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Powerful Senator Endorses Destroying Computers of Illegal Downloaders (Orrin Hatch)
AP ^ | 6/17/03 | Ted Bridis

Posted on 06/17/2003 2:54:06 PM PDT by Jean S

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.

The surprise remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing on copyright abuses represent a dramatic escalation in the frustrating battle by industry executives and lawmakers in Washington against illegal music downloads.

During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading. Legal experts have said any such attack would violate federal anti-hacking laws.

"No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to disrupt music downloads. One technique deliberately downloads pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

"I'm interested," Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.

"There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said.

Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who has been active in copyright debates in Washington, urged Hatch to reconsider. Boucher described Hatch's role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee as "a very important position, so when Senator Hatch indicates his views with regard to a particular subject, we all take those views very seriously."

Some legal experts suggested Hatch's provocative remarks were more likely intended to compel technology and music executives to work faster toward ways to protect copyrights online than to signal forthcoming legislation.

"It's just the frustration of those who are looking at enforcing laws that are proving very hard to enforce," said Orin Kerr, a former Justice Department cybercrimes prosecutor and associate professor at George Washington University law school.

The entertainment industry has gradually escalated its fight against Internet file-traders, targeting the most egregious pirates with civil lawsuits. The Recording Industry Association of America recently won a federal court decision making it significantly easier to identify and track consumers - even those hiding behind aliases - using popular Internet file-sharing software.

Kerr predicted it was "extremely unlikely" for Congress to approve a hacking exemption for copyright owners, partly because of risks of collateral damage when innocent users might be wrongly targeted.

"It wouldn't work," Kerr said. "There's no way of limiting the damage."

Last year, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., ignited a firestorm across the Internet over a proposal to give the entertainment industry new powers to disrupt downloads of pirated music and movies. It would have lifted civil and criminal penalties against entertainment companies for disabling, diverting or blocking the trading of pirated songs and movies on the Internet.

But Berman, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary panel on the Internet and intellectual property, always has maintained that his proposal wouldn't permit hacker-style attacks by the industry on Internet users.

---

On the Net: Sen. Hatch: http://hatch.senate.gov

AP-ES-06-17-03 1716EDT


TOPICS: Breaking News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: copyright; cyberattack; cyberwar; download; filesharing; grokster; hatch; kazaa; krusgnet; mp3; napster; orrinhatch; riaa; rickboucher; rino; tyranny
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1 posted on 06/17/2003 2:54:07 PM PDT by Jean S
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To: JeanS
He is still po'ed that word perfect went to Canada. And nobody has put his album into MP3 Format.
2 posted on 06/17/2003 2:56:14 PM PDT by dts32041 ("The avalanche has started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.")
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To: JeanS
Like, this is a joke? Correct? He can't be serious? You just destroy a thousands of dollars computer for downloading a stupid song? Right. Sure.
3 posted on 06/17/2003 2:57:23 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: JeanS
These guys are trying to stop a freight train by putting a glass jar on the track. It won't work. Somebody will just figure out a way to bypass the bad files.
4 posted on 06/17/2003 2:58:21 PM PDT by groanup
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To: JeanS
He's a fruitcake. What a disgrace to intelligence.
5 posted on 06/17/2003 2:59:09 PM PDT by Buckwheats
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To: JeanS
"If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.

And it will be hard to drum up any sympathy for the republicans when they lose control of the senate again. Between crap like this and the $400 welfare checks to non-taxpayers they had to push through, they won't be running things for long.

6 posted on 06/17/2003 3:02:27 PM PDT by Orangedog (Soccer-Moms are the biggest threat to your freedoms and the republic !)
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To: dts32041
He is still po'ed that word perfect went to Canada. And nobody has put his album into MP3 Format.

