Rep. Mary Bono Mack will be introducing the Informed P2P User Act tomorrow, or Thursday at the latest. Stop Child Predators has been supportive of this bill, and we’re hoping you may also be interested in showing support.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) programs allow Internet users within the same networking program to connect with each other and directly access files from each other’s computers. Since Napster, the first such program, numerous other file-sharing programs have been launched and have become one of the fastest-growing uses of Internet technology. Many people have P2P software on their personal computers for legal (and sometime illegal) file sharing. What many people fail to realize, however, is that many of these programs can make all of their computer files available to any one else using P2P software.

Studies have shown that users of P2P applications have unknowingly exposed their tax returns, health records, business documents and other confidential information through file-sharing programs. In addition, P2P applications can be used as vehicles for distribution of illegal child pornography. While the very availability of such content on these systems is in itself abhorrent, even worse is that these files are often deliberately labeled with seemingly benign titles such as “Pokémon,” “Hannah Montana” and others that appeal to children. As a result, when a child searches for these popular terms on a file-sharing service, he or she runs the risk of being exposed to child pornography. To make matters worse, because these programs automatically share any file that is downloaded onto a user’s computer, the child may unwittingly become a worldwide distributor and publisher of the same pornography to which he or she was exposed, making it more likely that others will be exposed as well. It is for this reason we are encouraging members of Congress to pass Rep. Bono Mack’s legislation.

Rep. Bono Mack needs our help in order to make this legislation become law. If you would like to show your support for this bill, please contact Paul Cancienne, Rep. Bono Mack’s legislative counsel at [email protected] or call him at (202) 225-5330.   Also, let us hear your comments.

Stacie Rumenap
Executive Director
Stop Child Predators