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September 07, 2003

Stupidest. Bill. Ever.
Until Tomorrow

From an article in the NYT on P2P and Porn.

A bill has been introduced into the House, with the endorsement of the recording industry, that would require children to get parental consent before using sharing software.

"Billy, it's the law of the land now. You have to ask my permission before you run Kazaa, or I'm telling the feds."

Now to be completely fair, the NYT seems a bit confused about who has to ask permission of whom.

The bill in the House backed by the music industry — introduced by Representative Joseph R. Pitts, a Republican from Pennsylvania, and Representative Christopher John, a Democrat from Louisiana — would require the file-swapping services to get parental consent before being used by children.

This could all be cleared up if someone actually looked at the text of the proposed bill, not that anyone involved in writing or editing the story bothered.

Do you wonder why that is so?

I'll tell you why. It's because the NYT and their ilk don't care about you. Your curious nature and intellectual needs are so much dust in the wind to them.

We, on the other hand, care for you as much as it is possible to care for people whom we've never met and are never likely to.

For you, because we care, H.R.2885, the "Protecting Children from Peer-to-Peer Pornography Act of 2003" aka the "Pornographic Spam? The Music Industry Isn't Paying Us To Do Anything About That Act of 2003"

Here are the relevant portions, (b)(2) and (c)(1).

(b)(2) require any person who distributes, or authorizes or causes another person to distribute, peer-to-peer file trading software in interstate commerce to--

(A) provide clear and prominent notice to each recipient of peer-to-peer file trading software, before the peer-to-peer file trading software is provided to the recipient, that use thereof may expose the user to pornography, illegal activities, and security and privacy threats;

(B) check for the do-not-install beacon described in subsection (c)(1) and not transmit peer-to-peer file trading software to any computer with such beacon;

(C) obtain verification of majority, or if a recipient is a juvenile obtain verifiable parental consent, before the peer-to-peer file trading software is provided to the recipient;

(D) ask whether or not each juvenile recipient of peer-to-peer file trading software is a child under the age of 13;

(E) comply with the provisions of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (15 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) as to all information collected from children in connection with the distribution of peer-to-peer file trading software;

(F) ensure that the peer-to-peer file trading software has the capability to be readily disabled or uninstalled by a user thereof, and prominent means to access clear information concerning the availability and use of that capability;

(G) if the peer-to-peer file trading software has the capability of automatically causing a user's computer to function as a supernode or other focal point for the transmission of files or data, or information about the availability of files or data, among other computers on which such software is used, ensure that such software does not exercise that capability unless the user receives clear and prominent notice thereof and thereafter takes affirmative steps to enable that capability;

(H) if the peer-to-peer file trading software has the capability of disabling or circumventing security or other protective software on, or features of, the user's computer or network, including a firewall, software that protects against viruses or other malicious code or a do-not-install beacon or other parental control, ensure that such peer-to-peer file trading software does not exercise that capability unless the user receives clear and prominent notice thereof and thereafter takes affirmative steps to enable that capability;

(I) if such person does not reside in the United States, designate a resident agent for service of process in the United States, and file with the Commission such designation and the address of the office or usual place of residence of the agent;

(J) maintain reasonable records of its compliance with the requirements set forth in this paragraph; and

(K) establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information contained in such records.


(c) TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- The Commission shall--

(1) not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, in consultation with the Under Secretary for Technology of the Department of Commerce, develop and make readily available to the public functional requirements for standard `do-not-install' beacons that provide an effective technological means for parents to record on their computers their desire that users not install or use peer-to-peer file trading software on those computers;

Nothing like using something that doesn't even exist to enforce the law of the land. Might as well give the job to the underpants gnomes.

Here are the other cosponsors for this unenforceable crock. Reach out and touch them

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite Florida
Rep. Jim DeMint - South Carolina
Rep. Trent Franks - Arizona
Rep. Charlie Norwood - Georgia
Rep. Mike Pence - Indiana
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen - Florida
Rep. Mark E. Souder - Indiana
Rep. John Sullivan - Oklahoma
Rep. Thomas G. Tancredo - Colorado

Posted by Bigwig at September 7, 2003 12:09 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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