Although there are legitimate uses for P2P (peer to peer) software, there is no doubt that there are a lot of dangers to using it, also.

Officially, the concerns are how this exposes people to identity theft — but this costs the entertainment industry (who probably have a few lobbyists dedicated to this matter) a lot of money when they don’t get their royalties (money) on music and videos — which people download for free using P2P.

Now Congress is asking the Federal Trade Commission to take a deeper look into the matter.


Still worried that peer-to-peer filesharing networks like Lime Wire are causing users to “inadvertently” expose sensitive documents, posing potential security risks, members of Congress are now asking for a formal investigation into the phenomenon.

The latest concern from the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, judging by a 7-page letter (click for PDF) dated Wednesday to Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Deborah Majoras, appears to be this: Peer-to-peer networks may make unsuspecting consumers vulnerable to identity theft. 

The same group of politicians, led by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Tom Davis (R-Va.), suggested earlier this summer that peer-to-peer networks can pose a “national security” threat by allowing users to expose sensitive information unwittingly. (Some politicians, particularly those with entertainment industries in their districts, also took the opportunity once again to condemn unlawful transfer of copyrighted content via the networks.)


I’ve written a little about why it isn’t a good idea to use some of the P2P networks out there: 

Japanese cop exposes confidential information on 6,000 people using P2P (file-sharing) software

How P2P Software like Limewire Compromises Personal and Financial Information

Besides being a potential national security threat and an identity theft venue, most of this software is liable to do a lot of damage to your system. And unless you are pretty technically inclined, you will probably have to spend a little of your hard-earned money to fix the damage it will cause!

CNet news blog story, here.

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