Congress eyes LimeWire over inadvertant P2P breaches

Summary:LimeWire is in the hotseat as the flagship P2P application. This time the issue is not music filesharing but security breaches through inadvertant file sharing.

LimeWire is in the hotseat as the flagship P2P application. This time the issue is not music filesharing but security breaches through inadvertant file sharing. A House committee has sent letters to Lime Group chairman Mark Gorton, the FTC and the Justice Department, announcing that it would reopen a previous investigation into the problem.

And the letter to Gorton evinced frustration that in two years, precious little has been done to address the problem, even though the evidence is getting pretty thick that inadvertant sharing is a huge problem.

It appears that nearly two years after your commitment to make significant changes in the software, LimeWire and other P2P providers have not taken adequate steps to address this critical problem.

Greg Sandoval at Cnet says the letter cites several serious problems.

On February 28, 2009, a television station in Pittsburgh reported that the blueprints and avionics package for "Marine One," the President's helicopter, was made available on a P2P network by a defense contractor in Maryland.

On February 26, 2009, the "Today" show broadcast a segment on inadvertent P2P file sharing, reporting that Social Security numbers, more than 150,000 tax returns, 25,800 student loan applications, and nearly 626,000 credit reports were easily accessible on a P2P network.

On February 23, 2009, a Dartmouth College professor published a paper reporting that over a two-week period he was able to search a P2P network and uncover tens of thousands of medical files containing names, addresses, and Social Security numbers for patients seeking treatment for conditions such as AIDS, cancer, and mental health problems

On July 9, 2008, The Washington Post reported that an employee of an investment firm who allegedly used LimeWire to trade music or movies inadvertently exposed the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of about 2,000 of the firm's clients, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. There have been reports alleging file-sharing programs have been used for illegal purposes, such as to steal others' identities.

Topics: Browser, Banking, Enterprise Software, Government, Government : US

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