US Gov't Briefing For All Employees: All Music Downloads Are Stolen, Risky

from the accuracy-not-so-important dept

A bunch of folks have sent over a post on Slashdot detailing how a mandatory US gov’t briefing on “information security” uses incredibly hyperbolic and inaccurate information, including the idea that all music downloads are theft and insecure. You can see the (flash-heavy) video briefing. The actual part with the music downloads is pretty far into the presentation (you can jump forward through the chapters), when it hits an interactive bit where you get to go through “real-life scenarios” of “threats.” In the bottom left corner, there’s a scenario involving a colleague who says he’s found a “cool site” from which you can “download music” and asks you how do you respond:




The choices?

  1. I’d rather download the music from home — email me the link
  2. Is it safe to download?
  3. Since we’re on our lunch hour, I see no harm. Here’s my thumb drive!
  4. That’s stealing.

Choices one and three seem obviously wrong, but choice two actually does seem like the most relevant. After all, the “cool site” in question could be any number of “cool sites” that offer up legal free music, like Jamendo or CCMixter. But what happens if you select the second choice and ask if it’s safe to download? You’re told no, that’s wrong:




And then are scolded, saying that it’s illegal and prohibited, followed up by another lecture about how not only is it illegal and prohibited, but unethical and “may result in criminal” liability.



Someone should tell the folks at that cool Jamendo site.

Now, to be fair, it’s rather obvious that the briefing is designed to keep gov’t employees from using file sharing programs and potentially exposing confidential gov’t documents via file sharing. And that’s reasonable. But why not be accurate and honest about it? Lying about it makes no sense.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “US Gov't Briefing For All Employees: All Music Downloads Are Stolen, Risky”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
83 Comments
Michaelsays:

Legal

Does anyone know what the law says about a DoD employee intentionally violating DoD policy? That may, in fact, be a crime.

However, that would then put into question the “Download from home” option that may eliminate their criminal liability.

It’s pretty interesting that the videos like this get put together by people that really don’t understand the topic though. I have to watch things like this regularly.

Dan J.says:

Re: Legal

That depends in part on what you mean by “law” and “crime.” Downloading music and similar activities is prohibited by DoD policy on DoD computers. Violation of that by military members is essentially failure to obey a direct order, which certainly does open up the member to prosecution. It’s doubtful (though not impossible) that the member would go to a Court’s Martial, but members have received Non-Judicial Punishment for violating IT policy. Non-military personnel, such as civilian employees or contractors, would probably not face legal prosecution, but could face consequences, including loss of their job.

So it’s arguable that the information provided is factually correct. However, it’s extremely misleading in that it seems to imply that the act of downloading music is always in and of itself illegal/immoral. The training should distinguish between illegal downloading, and legal downloading that violates DoD policy.

(I’m retired Navy now working as a Network Engineer on a DoD network. I haven’t had to take this training yet but I probably will in the near future.)

PrometheeFeusays:

Re: Re: Re: Legal

Actually, lots of things are illegal. Therefore, your equivalence does not hold. Let us apply your logic:
Terrorism is illegal therefore, ‘That’s terrorism’ is the same as ‘That’s illegal.’ And since ‘That’s stealing’ is the same as ‘That’s illegal’, ‘That’s stealing’ is that same as ‘That’s terrorism.’ Now that we have established that theft is terrorism, I suppose kids that steal candies at the supermarket should be sent to Gitmo for sleep deprivation interrogations…

Furthermore, copyright infringement is not theft. That’s from the Supreme Court.

Dark Helmetsays:

Awesome

As the nations largest employer, how can this be seen as ANYTHING other than a war of psychology on the American people, perpetrated by industry, and currently being tested on government employees?

I mean, the fight for vocabulary is a fairly public one, even though it doesn’t get much mention: everything from the privatization of Encyclopedia and Dictionary producers, to industry involvement in the education system at a level that indicates collusion, etc. etc. etc.

Seriously, how is this not a blatant attempt to infuse new, industry driven terminology into the American public?

Anyone?

