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Public Statements

Informed P2P User Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, D.C.

Informed P2P User Act

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Mr. BARROW. I thank the chairman of the subcommittee for his leadership on this issue and for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1319, the Informed Peer-to-Peer User Act, which I introduced with Representatives Bono Mack and Barton.

We live in a world where digital technology connects people in ways that make all kinds of collaboration and innovation possible. There is no question about the benefits of this technology; what I am worried about is the cost. This technology has made us all more productive all right, but it has also made it easier for others to invade our personal records and reveal private information about us and our families that we would never choose to disclose. This bill will protect consumers by making Internet users more aware of the inherent privacy and security risks associated with peer-to-peer file-sharing programs.

All too often, folks who connect to these networks don't even realize that their most personal and private files are visible to everyone else on the network at any time. They are posting their tax returns, their financial records, and personal messages on the Internet and they don't even know it. Recent reports have shown that peer-to-peer software was implicated in a security breach involving Marine One--the helicopter used by President Obama--and another high profile case involved Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

There are all kinds of legitimate peer-to-peer software packages out there, and we are working real hard to make sure that none of those are impacted or limited by what is proposed by this legislation, and the committee members are going to continue to make sure that the scope of this bill doesn't interfere with the productive capacity of this technology. But this bipartisan bill is critical to protecting the privacy and Internet safety of American families. We have truth in lending and truth in labeling. I think it's time we had truth in networking.

I want to thank Congresswoman Bono Mack for her leadership and Congressman Barton for his sponsoring this bill and working with me on this important legislation. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of the Informed Peer-to-Peer User Act.

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