Judging from recent events in Washington concerning peer-to-peer file-sharing software and allegations that it threatens national security, there's some doubt about Congressional competency in creating sound policy governing a technology they may not thoroughly understand. Following up on the scads of readers who responded to recent coverage of Senators seeming to blame security problems on P2P sites, CNET News.com editors decided it was time to get down to business and clarify the issue at hand, in case it wasn't plain enough: Is Congress really clueless about the relationship between P2P and national security?
CNET News.com writers Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh Wednesday produced a piece of Capitol Hill reporting whose central subject is a recent legislative gambit regarding peer-to-peer file-sharing applications.
"Politicians call peer-to-peer networks a 'national security threat' because they enable federal employees to accidentally share sensitive or classified documents."
The subject has been burning up blogwaves and comments sections all over the Web.
The general consensus among network geeks, security pundits and other observers seems to be that the U.S. Government should be way more cautious in their internal security practices and not try to pin the … Read more
Updated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has withdrawn anti-file sharing legislation that had drawn yowls of protest from universities this week.
Reid, without explanation, on Monday nixed his own amendment that would have required colleges and universities--in exchange for federal funding--to use technology to "prevent the illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property."
Instead, Reid replaced it with a diluted version merely instructing higher ed institutions to advise their students not to commit copyright infringement and tell students what actions they're taking to prevent "unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material" through campus networks. The revised … Read more
AllPeers, the social file-swapping and file-sharing Firefox extension is adding a built-in BitTorrent client early next month. Users will be able to download torrent files right in their browser without the need for a BitTorrent software client. Similar functionality was introduced to Opera's browser in mid-2005, however the team behind AllPeers is giving users an added bonus to download torrents through their extension. If two or more AllPeers friends are downloading the same torrent, they'll get the benefit of faster sharing. The AllPeers team claims it's double the speed they'd be able to get through regular … Read more
LimeWire is an extremely popular, peer-to-peer file-sharing program based on the Gnutella network. The version 4.0 series ups the ante with a combination of feature tweaks, an updated interface, and better all-around performance.
In this First Look video, take a quick tour of the app and learn how to screen out illegally shared content.
We could soon learn more about whether illegal file sharing is a friend or foe to a movie debut.
Sicko, the documentary about the health-care industry from director Michael Moore is due to be released on Friday. To several thousand fans of YouTube, Google Video and The PirateBay, the movie's opening came a week earlier. That's when bootleg copies began cropping up at those places.
Any studio exec will say each illegal download represents a lost ticket sale. That's food out of the mouths of cinematographers, actors, costumers and best boys, the studio suit will huff.
Not … Read more
It's been a while since we covered a file transfer product like Izimi, Tubes, YouSendIt, or Zapr. But there are still new solutions popping up to solve the problem of sending big files. The latest--that we know of--is Quickeo.
This product's special sauce is that it will bundle up several multimedia files into an attractive e-mail "album". When a recipient clicks on link in the e-mail, it will fire up a Web page that he or she can use to play your files directly.
To create a Quickeo album and send these e-mails, you need to … Read more
Ohio University has become the latest college to crack down on file sharing.
The school announced this week that it would restrict the use of all peer-to-peer file sharing on the campus computer network.
"The network is a shared resource, and we must ensure that it is available to all users," Chief Information Officer Brice Bible said in a news release. "Peer-to-peer file-sharing consumes a disproportionate amount of resources, both in bandwidth and human technical support."
Box.net, the online storage service, has updated their embeddable widget with a new group sharing feature for members with premium and professional accounts. Users can password protect a shared folder, which can then be accessed privately by others with the code. Storage owners can opt-in to allow user uploading, which lets anyone with access add files. The company is gearing it at businesses, whereas its previous widget incarnation was aimed at users with social networking profiles.
For group users to keep track of updates to shared folders, each share gets its own RSS feed. Once subscribed, the name and … Read more
Egnyte is a new business groupware application that's rolling out at the Web 2.0 Expo. It's entering a very crowded market--the product is can be put in or near the same buckets as business wikis, groupware apps such as Groove, Sharepoint, and Collanos (review), and pure Web 2.0 apps such as Basecamp--but at its most basic it's a file synchronization engine.
By the way, it's pronounced like "ignite," not like "egg night."
Egnyte lets you designate directories, individual files, and e-mail folders for sharing. You can collect several items … Read more