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File Sharing — Harmful to Children and a Threat to National Security 342

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the root-of-all-evil dept.
jkrobin writes to mention that a recent report from the US Patent office calls peer-to-peer file sharing harmful to children and a threat to national security. "Interestingly, the report makes numerous references to RIAA and MPAA legal actions against file actions, as well as cites a 2005 Department of Homeland Security report that government workers had installed file-sharing programs that accessed classified information without their knowledge."
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File Sharing — Harmful to Children and a Threat to National Security

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  • Stop the INSANITY! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:37PM (#18355337)
    Stop the INSANITY!

    This is getting just stupid.

    We live in a MEDIA driven State of Fear.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:25PM (#18355869)
      This is the smartest thing anyone has said about this so far!

      Americans are so easily manipulated. They have been so conditioned by advertising it's not even funny.
      • by omeomi (675045) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:27PM (#18356551) Homepage
        That's it! We can't wait any longer! We have to declare a WAR ON FILE SHARING. I mean, it's worked for everything else, right?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Sillygates (967271)
          We should ban VCRs while we are at it.
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) <.slashdot.kadin. .at. .xoxy.net.> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:09PM (#18356885) Homepage Journal
          If it goes anything like the other "War On $FOO" that we've attempted, I'm all for it. It'll be free files for everybody!
        • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:55PM (#18357247)
          Hell yeah! Just look at the other wars the proud sons and daughters of the U.S. have won:

          War on Drugs: Nobody uses those any more right? We're all clean and sober now, nevermind those pesky Californians and their "medicinal" marijuana. They're just tree-hugging hippies with glaucoma and don't count.

          War on Poverty: We cured that long ago, the incredible wages we pay our hard-working CEOs have been trickling down into the economy for some time and no one is poor any more and we all have health care and social security.

          War on Christmas: Won! Wal-Mart now uses the wholesome Merry Christmas instead of the godless heathen phrase "Happy Holidays". Santa Claus is no longer banned from spreading the gospel to children by teaching them the joys of rampant consumerism and owning a tickle-me-elmo.

          War on Terror: We invaded Iraq, so no more terrorists, right? A reliable source told me that the insurgency there is in the last throes. However, this is only if the democrats don't ruin it by not supporting our troops by refusing to allow any more to die in the middle of the non-civil war.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rtb61 (674572)
            Well there is one thing you can say about the current US administration, they certainly seem to be winning the 'War on Freedom and Democracy', neither one have been in as bad a state in the US for centuries, quite an achievement, you virtually have to go back to before the Declaration of Independence and the Madness of King George the third (must be something in the name) to find both Freedom and Democracy so threatened in the United States.
    • by eonlabs (921625) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:43PM (#18356049) Journal
      MPAA and RIAA with flagrant and excessive lawsuits directed at random are potentially harmful to children?

      Senators who don't keep file sharing software away from classified files (or don't actively restrict the software from sharing those files) are a security threat?

      hmmm...

      Wording could be important on this issue too.
      Maybe what we want is for people to RTFM on some of the software they install on their machines. Senators are being paid enough to have a work machine that does not have crap on it. This is a modern world, and if people being elected into office can't keep up with it, they shouldn't be elected. Once they are there, it's there responsibility not to screw up on something stupid like that.

      Someone else figure out the RIAA MPAA problem. They're beyond me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LifesABeach (234436)
        "...US Patent office calls peer-to-peer file sharing harmful to children and a threat to national security..." The irony of this statement is that it comes from the same people that said, "Ya, this One-Click internet thing looks unique; So we will give you a patent."

        "You're My Engineer" - The Last Mimsy
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:57PM (#18358033)
        MPAA and RIAA with flagrant and excessive lawsuits directed at random are potentially harmful to children?

