According to an 84-page long report, sent by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property to the US government, the entertainment industry is tired of all these “games” and is ready to go berserk on pirates. In other words, the industry proposes a new alternative: fill pirates’ computers with malware!
Let’s take another look at what the American entertainment industry is asking. The commission believes that by infecting suspected infringers’ computers with malware – that’s a very wide range of viruses, including rootkits, spyware, and Trojans – they would back down?
Well, let’s take another shot at this. The industry believes that pre-installed software would accurately establish whether someone (that someone being you while using your personal computer for, obviously, personal stuff) is doing anything illegal, specifically, downloading and/or uploading copyrighted content. The software would then block those files or the computer altogether, until the user (that’s you again) takes responsibility for his or hers actions.
Here are just two paragraphs of the document:
Software can be written that will allow only authorized users to open files containing valuable information. If an unauthorized person accesses the information, a range of actions might then occur. For example, the file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account. Such measures do not violate existing laws on the use of the Internet, yet they serve to blunt attacks and stabilize a cyber incident to provide both time and evidence for law enforcement to become involved.
While not currently permitted under U.S. law, there are increasing calls for creating a more permissive environment for active network defense that allows companies not only to stabilize a situation but to take further steps, including actively retrieving stolen information, altering it within the intruder’s networks, or even destroying the information within an unauthorized network. Additional measures go further, including photographing the hacker using his own system’s camera, implanting malware in the hacker’s network, or even physically disabling or destroying the hacker’s own computer or network.
The commission’s goals, as posted on their official website are to:
– Document and assess the causes, scale, and other major dimensions of international intellectual property theft as they affect the United States
– Document and assess the role of China in international intellectual property theft
– Propose appropriate U.S. policy responses that would mitigate ongoing and future damage and obtain greater enforcement of intellectual property rights by China and other infringers
While the organization’s proposal looks like a really bad tragi-comedy movie, other issues spring like mushrooms after a heavy rain. If, somehow, the US government agrees on such provisions, would this method apply to Hollywood’s studios as well?
We only ask because there are plenty of hints that the entertainment industry itself (amongst other powerful organizations, including the FBI) is using peer-to-peer technology, and not just for downloading legal content.
You can read the commission’s full report here.