Wednesday, June 18, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
"Download that mp3, and the computer gets it."

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) isn't going to be making any friends among college students, mp3 junkies and civil libertarians with his recent call for the development of technology that would remotely, automatically, destroy the computer of anyone attempting to download pirated music or software. How this would work is still unclear, but it's certainly a disturbing idea coming from a U.S. government official.

Yes, destroy - as in, "two downloads and the PC fries, capiche?"
From CNN: 'No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer,' replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to deliberately download pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

'I'm interested,' Hatch interrupted."
What's next, Orrin? Why don't we develop a technology that destroys your car's engine if you're caught speeding? A house that burns down if you default on a mortgage payment?

Or, here's a really good one: how about a pacemaker that stops if you can't pay your hospital bills? Sorry, cheap shot.

However, Hatch's blustering is actually nothing more than a high-tech piece of pork: on the side, he is also a composer who reportedly earned $18,000 in royalty fees last year.