        Yes, which is why they claim file sharing is harmful to children since they will be sued and therefore harmed. Similar legislation exists for marijuana. Most of the problems associated with marijuana are caused by the fact that it is illegal (gangs, prison, drug dealers, etc.). Make file sharing (or marijuana) legal and you eliminate the harm caused by both. Unfortunately the RIAA would not profit from this so it becomes a tough decision for them. They can profit and harm children, or not profit and not harm children. Hell, they may as well cut the middle man and just sell kiddie porn.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stewbacca (1033764)
        The people in government who work with classified information use computer systems that aren't capable of hooking up to the World Wide Web. Instead, classified systems work on their own, closed mini-WWW. Entering a computer that handles classified information into an unclassified network (such as the WWW, where file sharing resides) is a major security violation. Unless government employees are bringing music into work on their iPods and uploading tunes to their secure terminals (another major security v
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      ever note that when asked; the creators of the 47 forms, worksheets and the like needed to fill out your taxes will tell you that incomprehensible pile of pencil pusher purgatory was "designed with you the citizen in mind" Opression is always labeled as good for you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pak9rabid (1011935)
      Ok...2 things:

      "that peer-to-peer networks could manipulate sites so children violate copyright laws more frequently than adults, exposing those children to copyright lawsuits and, in turn, make those who protect their copyrighted material appear antagonistic"

      So the risk is being blamed on the P2P networks, when it's in fact the RIAA/MPAA that are the cause of these frivilous lawsuits.

      "file-sharing software could be to blame for government workers who expose sensitive data and jeopardize national security af
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mpe (36238)
        "that peer-to-peer networks could manipulate sites so children violate copyright laws more frequently than adults, exposing those children to copyright lawsuits and, in turn, make those who protect their copyrighted material appear antagonistic"

        More to the point why is the Patent and Trademark Office making a fuss about this? Or can we expect the Copyright Office to produce reports vaguely related to Patents and Trademarks...

        "file-sharing software could be to blame for government workers who expose sens
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SeaFox (739806)

      We live in a MEDIA driven State of Fear.

      I think its more like the media is the car, the State of Fear is powered by them, the government is the driver.

      and the rest of us are being taken for a ride.

  • children (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:38PM (#18355345)
    oh please wont someone think of the children
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Duhavid (677874)
      We are.

      Next up,

      Websites, email, and ftp are also bad for children, and a threat to national security.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Aphex Junkie (633436)

        We are. Next up, Websites, email, and ftp are also bad for children, and a threat to national security.
        Just as I thought: gopher and USENET are safe for children and American as apple pie!
      • Re:children (Score:5, Funny)

        by rucs_hack (784150) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:11PM (#18355715)
        your comment has been deemed harmful to children and kittens.

        Do not leave your house, place your hands on the wall and wait, a mind correction team will be with you shortly...

        • by Duhavid (677874)
          Ha!

          I got rid of my mind some time ago.

          Correct away!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jamstar7 (694492)

          your comment has been deemed harmful to children and kittens.

          Do not leave your house, place your hands on the wall and wait, a mind correction team will be with you shortly...

          And remember, kids, every time you kill a kitten, God masturbates...

  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:39PM (#18355363)
    It's good to know that RIAA and MPAA are willing to expend so much energy and money to educate our public officials. After all, we wouldn't want any extra freedoms to slip under the door.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:39PM (#18356009) Journal
      Reminds me of when my brother got busted with pot. He lost his car and about $3k in fines and court costs. My parents blamed pot. Although pot didn't do that to him the government did. Pot only ever got us high.

      • by twitter (104583)

        Reminds me of when my brother got busted with pot. He lost his car and about $3k in fines and court costs. My parents blamed pot. Although pot didn't do that to him the government did. Pot only ever got us high.

        Funny thing. A friend of mine smoked some pot and totaled his car. The police issued lots of fines but missed his stash. He did not blame the cops, government or pot. He blamed those damn bats that ran him off the road.

