Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
United States Your Rights Online

Sen Hatch Would Like To Destroy Filetraders' PCs 1372

CBackSlash writes "Sen. Hatch is interested in technology to remotely destroy computers. But it would only be used if you're downloading copyrighted material, and only the copyright owner should be able to wield this awesome power, since having the feds do it would be against the law. Here is the AP story from Yahoo!."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sen Hatch Would Like To Destroy Filetraders' PCs

Comments Filter:
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:33PM (#6227459) Homepage Journal
    ...Sen Hatch went on to propose that cars be designed so that they explode when they exceed the speed limit - or "pirate drive" as he preferred to call it.
    • by rkz ( 667993 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:35PM (#6227476) Homepage Journal
      rkz is interested in technology to remotely destroy Sen Hatch.

    • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:50PM (#6227664) Journal
      ...that someone batoned down this loose Hatch.
    • by IdleTime ( 561841 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:26PM (#6227985) Journal
      Well, rather than waste your bytes on /., do as I did, go to Senator Hatch's website and send him a message complaining about his support for such an attrocity.

      Here is a direct link to his feedback/email page: Contact Form [senate.gov]
      • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @10:00PM (#6228687) Journal
        Dear Senator Hatch,

        In case you were not aware, there are already laws against copyright infringement and penalties in place for the violation of said laws. Your remarks during a hearing on copyright abuses are downright frightening. What you are suggesting is a complete disregard for due process. Why not just enforce the existing laws?

        You said, "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines." If someone has been prosecuted for copyright violation thorugh the due process of law, then there is no need to remotely destroy computers. The only reason anyone would need to invoke such technology would be if due process of law were being ignored.

        The Founding Fathers would find you a disgrace to their vision of American government. When you became a Senator, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I believe that you are in material breach of that oath, particularly the 5th Ammendment.

        Regards, ...
  • by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) * <mister,sketch&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:33PM (#6227462)
    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

    Oh, I see why now. Perhaps he received some donations from other upset copyright holders [sco.com].
  • by dtolton ( 162216 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:35PM (#6227470) Homepage
    That is just pure lunacy. Hatch has said some pretty crazy
    things over the years, but this has to top the list.

    I've been a supporter of Hatch for several years, even helping
    with the election effort on several occasions. This takes the
    cake though, it's time to get fresher blood into that office.

    If you want to call his office and complain (as I will):
    DC Office: 202.224.5251
    SLC Office: 801.524.4380

    here is his website:

    Please call and voice your extreme antagonism to these types of
    statements. Although the other Senators called him down, he
    needs to know that we hear these statements and are against them
    in the extreme.

    I just got off the phone with the Salt Lake Office, and they had
    no idea he had made statements of this nature. In fact she was
    quite taken back to hear of them. Please call and let them know
    how you feel about this. If they know their voters are against
    this type of behavior, they will change it.
    • Orrin's top contributors [opensecrets.org].

      1. HealthSouth Corp $38,255
      2. Pfizer Inc $34,000
      3. Qwest Communications $29,000
      4. Metabolife $27,250
      5. AT&T $25,499
      6. Torchmark Corp $25,000
      7. AOL Time Warner $24,000
      8. GlaxoSmithKline $21,000
      9. Novell Inc $20,500
      10. SmithKline Beecham $20,499
      11. Oracle Corp $19,750
      12. Global Crossing $19,500
      13. Verizon Communications $19,500
      14. Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $18,775
      15. Viacom Inc $18,750
      16. Schering-Plough Corp $18,000
      17. Bear Stearns $17,750
      18. SBC Communications $17,500
      19. Merck & Co $17,440
      20. Rexall Sundown Inc $17,000
      21. Walt Disney Co $17,000
  • They know nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xombo ( 628858 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:35PM (#6227481)
    These people are no smarter than a little kid saying, "I'm a hacker, I can make your computer blow up using the internet." They need to be asking the technology experts solutions to these matters, like Apple's music store. Of course, KaZaA still needs to be eliminated since competition between one legal source of music and an illegial one is kind of silly. However, I can tell these represenatives know little to nothing about technology the way they talk about using these unethical and impractical tactics against music piracy, if they do this, they are no better than who they are fighting.
    • Re:They know nothing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MisterFancypants ( 615129 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:48PM (#6227633)
      These people are no smarter than a little kid saying, "I'm a hacker, I can make your computer blow up using the internet."

      If this idea becomes a reality, then that skript kiddie was just a visionary! Imagine the aftermath of an Internet worm that sent the 'copyright self destruct' message to a computer a week or so after infecting it (hopefully infected many other computers in the interm). It would make CodeRed look like a pleasant dream.

