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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Informed P2P User Act
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Yesterday afternoon, Tom Sydnor testified at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection hearing on data privacy. Specifically, Tom's testimony focused on H.R. 1319, the Informed P2P User Act, which attempts to improve disclosure pertaining to file-sharing software.

In a nutshell, Tom voiced support for the Act in light of the apparent failure of voluntary self-regulation. From my release:

Sydnor...urged Congress to not rely on continued self-regulation by distributors file-sharing programs because certain companies have repeatedly proven themselves to be untrustworthy. Specifically, Sydnor cited the deployment of a "search wizard" upon a new installation of the LimeWire file-sharing program, which recommends users share all or almost all files in their "My Documents" folders and subfolders. Since first time users of file-sharing programs tend to be teens or preteens, Sydnor concludes the addition of this feature is deliberate and "an intent to deploy a know means of directing absurdly dangerous guidance towards a program's most vulnerable users in order to cause them to share files inadvertently." Since the "search wizard" function was deployed after a Code of Conduct was agreed upon by distributors of file-sharing software, the actions of LimeWire has illustrated self-regulation will not work in this instance.

Tom's written testimony can be found here and video of the hearing can be found here.

posted by Amy Smorodin @ 1:36 PM | Capitol Hill , Privacy , Software

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