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Aussie Gov't Decides ISPs Aren't Responsible For Infected Computers 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-magnanimous-of-you dept.
c0lo writes "In a sudden outburst of common sense, the Australian senate decided that it is not the government's responsibility to force ISPs to disconnect infected computers from the Internet. Peter Coroneos, chief of the Internet Industry Association, used a car analogy that actually makes sense: 'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'"
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Aussie Gov't Decides ISPs Aren't Responsible For Infected Computers

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  • by grimdawg (954902) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:25AM (#34385660)

    It would be more like the government requiring car manufacturers to do something about car theft, since an 'infected computer' is essentially out of the user's control. And yes, the Australian government DOES require all cars to have an immobiliser.

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <(gaygirlie) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:27AM (#34385988) Homepage

      It would be more like the government requiring car manufacturers to do something about car theft, since an 'infected computer' is essentially out of the user's control.

      No, it's not. It's out of control only when the user doesn't know about the virus, but once they know about it they have multiple ways of fixing the situation and then they are indeed fully in control. In a car theft being aware of your car being stolen doesn't change the situation, you're still not in control of it.

      IMHO the original car analogy is close enough. Of course there's holes in it, but that's why it's an analogy. Its only purpose is to lay out the situation to laymen in a really basic way so that they mostly understand it. There is no such thing as a perfect analogy.

      • by ediron2 (246908) *

        While we're at it, can we ban all mouthbreathers from consuming oxygen until they've gone through a rigorous training exercise for how to properly consume air?

        ("hmm, about 90 minutes should be sufficient ... .wait, no, no! I've got a headcold!")

        Snark aside, "walking is a right" and yet where I live there are *months* where sidewalks on major streets are piled with icy road-plowing debris until nobody can reasonably walk them. This drops my enthusiasm for treating driving licenses and hypotheticals like yo

      • > but once they know about it they have multiple ways of fixing the situation and then they are indeed fully in control.

        Unfortunately, the fact is that as time goes on, there are more and more components in computers which themselves are programmable (with microcode, for example) yet not easily "format-able" like the magnetic media of a hard disk. Hiding malware in these devices is a hot topic of current research (BIOS-level rootkits, WiFi adapters hosting malware), and could easily become reality for a

      • by Haeleth (414428)

        IMHO the original car analogy is close enough.

        No, it's total rubbish. The car manufacturer does not have any way of knowing whether the person who owns the car is a good driver or not; there is no way they could take responsibility for it even if they wanted to. ISPs, on the other hand, do have complete visibility of all traffic to and from their customers' computers, and could easily identify certain types of infection if they had the necessary permission to inspect that traffic.

      • by diverman (55324)

        I think the original analogy is very poor, personally. It implies that the responsibility shouldn't lay with the ISPs by comparing them with manufacturers of vehicles. ISPs are much more like the people who manage and regulate the roads and toll booths. Unlike card manufacturers with bad drivers, ISPs actually in an ideal position to effectively address the problems of infected computers. In addition, they provide the resources (which belong to the ISPs) that an infected computer requires in order to be

    • it's more like failing a driving test and the government allowing people to use roads if they are bad drivers.

      you can use a car off road if you like.

      cars are more like computers in the case, and the internet the road.
      The government is responsible for licensing people to drive cars on the road.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HungryHobo (1314109)

        The government however is *not* responsible for licensing people to communicate with each other over the internet.
        And it should not be.

        the day you need a liscence to have the privaliage of talking to other people is the day that free speach is well and truely dead and burried.

        • by rwa2 (4391) *

          Um, it would probably be more like how everyone wants everyone else to use public transit.

          How many people actually produce vs. consume on the internet anyway? Most people are just passengers.

          • What are you talking about?

            Pretty much everyone produces emails, facebook updates and innane comments.
            And anyone using the net produces packets as a matter of course.

            • by rwa2 (4391) *

              Hey, most passengers have destinations too. And law enforcement can give the drivers citations for any passengers not wearing their safety belts.

              All I'm really trying to do is help take this not-that-great-of-a-car-analogy as far as it can go before it sputters out in a cloud of hydrocarbons :P

              • but they could require people to have their computers checked for viruses if they are causing a problem.

                like an MOT test on a car.

                alternatively you could sit a test and DIY.

                or the OS could be certified.

        • phone equipment (at least in the UK) has to be licensed.

          so the government already does it.

    • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:25AM (#34386234)

      And yes, the Australian government DOES require all cars to have an immobiliser.

      My 1982 VH Holden commodore would beg to differ. Maybe you meant all new cars?

      • by grimdawg (954902)

        My bad, it might be the WA govt. Requires it to be fitted if you sell the car too IIRC.

        • It only needs an immobilizer if it's less than 30 years old. I know this because I recently bought an HZ with no immobilizer.

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      I could mod you down but then you wouldn't know why!
      Immobiliser for all cars? What on /earth/ are you talking about? No, just no.

    • by sinrakin (782827)
      'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'" The government used to require car makers to include dashboard lights to tell drivers when to shift their manual transmission in order to get better mileage.Indirectly, in that other methods could have been used to, but they required car makers to help drivers get better mileage with some technique.
    • And yes, the Australian government DOES require all cars to have an immobiliser.

