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Lawmakers Caught Again By File-Sharing Software

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the guns-don't-kill-people,-file-sharers-do dept.

The Internet 203

An anonymous reader writes "A document, apparently a 'confidential House ethics committee report,' was recently leaked through file-sharing software to the Washington Post. According to the article, 'The committee's review of investigations became available on file-sharing networks because of a junior staff member's use of the software while working from home.' Of course, P2P software is entirely at fault for this incident. If you begin seeing more interest in DRM from Congress, you now know why." Reader GranTuring points out that the RIAA took the opportunity to make a ridiculous statement of their own. They said, "the disclosure was evidence of a need for controls on peer-to-peer software to block the improper or illegal exchange of music."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So... (5, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935577)

Don't blame the person who actually leaked it, blame the damned software!

Ahh...I love politics.

Lawmakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935625)

"Lawmakers?" Is the word "legislators" really so hard to use that everyone in the media makes a careful, conscious effort to avoid it? Or do they all just mindlessly parrot one another and this perchance happened to be the word that was chosen?

Re:Lawmakers? (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936193)

Lawmaker sound cooler. Legislators draft, debate, and then pass legislation. Lawmakers make the law. The former sound like dull bureaucrats but the latter sound like they probably have superpowers.

Re:Lawmakers? (2, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936227)

That, or large handcannon-style guns. "Let me introduce you... to the Lawmaker." *BOOM*

Re:Lawmakers? (1)

TheMuon (1424531) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936363)

"Or do they all just mindlessly parrot one another"

Judging by the way me-mes tend to spread throughout the media, even if they are shown to be false, I'm going with the latter.

Re:Lawmakers? (4, Funny)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936437)

Or do they all just mindlessly parrot one another
Or do they all just mindlessly parrot one another
Or do they all just mindlessly parrot one another

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935635)

To their defense, we do have safety bottles today because at some point a baby died eating pills thinking they were candies. It's all about protecting the incompetent from themselves.

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935915)

To their defense, we do have safety bottles today because at some point a baby died eating pills thinking they were candies. It's all about protecting the incompetent from themselves.

I wouldn't blame the pill bottle for that. Instead, I'd ask "where were the parents when this happened?"

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

TheRealMike (1159475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936005)

I wouldn't blame the pill bottle for that. Instead, I'd ask "where were the parents when this happened?"

The question is: Why/How could the kid get access to the pill bottle? Substitute pill bottle with knife/weapon/dangerous stuff/ and use the result when needed. Is the safety bottle unbreakable? If not i don't care how hard it is to open it. If the kid get's it hands on it bad things can happen. Mike

Re:So... (1)

genericpoweruser (1223032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936297)

Not to mention, there have been more accidental overdoses in that manner since the safety bottles were mandated. And, anecdotally, I recall that when my sister was three she had no problem breaking the lid off a bottle of Tylenol PM, and eating all the "candy".

Re:So... (0)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935853)

Ahh...I love politics.

You mean 'people'

Re:So... (3, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935883)

"I crashed my car because I was texting while driving. #*%?@! car...! "

Re:So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29936155)

Don't blame the person who actually leaked it, blame the damned software!

No, I blame the people who allowed people to work on "secure" documents from unsecured computers.

Despite all the bitching & moaning from the users, there is a reason IT won't let you install limewire & skype on your office computer.

Connections (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935599)

So long as two computers can communicate with each other, so you will have P2P.

Luckily, we have politicians who's only education is in English, law, history, politics, art. So it's easy to push any techno-babble on them because they are dangerously uneducated fools.

Re:Connections (4, Insightful)

rxmd (205533) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935653)

Luckily, we have politicians who's only education is in English...

By corollary, given that they do seem to have an advantage in that area, a solid grasp of English seems like a good idea if you want to convince them of anything.

blame spellcheck (1)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936411)

It wasn't the parent! Spellcheck "fixed" his proper grammar incorrectly. Damn you spellcheck!

Re:Connections (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936487)

"By corollary, given that they do seem to have an advantage in that area, a solid grasp of English seems like a good idea if you want to convince them of anything."