    • by Kafka_Canada ( 106443 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:48PM (#6227646)
      While your aim is commendable, you've confused the issue. Politicians do need to be asking technology experts questions, but don't and shouldn't be asking them solutions. Copyright protection and IP rights are moral questions, not technical ones -- as is occasionally pointed out on slashdot -- and thus need moral, not technical solutions. Of course, to moral questions in a technical medium like the internet, expert technical advice is helpful or necessary in coming to an enlightened solution.
  • Next.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spydr ( 90990 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:35PM (#6227483) Homepage
    will he be making guns that shoot the robbers when they are pointed at police officers?
  • watch out! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Occam's Hammer ( 463213 ) * <occam444-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:35PM (#6227484)
    Iâ(TM)m guessing that the next big computer worm will plant a Celine Dion song on your computer and then send an âanonymous tipâ(TM) to the RIAA.
  • by Ebony Run ( 682288 ) <rich@tallman.org> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:36PM (#6227487) Homepage
    Finally something less reasonable than self-destructing DVD's.
  • by efatapo ( 567889 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:37PM (#6227502)
    "Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] reports that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch [senate.gov] from Utah, said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers [washingtonpost.com] of people who illegally download music from the Internet. A notably quote: "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize [the seriousness of their actions]". Hatch has a personal interest, since I'm sure his music [hatchmusic.com] is pirated on a regular basis. ;)"

    Just thought people might appreciate other links and such...guess I should've submitted it a couple minutes earlier....oh well :)
  • by drgroove ( 631550 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:37PM (#6227503)
    First Hatch's son is one of the lawyers pursuing the SCO case, now Orrin is talking smack about filesharing...

    Will someone please investigation campaign contributions made to Orrin? I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that Microsoft has made significant contributions to Mr. Hatch's past campaigns.
    • According to OpenSecrets.org [opensecrets.org], the number 4 largest industry contributer, as a whole, to Sen. Hatch's campaign consists of TV, Movie, and Music producers, trailing Lawers and Law Firms (#1), Pharmaceuticals and Health Products (#2)--who themselves have strong interests in strong IP protections, and Insurance (#3).

      Walt Disney donated $17,000 alone (the corporation, not the man). Interestingly enough, Hatch received $20,500 fron Novell, but I don't see any from SCO.

      Just some food for thought.

    • by Chyeburashka ( 122715 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:38PM (#6228093) Homepage
      In this Amended Complaint [sco.com], Orin Hatch's son Brent O. Hatch is listed right at the very top and near the bottom. A lot of interesting stuff in between.

      On the subject of loose cannon Senators, the Senator from Disney, Ernest Hollings, got quite a severe mocking today from Rush Limbaugh. Rush was making fun of Hollings saying that the problem with America was "too much consumption".

      Can any good Mormons out there explain how the belief that you will (if you pay your tithes, etc) someday become a GOD affect your world view. This is on topic since Orin, Brent, Darl, and most of the SCO board are all apparently Mormons, as is the named Judge, Dale A. Kimball.

  • by sweetooth ( 21075 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:37PM (#6227508) Homepage
    the next time I see one of my legislators driving around massivly exceeding the speed limit and failing to use thier turn signals I get to follow them home and destroy thier vehicle. To paraphrase Hatch in my context: This may be the only way you can teach somebody about traffic laws. and "There's no excuse for anyone violating traffic laws." The only reason I draw this parrallel is I live close to and grew up near the state capital and this is something that irritates me beyond belief.

    The stupidity of our elected officials never ceases to amaze me.
  • by TechLawyer ( 182030 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:38PM (#6227513)
    This is not just about file-sharing. It's about the ability of the government to remotely wipe out your computer, and creating the mindset that people whose computers are wiped out must be bad and therefore unworthy of notice or protection. In Ashcroft's America, how long before those of us who visit websites critical of the current regime will have our computers fried as a result?
    • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:48PM (#6227631) Homepage Journal
      This is not just about file-sharing. It's about the ability of the government to remotely wipe out your computer, and creating the mindset that people whose computers are wiped out must be bad and therefore unworthy of notice or protection.

      No, this is about allowing powerful corporations to legally take vigilante action to protect their revenue streams. At the click of a button, without filling out any paperwork. This is, of course, far far worse.

      The government can already cease your computer for years for 'analysis'. This is a de facto punishment for hacking imposed by law enforcement. Not good, but at least they have to drive out to your house and fill out some forms.
  • by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:38PM (#6227515)
    If governmental workers are like me, they are bored and use Kazaa at work. I'm wondering whether there will be enough computers left to control the ballisting missile defense by the time Hatch is through with destroying computers.
  • Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:39PM (#6227524) Homepage Journal
    I guess the RIAA's stratage is as follows:
    1) destroy people's computers.
    2) make them hate and fear you.
    3) ???
    4) profit.

    1) Download firewall

    2) Install firewall

    3) Reap vast profit of pirated material

    I mean really, how hard is it to make sure your computer is up to date with patches and has a good firewall installed. Preferably with an OpenBSD/Linux(with the bare minimum installed) box physically in between your home LAN and the internet.

    Not that I'm in favor of destroying people's computers (I assume this means things like reformatting people's hard drives), that's just asinine. But I do think it's OK for record companies to spoof P2P networks and try to disrupt them.
    • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MyHair ( 589485 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:56PM (#6227745) Journal
      But I do think it's OK for record companies to spoof P2P networks and try to disrupt them.