That's because it's already in the BMPeePee3 format.
7 posted on 06/17/2003 3:02:59 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: JeanS
Well, that's one was to spur high tech capex. No wonder why the Seagate stock chart looks so bullish.
8 posted on 06/17/2003 3:03:08 PM PDT by frithguild
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: JeanS
I say more power to him. Let him blow up a couple of computers out there, and then the world will migrate away from crappy pop music put out by the label cabal towards MP3.
Orrin is MP3's best friend here. Just like Microsoft clamping down on licensing helps linux when people get fed up with the current situation.
10 posted on 06/17/2003 3:05:37 PM PDT by lelio
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To: JeanS
I would love to know how one goes about remotely "destroying a computer". Are they going to send a super-high voltage charge along the power lines directly into someone's home?
11 posted on 06/17/2003 3:06:22 PM PDT by jpl
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To: groanup
Could that lead to car squashing for speeders? This could be a big thing for car sales. Use a car to break the law and the police send it to the special yard for vehicles that offend. Hatch could be helping the economy a lot by wanting computers demolished for downloading music. ;>)
12 posted on 06/17/2003 3:07:15 PM PDT by oldironsides
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To: JeanS
Sometimes I read something a Republican says and I wonder why I vote for them. This is a truly stupid statement. What a jackass.
13 posted on 06/17/2003 3:08:14 PM PDT by Arkie2
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To: JeanS
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.

Does the good senator, and Clinton apologist, think that computers explode or at least shoot out sparks and smoke, when something bad happens in the software? If so, he's been watching too much cinematic sci-fi.

The very most that could happen is that the hard drive could be wiped. (i.e. somehow execute a DOS commnad FORMAT C:\. Be a bother, but if the music pirate had merely backed up his hard drive to some external media, he'd not be "hurt" at all. I would think the sale of external hard drives, which could be disconnected when not being used to backup the regular drive, would skyrocket. Of course you'd have to run a malicious virus scan just before doing the backup. :)

Then they'd probably make possession of an external hard drive in conjunction with a high capacity virus checker a federal felony.

14 posted on 06/17/2003 3:09:16 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: JeanS
""If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said. "

Even better, track down the offenders and have them summarily executed. People would then really realize the serious of the actions.

or.....

Load them all on a ship and send them to Australia, for no crime could be more heinous than downloading a file, including perjury before a grand jury or selling military secrets to the Chinese for campaign donations. ( Just a reference for you folks, 'criminals'were sent to Oz for things such as stealing a loaf of bread or a book )

15 posted on 06/17/2003 3:09:24 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: jpl
I would love to know how one goes about remotely "destroying a computer".

There was a Mac virus that changed the monitor refresh rate...pumped it up so high that the monitor caught fire if the machine was running long enough.

16 posted on 06/17/2003 3:11:51 PM PDT by Poohbah (I must be all here, because I'm not all there!)
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To: JeanS
Just wait until they destroy a computer and the owner takes them to court to PROVE the copyright violation. If the computer is destroyed, there may not be evidence to prove the violation. There will be liability for damage to the equipment and damage to the business interests of the party who owned the damaged computer. I hope the jerks have real deep pockets. My typical computer has a hardware worth arount $4,000 and software in the range of $3,000 to $5,000. The billable labor for software development time lost (at $175/hour) and loss of business opportunities due to missed delivery dates could add up to a real big pile of money. Far in excess of the fine for a single alleged copyright violation.
17 posted on 06/17/2003 3:12:29 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: lelio
Doesn't matter what format it is in, copyright is copyright. Pictures, text, software, video is all available for downloading from file sharing programs.

That being said, Hatch is clueless as far as this matter goes and is giving a knee-jerk solution.

18 posted on 06/17/2003 3:13:39 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: JeanS
Is he bonkers? Remote destruction of a PC?

What is going on with this government anymore?
19 posted on 06/17/2003 3:13:48 PM PDT by OpusatFR (Using pretentious arcane words to buttress your argument means you don't have one)
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To: dts32041
"WordPerfect"

So am I! WordPerfect is by far a better WORDPROCESSING software than Word - and I'm talking about the DOS version. That version can do things with text Word only dreamed of.
20 posted on 06/17/2003 3:13:54 PM PDT by CyberAnt ( America - You Are The Greatest!!)
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To: JeanS
There are two and only two possibilities here:

1. Hatch wants the government to destroy downloader's computers. Of course there won't be anything resembling due process, so we have a blatant and egregious 5th Amendment violation. But then that kind of thing never really bothered Hatch.

2. Hatch wants music companies to destroy computers. And that's blatant vigilantism.

21 posted on 06/17/2003 3:15:24 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: El Gato
The current vintage of high speed processors comes on motherboards with "jumperless" configuration. You can diddle with the clock speeds and voltages to the CPU via software. If you set the voltage to a value higher than the CPU can tolerate, you could destroy it. A low level format of the hard disk before initiating the CPU destruction with overvoltage would pretty well torch the machine. At the minimum you would need to replace the CPU and reload all the data to your hard disk. A less damaging action might be to erase the FLASH BIOS on the motherboard. It doesn't take much code to do that.
22 posted on 06/17/2003 3:18:11 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: El Gato
The very most that could happen is that the hard drive could be wiped.

