SOPA-Loving Congress Also Loves Downloading Pirated Files
Hey, everyone still remember the Stop Online Piracy Act that the cranky old farts over at famous Washington senior center Congress have been feverishly gluing together during craft time, to try to make all that noise from "the tubes" go away? More and more people really, really hate the bill! This is not surprising, because it is awful. What maybe is a little surprising is the number of computers (hundreds!) within the House of Representatives -- a body that has so far shown largely bipartisan support for the bill -- that are busily downloading pirated content all the freaking time.
The folks over at TorrentFreak have been mining the database of IP addresses in the archives at YouHaveDownloaded.com for evidence of file-sharing over at the House of Representatives. There's no way of knowing whether any of the addresses belong to specific Representatives who support the bill, but at the very least it seems possible from their search to reasonably conclude, "Congress is stacked silly with Internet pirates."
Although we don’t plan to go on forever trawling the archives, we felt that there was at least one place that warranted further investigation – the U.S. House of Representatives. Since it’s the birthplace of the pending SOPA bill, we wondered how many of the employees there have engaged in unauthorized copying.
The answer is yet again unambiguous – they pirate a lot.
In total we found more than 800 IP-addresses assigned to the U.S. House of Representatives from where content has been shared on BitTorrent. After a closer inspection it quickly became clear the House isn’t just using it for legitimate downloads either, quite the opposite.
Something that immediately caught our eye are the self-help books that are downloaded in the House. “Crucial Conversations- Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High,” for example, may indeed be of interest to the political elite in the United States. And “How to Answer Hard Interview Questions And Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the Job You Want” may be helpful for those who aspire to higher positions.
And YES, also porn.