Peer-to-peer software sharing, which has now become almost synonymous with copyright infringement, has always been a proverbial bogeyman to media producers, who fear losing customers and revenue to easily obtained free content. Now, critics allege that P2P may be dangerous to whole nations, as unsuspecting users unwittingly share confidential documents to millions. Retired General Wesley K. Clark, board member of Tiversa, a company which trawls P2P networks looking for sensitive information, warned against the dangers of unrestricted P2P use in his address at a United States Government Reform Committee hearing.
"We found more than 200 classified government documents in a few hours search over P2P networks," said the General. "We found everything from Pentagon network server secrets to other sensitive information on P2P networks that hackers dream about. If everyone knew the scope of the risk of P2P networks, America would be outraged and demand solutions. If you wait for the lawsuit, you have waited too long." Clark revealed that many of the leaks were both fresh and complete, distributed on home computers over P2P networks; to combat the problem, he suggested regulation and mandatory defensive active monitoring programs, especially for sensitive government documents.
Of course this isn't the first time P2P has come under fire for leaking potentially damaging materials. In March, the United States Patent and Trademark Office released a study on how file sharing threatened national security. According to USPTO CEO Robert Boback, the study found "thousands of corporate cases from banking statements, server passwords, financial data, public company data, human resources, medical records and Fortune 500 company minutes on compliance." Henry Waxman, chair of the US House of Representative's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, invited LimeWire and StreamCast to testify along with other interested experts on illegal filesharing, hoping to better grasp, and better fight, this growing problem.
News source: Full Story on vnunet.com