Do they really? Being inarticulate is no barrier to being elected President.

Re:Connections (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935689)

So long as two computers can communicate with each other, so you will have P2P.

Luckily, we have politicians who's only education is in English, law, history, politics, art. So it's easy to push any techno-babble on them because they are dangerously uneducated fools.

They're dangerous because they are unaware of what they don't know, so they feel qualified (authorized) to make decisions about what they do not really understand.

When the Oracle at Delphi pronounced Socrates the wisest man in all of Greece, Socrates gave a response beyond reproach. He said, "If I am the wisest man, it is because I alone know that I know nothing."

Re:Connections (4, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935767)

They're dangerous because they are unaware of what they don't know, so they feel qualified (authorized) to make decisions about what they do not really understand.

In my experience, politicans are a lot more likely to seek out expert advice in an area outside their realm than techie are.

Re:Connections (4, Interesting)

Indefinite, Ephemera (970817) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935889)

Re:Connections (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936143)

not sure if the interest rate example in that article is the best one tho.

Re:Connections (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936293)

Earlier this week, he professor used a lecture at King's College, London, to say that smoking cannabis created only a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness and it was actually less harmful than nicotine or alcohol. But on Friday he was forced to quit after receiving a letter from Home Secretary Alan Johnson who said his comments had undermined the scientific independence of the council.

The professor told the BBC..... "Gordon Brown comes into office and soon after that he starts saying absurd things like cannabis is lethal... it has to be a Class B drug. He has made his mind up. We went back, we looked at the evidence, we said, 'No, no, there is no extra evidence of harm, it's still a Class C drug.' He said, 'Tough, it's going to be Class B.'" Prof Nutt said drug laws should not be influenced "petty party politics" and compared them to interest rates, which are set by the Bank of England not the government.

Sounds like a perfectly good example to me. It's not about science and what the evidence shows (marijuana is not particularly dangerous), but about what one man named the prime minister BELIEVES and his power to force his belief on others (make marijuana a class B restricted substance). It's not different than a monarchy in that respect.

Personally this is why I don't think a central government should be making decisions about what citizens can or can not ingest. If I want to smoke marijuana or drink alcohol until I kill myself, and someone finds my rotting body in my home, so be it. That's freedom. It includes not just the right to life, but also the right to end your life, if that's what you choose to do.

Without that right, you're not liberated. You're a serf..... under somebody else's control.

Re:Connections (2, Insightful)

nevillethedevil (1021497) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935891)

In my experience, politicians are a lot more likely to seek out expert advice in an area contributing to their campaign than techie are.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Connections (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936233)

The problem is more subtle than that. They will talk to someone that they perceive as being an expert. Lobbyists working for the relevant industries are probably the only people who they know who are close to being experts (or able to put them in touch with experts). Political think tanks are another source of expert opinions. The end result is that the politicians get a very skewed view of what experts actually believe. There is no good mechanism in place for politicians to get impartial expert opinions. This ought to be the job of the civil service, but they haven't done it well for a good few decades.

Re:Connections (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935937)

They're dangerous because they are unaware of what they don't know, so they feel qualified (authorized) to make decisions about what they do not really understand. In my experience, politicans are a lot more likely to seek out expert advice in an area outside their realm than techie are.

There's one big problem with that. If they are thinking about, say, a law concerning file-sharing, the expert advice is going to come from someone who works in the IT industry, likely from an ISP. The interests of the ISP can differ from the interests of its users. So once again it's about authority and not knowledge, in this case the authority being credentials gained by having an institution or a company behind you. It's one reason why the law is so often biased in favor of corporations and other large organizations.

Re:Connections (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936105)

and that's why journalists backed by newspapers gets freedom of the press, while individual bloggers gets court orders and/or sentences...

Re:Connections (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936235)

That's all too true.

and that's why journalists backed by newspapers gets freedom of the press, while individual bloggers gets court orders and/or sentences...

