purchase other stuff.

          Now it's the Chinese who make st

    • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:21PM (#33210822)

      Every dollar not spent on bad movies and pop music is one more dollar that can be spent on productive industry.

  • Shocking! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:01PM (#33210680) Journal
    Does the FBI know how many missing persons may have disappeared carring ipods with hundreds, even thousands, of tracks being illicitly enjoyed by their captors, even as we speak, in various isolated cabins, underground dungeons, and seedy motels all around america?

    How could they be so blind?
    • Think of the children... of the music and movie executives and shareholders! Without police enforcement of their right to inherit royalties, they might have to get jobs when they grow up!

  • No need to ask (Score:5, Informative)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:03PM (#33210692)
    Missing persons haven't spent millions in lobbying, while the copyright industries have. It's distressing how easy governments are to buy these days, and the US seems to be doing its absolute worst lately -- they are almost dropping all pretence and simply doing what the corporate masters tell them to do.
  • Obvious reason (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joe Snipe (224958) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:05PM (#33210708) Homepage Journal

    Follow the money.

  • by md65536 (670240) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:06PM (#33210712)

    If there were a missing persons industry, then we could assign an imaginary and excessive value to "loss of profits" due to missing persons. Then they could be considered as valuable as a CD, and the FBI could put more effort into investigating.

  • Better Idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rivalz (1431453) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:13PM (#33210758)

    Kill all birds with one stone.
    1) Every person should be copyrighted
    2) Any missing person should be considered abducted and cross filed under copyright theft
    3) Any person that has gone missing should be cross filed under identity theft as it could be an abduction, copyright abduction / theft, and a missing person at the same time.

    I could find sarcastic ways to connect ident theft & copyrights to possibility of missing persons but I'm lazy.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Kill all birds with one stone. 1) Every person should be copyrighted 2) Any missing person should be considered abducted and cross filed under copyright theft 3) Any person that has gone missing should be cross filed under identity theft as it could be an abduction, copyright abduction / theft, and a missing person at the same time.

      I could find sarcastic ways to connect ident theft & copyrights to possibility of missing persons but I'm lazy.

      It would be better to patent every child born thereby protecting that child under patent law for life.
      Remember, the FBI is the government strong-arm of the corporate strong-arm, the IRS. Missing persons do not fit anywhere in the equation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by catmistake (814204)

      Every person should be copyrighted

      Like a number of slashdotters, I was a shy kid. I didn't like birthdays at all, because on that day, I hated being the center of attention. I didn't like being looked at, and I espescially didn't like posing for photographs, or anyone taking my picture or a video of me. And I thought I came up with a great solution. I must have been like 12, but the idea was, I would copyright my likeness, my voice, and my story, everything that made me what I am, and then, in theory, I could control the flow of information

    • by Chih (1284150)

      1) Every person should be copyrighted

      So if this copyrighted person was a filthy rapist, would his victims who were impregnated be accused of illegal duplication? Is this fetal piracy?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        No, you're thinking of cloning. Rape would be creating a derivative work without the authors permission.

    • "Kill all birds with one stone"

      You forgot 'sudo'.

  • Wrong (Score:4, Informative)

    by dracocat (554744) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:18PM (#33210794)

    INCORRECT:
    The FBI is NOT prioritizing copyright over missing persons.

    CORRECT:
    The FBI has a backlog of missing person DNA to run in the DNA labs.
    The FBI is increasing the amount of manpower assigned to copyright.

    I don't know how much the FBI should spend at all on copyright, but it is a bit of a stretch to take the current facts and say that copyright is prioritized over missing persons.

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:23PM (#33210844) Homepage Journal
      Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying. Probably it's that chorus of nerd rage that the well-crafted headline and misleading summary invoked on demand.
    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@EEEgmail.com minus threevowels> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:27PM (#33210878)

      INCORRECT: The FBI is NOT prioritizing copyright over missing persons.

      CORRECT: The FBI has a backlog of missing person DNA to run in the DNA labs. The FBI is increasing the amount of manpower assigned to copyright.

