IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
9/25/2003
04:55 PM
50%
50%

House Panel OKs Bill To Protect Government From File-Sharing Risks

The Government Network Security Act of 2003, which now goes to the full House, would require federal agencies to develop plans to protect government PCs from the risks of file sharing.

The House Committee on Government Reform on Thursday approved the Government Network Security Act of 2003, which requires federal agencies to develop and implement plans to protect the security and privacy of government computers from the risks posed by peer-to-peer file sharing. If enacted, federal agencies would have six months to develop and implement these plans. The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, would have an additional year to review the plans and report to Congress on the results of the review, along with any recommendations.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs--apps that lets users share electronic files from other users on the same network--can be downloaded free of charge and permit the sharing of files containing documents, music, or videos. An investigation conducted by the committee revealed that file-sharing programs such as Kazaa, Grokster, and iMesh create security and privacy risks for computers and the information they contain. At a hearing in May, the committee learned that its staffers easily obtained tax returns, medical records, confidential legal documents, and business files through a couple of simple searches on one file-sharing program.

"While most of the news coverage on file sharing focuses on the ability of users to illegally trade copyrighted music, movies, and videos, another less-publicized dark side to this technology is the risk it poses to the security of computers and the privacy of electronic information," committee chairman Tom Davis, R.-Va., said in a statement earlier this week when he introduced the legislation with ranking minority member Henry Waxman, D.-Calif. "Few people recognize these risks. Using these programs is similar to giving a complete stranger access to your personal file cabinet."

The bill, which goes to the full House for consideration, applies to the executive branch. The bill's sponsors say Congress already has implemented plans to mitigate risks regarding to peer-to-peer file sharing.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of July 17, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.