      You think it's okay for American corporations to disrupt activities of American citizens?

      Okay, if it's illegal or a civil court issue, fine, take it to court. But since when is it okay for them to decide who's naughty and who's nice and take action themselves?

      Oh, it's too expensive to sue everyone? Hmmm. maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe there's a reason "piracy" is so "rampant". Rather than changing the laws to allow themselves to attack without due process perhaps they should look at their business model and current technology and reconsider how they do business.
  • Scary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stinky wizzleteats ( 552063 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:39PM (#6227527) Homepage Journal

    If you read his comments in context, the truth of what he said becomes obvious.

    Cyberphobia among the old guard, as represented by people in Hatch's generation, has given way to overt, unbridled hatred of technology and its advocates. He views internet users as a group of miscreants who must be taught a lesson and his suggestions of remote computer destruction as a perfectly valid means of holding due process hostage to force us to solve the content industry's problems.

    I am aghast.

  • by beee ( 98582 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:39PM (#6227534) Homepage
    Does anyone recall the code for Grubbnix? It was a quick hack in the early to mid 90s, but it worked quite well. Call it a cross-over between a bootloader and an OS, I suppose.

    Anyways, the interesting part of Grubbnix was that it had a lot of capability and use when it came to flashing your BIOS (most major motherboard companies today still use a Grubbnix variant with their flashing utilities). I still remember one variant called Hucker (or something like that, maybe Huckey) that was spread around on disks to unsuspecting users. When you loaded it and left it running, it opened up your system enough so that someone via TCP/IP could execute commands, one of which was to completely shitfuck your BIOS, and sometimes even managed to cause damage to the CPU/motherboard by modifying threshold settings in the BIOS (depending on your model #).

    It used to be passed out to "enemies" at HackerCons, who would then take it home, load it, and end up with a fucked PC.

    Perhaps Senator Hatch needs to give the Cult of the Dead Cow an e-mail and see if they still have the source around somewhere ;-)
  • makes sense (Score:3, Funny)

    by Frac ( 27516 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:40PM (#6227540)
    that's because Senator Hatch is the BASTARD CHILD OF THE ANTI-CHRIST!!!

    Proof [com.com]:

    SCO has made no secret in recent months that it hired high-profile attorney David Boies to spearhead its case against IBM, but the company's legal representation in Utah courts is also noteworthy. The company retained Brent O. Hatch and Mark F. James of the law firm Hatch, James & Dodge. Hatch is the son of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a representative for SCO confirmed Monday.

    The whole family works for the devil!!!!

    [/tongue in cheek]
  • No excuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:41PM (#6227549) Homepage Journal
    "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.

    And there is an excuse for vandalizing a PC?

    • Vigilantie Senators. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pcwhalen ( 230935 ) <pcwhalen AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:03PM (#6228304) Journal
      What the Senator is suggesting is that a purported copyright holder be allowed to destroy property of another with no trial. This is un-American.

      First, an Article 3 created court needs to determine guilt or innocence. Second, destruction of property as a punishment appears nowhere in the penal code [hehe, hehe, he said "penal"]. Last time I checked, we didn't cut off hands, either.

      If I am a farmer and I think you may have stolen corn from my field as you drove by, could I destroy your refridgerator?

      Hatch has no concept of technology or the dynamic of the problem he seeks to address. Thus, he speaks as one insane.

      "I'd do away with the pixies if you could give me something more." Ben Lee
  • WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Monkey-Man2000 ( 603495 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:41PM (#6227551)
    since having the feds do it would be against the law.

    But it's all right for copyright-holders to do it? Where does the DMCA say copyright-holders can blow up PCs? This is insane!
  • Pssst. (Score:3, Funny)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:41PM (#6227553) Homepage Journal
    The senator, a composer who earned $18,000 last year in song writing royalties

    Want some mp3s of his work? ;)
    Joke, dont nuke my computer! Senator Hatch!
  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt ( 578295 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:42PM (#6227561)
    It seems to me that this is a clear violation of due process. Not only does the government not have the right to destroy your property without due process of law, it is even more egregious of an abuse for the govermnent to grant such a power to private parties -- to act independently of law enforcement to destroy other private persons' property. And by the sound of it, he is advocating copyright holders being able to do this without any kind of warrant or oversight at all. Hey, I think that's my stuff, so I kill your PC.

    Vigilante justice is outlawed in every other form -- this is little more than authorizing digital lynch mobs.

  • Just > /dev/null (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmv ( 93421 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:42PM (#6227565) Homepage
    I think these silly idea are just meant to direct people's attention away from the real dangerous (DMCA-like) laws. They have no intention to pass this law, just to make the others look "not that bad". That why I say that stpuid things like that *are* safe to ignore because I doubt that even the *AA would really want that passed (e.g. they don't want their whole office shut down in case an accident happens).
  • by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:43PM (#6227568) Journal
    Sneakers that destitch themselves when you jaywalk.

    Cars whose tires go flat when you speed.

    Oxygen tanks that cease providing oxygen when diving in restricted areas.