... by people who have no idea what "the press" was when the 1st Amendment was written. Much of it was not large and institutional. It was often as simple as a concerned citizen distributing pamphlets or starting his own local editorial. The individual bloggers are true to this spirit in a way that the media conglomerates could never hope to be.

More importantly, it was better understood that when you read such materials, you were reading the perspective of the author. It was not taken as the "final word" the way professional news is too-often regarded.

Re:Connections (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935999)

Advice from the RIAA..

Mitch Bainwol, the group's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "It's now happening (in) Congress' backyard, and that should be a powerful catalyst to enact real reforms to protect consumers."

protect consumers! Ha!

Re:Connections (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936075)

in the same manner as a farmer protects his livestock...

Re:Connections (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935963)

"When the Oracle at Delphi pronounced Socrates the wisest man in all of Greece"

Oracle at Delphi? Where? When? It's more Borland at Micro Focus, these days.

In the other hand, knowing Oracle, it probably wouldn't say nothing about Socrates at Greece but would pronounce Ellison wisest man over Sun.

Re:Connections (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935747)

So long as two computers can communicate with each other, so you will have P2P.

Luckily, we have politicians who's only education is in English, law, history, politics, art. So it's easy to push any techno-babble on them because they are dangerously uneducated fools.


The committee released a statement on the issue, saying "[o]ur initial review suggests that this unlawful access to confidential information involved the use of peer-to-peer file sharing software on the personal computer of a junior staffer, who is no longer employed by the Committee, while working from home."

Please tell me what technical error or incorrect terminology she used, because I can't see it.

Re:Connections (3, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935847)

Luckily, we have politicians who's only education is in English,

So, very little overlap with your own education I presume? ;-)

Re:Connections (1)

lyml (1200795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936429)

Seeing as politicians are plural you should use the term are instead of is, turning the sentence to:

we have politician who'res

Which explains everything.

Re:Connections (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936215)

>>>we have politicians who's only education is in English, law, history, politics, art.

Therefore more of us engineers and programmers need to run for office. At the state level it's fairly easy - you just need to stand by a highway, hold a sign with your name in bold letters, wave and smile. Once we get enough geeks we can start making sane, logical laws regarding technology.

Alternatively we could bombard our government employees with emails explaining why P2P is not evil. And ultimately even if you banned, we will invent new ones to connect to one another (like direct-dialing).

Re:Connections (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936247)

So long as two computers can communicate with each other, so you will have P2P.

So long as two people can communicate with each other, so you will have leaked documents.

Re:Connections (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936331)

Sir your mistake is to assume that they are educated.

Oops!... I Did It Again (3, Insightful)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935609)

The government is starting to sound like Britney Spears.

Re:Oops!... I Did It Again (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935961)

The government is starting to sound like Britney Spears.

Problem is, we can ignore Britney Spears by refusing to torrent her 'music'. Ignore the government? Not so much...

The sadest part of this is.. (5, Insightful)

rjgill (1668367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935617)

Why should our government even have ethics documents that are confidential?

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935637)

Why should our government even have ethics documents that are confidential?

Guess they figure it's unfair to publicly announce someone's being investigated if there are no merits to the claim. Want to run for congress? Get someone to accuse your opponent of something bad, then publicize the resulting investigation.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (4, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935709)

Why should our government even have ethics documents that are confidential?

Guess they figure it's unfair to publicly announce someone's being investigated if there are no merits to the claim. ...

Then why does congress get this kind of protection when private citizens suspected of a crime do not?

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (3, Insightful)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935803)

I concur, if you've ever been accused, or know someone who is accused of a crime, should it be serious enough to report, the media will say allegedly or accused once (so that they can say they said accused and didn't taint a potential jury pool), and then go about reporting the accusations by the police as if it were 100% undisputed fact that the accused did, in fact, commit the crime. Whether the person accused is guilty or not, (in the US at least), there is no hope for them once the press gets their hands on the story (just look at the whole story behind that Duke rape case here while back). Sometimes I think we in the US should adopt the policy they have in England with regards to press coverage of crimes.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (1, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935825)

Then why does congress get this kind of protection when private citizens suspected of a crime do not?

