Skip to main content

Government Suggested to Regulate P2P

Senior U.S. lawmaker and New York Democrat Edolphus Towns, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said during a hearing today that the government needs to step in and regulate companies that provide peer-to-peer file-sharing services. The comment stems from his overall opinion of popular P2P service LimeWire and its use in acquiring FBI files, Social Security numbers, medical records, and information regarding a safe house location for President Barack Obama.

"As far as I am concerned, the days of self-regulation should be over for the file-sharing industry," Towns said in the hearing. "In the last administration, the Federal Trade Commission took a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach to the file sharing software industry. I hope the new administration is revisiting that approach."

According to Reuters, Towns will introduce legislation that bans open network, unsecure, peer-to-peer software from all networks and computers relating to the government and its contractors. He also said that he plans to meet with the new FTC chairman in regards to investigating whether or not P2P software using "inadequate safeguards" constitute unfair trade practice. He plans to speak with the FCC as well.

Although the FCC and FTC declined to comment, LimeWire's founder and Chairman Mark Gorton defended the P2P service, saying that inadvertent file sharing has been fixed with the new version. "Now, it shares nothing until sharing is specifically enabled," he said. "LimeWire is perfectly safe."

Too late, Mr. Gorton. Uncle Sam is ticked.

  • Team America, world police.
  • perpetual98
    Government will fix all!
  • dman3k
    It's understandable that the government wants stop the sharing of classified information over P2P, but why was it even shared in the first place?

    Somebody must have put the information on his MacBook and iPhone...
  • Great, what other freedoms will they take away now?
  • jerther
    "LimeWire is perfectly safe."
    May I STILL doubt that...
  • tenor77
    Anyone did not expect this to happen eventually?
  • Scary seeing as there are many legitimate uses for P2P networks. It would not surprise me if the negative political perception of things like Limewire leads to laws stopping use of P2P networks even within private IT infrastructures.
  • What about the rest of the world? Should we have to put up with Uncle Sam's meddling? I think not. I'm way out of jurisdiction, I'd like to see them sue me.
  • Instead of policing P2P how about you stop allowing computers with sensitive information to touch the internet.
  • Montezuma
    The Federal Government has gotten out of hand. The Democratic Party has lost sight of what the United States stands for. It is within the Government's power to regulate commerce, but not what private citizens do on their own time. If I choose to use "P2P" to transmit information I own, or is for public use, it is not the Government's right to monitor that.

    Such actions fall into a police action, which is illegal without a warrant. Unless they are going to monitor what we are transmitting, then what else is there to regulate?