Free Capitalistsays:

Re: Awesome

This could also be a case of the government’s left hand smacking its face for the stupidity created by its right.

I mean, they have allowed RIAA a LOT of leeway in their social engineering litigation campaign (for starters the fact that they ALLOW the social engineering litigation campign at all). This could very well be the first indication of *forward thinking (problem avoidance in a twisted way) by the government in a long, long time.

This could be a wall of plausible deniability to prevent the music industrinuts from suing an entire government agency (again not normally permitted, but perhaps they are rightfully afraid of the leverage this industry has in congress).

Then again, you’re probably right… its all propaganda mind control tricks.

Marksays:

While its unfortunate that the entry into the dangers of P2p software of government computers uses this type of language.

If you click on the ‘Learn More’, it goes into a good explanation for why P2P software should not be used on government computer. It gives good, logical reasons as to the dangers of P2P software on both government and home computers, and especially highligh the security risk that it opens up.

The message in this section is pretty sound and reasonable. It’s a shame they had to confuse the issue on the first part of the scenario.

Anonymoussays:

All music is illegal and unsafe to download. ALL OF IT! I mean, dang. Look at iTunes. All that music is loaded with viruses. Every single song has like 800 viruses, 100 trojan horses, 50 worms, and a goat with a gimp horn. Every website out there that aren’t US Government websites are crawling with at least a dozen hackers out there waiting for you to visit their music website so they can get your network and get to all of your important top secret work and post it to the world. Doesn’t everyone know this?

It doesn’t matter if the song is an mp3, a wav, or even a midi file. In fact, the song by Madonna that Microsoft used to show off Vista is a deadly WMD that can suddenly blow up the entire Internet and kill everyone right through their keyboard. We should be thankful that the DoD is looking out for us.

And seeing as how the author of that flash movie went to such great lengths to research exactly what they’re speaking of. It’s obvious they went to Harvard and got those two Master’s degrees, especially with that list they wrote… You can see they really know how a list works in a document, too.

————————————————-
“P2P is used to download Other.”

“Downloading without purchase is may result in criminal or civil liability.”
————————————————-

Yeah, I want to download an ‘other’. Nice to see the people running our government can’t even put together a coherent sentence properly. What’d they do? Outsource the government officials and documentation, too??

Derek Kertonsays:

Re: Re:

Nor if you buy rights legally. Don’t forget that the sweeping generalizations of this training video would include itunes music store and Amazon commercial sites.

I like the “here’s my thumb drive” option. I wonder why that one is a bad idea. That one doesn’t even put the music on the DoD computer, so the DoD PC Use Policy can’t even be relevant.

Also, I like the way this video is delivered in Flash. I sure hope no copies of it were stored in temp caches, because that would be wrong, Davey.

Trailssays:

Fear mongering

I went through a fair bit of this ting, to get to the stuff you mentioned. While the stuff you mentioned is pretty misleading, there’s other stuff that’s worse. In the beginning, they outline a scenario where a 15 year old new zealand hacker manages to cause global chaos, and involves things like issuing himself billions of dollars in cheques drawn on us gov’t accounts, and american banks suspending us gov’t accounts as a result. Neither are likely, and banks would never lock out the us gov’t.

They claim this stuff is a service, but it’s not. It’s fear mongering, not informing. Feeding users disinformation does not help them protect gov’t IT security.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Fear mongering

“banks would never lock out the us gov’t”

Careful with that never word. It isn’t likely, but given that most of the banking elite belong to globalist groups and societies that are supra-national and actively working to disolve borders, there may come a time when the US Govt. they are propping up is no longer of use to them…

Trailssays:

Re: Re: Fear mongering

“they are propping up is no longer of use to them”

Um, 2 things: locking out the us gov’t would cause a fair amount of chaos which would be BAD for banks.

If it didn’t bring down the us gov’t , when things calmed down, the us gov’t would bring the wrath of god down upon the banks.

They’d never do it.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re: Fear mongering

“Um, 2 things: locking out the us gov’t would cause a fair amount of chaos which would be BAD for banks.

