Omigod. As if porn and spam weren't bad enough, the New York Times has now made us aware of even MORE EVIL lurking in the internet. You probably know nothing about this "I.R.C" thing (yep, they put the periods in) but according to a lovely graphic accompanying the piece, "Internet Relay Chat is a system of servers through which computer users with proper software can chat (in text) over a multitude of channels". I particularly liked the "(in text)" part.
And then there was:
"I.R.C. is where you are going to find your 'elite' level pirates,'' said John R. Wolfe, director for enforcement at the Business Software Alliance, a trade group that fights software piracy.
This d00d knows his 3133t I.R.C pirates, fer sure!
Worse, "Advanced users can try to hide their personal Internet addresses". The article talks about all kinds of nastiness, hackers and warez:
Still, I.R.C. perhaps most closely resembles the cantina scene in "Star Wars'': a louche hangout of digital smugglers, pirates, curiosity seekers and the people who love them (or hunt them). There seem to be I.R.C. channels dedicated to every sexual fetish, and I.R.C. users speculate that terrorists also use the networks to communicate in relative obscurity.
Terrorists? On the Internet? On this here I.R.C. thingy? Communicating in relative obscurity? Well, this is something begging for Congressional attention! I'd write mine today if I knew what channel to join..
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