As a student at the University of Georgia I can hardly stay quiet when some members of my University System of Georgia brethren are at a serious risk for false accusations. TorrentFreak, a website dedicated to news about file sharing, released an article yesterday explaining that Valdosta State University will be taking steps to help prevent their students from file sharing. Oh, no, wait. That would make too much sense. They are going to detect people who are file sharing and report them to the police. There we go. That’s more like it.
For those who might have been living under a rock for the past several years, file sharing has been a particularly hot-button topic. To be honest, I will lead the bandwagon against illegal file sharing all day long. People deserve to get paid for the work they do. I will also lead the bandwagon against people who think that file sharing is universally bad. There are good uses for programs like BitTorrent. However, this paragraph from TorrentFreak irks me ever so slightly (emphasis added):
The new system is undoubtedly going to cause collateral damage, since an effective P2P detection tool will be unable to make a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate use of P2P software. This means that booting up your BitTorrent client to download free films such as Snowblind will result in a referral to the police station.
So, it would seem that we’re setting precedent for the use of P2P software as probable cause for the police to come snooping around your life.
Yeah, I have problems with that, but what about you? Does this disturb you as well or am I alone here?