A draft letter posted to P2P Web sites and purportedly written by california Attorney General Bill Lockyer and circulated to other state attorneys general demands P2P software companies do a better job of protecting consumers from the dangers of file sharing or face legal action.
Government prosecutors have largely kept to the sidelines as entertainment-industry groups have sued the networks and individual users for copyright infringement. They should remain on the sidelines. The argument outlined above could be used against Web browsers and servers, instant messaging, security applications, e-mail and, finally, the Net.
If the doctrine of the letter is accepted, almost anything could be declared illegal.
The impact of these kinds of regulations should concern everyone. Music swapping aside — an artifact is an artifact. Ultimately, the system or technology cannot be forced to police their network — government should focus on those who may actually be breaking the laws. Where does this kind of regulation end?