    Planes whose wings fall off when flying over restricted space.

    Trenchcoats that burst into flame when used to conceal theft of 3 pens from the office.

    Buildings which systematically disassemble themselves when accountants working for the company owning the building fudge figures.

    Planets that implode when governments on them begin passing fucking retarded laws.
  • Children (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) * <slashdot3@[ ]oggy.com ['phr' in gap]> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:44PM (#6227583) Homepage
    When a child does something wrong, you spank them. Negative reinforcement discourages them from doing it again. But why spank them? Because otherwise, there would be no natural consequences that the child can immediately see - the child can't see how refusing to share his/her toys is a bad thing, so you artificially make it a bad thing by spanking them.

    Destroying someone's PC as a punishment for copyright violations is like spanking them: artificially making it a bad thing.

    Adults spank their children. Adults don't spank other adults. Corporations shouldn't be spanking anybody.
    • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:13PM (#6227890) Homepage
      Your anology is good. I will now stretch it to the point of being silly.

      There are studies-- ones i can't remember the names of or links to, of course-- that show that spanking a child makes that child more likely to grow up to be a violent person. If I remember right, the claim was that people who had corporal punishment used on them as a child were more likely to grow up to be the kind of person who beat their wives or children.

      The reason given for this, again if i remember right, was that by having violence used on them at such a sensitive age, the child grows up thinking violence is "normal", and application of violence is how you are expected to solve problems, and beating someone is an acceptable and normal way for one human to get another human to comply with a request.

      So, here's my thought: what happens if the RIAA hacking and screwing up your computer if you've been filetrading becomes common? What happens to the children/teenagers who grow up under this kind of paradigm, and grow up seeing that the RIAA, this big important adult business thing that funds congressional campaigns and everything, reacts to people doing things it things are wrong by tracking them down and breaking their stuff?

      If it works like spanking does, well, we may well wind up with a generation growing up thinking vigilante justice is normal. Or maybe growing up with a kind of "us vs them" mentality toward corporations; that corporations are some kind of big distant enemies who can do anything they like without the law applying. And you can't tell a kid that someone big is allowed to hit you and you can't hit back and have them believe you. They might wind up growing up thinking that terrorism by corporations against citizens, and terrorism against corporations by citizens, is normal, and the law considers such things acceptable enough they don't regulate them.. as long as one is doing the other doesn't like...

      This is stretching, and of course, none of this will ever come to pass. But, just a thought.
  • Acutally... (Score:3, Funny)

    by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:44PM (#6227588) Homepage
    What we really need is a technology that removes a congressman from office once he says anything unconstitutional in public.

    No need for any due process crap, just "bu-bye".
  • Against the law... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:45PM (#6227595)
    Of course, the reason it is illegal for the Feds to do it is to prevent abuses. So we give it to a *less* regulated group. Greeaat.

    Actually though, as long as they are still liable for any damages they inflict this will be fun. Let's see, they (will/would have) just destroyed a $1000 computer, with $10000 (and if you can't figure out a way to back that figure up you need help) of the user's own data to delete a $0.99 song. Can we spin this?

    Of course, it is better to stop this now, before the circus...
  • by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:46PM (#6227615) Journal
    My computer monitors my dialysis machine.

    Excuse me while I kill the RIAA goons in self defense.
  • What About...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Snorpus ( 566772 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:48PM (#6227645)
    those annoying documents called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    It's been a long time for this Baby-Boomer since I studied them in high school, but the phrases Innocent until proven guilty, unreasonable search and seizure, and due process of law seem to ring a bell.

  • Hatch's Kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Col. Panic ( 90528 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:50PM (#6227677) Homepage Journal
    From: [senate.gov]

    Senator Hatch married the former Elaine Hansen of Newton, Utah. They are the proud parents of six children and have twenty grandchildren.

    I wonder how many of his kids' and grandkids' PC's would be wrecked?
  • Is this terrorism? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RandySC ( 9804 ) <SlashDot&Calligaster,Net> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:50PM (#6227678)
    Wouldn't a public incitement to damage private property be considered terrorism under the PATRIOT act? At a minimum it is irresponsible.
  • by no_opinion ( 148098 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:51PM (#6227689)
    Let me start by saying no sane person agrees with damaging someoneâ(TM)s computer over copyright violations, including the music majors. Iâ(TM)m just trying to explain why Hatch said what he said:

    It's well known in certain circles that Hatch is trying to pressure the IT companies into helping to solve the p2p piracy problem. I suspect he doesn't REALLY believe in damaging people's computers, he's just saying that to try and pressure the IT companies into getting something done. He is a song writer himself and is particularly interested in copyright issues but is frustrated with the lack of progress, thus his over zealous comments. He is a politician, after all, so statements like this are just part of his game. There is no way it will ever be legal to trash someoneâ(TM)s computer for a copyright violation since this would be like making it legal to trash someoneâ(TM)s house if they steal cable TV (not gonna happen).
  • by stinky wizzleteats ( 552063 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:52PM (#6227700) Homepage Journal

    I have been increasingly concerned about the contingent of Hollywood Democrats who have sought to cripple, extort, and otherwise destroy the progress of technology in the name of defending copyright holders from distribution of their works online. I've found especially disturbing the idea that is is valid for the government to hold due process hostage in order to force the technology community to solve the content industry's distribution problems by developing and implementing technical means to protect their work - by threatening to allow private organizations to maliciously attack computer systems alleged to be used to distribute protected works without the legal benefits accorded under criminal and civil law. This is an especially outrageous abandonment of the principles on which our government is supposed to stand.

