Special Interest hard at work in Higher Education

Under the cover of "freeing up university money that would otherwise be spent on bandwidth costs" and "keeping networks more secure" a new House bill (HR 1689) would give money to Higher Education Facilities to reduce the P2P file sharing scourge. The bill notes that "computer systems at colleges and universities are intended primarily to aid in educating and increase research capability among students and faculty," not for students to clog a campus network with BitTorrent traffic.

The bill would modify the Higher Education Act (HEA) which generally allows schools to spend the money they receive on certain prescribed areas such as financial aid grants and Pell loans. The new bill would allow that money to be used for more things, but does not contain a request for additional funding. What the consequences of schools using a limited pool of federal money to police student file-swapping instead of helping needy students finance their education remains to be seen.

See Related:
RIAA Gets Legislators To Threaten To Drop 'The Hammer' On Colleges and Universities

New bill lets colleges use federal funds to fight P2P