Thursday, July 7, 2011

MPAA: Forget National Security, This Is About Internet Security!

Just the other day, famed troll-magnet Marcus Carab and I were discussing my fear of diving too deeply into HTML code.  What am I afraid of, you ask? Well, because I'm an idiot, part of me believes that there is some kind of HTML super code out there that, if inputted into a simple blog post, would literally undo the internet.  Techdirt itself would simply fade away into dissolved binary.  It'd be a great disturbance, as though millions of lolcats meowed out in terror and were suddenly silenced.  Exposed Sony customer information would just melt into oblivion, leaving literally trillions of angry hackers with idle hands and too much Cheetohs residue on their fingers.

This, of course, is stupid.  But it's this kind of uninformed fear that folks like the MPAA play upon when they insist that so-called "rogue websites" are a major threat to everyone connected to the interwebz.  It's a scaled up political play, stemming from their appeals to nationalism.  Take a gander at what the MPAA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Policy Officer Paul Brigner wrote on their website's (snicker) blog:

"Internet users who go looking for stolen movies online may end up getting more than they bargained for – a practically 'indestructible' form of malicious software designed to give cyber criminals remote control over users’ computers."

Wow.  Indestructible malware.  That's pretty effing scary, right?  You'd have to expect that this would be some kind of new holy terror brought down upon us by the likes of zombie bin Laden.

Well, from the Kaspersky post Brigner based his words on, not really.  It's a new evolution in a traditional botnet, one which requires less centralization and an affiliate installation payment program.  Hell, the writer in the post follows up with folks in the comments section with free software that can be used to detect and fight off the malware.  And keep in mind, of course, that these dire warnings are coming from a company that sells antivirus to protect against these threats.  But this is the launching pad for Brigner's conclusion:

"All the more reason to keep rogue sites from reaching U.S. consumers.  Stealing movies isn’t worth the risk to American jobs – or the risk to Internet security."

Somehow I'm not shaking in my boots yet.  Oh, and nice phraseology there.  Rogue sites reaching U.S. consumers?  I was unaware that these rogue sites we've been discussing the past few months were accessing users rather than the other way around.  It's a symptom of the problem that Brigner doesn't realize his customers are seeking out the sites when they should be seeking out his member filmmakers.


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