This is not a crime per se, but a house ethics violation. It's an internal, private matter, as if your company was investigating you, not for a crime, but going against company policy. Congress policing itself, basically.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936139)

Except if my boss is investigating me, *his* boss gets to know about it.

In this case, Congress' boss is the citizenry.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935835)

Then why does congress get this kind of protection when private citizens suspected of a crime do not?

Wish I knew. I do, however, think the answer is "protect private citizens too," not "take away congress' protection."

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935887)

They are by definition public personalities, so it's more probable for news agencies to report accusations against them, and reasonable to limit the amount of possible defamation.

If you aren't a public personality, you sue for libel and get awarded millions. Isn't that enough protection?

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (5, Funny)

danlip (737336) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936025)

Then why does congress get this kind of protection when private citizens suspected of a crime do not?

Juveniles usually get this protection as well. And since congress usually behaves like a bunch of spoiled children, I guess this makes sense.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935745)

National insecurity. Serious stuff.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935753)

Because there are things that need to remain secret, yet still remain ethical. For example, wiretaps. You don't want your local crimelord/mob boss being able to tell which of his lines are tapped by going down to the ministry and filling out a freedom of information form, do you?

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935863)

You don't want your local crimelord/mob boss being able to tell which of his lines are tapped by going down to the ministry and filling out a freedom of information form, do you?

Sounds fair enough to me.

Re:The sadest part of this is.. (2, Funny)

TwilightXaos (860408) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936079)

Why should our government even have ethics documents that are confidential?

That information is contained in confidential ethics documents.

Keep leak mechanics quiet. (3, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935623)

I wish the mechanics of the leaks: how, software, etc... would be kept quiet. That way, they can keep happening - meaning, I want these leaks to occur because that's the only way to get honest information about our Government. It's not like the media is doing a good job. If it weren't for this leak, would we know anything about this? I dont' think so. Those politicians* would keep doing business as usual.

Now that the politicians know how it's happening, they'll plug this leak. Our only hope is another one opens up.

* - I think "politician" is the most derogatory name you can call someone.

Re:Keep leak mechanics quiet. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935871)

I think "politician" is the most derogatory name you can call someone.

I always thought it was 'nigger'.

Re:Keep leak mechanics quiet. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29936001)

I always thought it was 'nigger'.

Even the blacks don't call each other "politician".

Re:Keep leak mechanics quiet. (2, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936067)

I think "politician" is the most derogatory name you can call someone.

I always thought it was 'nigger'.

I always thought it was 'anonymous coward'

Re:Keep leak mechanics quiet. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936373)

>>>I always thought it was 'nigger'.

Yes that is a highly-charged word. You can't even say "niggardly" anymore, and that word is perfectly innocent.

Re:Keep leak mechanics quiet. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936459)

"Leaking" information is standard practice in government to spread even more lies and confusion, though occasionally an unpleasant truth about a political enemy is released. Certainly some real information dribbles out to foreign agents, but they take your advice and keep things quiet.

No. (0)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935627)

Of course, P2P software is entirely at fault for this incident

No it isn't. Any document of importance should be encrypted. Anyone who has access to sensitive files is responsible for securing those files. That includes making sure that the system they are accessing these files on does not share these files because of a setting in file sharing software.

Re:No. (4, Funny)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935663)

Maybe change your sig to: Error 451: Sarcasm not detected...

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935975)

How do you know his post wasn't sarcasm also?

Re:No. (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935673)

I think that was sarcasm in the summary. But you aren't wrong about encrypting the files.

Re:No. (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935691)

Yes, the moron that leaked it was, without a doubt, in violation of numerous standard security policies the government has in place.
Yet the lying scum want to blame anything and everything except the buffoon that screwed up.

Twenty years ago, they'd have been blaming the Xerox machine instead of the person that accidentally left copies at Kinkos after making unauthorized copies on an unsecured Xerox machine.