      I don't know how much the FBI should spend at all on copyright, but it is a bit of a stretch to take the current facts and say that copyright is prioritized over missing persons.

      I would relabel that as "Unsubstantiated" and "Factual", for unless you can prove your former assertion, is too strong a labeling. They could be prioritizing copyright over missing persons like the summary implies, and though this is unsubstantiated quantitatively, it cannot blatantly be labelled "incorrect", unless somebody knows otherwise. [citation?]

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:32PM (#33210898)

      CORRECT:
      The FBI has a backlog of missing person DNA to run in the DNA labs.
      The FBI is increasing the amount of manpower assigned to copyright.

      If they have a big backlog in the DNA labs, but they're increasing the manpower assigned to copyright "crimes", then that looks to me like they're prioritizing copyright over missing persons. If missing persons were a higher priority, they would devote more resources to their backlogged DNA labs, so that they wouldn't be backlogged any more, and they wouldn't devote any more resources to copyright.

      So it looks like the summary is correct after all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      INCORRECT:
      The FBI is NOT prioritizing copyright over missing persons.

      CORRECT:
      The FBI has a backlog of missing person DNA to run in the DNA labs.
      The FBI is increasing the amount of manpower assigned to copyright.

      I don't know how much the FBI should spend at all on copyright, but it is a bit of a stretch to take the current facts and say that copyright is prioritized over missing persons.

      Sure, the FBI isn't officially prioritizing copyrights over missing persons.

      However, the fact that they're increasing allocation to copyright means it obviously holds more importance. If it didn't, those same funds could be put to use elsewhere on what normal people would consider to be more important cases.

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:43PM (#33210970) Homepage Journal

      Reading the article and some of the fine links (note that quotes are marked, but not attributed) -- to quote one (on identify theft):

      "Identity theft is on the rise nationwide, yet in a report released Tuesday, federal investigators lament that the Department of Justice's (DOJ) efforts to combat such crimes have to some degree "faded as priorities."

      According to the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (IG), many of the suggestions pitched in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush's task force on identity theft have yet to be implemented fully. As of March, the agency had not even appointed an official to oversee those efforts, according to the report.

      Moreover, changes in how the FBI handles related investigations have resulted in an atmosphere in which "the specific crime of identity theft is not an FBI priority," investigators said."

      Now, Copyright violation is a civil matter, and identify theft is a crime:

      "Well, isn't this just great. Just a little while back, the Justice Department announced that fighting "intellectual property crime" was a major priority. At the time, we wondered if there weren't more important things for the DOJ to be working on. The answer is yes, of course, but the Justice Department has apparently decided to push them off the priority list. A new report on identity fraud notes that it has "faded" as a priority for the DOJ and the FBI. Ah, right, the stuff that actually harms individuals directly and isn't a civil or business model issue? Why focus on that when you can prop up your friends in Hollywood?"

      And, yes, the FBI has a horrible backlog (2 years, according to the OIG, if no new cases come in). So, why is the FBI investing in a private police force (for civil matters)? This is a new mission:

      "Attorney General Eric Holder Friday announced the creation of a Justice Department intellectual property task force to better tackle domestic and international piracy and other IP crimes. "The rise in intellectual property crime in the United States and abroad threatens not only our public safety but also our economic well being," Holder said in a statement. "This Task Force will allow us to identify and implement a multi-faceted strategy with our federal, state and international partners to effectively combat this type of crime."

      Is this not the very definition of prioritization? Yes, I would say that Copyright has been prioritized over missing persons. There was no need to create a Copyright private police force, and an acknowledged need to bolster DNA analysis.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by J Story (30227)
        Change we can Believe in? People might say that this FBI reprioritization is only to be expected and would happen no matter which party was in charge. That may well be, but if so it finally puts to rest the hope that things would be any different for this current administration.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Totenglocke (1291680)

      INCORRECT: The FBI is NOT prioritizing copyright over missing persons.

      CORRECT: The FBI has a backlog of missing person DNA to run in the DNA labs. The FBI is increasing the amount of manpower assigned to copyright.

