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US Senator pauses on PC destruct button

No 'Hatch attack' unless peaceful means fail

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US Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) backed down slightly from his bizarre remarks Tuesday advocating the remote destruction of computers belonging to copyright scofflaws.

On Wednesday Hatch posted an announcement on his Web site saying, "I made my comments at yesterday's hearing because I think that industry is not doing enough to help us find effective ways to stop people from using computers to steal copyrighted, personal or sensitive materials. I do not favor extreme remedies - unless no moderate remedies can be found. I asked the interested industries to help us find those moderate remedies."

It would appear that Hatch is in favor of first exhausting peaceful means before resorting to violence, a code of self-restraint enshrined in American political culture from the early days of union labor struggles right up to the current conflict with Iraq over weapons of mass destruction.

On Tuesday, Hatch had mused about granting the media cartel an exemption from laws discouraging the destruction of property, and said flatly that he was "all for destroying [the] machines" of file traders and software pirates. He reckoned that a few hundred-thousand such incidents would send exactly the right message to the masses.

Now he's saying that he's 'all for it' as a last resort, in case the RIAA campaign of lawsuits, home invasions and other forms of quasi-legal intimidation should have less than the desired effect.

In other developments, Senator Hatch's Web site appears to be in violation of a software license requirement related to the javascript menus he's using, the irony of which has tickled the Internet's blogging community.

In another development, a sharp-eyed Reg reader has noticed that the Mormon Senator's Web site features a link to adult content at Bignaturals.com. Load this page and find the graphical link to 'myUTAH Search.com' about halfway down on the right-hand side, for some silicone-free Utah search action. ®

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US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs

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