The Washington Post (annoying reg. req.) reports that state attorneys general are rather unhappy with the illegal activity taking place through email networks (States Warn Email Providers):
More than 40 state attorneys general are set to warn major email providers that they may face enforcement actions if they do not take steps to stem illegal activity on the networks, such as the emailing of child pornography and stolen movies and music.
In a letter to the heads of Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and the Apache Software Foundation, the attorneys general write that email software "has too many times been hijacked by those who use it for illegal purposes to which the vast majority of our consumers do not wish to be exposed."
Oh, wait, that didn't happen. Instead, the state attorneys general warned "major peer-to-peer file-sharing networks" and the WashPost's article was titled "States Warn File-Sharing Networks." The companies warned were Kazaa, Grokster, BearShare, Blubster, eDonkey2000, LimeWire and Streamcast Networks. Heck, I'm surprised the attorneys general were smart enough not to send a letter to "Gnutella" at 1 Protocol Lane.
But given their condemnation, why shouldn't the state attorneys general condemn email and FTP as well? An awful lot of child porn is shared via email. Shouldn't email providers be doing more to stop it?
Unfortunately, the article doesn't provide the letter and there isn't enough information to know what, exactly, has the state attorneys general upset and what they expect P2P networks to do about it. One thing we do know, the state AGs don't like privacy:
The state officials also ask the networks to stop adding encryption features to their networks that they say prevent law enforcement agencies from policing the networks to determine whether they are aiding illegal activity.
The encryption measures "only reinforce the perception, as well as the reality, that P2P technology is being primarily used for illegal ends," the letter says.
In related news, the state AGs noted that people who exercise their constitutional rights, such as the right against self-incrimination, "only reinforce the perception, as well as the reality, that civil liberties are being primarily used for illegal ends."