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Australian Government Lets ISPs Self-Regulate on Cutting Off Infected Systems

Dealing with the issue of infected computer systems on public networks can be difficult, especially when dealing with systems that you don't own or control. There have been calls in the past for ISPs to take some sort of stance for cutting off Internet access to subscribers whose systems are infected with malware.

Australia's Federal Government recently decided against implementing laws forcing ISPs to disconnect infected users, instead relying on the Internet Industry Association's self-regulated iCode for ISPs to disconnect infected users.

Just how effective this self regulated code will actually be is yet to be seen but it is being pushed for adoption internationally and may form the basis for management of infected subscriber systems globally.

While the push to quarantine infected systems would be a good thing for reducing the amount of unwanted network traffic and malware it does raise the issue about just how much control an ISP should have over the network traffic a subscriber uses or is responsible for. Cutting off a malware-spewing system is good, but it could be seen as the first step towards ISPs taking responsibility for monitoring all traffic and being able to identify all activity going through their networks - something that copyright groups would love to see.

2 December 2010

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