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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How Will The RIAA Spin This?

posted by on November 6 at 12:22 PM

“Man who used file sharing programs for identity theft pleads guilty”

Real story: You guys may remember Limewire, one of the many computer programs that popped up in the wake of the original Napster. Works the same, except it allows Internet file sharing for more than just MP3s. Thing is, if you configure the program without knowing what the hell you’re doing, you can share your entire hard drive, which means someone can pop on the search wire, look for terms like “passwords” or “IRS” and steal your information. Seattle’s Gregory Kopiloff got caught doing this very thing to rack up credit card charges.

Spin story: “Millions of consumers expose their sensitive information when they use P2P file sharing networks and thousands of potential criminals a day search and find this information to commit ID theft and fraud.”


Give me a break. Kopiloff is obviously a total tech douchebag, but, well…your computer on the Internet is like a car sitting in an unlit parking lot in downtown Detroit. Pay attention and lock it up—it’s truly not that difficult. What’s more, the popular BitTorrent protocol is actually designed to prevent Kopiloff-style searches. Scare stories are the RIAA’s bread and butter in resisting the inevitable, so here’s to hoping they don’t pick up on this story (which, to be clear, they haven’t just yet) and pollute the newswire with more misinformation about the evils of the Internet.

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This story is stale and old. Even in the Napster days people were being warned to lock down their hard drives. The same tale has been told of every file sharing program since and still people don't take the time to protect themselves or their businesses. Then again, why should we be surprised. After all, how many people have fallen for the Nigerian scam?

Posted by B.D. | November 7, 2007 6:09 AM

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