    I thought I could look to the Republican party to serve as a balance against this senseless legislative paranoia with regard to technology, but it seems that this is not the case. Although I am not a resident in your state, your words on this issue have caused me to reconsider ever supporting anyone from your party for elected office.

    send your comments to: senator@hatch.senate.gov

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:01PM (#6227786)
    The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

    United States Patent Application 732980759-32754321

    User interface for remotely enforcing copyright


    A user interface and corresponding application program interface (API) and hardware device providing a set of functions for remotely enforcing copyright legislation.

    Inventors: Hatch, Orrin (R-Utah), MillionthMonkey

    Serial No.: 053243653216
    Series Code: 10
    Filed: June 17, 2003


    1. A software architecture for a distributed computing system comprising: a pissed off copyright holder, a hardware device capable of being remotely destroyed over a network; and an application program interface to present two dialog boxes to a user who is sharing files to present functions of the application to access and destroy his hardware.

    2. A software architecture as recited in claim 1, wherein the distributed computing system comprises client devices and peer-to-peer devices that handle requests from other peer-to-peer devices, the remote devices having been hardwired with explosives by the manufacturer.

    3. A software architecture as recited in claim 1, wherein the distributed computing system comprises client devices and peer-to-peer devices that handle requests from other peer-to-peer devices, the remote devices having been sharing files with other peer-to-peer devices as outlined in section 1.

    4. A software architecture as recited in claim 1, wherein the application program interface comprises: a first group of services related to discovery of file sharing activity, a second group of services related to displaying two dialog boxes to the user, and a third group of services related to remotely detonating a device as outlined in section 1.

    5. An application program interface as recited in claim 4, wherein the first group of services comprises: first functions that enable copyright holder to scour remote device for peer-to-peer activity relating to copyrighted content; a second group of services related to displaying two threatening messages to the user, and a third group of services related to reception of the kill signal and subsequent detonation.


    Although the invention has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described. Rather, the specific features and acts are disclosed as exemplary forms of implementing the claimed invention.

    And I'm off to the patent office! Later, suckas!

  • Lawsuit! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:06PM (#6227828) Homepage
    Me: "Why did you hack into and destroy my PC???"

    RIAA: "You had some of our copyrighted material."

    Me: "I did not! Prove I had your stuff!"

    RIAA: "No, you're the one suing me. You prove it."

    Me: "I *CAN'T*! You destroyed my PC!"

    RIAA: "A-ha!"
  • Write the Senator (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:08PM (#6227846)
    You can contact the Senator here [senate.gov], though it might be useful to restrict comments to civil discourse about things like due process and vigilante-ism rather than just name-calling and ranting.
  • by codexwriter ( 682385 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:09PM (#6227855) Homepage Journal
    R. Orin Hatch of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants a system installed in computers that will warn copyright abusers (people who download mp3's) two times, and then destroy their computers.

    Quotes from Senator Hatch, "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" ...

    "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.

    Now as you can imagine, there are a lot of people who are pretty upset with the idea. They are all yelling and screaming, but I am smiling.

    I for one applaud Mr. Hatch! These are exactly the kinds of laws I hope he can get passed.

    He has my staunch support!

    I also think cars should warn you twice before you drive faster than the speed limit and then just shut off... forever. This will cause there to be fewer cars on the road, less cars means less pollution and fewer traffic jams Phones used in movie theaters should warn you once, and then stop working, which will lead to lower numbers of brain cancers. J-walkers should get two warnings and then have their legs amputated (that will teach them) thus reducing the need for rubber (for shoes) and saving from exploitation South American rubber tree sap harvesters. In fact I think it would be a good idea to lace the worlds drug supplies with poison rather than spending so much money in the obviously unwinnable war on drugs! Then we can sit back relax, and let it resolve itself.

    Now as all it will take is one script kiddie to write a program that accesses the RIAA backdoor computer kill function and start wiping out all the american desktop pc's (zap, zap, zap) some of you may find Mr. Hatch's position to be poorly thought out. Nothing could be more untrue. We can hardly blame this potentiality on a lack of forethought with regards to Mr. Hatch, to not implement these features merely because they will be abused would be like limiting the availability of handguns just because they "might" be used by criminals- ridiculous!