Re:No. (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935817)

Yet the lying scum want to blame anything and everything except the buffoon that screwed up.

And considering they fired the staffer responsible for the leak, how on earth can you say they're not blaming the person? I really don't understand your interpretation of the events.

Twenty years ago, they'd have been blaming the Xerox machine instead of the person that accidentally left copies at Kinkos after making unauthorized copies on an unsecured Xerox machine.

The committee released a statement explaining how the document was leaked. They didn't "blame" P2P, they simply detailed how the document got where it is. If they had said that someone smuggled the document outside in their briefcase, would you interpret it as them attacking briefcases?

Don't need P2P for these problems (2, Insightful)

originalhack (142366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935659)

The amazing thing about these "Information Security Awareness Monthly" postings is that they blame P2P and then cite the example of a user using a P2P network to download an executable that contains a trojan. I guess that executables taken from regular webservers are fine, then.

Re:Don't need P2P for these problems (1)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936477)

As if anyone even remotely computer literate uses windows for secure documents. Instead of security awareness, i propose we try to promote "Ignorance Awareness" (hey it's an oxymoron!) month, and hopefully shame the politicians into learning that net neutrality won't eat their babies.

They shouldn't even have the Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935669)

Any sort of malware can be picked up by browsing the Web if the browser or its plugins are exploitable.

And with litigious entities able to pry into any computer or data storage you own entirely on the basis of an IP address given them by people they employ or contract, I just don't feel it's an acceptable risk to allow any computer with government information to be anywhere near a device capable of using an IP address. Even if said device is a laser printer.

Why not get rid of the 'net? (1)

muppetman462 (867367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935719)

This is completely insane. Blaming P2P for the leak instead of having control over the documents. I know with the NMCI system, anything that is transferred to a external hard drive is encrypted. If the US Government wants to stop these types of leaks, maybe they should ask Al Gore how to stop his wonderful invention.

Doesn't this actually show (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29935743)

...the need for more ethical members of Congress?

Terrible P2P Regulation Bill Will Be Fast-Tracked (3, Insightful)

wufpak (204617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935757)

For months now, some RIAA-influenced Congressmen have been working on a crazily overbroad P2P regulation bill, H.R. 1319: The Informed P2P User Act [loc.gov] . It just passed out of committee [govtrack.us] last month.

I would expect Congressmen to be falling all over each other to bring this to a vote now. After all, it's they're no longer just doing it for the RIAA/MPAA "campaign contributions." Now, it's personal.

Re:Terrible P2P Regulation Bill Will Be Fast-Track (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935989)

On sheer technicals alone, that bill would outlaw the internet. Viewing a webpage is a peer to peer event involving downloading files (html code, images, javascript, etc) to another computer.

Re:Terrible P2P Regulation Bill Will Be Fast-Track (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936415)

I don't think it's a big deal. It just means that a program must tell a user, "Your files you send via this program will be visible to other people." Most P2P programs, and even web browsers, already do this so nothing's going to change.

Re:Terrible P2P Regulation Bill Will Be Fast-Track (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936267)

That bill is there so that someone has to fry.

No longer can you say, "I didn't know it had installed itself and started downloading all the new movies in music, and then saved them to my 'Movies' folder." and have a reasonable doubt. Now you'll have to prove that the software in question didn't tell you that it was installing, and if it's true, the company will get nailed to the wall for it.

Re:Terrible P2P Regulation Bill Will Be Fast-Track (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936349)

That bill you linked to qualifies as "mostly harmless" - the keywords and tricky phrases you should be paying attention to are "owner or authorized user".

Note that it's all about what people who are NOT the "owner or authorized user" are allowed to inflict upon the "owner or authorized user".

Note that since you are, presumably, the "owner or authorized user" of your personal computer, nothing in this bill would have any effect whatsoever on what you can do with your own computer.

DRM here is good (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935763)

No, I'm not blaming P2P for anything, but rather I am saying this is the exact situation where DRM could be useful. A proper document management system would have prevent an information leak, even if the document itself had leaked.