        He first saw those bats on a Madonna video, which he watched on Youtube an

  • by EllynGeek (824747) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:40PM (#18355371)
    So we have a GOOD reason, for once, to comment without reading the article.
  • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:40PM (#18355377)
    The ordinary pencil is, in our modern America, a flagrant excess that cannot be tolerated. Pencils can be used to copy national secrets from one piece of paper to another, and leave no identifying marks of any kind on the documents that have been copied. Their sharp ends can be used to gouge; children can inflict grevious rubber burns upon one another using the rubber end. Perhaps most shocking of all, the pencil graphite is conductive and could be used in any number of explosive devices where conductive elements are required.

    The Pencil manufacturing concerns of America, however, are resolved to work with the U.S. government to mitigate this crisis. Henceforth, all pencil purchases are tracked with a unique REAL ID-coordinated identifier. Authorized use of pencils will require a tiny microchip implanted under the skin of the right hand. A left-handed version of the chip is expected to be available before 2020--until then, pencil-using left-handed Americans will have to make the sacrifice of writing less legibly until the chip is available.

    Wow, I'm really bored today.
    • Class (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:44PM (#18355417)
      > Wow, I'm really bored today.

      If you produce that level of satire as a result, please be bored more often ;-)

    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:46PM (#18355435) Journal
      Recently, Paper has also been called into question.

      If you take a heavy-stock piece of high quality paper, fold it into quarters, grasp the edges, and slam your arm down to force air through the middle flap, you can create a sound that will stop an airport in its tracks.

      The Etch-A-Sketch brand has been revived and is being offered as a paper-replacement tool, but Microsoft has expressed doubt that the One Etch-a-Sketch Per Child program will work.
    • by fair_n_hite_451 (712393) <[crsteel] [at] [shaw.ca]> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:51PM (#18355489)
      What bothers me about this report ... and everything like it which has been trotted out over the last few years ... is that people are expected to be stupid enough to believe it.

      I mean, how dumb do you have to be to believe that because children could be manipulated into violating the law by some evil website designer, this has ANYTHING to do with national security?

      Unless they think that when we fence off England and turn it into a giant prison island (I mean, they're already halfway there on the surveilance front) there won't be any young males left to fight our wars if we've put them all in jail for stealing copyrighted (copywrit?) items.

      These MAFIAA people don't think like I do, and that scares me because they obviously don't have the same moral (in terms of what's right and what's wrong, not anything religious) standards that I do ... and they seem determined to turn me into a criminal for some reason.
      • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:01PM (#18355621)
        Well enough people seem to think that video games can influence children to break the law... I don't see why you think its such a huge logical leap to think the same for web sites. Its the same thing with people thinking Harry Potter or Dungeons and Dragons will encourage kids into witchcraft. Its sad, but people are stupid enough to believe it.
        • by paeanblack (191171) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:54PM (#18356217)
          Its the same thing with people thinking Harry Potter or Dungeons and Dragons will encourage kids into witchcraft.

          Or MTV or Elvis or the Beatles or JRR Tolkien or William Powell or Jazz or Margaret Sanger or DH Lawrence or Mark Twain or Henry David Thoreau or Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc, etc, etc.

          Your children really will grow up in the same world you did, populated with the same idiots. So will your grandkids.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cptgrudge (177113)

            Your children really will grow up in the same world you did, populated with the same idiots. So will your grandkids.

            The Singularity [wikipedia.org] can't come soon enough.

      • by Elfboy (144703)
        there won't be any young males left to fight our wars if we've put them all in jail for stealing copyrighted (copywrit?) items.

        or the more dastardly side of it that was used in the Vietnam draft era. Serve time or Serve your country.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        "they obviously don't have the same moral...standards that I do ... and they seem determined to turn me into a criminal for some reason."

        Welcome to the state.

        This is the nature of the state: "You do everything we tell you and give us everything you have, and we'll protect you from the bad people inside and outside our borders. And if there aren't any bad people, we'll make some."

        This is how it's done.

