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Senator Proposes to Monitor All P2P Traffic for Illegal Files 626

mytrip writes "Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) has proposed an ambitious plan, costing on the order of $1 billion, aimed at curtailing illegal activities via P2P networks. His plan involves utilizing new software to monitor peer-to-peer traffic on an ongoing basis. 'At an afternoon Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing about child exploitation on the Internet, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said he was under the impression it's "pretty easy to pick out the person engaged in either transmitting or downloading violent scenes of rape, molestation" simply by looking at file names. He urged use of those techniques by investigators to help nab the most egregious offenders."
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Senator Proposes to Monitor All P2P Traffic for Illegal Files

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  • Of Course (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gx5000 ( 863863 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:26AM (#23103256)
    Of course they can do this... They can also stop spam dead in its router or switch feeds... We know where the viruses are originating from, and spam and and and... Since these greasy rogues produce over 90% of the e-mail, then one can take from that that they're also paying big bills to do this... The Golden rule persists, and this InterTubeTechnocrat hasn't a clue.... The thing is probably a work around for the FCC accounting which states that ISP's cannot restrict (reads choke P2P) network feed or else they lose their blanket immunity to prosecution on content.... this guy is trying to build them a trap door...ain't gonna work.
  • by ween14 ( 827520 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:29AM (#23103316)
    If I was an ISP who wanted to slow the use of P2P on my network, I only have a few options.

    Comcast tried the first option, which is to drop the connections. The outrage on tech sites was massive, and eventually led to them being investigated by the FCC.

    Barring that option, why not put the burden on the government to handle the filtering. Heck, that is even better because now you don't have to pay for it anymore, your customers pay for it through their taxes.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:46AM (#23103544) Journal
    I am sure that Sen Biden's idea has nothing to do with the fact that he has taken $178,358 from the TV/Movies/Music [] lobby in this last cycle. The ROI on paying off a politician is insane. Just look at Orrin Hatch and the DMCA.
  • by rocketPack ( 1255456 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:31AM (#23104312)

    Isn't it possible just to claim your wireless access point was left open and that someone else was using your wireless without your consent or knowledge? They can only prove it was your modem that transmitted the information, not the actual PC without doing a forensic hard disk analysis, right?

    My router spoofs all my MACs and I've only got one IPA, so anyone using my router looks the same to the entire web.

    Is this a plausible defense?

  • Re:Remember, Kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ioldanach ( 88584 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:40AM (#23104534)
    Right, Republicans hate taxes, so they lower them and spend like crazy anyway, and just wait for a Democrat to get into office and have to fix their mess. The Democrat gets unpopular because taxes must be raised to pay for the mess, and then the Republicans can win again next time and start with a budget that's all nice and balanced for them.
  • by kcdoodle ( 754976 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:48AM (#23104714)
    You are preaching to the choir, man!
    When voting, I ALWAYS end up selecting the lesser of two evils.
    I would like to see more of a parliamentarian form of government in the U.S.
    Most of all, I would like to see the abolishment of "winner take all" rules for electoral votes that some states have.
    I could rant for days about different ideas and suggested changes, but this is the gist of it.
  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:57AM (#23104876) Homepage
    What will multiple parties do? It just means that whichever candidate wins the election will be less likely to match my views, or any other single person's views.

    What we need is for the federal government to back off and give back some of the power that they've taken from the states. That way, we can move to the state which fits us best politically, and everyone's happy.
  • by bobbuck ( 675253 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @11:05AM (#23105002)
    Well, give him credit. His rates are much more reasonable than other senators. Maybe I'll bid on some new legislation.

    I still want a law that puts casino patrons on a public assistance black list.

  • by SubOptimalUseCase ( 927514 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @11:39AM (#23105666)
    Although his stated intention is to monitor the internet for exchange of child pornography, the same said software could also be used to monitor for illegal exchange of copyrighted material.

    Isn't he the very same Senator Biden censured back in 1988 for plagiarizing a paper during his law school years?
  • by computational super ( 740265 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @11:45AM (#23105754)

    get ready for darknet p2p programs to start popping up all around us.

    I wish I could share your optimism, but I doubt it. Freenet has been around for a long, long time (over 10 years now, I believe). It's barely usable because it depends on there being lots and lots of nodes - and why aren't there lots and lots of nodes? Because everybody's afraid of installing it since it might be used for illegal purposes! Nobody's willing to support truly workable anti-censorship measures because deep down, they support some censorship... which is unfortunate because you either allow no censorship at all or you allow arbitrary censorship.

