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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > United States Passes "Informed P2P User Act"

United States Passes "Informed P2P User Act"

United States Passes "Informed P2P User Act"

Added: Friday, December 11th, 2009
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
Tags:File Sharing, ET, Extra Torrent, p2p, Peer To Peer, BitTorrent, utorrent, extratorrent.com, kazaa, limewire, frostwire, informed p2p user act, United States House
In the last few months, I've reported on the United States intention to pass the "Informed P2P User Act", which is one of the first major pieces of legislation regarding file sharing to actually make its way into a law.


The United States House of Representatives, have made the H.R. 1319 legislation of 2009, an official doctrine to prevent the inadvertent and inconsistent unknowing sharing of classified documents when using any peer to peer software.

With all the major leaks, such as blueprints for the United States Presidential Helicopter and the Schematics being released by "accident" while government officials were using peer to peer software on computers which contained extremely sensitive data, this could not have come sooner for the US.

While this is not the first time sensitive data has been lost due to the ignorance of the person(s) behind the keyboard, it's probably not going to be the last. America somehow believes that placing the blame upon the file sharing software instead of the ignorant person using the mouse and keyboard, is the legitimate thing to do however.

Are you surprised? I'm not. I do however feel that those responsible for using the peer to peer software on the government computers should not only be charged but fired from their positions.

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, of whom is one of the bill's sponsors, stated, "Too many consumers don’t realize that by using P2P software, they could be exposing all of their personal files – from family photos to bank account information to complete strangers on their network." She went on to proclaim "his problem has persisted far too long, and industry has failed to effectively respond in a way that will keep Americans safe online. This legislation takes a common sense – and needed – approach that will ensure that users are aware of what personal files are at risk when they use P2P file sharing programs."

Yet actually, just two days ago, the leak of highly sensitive airline security screening procedures, was found on the internet. Showing that regardless of how you try to enforce keeping classified data exactly that, private, that morons will still make mistakes that compromise the security of the United States.

Many regulations have been provided from this bill upon the P2P software, such as the following.
H.R. 1319 wrote:
Prior to installation the program must:

1. Provide clear and conspicuous notice that such program allows files on the protected computer to be available for searching and copying by another computer; and
2. Obtain the informed consent to the installation of such program from an owner or authorized user of the protected computer; and
3. Provide clear and conspicuous notice of which files are to be made available to another computer; and
4. Obtain the informed consent from an owner or authorized user of the protected computer for such files to be made available.

Is this really going to prevent breaches in security or leaking of classified data? I somehow doubt it. The government is always up for the "quick plug of a leaking hole" rather than finding a long term solution to the problem.

Once again file sharing is being blamed for the incompetence of those in charge of protecting a nation, and I for one find it laughable. Those whom are not experienced in the protocols involving online data transmission, should not even be allowed to use federally funded computers which contain classified data. That's just my opinion though.

December 11th, 2009

Posted by:  Blocked
Date:  Friday, December 11th, 2009

Comments (27) (please add your comment »)

posted by Site FriendXbox (2009-12-11 12:02:25)
Z0R4N avatarYour opinion is right on target, it's really not acceptable. Thanks for the news OBS!

posted by (2009-12-11 12:03:28)
SnakeyB avatarI'm with you Obs, This is the third time you have written about this issue (first for the law). I thank you for keeping this issue in the forefront. Lets blame the P2P community instead of the problem, the totally incompetent employee. I can see the American judicial system using this against the average public. By agreeing to the.. "Prior to installation the program must:

1. Provide clear and conspicuous notice that such program allows files on the protected computer to be available for searching and copying by another computer; and
2. Obtain the informed consent to the installation of such program from an owner or authorized user of the protected computer; and
3. Provide clear and conspicuous notice of which files are to be made available to another computer; and
4. Obtain the informed consent from an owner or authorized user of the protected computer for such files to be made available."...

You really cannot play the "I thought I was innocent" card. I hope this protocol is only for Government or private company computers and not for the Average Joe.

posted by Blocked (2009-12-11 12:27:57)
No avatarYes "for now" it's only for US government computers. As you well know though, once something has broke its way into law though it opens the possibility for them to extend the measures sadly

posted by (2009-12-11 12:38:55)
KING2ALL avatarIf the government would not make money from this in one way or another I doubt they would take the time to even try to make it law. Think for a minute...... This is a must have law. Why? They can't hire someone smart enough to protect there stuff? Don't buy that. Think it needs to be law so they can fry someone for it. Nice job USA. xxxOBSENExxx for president. Long live ET.

posted by (2009-12-11 12:40:37)
digster avatarthanks for the info obs

posted by (2009-12-11 13:34:52)
wiredsauce avatarGreat article OBS, and I am with you 100% on this one. How dare these people try to blame the software? It's the software's fault that the user clicks "Yes, I agree"? I think not. You hit the nail on the head here:

"Showing that regardless of how you try to enforce keeping classified data exactly that, private, that morons will still make mistakes that compromise the security of the United States."