        Not enough "drug dealers" in prison - so start making everybody who owns a gun, smokes, reads the Koran, or
  • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:41PM (#18355379)
    So they busted out the old terrorist chesnut and "Think of the children?" All they needed was to add something about immorality (implying Christian morality), and they would have had a perfect score.
  • Security of what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:43PM (#18355397)

    File Sharing -- Harmful to Children and a Threat to National Security

    [snip] ... Homeland Security report that government workers had installed file-sharing programs that accessed classified information without their knowledge.
    File sharing? Sounds like ignorance about security is the real threat. And they're in charge of security? We are so fucked.
    • by synjck (1069512) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:49PM (#18355465)
      it's analogous to say "guns are a threat to national security" or "airplanes are a threat to national security."

      as always, personal responsibility is brushed aside in the name of hype.
    • by Kamots (321174)
      The real issue here is why do systems with classified information have access to anything other than a tightly controlled internal network?

      Where I work, having classified information on an "open" computer is a good way to have all sorts of fun with departments you don't want to have fun with :P

      Maybe instead of blaming file-sharing networks, the report should have focused on the horrible security policies in place that allowed this to occur? But then, that wouldn't support special interests, would it? Bah,
      • Re:Security of what? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by evought (709897) <evought@COMMApobox.com minus punct> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:11PM (#18356423) Homepage Journal

        Indeed, where I used to work (Pentagon), an Air Force officer used a floppy to transfer an unclassified Word Document from the isolated classified network to the open unclassified network. The Word document had scooped up random classified data from the hard drive in its buffers.

        When DISA was done, they had scrubbed half a dozen "contaminated" systems, carted the guy off to Leavenworth, and left a mark on the section's record (too many of those and its *very* bad for everyone working in the section).

        In these cases, I do not know why:

        1. The systems had classified data and were hooked to the Internet. That alone should land people in jail.
        2. The employees had permission to install *anything* on the system. Unless they were administrators, that would have counted as a violation of security by itself, and if they were administrators, doing anything unauthorized should have had them canned. I had to go through hoops just to install new tools on development machines.
        3. The employees were not jailed with no questions asked. I guarantee that would put a stop to the practice.
        4. The whole section was not audited, leading to immediate correction of the above.

        Requirements when we set up an off-site Secret test facility were no less strict and a single violation would have cost the right to operate it. I really have to wonder how lax things have gotten. It also makes me very nervous about the government's insistence of late on creating large integrated databases. Even if I trusted them to use the data ethically (I don't) I do not have confidence that they could secure it adequately.

  • It's two-- two-- two scare tactics in one!
  • by cyberbob2351 (1075435) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:43PM (#18355409) Homepage

    file-sharing software could be to blame for government workers who expose sensitive data and jeopardize national security after downloading free music on the job

    It sounds like the network administrators in said "governmental offices" should take the precautions neccessary to police the bandwidth. Furthermore, any environment in which said p2p applications are capable of leaking any private information need to be under closer scrutiny.

    Don't blame the p2p networks for the actions and negligence of those in control of their own computer infrastructure.

    A decade ago, the idea that copyright infringement could become a threat to national security would have seemed implausible. Now, it is a sad reality.

    Since when is copyright infringement, and not massively-propagating worms and keyloggers, the problem for national security. The latter causes FAR more breeches of personal identity information and credentials.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) *
      It sounds like the network administrators in said "governmental offices" should take the precautions neccessary to police the bandwidth. Furthermore, any environment in which said p2p applications are capable of leaking any private information need to be under closer scrutiny.

      Yeah, imagine if they had p2p in Star Wars:

      FULL DEATH STAR PLANS!!!NO KIDDING!!!!.R2D | DroidFile | 5.1 Gb
      deathstarschematics.r2d | DroidFile | 5.1 Gb
      Death Star 1of20.r2d | DroidFile | 250 Mb
  • Classified info (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:44PM (#18355411) Journal
    The threat to national security is not the file sharing software it's the asshats who have access to classifed documents,who are installing Kazaa on their government owned work computers. You could just as likely leave a few thumbdrives with trojans sitting around where these guys have lunch.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      This is indeed the root of the matter. Why is it even possible to copy this data to a computer? They should be accessing it through an application that doesn't even let them do so. I mean, if you want security, you have to design for it.
      • by Rycross (836649)
        So.... DRM?
        • Re:Classified info (Score:4, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:54PM (#18355519) Homepage Journal

          So.... DRM?