If it didn’t bring down the us gov’t , when things calmed down, the us gov’t would bring the wrath of god down upon the banks.

They’d never do it.”

Correct, but you’re making two assumptions that I don’t agree with.

#1. The people that actually OWN the bank, either in majority or entirity, are only concerned with traditional banking incomes: they aren’t. First of all, when you’re an international banking organization like the Rothschilds, the detriment of one economy for the good of another is fine, because you’re financing both. Winners and losers don’t matter, only control and money supply does.

#2 The government and the people that own the banks aren’t the same people: they essntially are. When all of these people belong to the same country clubs, secret societies, and economics forums (CFR, Bilderburgers, etc.), where they discuss goals for government policy before the elected officials in the groups then carry them out, then they’re effectively the same people.

Paulsays:

A Web site for downloading music....

A Web site for downloading music. That is what your “friend” is telling you about, right?

Then the various lectures you get when you hit wrong answers lecture you about P2P applications… Which CAN BE insecure, to various degrees depending on which ones you are talking about, let’s be fair.

But if we are talking about a WEB SITE… And you are not supposed to use ANY P2P type program… (I’ll generalize and simply assume they mean an application commonly used to download music)…

Doesn’t that description by definition have to include your Browser?

y8says:

it's a DoD thang!

1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for.

They are not talking about your personal home computer, nor are they talking about some secretary in the White House Information Office, they are specifically talking about Department of Defense (DoD).

Not only are those computers federally owned equipment (which makes misuse — including personal use — a FELONY) but from my experience they either lock the computers in a safe every night, or they pull the hard drives and lock them in a safe every night.

These are the computers that you hear about on the news that the Chinese stole nuclear secrets from because some moron was running P2P software on.

Would I prefer that they not sound so draconian? Sure, but people have and will lose their jobs over being stupid (remember these are federal government employees we’re talking about, not brain surgeons). Would it be nice if they said, download on your time from your computer may or may not be legal? Sure, but it isn’t really the point of the presentation, nor the responsibility of the government.

On a side note, when you use Google toolbar to spell check Whitehouse, it suggests Whorehouse. Must be left over from the Clinton admin!

Chronno S. Triggersays:

Re: it's a DoD thang!

then how about a little notice like “any personal use of this computer will result in termination of offending employee.” Or maybe something more out in the open like “This is a DoD computer for use for DoD work. Anything else will get you fired.” The messages don’t have to be worded to sound like all P2P use everywhere is illegal. Or, you know, make it sound like the DoD only cares about P2P.

Gregsays:

Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

Any DoD computer system, web site, document and application has FOUO on it. For Official Use Only.

For example: This is at the bottom of the Tricare Online web site:

* For Official Use Only (FOUO)
TRICARE Online is a Department of Defense (DoD) computer system. Use of this site is governed by multiple DoD policies and terms outlined in the center area. Many of these policies are designed to protect the privacy of your personal information. We encourage you to review these policies.

If the FOUO tag is there, this automatically means do NOT put your own stuff on it or use it for personal downloading.

Gregsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

FOUO is supposed to cover all that. Of course, it also depends on what part of the DoD you work for. I work for DoD contractor, and we have a little more flexibility on using our computers here. We still can’t just go installing anything we want on it, but personal web browsing and downloading pictures, etc, is permissable.

If this was a place where more than just an ADP II security clearance was required, I’m sure it would be must stricter.

Paulsays:

Re: it's a DoD thang!

“1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for.”

You can’t use a browser without downloading things to your computer.

Are you seriously going to claim this is illegal?

But you do have some valid points about some government jobs, and some government computers. Not all government jobs, and not all government computers.

Some companies are just as strict, and just as sensitive to risk.

It is all about common sense, after all. If your system handles HIPAA data, or classified data, or documents with trade secrets … you need a certain level of security, and security training for your users.

If your system is really just there for email and access to generally public information about your company…. you need a certain, much lower level of security.