      CONCLUSION

      By increasing manpower assigned to copyright and NOT increasing the manpower assigned to running the DNA labs / increasing the amount of equipment needed to run the tests, the FBI IS prioritizing copyright above missing persons.

      You had the facts correct - you just failed to make the obvious conclusion.

  • kidnapping and identity theft as "business practices". Then the FBI would hunt down these copyright infringing criminals.
  • Well, at least the FBI knows how much. And also knows that *AA ask for copyright violations enough money [slashdot.org] to do several banks bailouts, pay external debt, and even finance a trip to Pandora. Is not their fault that math work that way.
  • False Dichotomy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skexis (1744642) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:54PM (#33211048)
    The FBI does not exist to investigate one thing OR another. It investigates what crimes are capable of being solved by lab work and field agents who may or may not have any leads. Missing Persons and Identity Theft are two types of cases where the amount of time and money expended is often beyond the department's means to rectify the relative damages caused.

    In the case of missing persons, because some of them don't want to be found, or another department has already exhausted their leads.
    In the case of Identity Theft, because the perpetrators are often in other countries, where it doesn't make practical sense to send field agents to sift through hearsay or rumor in order to find someone who might be their criminal, and who, if he's smart at all, has since erased the evidence of his theft anyways.
  • by electricprof (1410233) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:06PM (#33211112)
    I've looked at the Wired article and the Techdirt articles, and I'm pretty sure I can track down original sources in what might be called the "major media" that discuss the downgrading if emphasis on missing persons. Similarly, I can track down sources discussing the creation of a new task force on IP. What I'm looking for is a major media source that talks about the relative prioritization of these two. Did I miss that in the articles? Does somebody know of one?
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:07PM (#33211120)

    they'll be all over it. And you won't hear anything else on the news for a month.

    But the farther you are from "little blonde girl", the less you matter.

  • Value of a person (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:18PM (#33211200)
    The monetary value of a person is known.

    I live in New Zealand. Emergency services here run helicoptors. Not just for the old cliche of plucking people of a cliff face, but also for car accidents and medical emergencies in non-urban areas. To provide perspective, a seriously injured person, just 20 minutes from a city may recieve helicoptor service for severe cases.

    What defines severe? Is it worth it to the taxpayer?

    About 12 years ago, a study was done to put a monetary cost to a citizen loosing their life. Presumably this factored loss of taxable income, consequences of earning potential of spouses, impact and costs to assist a dependant child.

    It was in the news even, and it ignited a moral debate. That cost to society was NZ$1,100,000.

    The point being, the cost of the helicoptor recovery was less than this, at about $5000 per hour.

    We can perhaps conclue the FBI has done some similar sums, but the poor individual has not fared so well in the cost/benefit analysis. Or someone high up has an interest in a copyright litigation practice.
  • by blueworm (425290) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:43PM (#33211330) Homepage

    Does it seem to anybody else like Techdirt is actually just self-citing itself for its proof? I don't really see where it's shown that the FBI has copyright enforcement actually prioritized higher than missing persons here. I see references to people saying it's a major priority, but that doesn't actually mean it really is. I think we need some more evidence laid out a little more clearly than what Techdirt has done, at least.

  • by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:45PM (#33211342)
    I tried to start a non-profit to find missing people. I got C&D letters from 4 states for my website as I sought start-up, even with clearly stating I did not have 503x status. Missing people is not good business. I was surprised I did not get a note from the FBI.
  • News flash: (Score:3, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:35PM (#33211622)
    Corporate citizens more important than actual citizens.
    Impounded bootleg film at 11.
  • Simple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:04AM (#33212052)
    Missing people don't contribute to re-election campaigns.
  • by b4upoo (166390) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:18AM (#33212118)

    Obviously commercial forces join together And continually let the FBI know who contributes big bucks to officials. Justice is for sale in more ways than one.

  • Capitalism again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:18AM (#33212928) Homepage Journal
    It is inevitable for government and government agencies in capitalist systems to eventually give priority to 'preferred' citizens ; corporations. Profits over people. The irony is that, in capitalist systems, those preferred citizens always pay less and less taxes increasingly.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

Working...