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[FYI] Recording industry exploits WTC tragedy to hack you


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Recording industry exploits WTC tragedy to hack you  

By Thomas C Greene in Washington  

Posted: 16/10/2001 at 10:51 GMT  

Capitol Hill lobbyists representing the Recording Industry Ass. of 
America (RIAA) tried to attach a self-serving amendment to recent 
anti-terror legislation which would have made it legal for copyright 
owners to hack computer networks in search of copyright-infringing 
material and destroy them, Wired News reports.  

Panic over proposals which would have made all forms of hacking and 
computer sabotage a 'terrorist act' punishable by life in prison 
appears to have inspired the entertainment industry to secure itself 
an exception so it can 'go vigilante' to defend the precious 
sacrament of copyright.  

The proposed amendment reads:  

"No action may be brought under this subsection arising out of any 
impairment of the availability of data, a program, a system or 
information, resulting from measures taken by an owner of copyright 
in a work of authorship, or any person authorized by such owner to 
act on its behalf, that are intended to impede or prevent the 
infringement of copyright in such work by wire or electronic 
communication; provided that the use of the work that the owner is 
intending to impede or prevent is an infringing use."  

We note the phrase 'any impairment', a blanket which would indeed 
sanction network sabotage, and which implies the right to use 
nefarious means of detection. If it didn't, it would have clearly 
specified 'action taken on evidence lawfully obtained'. But it 
doesn't. 'Any impairment' includes installing a Trojan on a file-
share network, and then remotely wiping it out.  

Fortunately this ignoble effort failed, but the RIAA still inclines 
towards a presumption that existing law should shield them from such 
malevolent activities. And if their little bought lapdogs, US 
Senators Fritz Hollings (Democrat, South Carolina) and Ted Stevens 
(Republican, Alaska), have their way with a proposed super-DMCA 
called the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), 
they might just make that mad assertion stick. 

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