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For your sake, no P2P

For your sake, no P2P

Washington – It’s a question of national security: until further notice, until the competent authorities have declared them safe, better not to access P2P networks. This is the warning issued to citizens by about twenty members of the US Congress, which encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry out a fact-finding investigation that could make everyone more aware of the privacy risks to which those who share are exposed and draw on the content circulating on P2P networks.

A refrain that has been recurring for years: the group of politicians, extremely concerned about the safety of citizens, is now relying on the FTC, which in 2003 had already raised the security alarm; the US Trademark and Patent Office had prepared the ground in March 2007, and the same group of parliamentarians had already tried in recent months to combine privacy and file sharing in a binomial explosive for national security .

More and more bad guys are making a living with identity theft and trespassing on the data stored on netizens’ hard drives, explain the signatories of the agreed letter addressed to the FTC. The first striking case, cited by the group in the document, dates back to last September: a scammer, exploiting the Limewire flaws, grabbed the personal data of at least eighty victims, making them yield 70 thousand dollars. A lucky coincidence that the police were able to bring the criminal to justice. For this reason, the FTC is asked to investigate, to recognize that P2P systems jeopardize the privacy of users, for this reason the FTC is asked to prepare adequate strategies to protect the citizens of the network.

It is certainly true that there are risks in the use of P2P sharing systems, however, often generated by the reckless behavior of unskilled users. Wouldn’t it be enough to inform netizens and encourage a more informed and responsible use of technologies?

The request coming from Congress, commentators suggest, seems rather an attempt to discourage file sharing practices, facilitated by the powerful content industry.

In the framework traced by the group of parliamentarians, in the depiction of P2P systems that tend to users of insidious traps, the recent decisions of Isohunt and Torrentspy, which have prohibited access to American users because they are unable to guarantee them the protection of personal data, scopes and tracked by US authorities.

Gaia Bottà