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Print 17 comment(s) - last by Icehawk.. on Dec 5 at 10:19 AM

Companies can now spy freely

DailyTech previously reported on an HP investigation that involved HP executives using false or misleading statements in order to obtain personal information from employees. The practice is called pretexting and was considered ethically questionable, almost illegal. Victims of pretexting are able to file lawsuits if they choose to but that may no longer be the case thanks to a California pretexting bill that was shot down.

Bill SB1666 was considered to prohibit companies from using pretexting practices in order to spy on or obtain information from employees. In fact, the State Senate voted in favor of bill SB1666 30 to 0 until the MPAA showed up. Lobbying its stance against bill SB1666, the MPAA claimed that bill SB1666 would impede on efforts to find pirates and illegal downloader's.

After lobbying its thoughts, the vote on bill SB1666 dramatically changed with votes turning down the bill by a count of 33-27. The MPAA and the RIAA are known to have their investigators use pretexting in order to discover those that break copyright laws. In fact, it is reported that the MPAA hired a computer hacker to break into TorrentSpy's email servers for roughly $15,000.

California did pass a bill but ended up passing one that only covers obtaining telephone records and prohibits companies from using questionable tactics to obtain them. Concerns are being raised now for the outcome of those who were victims in the HP debacle, unfortunately. Analysts predict that the results of bill SB1666 now leave the door wide open for many other companies to consider pretexting as a valid form of gathering information from employees.


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Good for the MPAA
By FITCamaro on 12/4/2006 6:10:46 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
After lobbying its thoughts, the vote on bill SB1666 dramatically changed with votes turning down the bill by a count of 33-27.


More like "After the lawmakers were paid large sums of money...".

Always nice to see that lawmakers are in the pocket of large corporations (and this coming from a republican). I'm sure we're all thrilled that companies can continue near illegal acts and the MPAA can continue its righteous crusade to prove that it is in fact, the biggest douche in the universe. John Edwards, take a seat. I'm sure someone will get that reference.




RE: Good for the MPAA
By Tyler 86 on 12/4/2006 6:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if I can get some of those "thoughts" the MPAA threw around... 33-27 seems a lively disparity, from 30-0...

Anyone interested in digging up those thoughts for the DailyTech readers to "fascinate" over?


RE: Good for the MPAA
By CSMR on 12/4/2006 8:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
You mean wrong acts? The whole question is what is to be legal or not. There is nothing illegal about doing something near-illegal!


RE: Good for the MPAA
By mindless1 on 12/5/2006 5:43:30 AM , Rating: 4
Don't be ridiculous, near-illegal acts are constantly left to discretion of those in power, particularly as a way to trample over the rights of those who can't afford good representation. The idea of justice and the reality of it happening are two quite different things.


Hmmm
By sonoran on 12/4/2006 7:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it is reported that the MPAA hired a computer hacker to break into TorrentSpy's email servers

Wouldn't such a practice violate federal criminal law? Maybe the US Congress needs to have a few hearings with some RIAA/MPAA CEO's under oath.




RE: Hmmm
By lennylim on 12/4/2006 8:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe the US Congress needs to have a few hearings with some RIAA/MPAA CEO's under oath.

1. Most congressmen are in the pockets of the RIAA/MPAA. DMCA, anyone?

2. If they do get hauled in front of congress, all it takes is a little "lobbying".


RE: Hmmm
By smitty3268 on 12/4/2006 10:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
A few months ago some oil company execs "testified" in front of Congress, but they refused to be sworn in (and the Republicans in charge made sure they weren't) which means they could have lied their asses off and wouldn't get in any trouble. I have no doubt the people at the RIAA/MPAA would do the exact same thing.


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 12/5/2006 5:52:41 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't really matter if it violates any particular laws, the primary issue is same as always, whether our politicians perceive they are better off befriending the deep pockets or keeping the voters happy. Generally the decision boils down to how much media attention was focused on them at the time.


Typical
By Helbore on 12/4/2006 6:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Its only illegal as long as thewre's no money involved. Typical of MPAA and RIAA to kick up a fuss because they want to use the pracitses to help curtail pirates. Note that there is no ethical objection, only that it will interfere with their techniques.