    Of course Mr. Hatch will decry the hacking should it occur, and will probably find a way to use the words "domestic-terrorists" somehow, but everyone will know whose wonderful idea it was to make computers with a kill switch and they will all bless him! For you see though the outrage will ripple across America as hardware that cost several thousand dollars simply stops working, though Mr. Hatch will become the focal point of (even more) scorn, and people will be forced to buy new computers every couple of days.(... isn't that good for the economy after all? Why settle for the natural inclination of the home user to upgrade every few years, when we can do forced upgrades all the time!) though they will curse and revile his name they will all have eggs on their faces when it's Hatch's magical kill switches that save us all from OMNI-sentient-Cyberian 9000, the ultra-networked Uber-AI. Why the moment it starts passing data around its nodes on how to most efficiently wipe out humanity the kill switches will presume large file sharing activity means illegal copyright violations and a cascade of kill switch activations will spread node to node like a deadly computer cancer saving us all from destruction beneath the heel of our robot masters!

  • false assocation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkSkiesAhead ( 562955 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:10PM (#6227860)

    "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.
    I really hate it when polititians use such blatantly flawed logic. Of course violating copyright laws is wrong, but his suggestion has nothing to do with whether or not it is right share copyrighted material. With that logic I might be defending my decision to shoot the guy who cut me off this morning by saying "There's no excuse for dangerous lane changes." The illegality of an act is never sufficient justification for a particular response.
  • by dfay ( 75405 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:11PM (#6227875)
    Just to refresh your memories... Senator Hatch (from my own state, Utah) sponsored the DMCA. That act alone should have ended the guy's career, normally. But the general populace never seems to care about "Internet issues".

    He later seemed to flip positions, doing a number of things to help Napster out, and many slashdotters were singing his praises. I was more doubtful, but I bit my tongue, thinking that maybe he had changed. Obviously he has not; either that, or that second big contribution finally came through from the RIAA, so it's time to go to bat for them again.

    Here's a great synopsis of what people seemed to generally think of him back in the Napster days: link [theregister.co.uk]

    I think it's time for us (esp. in Utah) to make sure he doesn't get another term. Even viewed in the most favorable light, the guy is definitely a loose cannon. The big problem is, no one of any quality ever seems to run against him, and in this heavily Republican state, it's unlikely that a mediocre Democrat with no real platform can win.

    Remember this moment at the next election, Utahns!

    -- Dave
  • The real conflict (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:22PM (#6227960)
    If our constitutional rights are colliding with the interests of the content industry, the proper solution is not to destroy our constitutional rights but rather to destroy the content industry. This is especially the case considering how, in the grand scheme of multinational business, movies and records are small potatoes.

    If copyright cannot coexist with freedom of speech, the right to privacy, and due process of law, it is time for copyright to go.

    Put it that way to the content industry, and maybe they'll have a strong incentive to think of a workable and non-subversive way to run their businesses.
  • by sipy ( 602638 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:48PM (#6228178) Homepage
    Before my private property is seized or destroyed, I expect my constututional rights, specifically, those spelled out in the 4th amendment, to be respected.

    The Government must not seize or destroy private property without that property's owner being granted due process. And I surely do not consent to a private industry lobbying group (the RIAA) taking the place of The Government, and trouncing that right, either.

    If you have done so, please do not continue to advocate the destruction of private property, even under The Best Intentions(tm), or "boosting commerce". If you want to advocate the seizure or destruction of personal assets under ANY circumstances, please only consider doing so after granting the intended victim their constitutionally-guaranteed right of due process.
  • yea *brilliant* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cynikal ( 513328 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:03PM (#6228306) Homepage
    and how long do you suppose till some kid with a grudge sets up a completely obscure OS, sets up a honey pot just begging to get nuked by this new technology, captures the packets, decyphers it, and takes down anyone he has a grudge with?

    what if he has a politial agenda against your country?

    these guys are soooo "smrt", i can tell!
  • by inkswamp ( 233692 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:05PM (#6228325)
    Reading this kind of story (and others like it) causes me to wonder why it is that Republicans continue to push (with much success, btw) the lie that their party represents freedom from government intrusion. How much more intrusive can you get? Punishment without a trial. Big Brother would be proud of Sen. Hatch. Where is the outcry from all the conservatives and fellow Republicans about this suggestion?

    One's PC typically contains loads of personal information, documents, photos, etc. And are we to believe that law-enforcement never makes mistakes and that the only machines destroyed would be only those belonging to those whose activities warranted it? There are so many problems with this approach (i.e., what if one user on a multi-user computer is doing it--everyone on the machine must pay the price) that Hatch only shows how out-of-touch and ill-educated about modern computers he really is.

    And once again, he makes himself a fine example of why Republicans are lying through their teeth when they spout platitudes about taming government intrusiveness and power.

  • Do NOT support candidates or political parties that even THINK this stuff.

    I, for one, just quit the Republican Party, and sent the good Senator a nice message telling him why. I would STRONGLY urge all of you to do the same. Here's a nice little template to follow:

    • Dear Senator Hatch,

      I'm writing to you after reading an Associated Press news article in which you stated your support to destroy the computers of those who infringe on copyrights.

      "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize..." you were quoted as saying.

      While I do agree with you that folks downloading entire catalogs of music en masse from the internet are basically thieves, I think this is quite the extreme and wrong stance, especially given the sad state of copyright law that now exists.