          This is precisely what "trusted computing" is actually useful for.

          There ARE times in which your computer should not trust you! These are times in which it's not really your computer - which is to say, when it belongs to your employer. And double-extra-when your employer is the government and you have access to classified information.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Rycross (836649)
            Just making sure that we're on the same page. I actually agree :) Although its kind of frustrating that a potentially useful technology is being used in a futile effort to make sure that we don't copy the latest new pop song. Its kinda like pandora's box: yeah, theres some good stuff in there at the bottom, but you have to let all the crap out as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sconeu (64226)
        The other question questions are "Why are machines with classified data able to access the internet? And why did users have permissions to install said software?"

        NISPOM chapter 8 specifies the requirements for a classified machine.

        Whenever I set up a classified net, one of the last things I do before I get certified is to yank the internet connection. All classified nets should be physically isolated.

        Also, all software changes to a classified computer must be logged. Ordinary users should not have permi
  • """
    as well as cites a 2005 Department of Homeland Security report that government workers had installed file-sharing programs that accessed classified information without their knowledge.
    """

    I don't think this is the fault of file-sharing programs. It's more the profound stupidity of the government worker. I mean seriously, making info public when secret docs are lying around!?!? Perhaps the government should work more on enforcing existing policies instead of putting the blame (falsely) elsewhere.
    • Perhaps they should try installing a goddamn FIREWALL on their networks, and block all outgoing ports by default. If a P2P program can access outside resources, so can some real malware.
  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:45PM (#18355425)

    Also may cause dizziness, insomnia, psoraisis, and the Creeping Crimean Crud.

    The cause of the fall of the Roman Empire? File sharing.

    JFK's assassins? File sharers.

    Besides, file sharing isn't mentioned in the Bible, so it must be forbidden by God.

  • by macdaddy357 (582412) <macdaddy357@hotmail.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:46PM (#18355431)
    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
    Oh, and while we're at it, Wolf! Woooooooooooooolf!
  • by cl191 (831857) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:46PM (#18355437)
    "Department of Homeland Security report that government workers had installed file-sharing programs that accessed classified information without their knowledge."
    How about changing the title to: Human Stupidity-a Threat to National Security?
  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:47PM (#18355443)
    This is farking hillarious!!!!

    They say that file sharing is a "threat to our children", but did you read WHY?

    * that peer-to-peer networks could manipulate sites so children violate copyright laws more frequently than adults, exposing those children to copyright lawsuits and, in turn, make those who protect their copyrighted material appear antagonistic,


    So... it's file sharing's fault that the RIAA looks like profiteering litigious bastards for suing a dozen teenage kids. Somehow, file sharing made them do it

    I can't believe I just read that.

    gah.

    I'm moving to the Czech Republic or something.

    Stew
  • What do they have to do with this? Get back to rubber-stamping that patent on the two-dimensional pointer array. Go now, before congress yells at you for not rubber-stamping enough!
  • by drDugan (219551) * on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:50PM (#18355467) Homepage
    So the "harmful to children" line is completely bogus. LOTS of stuff is harmful to children. That is why parents have to take some responsibility to protect their kids. ... Oh, think of the children. Yes, think just how terrible it will be to grow up under information tyranny.

    The second line is much most interesting. p2p really IS a threat to the nation state system. More generally, free information exchange will erode the power of the state significantly. Lots of people all freely sharing information will mean the whole concept of countries starts to break down. If everyone can get all the information they need from anywhere across the globe and across borders, why do we need those borders still? To protect the physical resources? Hardly. Information is the last (latest) great resource humanity has stumbled upon and now people are making Googles of money doling it out, just like the oil barons, and other folks who have controlled major resources in the past.