Thanks for the article OBS.

posted by (2009-12-11 14:36:28)
fracture379 avatarGreat stuff.A classic example of the governments inability to take reasponsibility for the individuals that form it.Thanks for keeping us informed

posted by ET junkieET lover (2009-12-11 14:47:03)
bodthepimp avatarAnother brill article keep it up OBS

posted by (2009-12-11 15:46:02)
Infectious avatarMaybe I'm just a little stupid in the matter but why would any government agency with documents that are not to be viewed by the general public,have file sharing software on their PC's anyway??They can't wait until they get home to download their porn on their personal PC??

posted by (2009-12-11 16:15:38)
Qu137Ch405 avatarPeople constantly want to blame others for their own shortcomings. Take the classic cases of the woman who spilled her McD's coffee in her lap at the drive-thru window, and the mother who's son lost his lower jaw, and eventually his life, from oral cancer he contracted through dipping snuff.

Now, I'm sorry, but if you order coffee, you logically assume it's gonna be HOT, and if you choose a known health-risk like tobacco as a habit, you take on the consequences of that risk. But, as we know, the morons won both cases in court. Now, I'm NOT for big business giving the underdog his dues, but a reaming is a reaming, and Justice is NOT served when idiots get paid for being idiots.

Are we surprised that the U.S. Government, a body of people 'supposedly' representing a nation of people, is going to act in any different accord? Seriously?

Laws and rules then have to be made to prevent the mindlessly repeated error of the original offense, in other words, to protect the idiots from themselves.

Real-World example (you can check this out for yourself) - Go into any toy department, find the action toys aisle (it will be the loudest one during the Holiday season), and find a superhero costume with a cape (Superman or Batman will do). Now, somewhere on that box are these sad words: "Warning - Wearing of cape will not allow user the ability to fly."

Why was it important to post that notice? Because some dork wasn't monitoring his/her child while little Billy took a nose-dive from the gable to the garden, then tried to sue the toy company because their their child (whose primary babysitter through year 5 was television) was out of touch with reality.

But for these "necessary" laws and rules to have any effect, there should not only be fear of the penalty for the offense, but that fear must outweigh the pleasure received by the offender.

So... our Government employees, who, for the most part, come from similar backgrounds as you and I, and who probably like to enjoy similar hobbies and diversions, have lives too.

Let's follow Jane: Jane, a mid-level exec in the DC circle, has the divorce-package life (career, house, SUV, and two kids who play the ex-is-best game). While in the ladies room, Jane gets a message on her PDA from her oldest "misunderstood" that says Daddy promises the latest movie when they visit him. Pissed and not about to be one-upped by that jerk, Jane hurries to her desk, jumps on ET, finds that ExtraScene already has a perfect version of that movie, and has it ready for the kids to watch over dinner that night.

Since Jane is a member of ET, she is well-informed and educated through these articles and none of her confidential data was compromised.


Now, what about her co-worker, Dick...

While Jane was reading the message, Dick was running his voyeur-cam and caught her at her intimate moment. Back in his office, Dick jumps on the web, throws nameless public trackers in his "business-woman-pissing.avi" torrent and sends it to any and every dump site he can. In the process of sharing his perv-porn, he leaves the backdoor open on his computer, and the Secretary of Defense's private party photos go global in seconds.

Dick's actions bring on an investigation of their department. Dick, the 'upright' guy that he is, declares that (despite a gazillion articles across the web on the subject) he had "no idea" there was any chance of risk, and H.R. 1319 is passed to protect other idiots, but not before the damage is done. Jane's P2P client is banned from their network.

Moral of the story: Don't be a Dick, and the rest of us won't have to suffer through the laws made to protect you from yourself.

posted by (2009-12-11 17:17:22)
FACOTIME avatarthx obscene this was a good read

posted by (2009-12-11 18:13:07)
No avatarIt's another example of authority fearing what they don't know or can't understand. Instead of getting all the details straight and making an informed decision they form a witch hunt.

It is ashame to think that elected officials with all of the resources they need available at their fingertips can be so ignorant.

posted by (2009-12-11 19:01:31)
JorgeMontana avatarThis just proves the point we need the pirate party of America.We need some elected officials who are not puppets for the movie industry ''Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack''. Obs you should find out what members voted for this bill so we know who to vote against 2010 elections.

posted by (2009-12-11 20:21:01)
almostxcrazy avatarThanks for the article obscene, and the short story on post 10 Qu137Ch405.. Enjoyed them both.. Of course this or something like it was coming, these people in positions of power or responsibility won't take blame for their own short comings if they don't have to in a million years. If air force one ever runs into a bad storm, and the ride gets a bit bumpy, H.R. 3244 is gonna have to be passed to ensure that every airport nationwide has clear posts stating that inclement weather may effect the pilots ability to ensure stability of the plane.. With all the advancements our society has went through, why must we still seem so darn dumb..

