Proposal seeks to lock copyright infringing computers, force owners to contact police

The Internet-using public is no stranger to off-the-wall plans and ideas to stop the so-called blight of copyrighted content sharing, but a new proposal recently submitted to the government is perhaps unlike any before it in terms of craziness. In a report, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property proposed many ways piracy can be combated, including infecting alleged violators' computers with malware that can wreck havoc, including and up to destroying the user's computer.

In the proposal, which spans 84-pages, the Commission stated that software can be pre-installed on computers for the purpose of monitoring and identifying copyright-violating activity, which is comprised of storing, using, or copying such content. If the software detects copyright-violating activities of any of those sorts, it would cause the computer or its files to being locked.

Once the files and/or computer was locked, it would show up with a dialog that requires a password in order to unlock the system, as well as instructions telling the computer user to contact a law enforcement agency, which will have the password necessary to unlock the computer. The obvious part of this being, one will theoretically end up confessing to piracy.

The proposal states that such a method of combating piracy wouldn't violate any laws, but would "stabilize" an infringement situation and get police involved. While that method is allegedly legal, the next one – which is arguably crazier than the first – is not: deliberately infecting computers with malware designed to do several things, including snapping a picture of the computer user with their webcam without their permission.

The malware would allow companies to gather data off a computer, change data located on the network, and destroy it if it feels such an action is necessary – all without permission, obviously. There's also suggestions that it could be used to do other things as well, including up to destroying the user's computer and/or network. We'll have to wait for the official response on this, but we're guessing it'll be something akin to throwing the report against the wall.

SOURCE: The Next Web