Re:DRM here is good (3, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936351)

Don't confuse DRM with security. DRM exists for stuff that is supposed to be generally available for everyone, but has locks and restrictions on its use, even after the transaction or exchange of money. Security is for confidential stuff that is not designed to be accessed by everyone, even if they can pay. Those who use DRM may still want the public to use their stuff, but only on their terms. This is a case where those who wrote the document did not intend for it to become public at all.

Re:DRM here is good (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936457)

A proper document management system would have prevent an information leak, even if the document itself had leaked.

A proper documet management system with confidential information would have never been connected to the Internet.

SOME p2p software (2, Funny)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935769)

How unfortunate for the RIAA that their biggest target [bittorrent.com] can't leak information like that.

Re:SOME p2p software (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936033)

Most of the information leak and inadvertent downloading of malware arguments are appropriate for Gnutella-like networks. As you point out, it's very unlikely to accidentally leak information over BitTorrent. It's also quite unlikely to accidentally download malware when downloading music or movies over BitTorrent.

Re:SOME p2p software (3, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936329)

I disagree, it is entirely possible to get malware when downloading music or movies. Use caution when retrieving torrent files from sites you do not trust. This includes indexing engines. BitTorrent is very safe when used with torrents from trustworthy sites; ubuntu.com, openoffice.org, no problem.

Re:SOME p2p software (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936199)

Which begs the question, did the person holding the document intentionally create a .torrent file of it, and where exactly did he submit it to, seeing as how piratebay.org seems to be down more than up these days ?

As you say, it'll be one of those scumware BearShare type things that not only installs all kinds of spyware on your machine, but opens up your entire C: drive to the world unless you stop it.

I think the government needs an internal IT policy that if you must work on confidential documents and home, AND download the latest pr0n movies at the same time, at least use a more "secure" protocol (in terms of what you are actually sharing), like BitTorrent for example.

Dear RIAA (3, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935797)

"the ridiculous statement was evidence of a need for controls on corporate media conglomorates to block the improper or illegal control of distribution channels to maintain a monopoly over content distribution."

There, fixed that for you.

Accidents do happen but ..... (3, Insightful)

Usagi_yo (648836) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935821)

If you seriously think that this was inadvertent, they you should probably read more Machiavelli

Re:Accidents do happen but ..... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936011)

Good point. The P2P excuse, "inadvertently" placing sensitive documents in a shared folder is indicative of either a moron for a staffer. Or more likely setting up plausible deniability. There is no provable intent, so there's no criminal liability.

Yep, networks are awful things (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935851)

The RIAA would love for networks and the Internet to vanish. Sharing information electronically obviously upsets them.

Which cave did they crawl out of?

Many files have been copied and accessed due to Windows file sharing mistakenly enabled on a public LAN, should it be banned too?

Re:Yep, networks are awful things (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936039)

The RIAA would love for networks and the Internet to vanish. Sharing information electronically obviously upsets them.

Not quite. They want money out of everything on the Internet. Problem is, they haven't figured out how to pull that off in a way to maximise their own profits. They just want to roll back technology to something they can control and charge out the ass for.

A potent force for destabilization. (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935911)

The computer and the internet are potent forces for destablization, but they are also potent forces for control. We're fortunate to live in an age where we can watch people grapple over their initial implementation.

Re:A potent force for destabilization. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936183)

may i suggest we do more then watch?

P2P = "Open Information Network" (2, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935935)

Any time you read "peer to peer software" in a RIAA statement or legal proposal, you should
substitute "open information networks", because there is no essential difference between those
concepts.

So what the RIAA is saying is:
"the disclosure was evidence of a need for controls on open information networks to block the improper or illegal exchange of music."

That allows us to frame the debate properly.

RIAA Bullsh*t (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935939)

The problem was the leak, not the subsequent distribution. DRM, applied at the source (the Legislature's offices) would have stopped the leak. Or at least provided a trail to its source. But once information is out there in the wild, its too late.

