April 22, 2009 | By Fred von Lohmann

LA Times on Latest Congressional P2P Witch Hunt

The L.A. Times Technology Blog hits the nail on the head, responding to news that the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has sent out letters asking for help investigating security breaches caused when government employees and contractors who use P2P software accidentally share information on networks like Lime Wire.

Perhaps the real motive here is to find grounds to ban the software outright, which would please Hollywood but wouldn't solve the problem. Their letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. suggests as much -- it asks whether federal law enforcement efforts can protect people, businesses and the government "from the security risks posed by P2P networks such as LimeWire." They sent a similar inquiry to the FTC. If they were really trying to solve the [security] problem, they would conduct an investigation into what the Pentagon and government agencies were doing to keep file-sharing software off of computers used by their employees and contractors. The right approach here isn't to browbeat Lime Group, it's to demand better security practices by the people who work on the government dime.

Short version: sometimes it's not the software, but rather PEBKAC.


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