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Government oversight committee goes after P2P again

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 17 Oct 2007 22:06 User comments (9)

Government oversight committee goes after P2P again Members of the U.s. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulators asking for a list of risks associated with the use of P2P software and networks.
The letter stems from hearings the committee conducted earlier this year, where it was suggested by chairman Henry Waxman that P2P software poses a "national security threat" because of files containing sensitive government information which were shared inadvertantly by government employees and discovered during an audit of P2P services.

The interesting aspect of this story is the apparent lack of interest in cracking down on user installed software on government computers. Like almost all corporate IT operations, the government has strict regulations regarding the unauthorized installation of software by users. In fact, a Department of Transportation official testified at that hearing that before installing file sharing software on a government computer the user is required to get written permission first.

So if the point of this isn't to resolve national security issues uncovered during that investigation, what is it? According to the seven page letter the committee submitted to the head of the FTC they're worried that P2P software includes features that share files without the user realizing it. If, in fact, this is a problem - and it's a legitimate question to pose - the next obvious question is what it has to do with government oversight.

Source: House of Representatives

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9 user comments

117.10.2007 23:28

now this is an interesting read...although it surprises me how lax the government is in programs.

the company i work for you can only view news sites and text news at that, no p2p, no streaming audio, no streaming video, no hotmail, no gmail, no yahoo mail...not even microsofts preview picture mode...ya kinda get what i'm saying.

so it amazes me that any government agency would have software like that on their pc's

217.10.2007 23:59

Originally posted by venomX05:
now this is an interesting read...although it surprises me how lax the government is in programs.

the company i work for you can only view news sites and text news at that, no p2p, no streaming audio, no streaming video, no hotmail, no gmail, no yahoo mail...not even microsofts preview picture mode...ya kinda get what i'm saying.

so it amazes me that any government agency would have software like that on their pc's

second to that one...would'nt they have top notch security to block off and thing like that..DEEDEEDEE!

318.10.2007 0:33

goverment? oversight? in the same sentance?
and they still blame p2p for stuff? wow prime dividing by zero here.

418.10.2007 3:18

"P2P software poses a "national security threat" because of files containing sensitive government information which were shared inadvertantly by government employees and discovered during an audit of P2P services."

"they're worried that P2P software includes features that share files without the user realizing it."

Remember Jammie Thomas, Patricia Santangelo and her children, and many more who have been sued by RIAA and MPAA for copyright infringement? They all claimed that never shared any files, and if so the P2P client made them availible without their autorization.

Now this letter arguments that such scenario is possible, and if such taken as fact, will give RIAA and MPAA lawsuit's victims a potencial legal argument, so that they should not be sued or punished for copyright infringement, unless they can prove that actual copying took place.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2007 @ 3:20

518.10.2007 3:38
nobrainer
Inactive

They are worried that their dirty little secrets will be exposed or they are concerned about peoples privacy and seems the telecoms have been illegally spying on american citizens its probably not the latter!

618.10.2007 7:54

No government employee would put something like Limewire on a computer that contains sensitive material. Unless you are asking to get fired.

718.10.2007 7:59

They should perhaps focus more on amplifying their computer security to ward off hackers. I can attest to how many times government systems have been infiltrated.


818.10.2007 11:28

it seems like the government needs to worry about its employees more than p2p. The employees that are leaking this information out can do it multiple ways without p2p, its just p2p is convienent and fast. Also maybe get a damn IT department that knows how to use windows and a fucking firewall/port/application blocker.

923.10.2007 8:23

I feel its time for the p2p comunity to come up with a plan for them to just fight and mingle within themselves.

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