From the RIAA's point of view, stopping most of the distribution of copied content is good enough. But for leaks like this, one or two copies forwarded to the right people is sufficient to do damage. For example, the Pentagon papers didn't need widespread distribution to cause a stink.

Re:RIAA Bullsh*t (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936041)

They absolutely should be using DRM -- on the secret document. Trying to get everyone to stop using P2P software may be the least efficient way to tackle this problem.

What we really need (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935981)

We don't need any more file sharing, or file sharing rules. We really need politician sharing! Let's start sharing politicians with the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and especially with Uranus. Oh - wait - that last would be redundant, wouldn't it?

More Please (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#29935993)

a 'confidential House ethics committee report,' was recently leaked through file-sharing software to the Washington Post.

Hi Government,

I like when the government tells me, even unintentionally, about things that it is doing to investigate allegations of wrongdoing. I would like you to do more investigations and to loop us (your employers) in on the details of the process and the outcomes. Some people will misinterpret such investigations in both directions. That is not cause to shield us from the information, it is cause to shed more daylight on the process so we, your employers, can understand what you are up to each day. This is much like my boss asking me to keep him in the loop on the projects I work on, and is commonly referred to as "accountability."

In short: More disclosures, please -- accidental, intentional, and malicious alike.

Sincerely,

Your Boss

Re:More Please (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936263)

And another thing:

How many column inches did your corporation dedicate to Balloon Boy? If the answer is more than "1", then I submit that your corporation is part of the problem, not part of the solution. That is an example of what is wrong with for-profit journalism, and the very reason that many of us would be happy to see it die its rightful death.

You want to be a journalist? I applaud you, for we have very few of those left outside of YouTube and the blogosphere (though those media, of course, comprise also the typical rabble of any crowd) -- it might be refreshing to have a member of the traditional media who cared first, last, and always for journalism over sales. If that is you, then may I kindly suggest that you discard the shackles of that sensationalist rag-shadow of a once noble institution, and do what you claim to believe in. Show me your ethics, then perhaps I shall consider your message to have some principled weight.

SSSSHHHHH!!!!!! Dont let them know!!!! (1)

Majestix (41486) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936031)

...now they'll stop using P2P software and we'll never find anything out.

So i guess this means that P2P software would be a lot more stealthy so things like this dont happen ;)

Should have called the Bush IT people (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29936163)

Should have called some of Bush's old IT people - not only did they avoid leaks, they were fans of destroying incriminating evidence *before* it leaked!

Nothing to do with P2P!! (2, Insightful)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936219)

This has NOTHING to do with P2P. They might not even be able to show P2P software had anything to do with it. The issue is that ANYONE who is stupid enough to hook a machine dealing with confidential information to the net is a bleeding fool and this includes all my lawyers' secretaries who had their word processing machines on the net - the lawyer who sent me his complete client list, a certain accountant who dropped off at a pawn shop (for $25 bux) all her clients income tax returns along with her DLT7000 (70 GB folks & the tape was in the $3500++ drive!). She used it to backup what ultimately would fit on a couple CD's! She _could_ have simply copied each years tax return to a floppy disk for the specific client! The list also includes a company that had their accounting staff re-input months of work because they picked up a virus in their key machines.

Computers are so cheap that it makes no sense what so ever to take chances like this.

To all legislators (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936249)

You should had read better our latest memo. Our company proposal targets exactly the source of the current information leaking problem. By using stealth technology, disguising as one of the culprit software, it infiltrate in their networks and kill those pesky PEBCAK softwares that are giving so much headaches lately. Give our company full freedom to act and that problem will be terminated.

Yours Truly
John Connor III
Cyberdyne Systems

mo3 0p (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29936461)

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Why is this wrong? (3, Interesting)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936493)

I don't think it's crazy to say that a piece of software that 90% of people think of as being for downloading, but that also shares your files automagically in a non-transparent way, is a bad idea. Any file-sharing should be opt-in, not automatically and quietly sharing an unspecified are of your drive.

Wow... who knew.... (2, Funny)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29936539)

....that P2P software would 'used' as a tool of democracy and open government?

Didn't see that coming.

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