Sep 08, 2011

Should lawyers be allowed to search all your computers for P2P lawsuits?

A lawyer in a P2P file-sharing case now admits that since an IP address only ties a particular router in a home to the names of files that the media industry says were downloaded illegally, the police should search every computer in the home until they find the offending computer and/or user.  Is this feasible? Is this reasonable? What gives the RIAA and MPAA the right to barge into our homes and businesses to spy on our computers?

It's a really stupid idea. Do they think the cops have nothing better to do than run around searching computers? And how many law enforcement (especially local ones) organizations have the expertise to do that in the first place?

I think it's a case of the RIAA and MPAA folks trying to scare as many people as possible. It sort of makes sense in a weird way from their perspective. But I just can't see police having the time or personnel to do this in a comprehensive way.

The cops have WAY too many other issues and criminals to deal with day in and day out. So I doubt that this would really happen in a way that would impact a lot of users. It just doesn't make any real sense.

While we don't ban users from installing P2P software on their laptops, we have our desktops locked down pretty hard. Users know that they're not supposed to engage in non-work behavior during the workday, and pretty much they all comply. As far as allowing lawyers or police or BSA investigators, they'll need to have a warrant. Since our company is responsible for how our computers are used, we take this pretty seriously. And as far as file-sharing is concerned, I haven't seen that much of it since Napster died and the tools that followed were mostly virus-havens.

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