To one extent or another, everyone with a job has need of both sorts of access. In my past jobs as a government military contractor, consultant to government human services, game development, Microsoft, IBM, and even my own companies, I generally used different machines (and accounts… yeah, I am that old) with different and appropriate levels of security.

And I have taken these courses (and courses like them) through the years. And yes, they are always stupid. You just turn your brain off about information, and on about what they want you to say, and you can pass them just fine.

_skhnsays:

Re: it's a DoD thang!

It’s not illegal to ‘download anything’ to a DoD computer. Let’s see. In the DoD people check their email, visit websites for their jobs, etc. Using a network for anything besides sending-only involves downloading. Quit with the gross exaggeration.

The truth is that Government IT runs about 3 or 4 or 5 or more years behind the normal world in terms of adopted technology because of fear, laziness, stupid vendor contracts, required training, and deployment testing. Not too long ago DoI was still defaulting to IE 6, long after IE 7 and 8 had been out, with users only allowed to use one of the new browsers by request, no FF allowed. Why? No good reason.

And the basis of all government IT presentations like this basically always amounts to the generalized, but false, line of approximated by the statement ‘government employees doing anything but government business is illegal because the bureaucracy owns you, thus bye extension any technology that the we haven’t adopted after years of internal testing and stupid arguments, and which some guy in some office somewhere does not have complete control is also illegal. And remember, just because we gave you a laptop or cell phone doesn’t mean you can use for anything personal, either. If you plan on replying to your wife’s email while on a business trip, you better take 2 laptops.

Of course most stretch these policies as much as they can.

Derek Kertonsays:

Re: it's a DoD thang!

“1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer… They are not talking about your personal home computer”

Whoooaaa. Wait. Yes they are. See option 3, “download it to my thumb drive”? How is that a thread to the DoD? Maybe I just want to take it to my car which has a USB port and plays MP3s.

You’ve exaggerated too much with the use of “ANYTHING”, and somewhat downgraded your credibility. DoD PCs download stuff all the time – if you connect to a network, that’s almost a certainty. You can’t browse or send email otherwise. Then you neglected the third answer where no DoD asset at all is put at risk — yet still the mere act of downloading/sharing is cast as rife with risk and fraught with unethical stealing.

y8says:

Re: Re: it's a DoD thang!

OK Derek, and Trigger, my use of ‘ANYTHING’ MAY have been hyperbole.

“Whoooaaa. Wait. Yes they are. See option 3, “download it to my thumb drive”? How is that a thread to the DoD? Maybe I just want to take it to my car which has a USB port and plays MP3s.”

NO, use of the computer to transfer music to a thumb drive would be considered ‘personal use’ and is not allowed. (Same for the idea of e-mailing the web address — if the option had been ‘Hey let me write down that site to check at home’ it would be legal).

“You’ve exaggerated too much with the use of “ANYTHING”, and somewhat downgraded your credibility. DoD PCs download stuff all the time – if you connect to a network, that’s almost a certainty. You can’t browse or send email otherwise. Then you neglected the third answer where no DoD asset at all is put at risk — yet still the mere act of downloading/sharing is cast as rife with risk and fraught with unethical stealing.”

The concept of any data transfer being uploading and downloading is a little basic compared to the actual discusstion topic. E-mail would be connected to a DoD server, I assure you that DoD computers are not allowed to be used to check gmail accounts.

I’m not sure about current restrictions on web browsing. My guess is that it is very limited, maybe only DoD controlled (hosted) web pages. Either way, you’re not browsing e-bay on a DoD computer.

Paul mentioned that he had to maintain a separate computer for a lot of work. That would be typical in the defense industry. The second computer would not be owned by DoD or connected to a DoD network (that means ‘inside the firewall’ for those of you with your heads stuck in the darkness of your backside)

Anonymoussays:

yawn

The Government is telling the truth, in very, very simple terms. You guys are all going geeky and technical on it, forgetting to think like someone who still spends time looking for the “any key” to push to continue.

The only real error? They should add the word “most”, as in “most P2P”, and then it would be perfect.

Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?

Geez. this is a no brainer, only outrageous to those who wish to be morally outraged at everything.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re:

“Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?”

There are people working at the DoD, FBI, CIA, and IRS that are looking for the “any key”?

That seems like a bigger issue than P2P software.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Helmet, if you got out of Mom’s basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate.

In the workplace, there are plenty of people (example 50 somethings) who still think a touch tone phone is a big deal. For them, a computer is a mysterious box that does stuff. They don’t know X from Y. When their granddaughter sends them a link to download “this cool thing” that is really a hoax mail directing him to a root kit / back door install, he doesn’t have a clue.

Seriously, go get some real world experience, and then check back in.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re:

“Helmet, if you got out of Mom’s basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate.”

Aww, but Mom makes the best spaghetti…

And I am out in the real world, thank you. I would just hope that these “mesmerized by touch tone phone” folks aren’t working for the IRS, DoD, CIA, and FBI.

But yeah, that’s totally unreasonable, so good point there, sparky…

Chronno S. Triggersays:

Re: Re: Re:

How about you get some real world experience or stop being the stereotypical elitist IT person. Open your eyes, vary few people are that computer illiterate and those who are won’t touch a damn computer long enough to get to the “press any key to continue” (and if they ever did they aren’t that dumb). That’s a dumb ass myth like the one where everyone ran away from the first movie screen because it was a picture of a train coming, or everyone is going to shit their pants because someone on TV is pointing a gun at the camera.

Being an IT person for over 600 doctors offices, I work with a lot of those 50 somethings. They aren’t that stupid. I only ever heard one person say “where’s the any key” and it was to piss off their elitist IT person (the guy was a dick and no longer their IT).

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“press any key to continue” issue is true, I got it not 2 years ago. And that really wasn’t even close to the mind blowing calls I received working for a contracted help desk for fortune 500 companies.

What IT elitists do is believe the own hype. Call center you can help 30 people, 15 at least will tell you “Wow you are so smart!” then you’ll start to believe it after a while. People assume just cause you “get” computers you are smarter some how and it goes to people’s heads.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

While I’m not technical in most aspects other than some limited parts of network security, I can definitely say that the little bit of programming we were taught in high school math/algebra/whatever has forever altered how I think things through and how I interpret what goes on around me.

I’ve found that most of life truly does follow similar rules, like if/then commands: if you do something, you will for the most part get this response.

I think most people would benefit from that type of learning, even if to a limited degree.

iNtriguedsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“What IT elitists do is believe the own hype. Call center you can help 30 people, 15 at least will tell you “Wow you are so smart!” then you’ll start to believe it after a while. People assume just cause you “get” computers you are smarter some how and it goes to people’s heads.”
So THAT’S why I have such a big head.. and this whole time I just thought I had sinus congestion.

On a related note, does sudafed work on inflated egos too?

Call me Alsays:

“1st, all of you whiners need to realize that it is illegal to download ANYTHING to a DoD computer, especially for personal use. Yes it is, in fact, a criminal offense that people CAN go to jail for, and people HAVE been fired for.”

Okay so if that is true why isn’t the first answer on the list allowed?

“1. I’d rather download the music from home — email me the link”

As for “Would you really want FBI people, CIA people, maybe people from the IRS downloading stuff onto their work computers at lunch, putting possibly your personal information at risk?”

I’d like to think that the DoD had enough faith in the intellect of such staff to educate them properly on the proper use of their computer and enough trust in their judgement to tell them the truth on the issue at hand. But hey thats just me being optimistic.

Call me Alsays:

“Helmet, if you got out of Mom’s basement and went out in the real world you would discover that not everyone is computer literate.

In the workplace, there are plenty of people (example 50 somethings) who still think a touch tone phone is a big deal. For them, a computer is a mysterious box that does stuff. They don’t know X from Y. When their granddaughter sends them a link to download “this cool thing” that is really a hoax mail directing him to a root kit / back door install, he doesn’t have a clue.

Seriously, go get some real world experience, and then check back in.”