      It's pretty clear today that copyright now favors large entertainment companies instead of any kind of scientific and social progress as the founders had intended, with copyright terms now exceeding most people's life expectancies (what good is the public domain when the public that could benefit from it no longer exists.) and when laws like the DMCA makes it a crime to copy something for FAIR USE if it happens to be encrypted in the first place. It's also pretty clear that Congress now favors the entertainment companies rather than the people that elected them, when they're willing to advocate or condone a "solution" that would destroy the private property of their constituents, without so much even lip service paid to due process.

      Well, if you're willing to be so extreme, Senator, so am I. I just quit the Republican Party. While I'm not from your state, and Pennsylvania is far from a Republican stronghold, I intend to encourage others to do the same.

      Maybe a few hundred thousand of us, and you'll realize something.


      Ed R. Zahurak

  • This sounds scary. But it does have legal precedence, of sorts.

    I was recently warned that in Los Angeles county, if you're caught racing (by the judgement of the arresting officer), your vehicle is forfeit to the county.

    In Florida, any vehicle involved in any drug violation may be forfeit to the state. Of course, the state is in it for the money, so they'll be nice enough to sell you your own vehicle back. A friend of mine paid over $5,000 to get her own car back over a minor violation. It took over a month to get things arranged, and several trips to that city. She had only been passing through the town, she wasn't a resident.

    One particular sheriff's department has some of my handguns still, which I'm particuarly upset about. My ex-wife was getting violent, so I gave a friend everything dangerous from the house. She locked them all away in the trunk of her car. A couple days later, she was pulled over on suspicion of DUI. She wasn't arrested for DUI, but because she was pulled over on suspicion, they seized the weapons. It did absolutely no good to try to explain it to anyone. And yes, they were all perfectly legal. The begging to get my stuff back ended when they finally came up with the standpoint of "we don't know where they are." They just disappeared out of the system. {cough}{cough}. Ya into someone's personal collection, I'm sure.

    The gov't is already seizing property without due processes or reasonable cause. I doubt they'll get the law through saying you can hack, but I'd bet they'll pass laws saying any equipment used in the act of the crime (the crime being music piracy) can be seized. I'm sure it'll be broad enough to include just about anything in house/apartment.

    As for just killing machines on demand, I'd bet Microsoft will include that in future releases of Windows very willingly. It would terrify me to know that they could just pick and choose machines to zap.

    If I was Joe-ISP hosting on Windows machines (ok, that would never happen), and one site had MP3's on it, they could not only destroy that site, but every site hosted there? They could cause damage to the machine itself (i.e., wipe the BIOS, drop the partition table, etc). I'd be afraid to think what would happen with a single BIOS change to bump the voltage up to the CPU and watch it fry. What would 12v do to a low voltage CPU line? Now what if that hosting machine happened to be a big expensive hosting machine? I've seen pricetags over $40k come by. It wouldn't be very good to see one of those go up in smoke.

    I'd be just as upset if my kid had friends over, and they were downloading files and got *MY* machine destroyed. I'm not exactly going to be satisfied with "The RIAA destroyed your computer because someone was downloading Enimen's new album. They're legally protected in this action." Well, I'd probably be more upset as this would be my own machine. Customers can live with a server down for a day or two (but they won't like it). My personal property is *MINE*.

  • by El ( 94934 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:32PM (#6228521)
    I think we should propose a new law that all seats in both houses of congress be wired with cattle prods remote controlled over the internet. Then we can watch CSPAN live, and whenever some congresscritter says something mind bogglingly stupid, we can immediately get their attention!
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:07PM (#6229111) Journal
    from the TV/Movies/Music [opensecrets.org] industry? I didn't think so......

    First he brings us the DMCA and now this....
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:08PM (#6229119)
    OK, so they want to pass a law that makes it OK to destroy someone's computer if they download copyrighted material. Fine. You, me, your mom - we can all create copyrighted material.

    So my copyrighted material may have the same file name as a popular song. But my material is me reasing a poem I wrote, and it is in MP3 format. If anyone from the RIAA attempts to download this song, I am legally entitled to destroy their computer for infringing on my copyright.

    So go ahead, fuckwits, I triple-dog-dare you to pass a law that makes activities like this legal.

  • What's that sound? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Craig Maloney ( 1104 ) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:22PM (#6229283) Homepage
    Senator Hatch:

    For your reading pleasure, I bring several paragraphs which would like a word with you:

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment VI

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
  • Really Amusing! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cgleba ( 521624 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:40PM (#6229463)
    It is so amusing seeing all the people try to tone down what he was saying. . .much like a best man who was drunk at a wedding and said that the groom was an asshole:

    Best Man: "Yeah, Bob is a an asshole and I hope that bitch broad gives him one hell of a life. . "

    Good Friend: "I think that the best man has had a little too good of a time and what he means is. . "
    Best Man: "Screw you, I said he was an asshole and I mean it!"

    Read below:

    "No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer,". . .

