If a new bill is passed through congress, then companies who"s copyright is infringed upon could have the right to hack the offending service. This would allow record companies to launch attacks on P2P services if they trade illegal files.
Howard Berman, the congressman involved - who"s district includes areas such as Hollywood - has told zdnet: "While P2P (peer-to-peer) technology is free to innovate new and more efficient methods of distribution that further exacerbate the piracy problem, copyright owners are not equally free to craft technological responses,".
The bill is still at the stage of being drafted and if it is passed many other services could also potentially be hacked legally - such as usenet servers. The bill wouldn"t allow the propagation of viruses or for the companies to take any actions that could result in the damaging of the computers involved.
A move like this would be highly unpopular and there would be opposition from many - especially as some servers which are used by pirates, like usenet ones, also have legitimate uses. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) started debating a move like this last year and this is bound to re-ignite discussions. The RIAA have stated: "We are encouraged by the efforts of Congressman Berman to help develop ways to combat the growing problem of online music piracy," .
News source: ZDNet UK