Big Brother Or Common Sense?

Strange that a story out of the UK about Australia caught my eye this morning. It might have been reported before, but I haven’t seen it. According to The Register website Australia is considering adopting a code that would require ISP providers to contact, or even disconnect, customers with infected computers.

It is estimated that there are about 100,000 zombie computers in Australia. These are computers that, unbeknown to their owners, have malicious malware or spyware on them, and send out approximately 10,000 spam emails a day.

On the face of this, this is a good idea. It would encourage people to get decent security software and run it once a week to clean up their computer, and therefore reduce the risk of a computer becoming a zombie.
There are a couple of problems though. First is the cost. Some are worried that it might be cost too much. ISPs can block clients, but it can be expensive.

Then, there is the issue of privacy and the rule of thumb that is to be applied by the ISP. Do they have the right to disconnect you? And how ‘infected’ must a computer be before an ISP takes action? Who decides on infection rates? Or is it a case of the ISP looking out for the good of everyone else? And do they have that right?

It’ll be interesting to see what the outcome is. I can see both sides, and would certainly love a reduction in the amount of spam I get. Luckily most of mine goes straight into my junk folder, but I know that some people have it a lot worse than me. As I have stated a lot over the past couple of months, probably a good idea to get a decent security software solution anyway.