    "I'm interested," Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

    Hatch was "apparently making a metaphorical point that if peer-to-peer networks don't take reasonable steps to prevent massive copyright infringement on the systems they create, Congress may be forced to consider stronger measures."

    Hatch said. ". . . I'm all for destroying their machines. . . "

    " Some legal experts suggested Hatch's provocative remarks were more likely intended to compel technology and music executives to work faster toward ways to protect copyrights online than to signal forthcoming legislation. "

    "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.

    Boucher described Hatch's role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee as "a very important position, so when Senator Hatch indicates his views with regard to a particular subject, we all take those views very seriously."

    As a side note, what about bullets, descramblers and cables companies. . .isn't this pretty much the same thing?
  • by Evil Pete ( 73279 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @12:02AM (#6229641) Homepage

    Can you imagine what a virus writer could do once this technology got into the wild ? Imagine a virus that could would wipe out all those PCs, or maybe a select set of IPs ... scary ... hmmm ... wonder what the IP addresses of the RIAA are ?

  • Backwords (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SomeOtherGuy ( 179082 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @12:02AM (#6229651) Journal
    Ya, they can figure you the tech to nuke the guilty parties computer by nothing more than an IP and/or Mac address -- yet we don't have the technology to stop the spammers.
  • by PetoskeyGuy ( 648788 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @12:08AM (#6229684)

    The old DRM Lobby has been trying a bit too hard. Some old folks in congress have got such a huge misunderstanding of how the machines that power our lives work it's incredible.

    BTW, according to netcraft [netcraft.com] http://www.hatchmusic.com/ [hatchmusic.com] is running Apache on Linux.

    That means Linus, as well as most other programmers who have worked on Linux or Apache would be able to remotely destroy his site. Bill Gates would be able to destroy 90% of the computers in existence.

    I suppose this law would quickly be followed by a law making it illegal to block the port they pick. Or maybe they will just talk to your ISP, go to your house and take your computer. They can cut them up with axes in the street like the old prohibition days. I bet Hatch can remember those days himself. :)

  • by alizard ( 107678 ) <alizard@[ ]s.com ['eci' in gap]> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @03:56AM (#6231014) Homepage
    The computers Hatch seeks to destroy (everybody's, does anyone think these attacks can only be limited to the 'right') boxes are a fuck of a lot more important to the economy than the entertainment industry is. Though unless the entertainment industry stops using computers, they're theoretically at the same risk the rest of us are, but their arrogance with respect to technology means that their real risks are much higher.

    What happens when they wipe out computers belonging to traders at the New York Stock Exchange? Investment bankers? White House? Congress itself? Department of Defense? *AA major label computers? The WETA renderfarm? What makes anyone think that the damage will be limited to the USA?

    Everybody who voted to legalize black-hat bullshit is going to be in seriously deep shit. Guess who they are going to try to unload the blame on? Guess what the Congressional hearings investigating the *AA members and the *AAs themselves will look like?

    No matter how good immunity provisions are protecting *AA and its scr1pt k1dd13z, the best legal minds in America will be working 24/7 to figure out how to bypass the provisions to make it possible to file both civil suits and criminal charges against corporations and individually against corporate officers... and these corporate officers won't be going to country-club prisons. They're going into cells along with people named "Bubba". Perhaps they can be found in violation of RICO and the Patriot Act. While the PATRIOT Act is an abomination, something tells me that if the *AA label CEOs suddenly find themselves in Guantanamo Bay, even their own attorneys won't be lifting a finger to defend them. If they have any sense, they'll be looking for places they can't be legally extradited from.

    A recent estimate says that there are 43,000,000 file traders. Even if they miraculously only limit the damage to the "guilty", some of those machines are going to be critical to somebody bigger than the *AA organizations, their member labels, or their owners.

    So they ratfuck only 10,000,000 computers, some "innocent", some loaded with MP3s ripped by the legal owners of the CDs, some with MP3s of non-*AA content? The aggregate value of the data is going to be far above the current net worth of the labels combined. I don't actually expect damage to be this bad, I think any netblock RIAA black hats work out of will be disconnected by their upstream providers *quickly*.

    It's time for the major players in the *AA organizations to go down.

    They want to commit suicide? Encourage them..

    And look to your firewalls and IDS.

  • by Jasn ( 106824 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @05:59AM (#6231419)
    ... for a policy Sen. Hatch probably doesn't really endorse himself. Think politically and you realize this is just the textbook trial balloon:

    1) a comment that carries no significant political/voting booth cost from his base constituency of Utahns, but
    2) serves to give the national debate a swift kick to one side. The reactions to such a goofy extreme comment will immediately draw more attention to the issue than one could buy, and (very subtly) draw all sides to quicker DRM "solutions" (because by defining the crazy as a "possibility," the borders have been redrawn).

    Hatch is full of it in many ways but isn't stupid. This is a calculated, no-cost public statement (he's a pro at it, the average /.er is not) that he doesn't intend to pursue. Not to be cynical, but it's certainly nothing to get apoplectic about. Write your representatives about the DMCA instead.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.