I was thinking along the lines of erasing the BIOS. You're truly hosed at that point.

23 posted on 06/17/2003 3:18:19 PM PDT by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: jpl
You could build a universal bios flash utility and name it music.mp3.exe....click and ...hey whats with the blank creen on reboot?
24 posted on 06/17/2003 3:18:29 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Arkie2

It get's worse.. Just look a little more deeply into it.

Now, personally.. I could care less about file downloaders losing their PC's.. But think about this.

If you build a "self destruct" into the hardware, for the software manufacturers to trip when you download an illegal song.. Just imagine what hackers will be doing with it inside of 15 minutes.

Someone in the chatroom pissed you off? Nuke their computer!

I hate downloading, but this is a ridiculous idea. Hatch is a certified idiot.

He's a disgrace on so many levels it's impossible to find a word that describes it all accurately..

25 posted on 06/17/2003 3:18:41 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Myrddin
GMTA!
26 posted on 06/17/2003 3:19:47 PM PDT by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: JeanS
Normally I like Hatch, but he fell off the cliff on this one. So, let's say for example you have a friend who likes to come over and downloads songs onto your computer. You happen to be a the president of a company, and you store gigabytes worth of company data on your computer. Under Hatch's theory, this is fair game for total destruction?
27 posted on 06/17/2003 3:20:11 PM PDT by rs79bm (The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit ... R. Limbaugh)
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To: Arkie2

It get's worse.. Just look a little more deeply into it.

Now, personally.. I could care less about file downloaders losing their PC's.. But think about this.

If you build a "self destruct" into the hardware, for the software manufacturers to trip when you download an illegal song.. Just imagine what hackers will be doing with it inside of 15 minutes.

Someone in the chatroom pissed you off? Nuke their computer!

I hate downloading, but this is a ridiculous idea. Hatch is a certified idiot.

He's a disgrace on so many levels it's impossible to find a word that describes it all accurately..

28 posted on 06/17/2003 3:20:16 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Myrddin
Just wait until they destroy a computer and the owner takes them to court to PROVE the copyright violation. If the computer is destroyed, there may not be evidence to prove the violation.
but in that situation it would be hard to prove how the machine was destroyed too though, wouldn't it?

hatch is looney
29 posted on 06/17/2003 3:20:42 PM PDT by freedom moose
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To: Jhoffa_
Sorry for the double post.. Call waiting is making an absolute mess of my internet connection..
30 posted on 06/17/2003 3:21:18 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: JeanS
FOLLOW THE MONEY
31 posted on 06/17/2003 3:21:43 PM PDT by Don Corleone
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To: RetiredArmy
It works for me. If you don't want to lose your computer, obey the law.
32 posted on 06/17/2003 3:22:48 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: jpl
I would love to know how one goes about remotely "destroying a computer". Are they going to send a super-high voltage charge along the power lines directly into someone's home?

Hatch, of all people, being the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, ought to know better. My god can you imagine the lawsuits?
33 posted on 06/17/2003 3:23:22 PM PDT by rs79bm (The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit ... R. Limbaugh)
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To: JeanS
I am starting to realize with each passing day that what a lot of folks are saying is true. The line between Dim and Republican is becoming blurred.
34 posted on 06/17/2003 3:23:25 PM PDT by JustAnAmerican
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To: Poohbah
The monitor is a relatively easy attack. I'm not sure you want the computer destruction to cause a house fire as well. The old Heath H-8 uses a CPU based refresh of the front panel LEDs. A very high current/short pulse width was used to allow a rapid refresh scan. If you turned on all the segments and selected a single display element, you could cook the 7-segment display right off the PC board...if it didn't explode from overheating first.
35 posted on 06/17/2003 3:23:45 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin
Just wait until they destroy a computer and the owner takes them to court to PROVE the copyright violation.

IIRC, the "Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act" that was being kicked around last year would prevent the music industry from suffering any legal woes incurred by zapping an offending computer.

You can bet that the RIAA wants a substantial litigation shield. If they actually get something like that passed and begin demolishing computers with impunity, they can expect cyber-reprisals. I'll bet that the anti-music industry brigade is made up of smarter computer geeks than the ones working for the RIAA, too.