    The really cool thing about information is that you don't loose it when you copy it, so there CAN NEVER be scarcity of information (at least long term) UNLESS the laws and the state artificially support systems to create information scarcity. WHY WOULD HUMANS CHOOSE THAT? Quite simply, they won't, when they fully understand the choice. p2p works directly against the idea that information should be artificially maintained as a scarce resource by laws, and hence, it gives the 'ole thhhhbbbtbtbtbt to the nation state and the lynch pins of it's power and ability to control the people.

    Life is a such beautiful thing. It unfolds exactly as it should. This is good.

    • by Rycross (836649)
      Beautiful rhetoric, but innacurate.

      Actual resources are far more important than information. Information won't feed or clothe me, it won't quench my thirst, and it won't give me materials to build a roof over my head.

      Furthermore, people will chose to put artificial limits on information if there is a choice between having that information with restrictions, or not having the information at all. Whether the dichotomy exists and in what situations is very much up for debate.

      And lets not forget that the "inf
      • by drDugan (219551) * on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:19PM (#18355805) Homepage
        I disagree. Information is far more valuable that physical resources. With the right information, we know which trees grow food, how and where to grow them, and when and how to harvest them, also which plants grow (just like weeds) that we can weave and wear, and how to build the best structures with available materials. Rinse and repeat for most all of the physical resources people need.

        The choice between ignorance and tyranny is a false choice, provided by those who wish to control your access to information in order to take money and energy from you.

        I strongly disagree with the implication that just because some information has "entertainment" value that it is of a lower class or less important than other information. Who are you to judge what someone else values and why? You might consider reading more about myths and how they have evolved over time - and learn how stories are the transport layer for the structure of civilizations. Do you think people who make movies do so only to distract us from our "more important" business pursuits? Wow.

  • priceless (Score:5, Funny)

    by cyberbob2351 (1075435) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:50PM (#18355471) Homepage
    • Windows XP SP2 - $83
    • Mac Tiger OSX - $129
    • Half life 2 - $29.99
    • 20Gb of music - ~$2000
    • Getting all of the above with p2p - Free
    • Murdering children and bringing to a halt the fabric of modern society - Priceless
    • ?????
    • Profit!
    For this and everything else, there's Bittorrent
  • by phorm (591458) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:50PM (#18355475) Journal
    Which is to say that, of course, music and movies depicting or narrating gangbangers pimping hoes, killing rivals/cops/etc, and committing various other crimes are not harmful to children.

    Hmmm... well at least their glass houses get a lot of light.
  • What it is really saying is how stupid those who are promoting it really are.
    Or maybe they are just being deceptive, mostly to themselves.

    Guess what, I just shared a file... the one this message is contained in.
    what method of sharing has nothing to do with any arguement.

    I've recently used FTP to download, http to download, even ssh to edit my own site which is sharing files eveytime someone access it.

    I have also used bittorrent recently to download dynebolic and other linux distros as well as watched and sa
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @06:53PM (#18355507) Journal
    Wouldn't it be better to say:

    "Government Employees - A Threat to Children and National Security"
  • We need to outlaw conventional paper and force the use of PDF documents everywhere.

    Think of how many times you have cut your finger on the edge of rough paper. And now, can you tell me that paper is harmless to children and not a threat to national security? I don't think so.

    I, for one, think this law will enable greater national security and protect the children from harm.
  • The fact is, most government officials were adults and very busy before personal computers were common. Since they have been so busy with their careers they have had little time to educate themselves about technology. It isn't exactly correct to call them ignorant, because that's too respectful. More precisely, they are iggerunt.

    Remember, Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, called the Time-Warner merger with AOL, "better than sex" [bbc.co.uk]. Immediately after, the combined company lost 88 billion dollars because of the deal. Quote from the linked article: "AOL reported a loss of nearly $100bn for 2002, after a loss of $44.9bn for the final three months of the year."

    Ted Turner is a smart guy, but he was iggerunt about technology.