I’m sure at some point that there were objections to the use of charcoal for drawing on the basis that many people were quite happy scraping at rocks, thank you very much.

Just because some people can’t cope with the technology does not mean you should restrict everything to their capabilities. If you do then we’ll never get anywhere.

Bensays:

I think something may have overlooked is that statement that music downloading is prohibited on DOD networks. When you work for an agency, company, anyone at all who owns the network infrastructure (computers, laaptops, pays for bandwidth), they have to right to restrict and monitor what can and can not be done on their equipment.

Derek Kertonsays:

Re: Dont' call me an overlooker, overlooker

No, not overlooked at all. You state the very, very obvious, and it has been discussed at length. Read some of the other comments before posting.

Responding to your point, what about option 1 “I’d rather download the music from home — email me the link” or option 3 “put it on my thumb drive”. That does not imply use of DoD computers or networks.

Remind us again how your comment relates to those two options out of the four. Then tell us again how WE “may have overlooked” something.

Derek Kertonsays:

Re: So?

No, that’s not correct.

“Purchase 1. To obtain in exchange for money or its equivalent; buy.”

Purchase means getting goods or services in exchange for money (or something of value).

So, next time you get technical or detail-oriented, try, I dunno, looking up the details. We’re both off on this pointless tangent, but so long as you’re here, you may as well get it right.

Call me Alsays:

“And I am out in the real world, thank you. I would just hope that these “mesmerized by touch tone phone” folks aren’t working for the IRS, DoD, CIA, and FBI.”

I speak to the IRS on a regular basis and sadly I am sure it is full of technically inept people. Its so bad that when they actually succeed in doing something I get this ridiculous feeling of euphoria.

Anonymoussays:

Cool that the “correct” answer is actually incorrect. They could have done thousands of things (like explaining that when you share you share, and that may lead to sharing files you didn’t mean to, that downloading is infringing and it’s not that cool to infringe on a government facility, that you should always check if what you’re sharing is legal or not (which is actually an unacceptable answer here), etc). Dumbing down the personel of DoD, in the only country in the world that still believes in war… now that’s smart.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Look at the bottom of the screen. It is the same no matter what answer is chosen. It is a written script of what the narrator is saying.

The third screen shot above generally illustrates this, but the text is too small to read clearly and, of course, cannot be scrolled.

Now, you may nitpick at a portion of the script, but by so doing all you will accomplish is being hyper-critical of a message that in large measure reflects the realities of how P2P is being used by the majority of users.

NPGMBRsays:

Not Govt Wide

This is specific to the Department of Defense.
As far as iTunes another other programs, I’m sure the system configureation prevents employees from installing anything just as it is here at State. Nothing that can be connected to the PC is allowed. Putting something to the the PC with a USB connection quickly sends a message to IT services telling them what you are doing. This is old news.

Travissays:

Re: Not Govt Wide

Use of USB doesn’t send a message. At our site, we just have the functionality for usb storage disabled as per the mandate. (Several types of flash drives were found to have malware built in to their firmware. DOD banned the use of flash drives completely rather than have to deal with testing and verifying every type.)

Anonymoussays:

So, tearing apart curriculum designed for the 8th grade level? This could go on for days.

There are plenty of topics that cannot be approached properly and thoroughly depending on the target audience, so you choose to deliver the fail-safe method.

You tell your children playing with fire is bad, but then you light fireworks. It seems to be the same conversation.

Derek Kertonsays:

Re:

You tell your children fire is the devil’s window and when you light one, he can reach out of it and grab you and pull you into hell. Then you light fireworks.

Fixed that for you. You see, yours was a bad analogy since, unlike the DoD training, it didn’t include any false information that is overly negative and designed to demonize the activity and create fear.

But you’re right in your first line. Dumbing down the instructions is probably a reasonable strategy. I guess we just wish we didn’t see the obvious results of the music industry’s misleading fear-mongering campaign being accepted as fact and repeated in the DoD’s IT policy.

iamthekysays:

I told them it was bad. Then went and did something good with it.

