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House P2P bill to regulate browsers, FTP clients

updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue May 5, 2009

Strict P2P bill considered

A US House of Representatives hearing scheduled for later today will be devoted to deciding if a law should be made that requires peer-to-peer (P2P) programs to issue a specific notice to users that warns them that their files may be shared, CNET has reported. The Informed P2P User Act bill introduced in March by California Republican Mary Bono Back will be the focus of the hearing. The wording in the Act, which would require P2P software to allow file sharing only if two rules are met, could also apply to web browsers, FTP applications, IM programs and any other applications that send and receive files.

Under the proposed legislation, software that does not provide users with a "clear and conspicuous notice" of what it does and requires them to provide "informed consent" every time it is opened will be "unlawful."

All recent Microsoft Windows, Linux, and OS X operating systems would need to comply if the bill is passed, and launching a web browser would also require a "click to agree to terms and conditions" box. Such a restriction would potentially restrict the freedom afforded by the Internet; however, it's widely believed the bill, at least in its complete form, will not be passed through to become law due to challenges over its scope.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Will fail

    This bill will fail as any other that would require users to click through warning screens EVERY time they start browser / p2p or ftp client. Not to mention there's no such thing as "unlawful software" and there's no penalty for using one. Will they try to prohibit the creation of such software? Forcing that on the rest of the world as well?

    And what about Information Act? Doesn't it cover any case of sending info from your computer, including sharing files?

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Firstly, It's Bono Mack

    I'm running for congress, that's f****** it.

    I will be leaps and bounds above all these other mother fuckers, because, surprisingly,...

    I know how to use a f****** computer, and I have a general understanding on how important keeping the Internet free and wide is to keeping the Constitution in state.

    It's our last strong hold people. I don't care what party these Reps are affiliated with. If someone comes out with legislation like this, vote them the f*** out.

    Be a responsible citizen for our future's sake.

  1. Darth_Pixel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Click OK

    Click OK to continue.

    Are you sure you want to continue? Click OK.

    Seriously, do you want to continue? Click OK.

    Do you understand the impact of what you are about to do? Click OK.

    By clicking OK, you are agreeing to continue with this action. Click OK.

    Click OK.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Makes me embarrassed to be from the same state. I'm glad our congresscritters have solved all the pressing problems this country faces, to the point that they have time to figure out ways to annoy software users with federally mandated click-through boxes they'll never read. They can take their computer software regulation and shove it where the sun don't shine.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    congresscritters introduce ridiculous bills like this one just to make their donors happy that they are getting their money's worth from their campaign donations.

  1. MacMan2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i thought they were elected to work, not eff around.. guess thats why the country is having so many issues as of current.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This just goes to show you Apple is ahead of the curve again! They go off and censor apps on the appstore, and now congress wants to do the same thing with all other computing devices!

    Apple leads again!

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