Isn't the point of such a bill to stop powerful organisations from impinging upon the rights of individuals, for their own benefits?




RE: Typical
By smitty3268 on 12/4/2006 10:08:53 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Isn't the point of such a bill to stop powerful organisations from impinging upon the rights of individuals, for their own benefits?


Yes. Which is exactly why this bill didn't pass.


Fvck the MPAA and the RIAA
By CrackRabbit on 12/4/2006 6:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
I can picture it went something like this...
California Congressperson: We need to protect the citizens from this unethical practice, we need to create a law about it.

MPAA/RIAA: That law would hurt our extor... I mean hinder us from catching pirates!

California Congressperson: So? Your point is....?

MPAA/RIAA: Here is a buttload of cash in campaign contributions to not pass this law.

California Congressperson: We shouldn't pass this law, we would be helping music and movie pirates if we did.


Makes me sick, and very glad I don't live in California.




RE: Fvck the MPAA and the RIAA
By Gooberslot on 12/4/2006 7:32:22 PM , Rating: 3
Not that I'm defending California but it's not just California politicians, they're all like this.

So, you're statement should really read: Makes me sick, and very glad I don't live on Earth.


Correction
By Some1ne on 12/4/2006 6:10:50 PM , Rating: 3
The first sentence of the third paragraph, which begins "After lobbying its thoughts" seems like it ought to read "After throwing its money around and buying some votes".




lying is cool now?
By KashGarinn on 12/5/2006 3:36:40 AM , Rating: 1
I love that word.. it's lying in every sense of the word.. but it's called pretexting.. what will you zany americans think of next.. I know! why not use some of that wonderful pretexting to see how many government officials are in the pockets of the MPAA/RIAA.

I also wonder why honest people who hate the corruption actually let these idiots stay in power.. Use this new-fangled pretexting to uncover the lies and corruption on both democrat and republic parties in the district you live in, (an obvious moral advantage over the useless candidates) and run as an independent.

The 2 party system is old and useless, and the districts are so useless and overly manipulated by the politicians that you're fooling yourself if you think that you're actually deciding for or against a party... wait, I meant pretexting yourself.

K.




RE: lying is cool now?
By mindless1 on 12/5/2006 5:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
IMO, a large part of the problem is the amount of influence and money needed to get elected in the first place, that those running for election already have commitments to those who put them there. You feel you're voting for the lesser of two evils and desperately want a 3rd alternative besides some unknown candidate that seems to have a few screws loose.



It Stinks.....
By crystal clear on 12/5/2006 6:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
"The practice is called pretexting and was considered ethically questionable, "

Lets use it against politicians-let them get a taste of their food recipe-You cook it, you eat it.
--------------------------------------------------

"Lobbying its stance against bill SB1666, the MPAA "

Just how much of Funding was pledged for the next elections,
to get things done the MPAA way.
------------------------------------------------- --

"California did pass a bill but ended up passing one that only covers obtaining telephone records and prohibits companies from using questionable tactics to obtain them"


This(below) itself is questionable-

"The MPAA and the RIAA are known to have their investigators use pretexting in order to discover those that break copyright laws. In fact, it is reported that the MPAA hired a computer hacker to break into TorrentSpy's email servers for roughly $15,000."
------------------------------------------------- ----

"Analysts predict that the results of bill SB1666 now leave the door wide open for many other companies to consider pretexting as a valid form of gathering information from employees."


Then I as a shareholders can use it as a valid form of gathering information from Chairman,CEO,CFO, & the rest about a whole lot of issues from Insider Trading,Option Back Dating,& many more such QUESTIONABLE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.
------------------------------------------------- ----
The whole ISSUE STINKS




It's just plain illegal
By Icehawk on 12/5/2006 10:19:22 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get how this can even be put into a bill, the things "pretexting" consists of are already illegal - such as hacking. This is just part of the trend, particularly since 9/11, of our government stripping away constitutional rights.




"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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