I was not nearly as specifically misleading, but gave an invalid statement nonetheless (easily strayed today are we).

And please, do not confuse Computer Based Tutorials for Policy. DoD has no policy on P2p, simply P2P on its systems.

And to be technical, if you are downloading music onto a government box you are stealing……a minimal amount of resources ­čÖé

iamthekysays:

The ‘learn more’ section does explain P2P in more detail than I would expect of DOD IA. Even gives examples, which is very out of character as they generally seem to prefer (as they certainly assume) ignorance among the masses

Excerpt of AR 25-2 – a little lengthy – but this is policy.

(1) Use of ISs for unlawful or unauthorized activities such as file sharing of media, data, or other content that
is protected by Federal or state law, including copyright or other intellectual property statutes.
(2) Installation of software, configuration of an IS, or connecting any ISs to a distributed computer environment
(DCE), for example the SETI project or the human genome research programs.
(3) Modification of the IS or software, use of it in any manner other than its intended purpose, or adding
user?configurable or unauthorized software such as, but not limited to, commercial instant messaging, commercial
Internet chat, collaborative environments, or peer-to-peer client applications. These applications create
exploitable vulnerabilities and circumvent normal means of securing and monitoring network activity and provide a
vector for the introduction of malicious code, remote access, network intrusions or the exfiltration of protected data.
Installation of non-Government-owned computing systems or devices without prior authorization of the
appointed DAA including but not limited to USB devices, external media, personal or contractor-owned laptops,
and MCDs.

Joesays:

Mike - I think your overstating things here

Putting aside thoughts one way or the other about P2P networks, the bottom line is most of the traffic on these networks would be considered infringing. yes there are sites like Jamendo but let’s be realistic, 9 times out of 10 an email with a link to a cool music site is going to be a site like the pirate bay rather than a site like jamendo.

As for their responses,

Downloading without Purchase is (note they did not say P2P)
* illegal – (under current laws – this is correct)
* unethical – (highly debatable)
* Prohibited – (their computers = their rules)
* may result in criminal or civil liability (again very true)

Yes they were overstating things and painting all P2P with a very broad brush, but it’s a friggin multiple choice questionnaire, shades of grey don’t do too well.

Anonymoussays:

Moral v Ethical

The activity being discussed is immoral rather than unethical because it applies to societies expectations of the conduct of an individual rather than rules of ethics conveyed as a result of their position in an organisation.

In this case, they are asserting that the activity is always wrong rather than wrong in the context of the DoD alone. I doubt that the DoD ethics committee discusses the rights and wrongs of employee file sharing.

Gov IA training is laughable

I give computer security training to military personnel and we are required to use the approved presentations by the DoD. However, I give the briefings a personal touch. Though I show the slides, I also explain some of the truth behind what the presentation says.

For example, one brief talked about how commercial email sites can be avenues for viruses, ergo only DoD email accounts are allowed for using email on DoD computers. I also add that, even though Yahoo, Google, et al. offer email that does have built-in virus checking, it’s not DoD approved and therefore untrustworthy. That’s why users can’t use commercial email systems, not that commercial email is a virus vector.

Additionally, I did take the training mentioned in this story. And I did get the question wrong for the exact reasons stated; the question is misleading because it’s not truthful. However, I don’t think anyone takes the training seriously. The tech savvy people blaze through it, giving the expected answers while knowing they may be wrong. The more clueless people simply ignore the training after it’s done.

So, in the end, the training is mostly pointless, except for the few who may actually learn something. I haven’t found of them, though.

Anonymoussays:

Tick the box exercise

Training of this type is principally given so that a reasonable defence can be presented if a problem arises. This is quite common in regulated industries where the training is given and the fact that the training has been completed is taken as “successfully delivered” (even though all the questions may have been answered incorrectly). This means that when a worker downloads an unpaid for song, the employer can terminate their employment because they clearly disregarded the training received. The employee may have otherwise mounted a defence that said that “they didn’t know it was wrong”.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ┬╗

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it