To quote the late Bonn Scott (if that's still legal): "If you want blood... you got it."

36 posted on 06/17/2003 3:23:48 PM PDT by Charles Martel
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To: NCLaw441
obey the law

The 5th Amendment is a law (for government) so government can't do this (deprivation of property without due process)

Vigilantism is against the law, so corporations can't do it either.

I guess some laws are better than others.

37 posted on 06/17/2003 3:25:20 PM PDT by freeeee
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To: NCLaw441
What about due process. This sounds like summary execution.
38 posted on 06/17/2003 3:26:56 PM PDT by OpusatFR (Using pretentious arcane words to buttress your argument means you don't have one)
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To: Myrddin
Your choice, violate or not. And without your working computer, how would YOU prove the "government" did it?
39 posted on 06/17/2003 3:27:18 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: JeanS
Next up? Replacing red light cameras with computer controlled gattling guns to take the car away from the person running the red light.

Old Orrin may want to read the bit in the Constitution about depriving people of life, liberty, or property without due process.

40 posted on 06/17/2003 3:28:53 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: OpusatFR
I don't know. We take risks whenever we download anything. I don't have a dog in the fight, but seems to me that copyrights ought to be protected, despite the inherent issues in copyright matters (how many people can listen to one CD, for example? Can I lend a book to a friend? What if I read it to him? Can he tape me reading it to him? )
41 posted on 06/17/2003 3:31:57 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: freedom moose
but in that situation it would be hard to prove how the machine was destroyed too though, wouldn't it?

I would bet that the "damage" would have an unmistakable and traceable signature. The "forensics" necessary would be far easier than most police investigations. The owner of the damaged computer would then have the evidence and the identity of the perpetrator. Sounds like fodder for a big class action suit.

42 posted on 06/17/2003 3:32:23 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: dts32041
You are right. He is just ticked off because no one is downloading the crappy songs he sings.
43 posted on 06/17/2003 3:32:37 PM PDT by CdMGuy
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To: JeanS
Senator Hatch has stood the Constitution's copyright clause on its head. The Founder's allowed for a limited copyright in the hope that it would encourage "Science and the Useful Arts" . Pay heed: the term USEFUL ARTS does not mean "art" -- entertainment -- rather it means in todays equivalent sense: Technology and Engineering!

Music, theater, plays, novels and newspapers were around in that period, and the theater was moneymaking. The intent of copyright was NOT to protect them.

The intent was to protect technology. Now HATCH has had enough of freedom, and favors the merchant nobility that has generations past been granted their titles of "copyright" nobility. All hail the Duke of Mickey Mouse! All hail the Earl of "Happy Birthday to You"!

44 posted on 06/17/2003 3:32:45 PM PDT by bvw
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To: OpusatFR
What is going on with this government anymore?

This idiot is on my Should Retire list. The day he turns the switch on this PC killer, the entire world is going to go black. Even the military will probably think we are under attack! He must be on somebody's payroll; don't you think?
45 posted on 06/17/2003 3:35:21 PM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Jhoffa_
I always knew there was something I didn't like about Hatch. I think he needs to buy larger shirts. The collers he wears are chocking off circulation to the brain. What is he going to think of next, have copy machines blow up if someone copys a page from copywrited materials.
46 posted on 06/17/2003 3:35:41 PM PDT by LauraJean (Fukai please pass the squid sauce)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: NCLaw441
but seems to me that copyrights ought to be protected, despite the inherent issues in copyright matters

And it seems to me that accused copyright infringers should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

48 posted on 06/17/2003 3:37:03 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: Charles Martel
they can expect cyber-reprisals

If they destroyed 100,000 PC's or even erased their operating systems I suspect that Washington would witness more than cyber-reprisals.
49 posted on 06/17/2003 3:39:53 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: JeanS
Ah, yes, damage someone's computer for downloading someone else's copyrighted material without permission!

Does Hatch realize exactly how much of that stuff in the Mormon genealogical archives has been purloined from copyrighted books and articles?

I thought Mormons were supposed to work on genealogy as part of their religious practice and here's Orin Hatch, just about the highest ranking elected Mormon in America, and he's saying "destroy their computers".

I think this one is going to have to go back to the workshop for a complete overhaul!

50 posted on 06/17/2003 3:40:29 PM PDT by muawiyah
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