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Slate: Silicon Valley vs. K Street

Nov 28, 2002, 07:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Boutin)

"But all the encryption in the world is powerless without laws that forbid picking the locks. So, under Hollywood's influence, Capitol Hill has focused its legislative searchlight on the desktops of personal computer users. One bill seeks to mandate uncrackable copy protection inside every digital device made or sold in America. Another would let Hollywood conduct search-and-destroy missions against home computers, by seeding file-sharing P2P networks with virus programs that erase bootlegged music (and who knows what else) from consumers' disk drives.

"Programmer-turned-essayist Eric Raymond summed up geeks' fears: 'The worst threats are not bad technologies, but bad laws.' But just because Congress wants to get under the hood of our computers, that doesn't mean the quid pro quo of turning programmers into lobbyists is the smart response..."

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