P2P security bill clears House committee

A bill to protect users from inadvertently sharing files through peer-to-peer networks is headed to the House floor after clearing the Energy and Commerce Committee today in a markup session.

The Informed P2P User Act would require file-sharing network providers, such as Limewire, to provide clear and meaningful notice before making the files on users’ computers available to share, and to make it easier for users to block or disable peer-to-peer software.

“Too many people aren’t aware of the risks associated with using popular peer-to-peer file-sharing programs,” Republican Mary Bono Mack, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement. “When users login to these P2P programs, they could be inadvertently sharing ALL of their personal information with everyone else on the network, including tax returns, financial records, personal messages and family photos.”

The issue of inadvertent file-sharing gained prominence after it was discovered that the schematics of a [U.S. warplane](/security/article.php/3808086/Sikorsky+Feds+Hunting+Down+Marine+One+Leak.htm) and information about a [safe house for the president’s family](/government/article.php/3818906/Stolen+Fighter+Plane+Plans+Still+on+P2P+Network.htm) had surfaced on peer-to-peer networks.

The Lime Group has testified in Congress that it addressed the vulnerabilities Bono Mack’s bill is designed to prevent in the most recent version of the Limewire application.

The bill would allocate enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission.

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