Lime Wire tells Congress its P2P software is safe now

After Congress reopens probe into peer-to-peer file sharing, Lime Wire says latest version of its software is designed to prevent inadvertent file sharing and is the most secure of its kind.

In response to the reopening of an investigation into inadvertent file sharing with peer-to-peer software, an executive for Lime Wire told Congress in a letter on Friday that the new version of the program is "the most secure file-sharing software available."

The main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives reopened a probe of Lime Wire and other peer-to-peer file-sharing companies last week, citing data breaches blamed on the technology.

In February, a security firm alleged that information about President Obama's helicopter was breached via P2P. There have also been reports of inadvertent exposure of consumer financial data and medical records over peer-to-peer, according to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

In a letter sent Friday to the Committee and congressional members, Mark Gorton, the chairman of Lime Wire parent Lime Group, said LimeWire 5, released on December 8, was designed to eliminate inadvertent file sharing in response to privacy concerns.

LimeWire 5 by default does not share documents, it automatically un-shares documents a user may have shared using an older version of the software, and by default will not share documents regardless of whether they exist in a folder that has been shared or whether a user shared the document in an older version, said Gorton's letter, a copy of which was obtained by CNET News.

"In short, there is absolutely no way to access a LimeWire 5 user's documents unless that user affirmatively elects to make them available," he wrote. "LimeWire 5 does not share any file of any type without explicit permission from the user."

Meanwhile, the company has no specific information about the reports of data breaches that the Committee had mentioned, Gorton said.

The Committee initially launched its probe into inadvertent file-sharing with P2P in mid-2007 and had called Gorton and others to testify.

Meanwhile, another congressional subcommittee is planning to hold a hearing on P2P technology. The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing for Monday at 2 p.m. EDT on the "Informed P2P User Act," introduced by California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a Republican, her office said.

Scheduled to testify at the hearing are the Federal Trade Commission, the Business Software Alliance, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Distributed Computing Industry Association, Tiversa, and the Progress and Freedom Foundation.

Lime Group's letter assures Congress that its new peer-to-peer software eliminates inadvertent file-sharing. Lime Group
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