posted by (2009-12-11 20:43:37)
realsick avatarW O W ididnt know that stuff is happing cool stuff too know thanks for the info

posted by (2009-12-11 22:39:32)
pro2kon avatarGot'em coach very good article bro

posted by (2009-12-11 23:44:02)
thinkin2much avatarnice article OBS and great way to summarize Qu137Ch405.....this is the reason we all love ET b/c not only do we get to chat and dl but we also get the latest news that can affect us all

posted by (2009-12-12 07:14:46)
2canchu avatarBastards!!!

posted by (2009-12-12 15:26:07)
diaablo avatarthanks for keeping us inform

posted by (2009-12-12 17:08:49)
Brynn217 avatarI agree entirely with this article, It should be illegal to use a P2P on a Government computer.... Limewire comes to mind... If anyone here has ever use PeerGuardian2... there are about 100 pings to your system a sec from all over the world.. Most of which I had no clue of until seeing that log file.....

But, if they did that- It would make it Illegal for the Government itself to snoop your system, (WHICH THEY CAN DO if you are using P2P software).. There were plenty of Governements from all over the world trying to ping me....

They are very carefully writting these laws... If the Privacy groups new how easy it was to invade.. They would be all over it... As well as trying to FORCE the software writters to make their software IDIOT proof.. And I live near Washington DC, I have seen first hand how many COMPLETE AND TOTAL IDIOTOTIC MORONS are employed by this country... They barely know how to hit the start button, but they can sure use Excel, Outlook and Limewire.... If its not an Icon on the Desktop, they are lost...

posted by (2009-12-13 02:37:28)
Dodgerhater avatarShould'nt it be illegal for the government, or any business for that matter, to spy on you. They are not checking your computer for files to download. They want to spy on you. The software is meant to share information amognst "friends". Not for the purposes of spying on you. In a sense they are the ones misusing a program.

posted by (2009-12-13 10:53:57)
kingtiger01 avatarI agree, you cant trust a person who cant find a way to solve the simplest problems without blowing them out of proportion....

posted by (2009-12-15 19:30:57)
Log2 avatarThis is stupid for sure. If the person using the P2P program doesn't know what it's capable of, fully, then don't use it... That's just like me trying to fly a helicopter... wait that's a bad example, because of those blueprints I can now... That's like any child trying to use a firearm safely... wait the United States... bad example... well you all get the idea, if you don't know how to use it, DON'T TRY!

posted by (2009-12-17 03:58:15)
No avatarPointless. The basic concepts of US labor and corporate law says that neither employees nor management nor owners can be held responsible for their actions -- all responsibility accrues the corporation and only the corporation. Unfortunately the later half of the 20th century and union related laws saw the emphasis that this protection was to be internal as well as external.

As a relatively easy going network administrator I have had people tell to my face that they knew the potential for compromise and simply did not think they could be fired. I would wager that only 20% of unauthorized data release is due to total ignorance. However, I would say that as much as 50%-60% was from either people who downplayed or failed to comprehend the risk ("unlikely my particular desk" was a favorite) or figured their happiness offset the risk ("unlikely but if it does happen I do not really care as this daily changing screen saver is really neat"). And I would say that at least 15-20% of releases are in some way intentional usually for revenge though occasionally big ripe pieces escape for profit.

And the civil rights decisions pretty much say that they are right that the desktop environment is private and any data they gain access to is theirs to do as they wish. I suspect that most classified info is NOT accidentally released.

A corporation needs to be very specific in its written policy as to what is allowed and not allowed and what the consequences for violation will be without exception. To the point that most corporation find that work does not get done. The BEST corporate response is physical and software lock down and frequent image restores that PREVENT user misbehavior...plus a certain acceptance that employee sabotage intentionally or accidentally.

posted by (2009-12-17 04:09:57)
No avatarMore simply put, the average American feels it is "UNCONSTITUTIONAL" to hold an employee responsible for their action -- that is what the corporation or government institution is for, to take the hit.

That is important because politicians on the judicial side know that voters will follow their hearts on this one...despite the logical consequences for quality and productivity of the nation.

(P.S. Yeah its not technically Unconstitutional in the sense that founding forefathers meant. But today politics and power follow the PC world which says that "reality is what we say it is". Very Stalin-ist actually -- except the opinion makers are mostly in celebrity positions outside the government.)

posted by (2009-12-17 04:16:50)
No avatarP.S. The notice is NOT new. Most government and lots of corporate computers have this sort of text displayed at logon.

The only thing new is a demand that torrent programs tell the installer that there is a specific risk of losing files. Frankly I do not see any non-commercial (GNU and OPen source) software complying except maybe on official college campus archive copies. The only impact will be that individuals will stop claiming credit in the code to avoid being sued or jailed so easily.

posted by (2009-12-17 04:21:44)
No avatarLOL -- the really interesting thing about this whole information ownership issue is that national parliament seats and terrorists are starting to spring up solely this issue. If

If I was a recording industry official I would start worrying about my life. There are some people out there that feel way too serious about their rights to do whatever they want with their computer (don't spoil my delusions of godhood).


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