  • by Alpha830RulZ ( 939527 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @02:12PM (#23108178)
    Actually, just having three parties would change the political dynamic pretty dramatically. My Pol Sci professor described this as the Burger King Problem.

    Visualize a small town, with one main street. A McDonalds comes into town, and locates at one end of the town, let's call it the east end.

    Now let's say Burger King wants to come into the same town. Where is the most logical place for the BK to locate? Answer: right next to the McDonalds, on the side that is closer to the most people.

    In politics we see this in the clustering of positions. It makes sens for the Democrats to be just slightly more liberal than the Republicans, so that they can capture the votes of people that are somewhat liberal republicans. If they adopt a very liberal stance, then there is no way of knowing how people in the middle will vote.

    We see this in Hillary Clinton, who in other times might have been described as a moderate republican, by here views. This stance makes sense, so that she can capture the middle of the spectrum. We saw this in the last 7 years, as democrats scrambled to be almost as conservative as the republicans, because that is what made political sense.

    If you have a third player in the mix, let alone many players, that destablizes this balance. Then you'll start seeing a spectrum of views, rather than polarized (abortion) or highly similar (war on terrorism) positions. It's just game theory, which seems to be the meme of the day.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:30PM (#23109390) Homepage Journal
    "Aside from the obvious issues in actually implementing this horrendous idea- I have to wonder since when is this the governments concern? Copyright infringement has always been a civil matter. I think this would be the same as the government monitoring the internet for libel against any citizens. It's ridiculous. The fact is our government is horribly run. Stuff like this really makes me angry. How about concentrating on saving money instead of inventing new taxes and new ways to monitor us. How about someone who proposes agency spending starting from ZERO- thus eliminating the need for agencies to needlessly waste money at the end of the year so they get it again next year."

    Unfortunately, they're pushing copyright infringement more and more into criminal court. It really got its start with DCMA....bypassing copyright measure....FELONY.

    I agree with you on the other parts.....the use or lose thing causes SO much waste. Trust me...I've seen it first hand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:39PM (#23109506)
    So, voting for Ron Paul is not throwing away your vote, even though he can't win, and therefore, you still didn't vote for the winner of the election, and possibly helped one of the others get elected instead? I feel it necessary to vote for the lesser of 3 evils, at least so things can be BETTER than they are now. I would rather have my say in voting for someone who can win, than in voting for an ideal out of protest for the others.

    I really despair when I read stuff like this, and it gets modded "insightful."

    Answer me this: What is the probability that your vote will be the deciding vote in an election? Here's a hint: Buying lightning insurance and playing golf would give you a better rate of return. With your view, the only votes that count in an election are those suffiecient to give a bare plurality -- any excess for the winner, and *anyone* voting for any losing candidate wasted their vote. Votes for Kerry in 2004? Wasted. Votes for Gore? Wasted -- and not just that, but every individual vote EVEN IN FLORIDA was less than the noise in the election. No one can give a precise number of votes even after multiple recounts, or say what the margin of victory was.

    So unless you are prepared to get together five hundred (or whatever the margin of error is) of your closest friends to vote as a bloc and wait a couple of hundred years to perhaps have a 1 in 50 chance of being in a state where you can influence a national election, the best strategy for an individual voter is to vote for the candidate they like the most.

    The reason is simple. Voting is a recurring event, and Presidential elections happen every four years. If you are in a group that is greater than the margin of victory between the top two candidates, you have a louder voice in future elections than a voter that pads the margin of the winner or who votes for the loser. If an election is 51-49, the winner is perfectly happy with the margin in future elections, and the loser has to try to figure out some way of peeling off enough voters to actually win. If an election is 48-46-6, you can bet that at least one of the two major candidates will look for ways to appeal to that 6% -- or deny their opponent that 6% -- in future elections.
  • Re:Remember, Kids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Werthless5 ( 1116649 ) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:16PM (#23112990)
    The Dem politicians only hate violence when the children are exposed to it. Republicans hate ALL boobies. If you'll notice, there is infinitely more violence on television than there are boobies. The Dems seem to accept the TV rating system as a suitable way to "prevent" kids from violent exposure.

    The weird thing is that the Republicans usually come out of the woodwork and try to censor violence (particularly in games today, but before that it was music, movies and TV) whenever there's a school shooting. The Democrats are right there too, but it's funny how you suggested that the Republicans don't to censor violence as much when they really do.

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