    The proper response to "Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO" Jon W. Dudas is, "Dude, you're fired."
  • Interestingly, the report makes numerous references to RIAA and MPAA legal actions against file actions, as well as cites a 2005 Department of Homeland Security report that government workers had installed file-sharing programs that accessed classified information without their knowledge

    Wait a second, does that mean the workers didn't know the file sharing programs accessed classified information, or that we don't even know what our own government workers are doing ?

  • shares your HD by default under a hidden share.
  • by retrosteve (77918) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:23PM (#18355841) Homepage Journal
    What the propagandists are trying not to say is simply this:

    "The US economy was once based on manufacturing. Our cars and buildings and aeroplanes and weapons were the best you could buy, and people bought them and America prospered. Lately people have stopped buying all those things, and we no longer manufacture anything for export but movies, music, and software.

    Our economy has gone from world-leading to "service-based" in just a few decades, and our only hope of exporting something that people might want to buy is in movies, music and software. Unfortunately, all those things are now digital, and easily copied millions of times for free. Even more unfortunately, the more we try to protect our eroding export figures with DRM and IP enforcement, the more we realize that other countries don't have to play by the rules we make up. And it's those other countries that count most.

    So it's time for education. Or perhaps Re-education. Time to teach everyone that, despite our own flagrant disregard for the Berne conventions and international IP rights from 1886 up until 1989 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_convention), it's vital that the world now all fall into the US party line on IP enforcement and DRM. And if we can't do it with WTO, IMF, WIPO, and Most Favored Nation status, we'll do it with propaganda.

    File sharing kills babies! File sharing promotes pedophilia! File sharing is communist and fascist and Saddam-loving! File sharing destroys family values and promotes the gay agenda!

    I've wanted to say this for a long time.
  • Thomas D. Sydnor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ajakk (29927) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:55PM (#18356219) Homepage
    Does it bother anyone that the lead author of this report is Thomas D. Sydnor II? Before joining the USPTO, he was an attorney at Arnold & Porter, the RIAA's main outside law firm. While at Arnold & Porter, he litigated patent and copyright cases. I have no clue whether he actually did work for the RIAA, but the contacts are interesting.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:03PM (#18356327)
    This is reminding me of what they were saying about rock'n roll and comic books in the 50's.. they had huge hearings on it, it was the bane of culture, it promoted sexual deviance, it threatened the foundations of society itself!!!!!11one!1

    first, they ignore you

    then, they laugh at you

    then they fight you

    then you win.
  • by EvilSporkMan (648878) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:18PM (#18356967)
    national security threatens you!
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:26PM (#18357039)
    America is insane. I feel ashamed to be an American.

    We are so fucking powerless against these morons that use these silly trump card excuses to control us all....

    Freedom is good for children!
    Privacy is good for children!
    Free speech is good for children!
    A representative government is good for children!
    Freedom of Religion is good for children!

    Politicians and greed... are bad for children.

    Either we kill the politicians... or we kill the children.

    Take your pick.
  • The Horror (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PingXao (153057) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:32PM (#18357103)
    Just think about how ballistic some politicians would go if a simple demonstration were shown to them about the sites you can find with Google by searching for the words "tits" or "wide snatch". They'd be pushing for the internet to be closed down immediately if not sooner. I predict just such a demonstration will be forthcoming in the very near future. Just as soon as there's some new US scandal they want to divert attention away from. It will be the mother of all diversions and has the potential to really crimp the usefulness of the internet in the US.
  • Users (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kingturkey (930819) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @04:26AM (#18359269)
    File sharing isn't a threat to national security, stupid government employees that install file sharing programs on work computers and then make the shared folder one that contains important documents are a threat to national security.
  • USPTO? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kwikrick (755625) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @06:55AM (#18359897) Homepage Journal
    So, the USPTO, who's task it is to ensure that patents and trademarks are properly upheld, are now suddenly concerned about national security and our children?

    Who is the author of the report?

    by Jon W. Dudas,
    Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States
    Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
    Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property? What does that involve? Duh! Helping ones greedy friends in the MAFIAA fight their War on Freedom. Pretty obvious Mr. Dudas!

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