      It does? Since when? Can you cite a reference? Being an AU resident who owns a new car and has been head-to-toe over every inch including playing with it's various CANBus devices on both networks and tweaked a few firmwares here and there, I have to say I haven't seen hide nor hair of an immobilizer yet. There was a jack for an OnStar unit, but it was never installed from the factory as this service isn't really used here...

    • by mjwx (966435)

      It would be more like the government requiring car manufacturers to do something about car theft, since an 'infected computer' is essentially out of the user's control.

      Ultimately the government made this decision not only because it was the only real right decision as you've pointed out but it's the only real practical decision. How can an ISP tell the difference between a botnet and home email server without doing some kind of snooping that they are currently very reluctant to do.

      Better off the block

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bartkid sez,
      I have always taken the view that the manufacturers of computers, because they do not sell pre-installed firewall and anti-virus software are just like a car manufacturer selling vehicles without brakes.
      So, when my dad who knows nothing about this stuff, bought his computer, it was immediately infected.
      So, when the computer became very useless, he took it back to the shop. Only then did he get sold the software to protect him. Thanks; sheesh.

      A commenter further down draws an analogy to medical

    • by Rasperin (1034758)
      HAHAHHAHAHHA you think that immobilizer is for theft? Come now are you really that dense?
      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        It is to make the keys expensive? I know when my father went to replace his keys, they wanted $50 for the key and $50 for the remote.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:30AM (#34385696)

    'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'"

    No. it would be like making the DMV take responsibility for bad drivers on the highway, because the DMV issues the papers required for drivers to use the road.

    The thing comparable "forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility", would be trying to force Dell, HP to take responsibility.

    It should probably be noted that car manufacturers can be responsible for drivers going around in defective cars that have a high tendency to malfunction causing an accident unless the driver is an expert professional driver.

    So it could make sense to hold Microsoft responsible for an OS with a horrible security record

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544)

      then you would have to let them bundle in an AV product and let all of the 3rd party security vendor's go out of business. One could even argue windows is not so much inherently defective, after all, they have a security alert telling you to have an AV, firewall and account control, and if you don't patch, well, the car company doesn't drive to your house to do repairs, you have to take the vehicle in for service when you get a note, MS sends you a note about a free patch, it's up to you to install it. Yo

      • by AlecC (512609)

        I agree in part. The problem is not casting blame ("How did we get into this mess?") but finding a cure ("How do we get out of this mess?"). We want the most efficient way to eliminate viruses, both for end-users good and for the good of the net as a whole. Getting ISPs to cut off users is likely to produce a large amount of argument and start the process of disinfecting the users machine with a seriously negative attitude, which will be very counterproductive when dealing with someone who is, by definition

    • by sjames (1099)

      More correctly, it would be more like forcing toll road operators to take responsibility for preventing the use of a car in a crime.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gaygirlie (1657131)

      So it could make sense to hold Microsoft responsible for an OS with a horrible security record

      I don't know whether to agree or disagree with you o_O Yeah, this is off-topic, but one day I decided to install Live Messenger. Installation went fine, then I logged in.. and POOF, almost instantly I got "Security Tool" ( http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-security-tool.html [2-spyware.com] ) on my PC. Needless to say Messenger didn't live long on my PC.

      The thing is, if it was a Microsoft-made car even a small thing like adding a sp

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus (737525)

      I would compare it to forcing garages to take unroadworthy cars off the road - regardless of who is at fault, the car is a hazard to other road users.

      Many parts of the world already have something like this - the UK has the MOT test, for instance. Annual test for vehicles over 3 years old, if your car fails you can't drive it. (Fairly meaningless test because it just proves your car was OK when it was in the garage. If something then falls off 100 yards down the road, that's the driver's problem.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dakameleon (1126377)

        That's just it - the MOT test is enforced by the Ministry of Transport. If the analogy applied, it would be like requiring you to take your 3 year old computer into a Ministry of Communications approved Geek Squad office for approval to connect to the internet. Fortunately we don't have to pay for an internet licence/registration yet, but now that the idea has come into my head it's only a matter of time...

        • One difference is that my car is portable. I could take my laptop into an office, theoretically, but the desktops would be a pain, and would interrupt connectivity. Further, cars tend to work the same, but computers can have seriously different operating systems. Would they be competent to examine my dual-boot Ubuntu/W7 laptop?

          • Oh, I don't argue that it would be a good idea to implement something along those lines. For one, a faulty/infected computer doesn't kill people, whereas a faulty car certainly could. Analogies break down when you go into details.

            If it were to happen though, I can't imagine the inspection shops would be staffed by anyone other than computer techs who can demonstrate their competence and be able to understand quirky setups such as yours. I don't know about elsewhere, but in Australia, the mechanic doing the

    • by garwain (688087)
      hrm, Dell and HP are the manufactureres, wouldn't that make the ISPs the gas stations? They provide the go-juice for the computer to travel the information superhighway... Why would a gas station be responsable for bad drivers? Hell my 10 year old often goes to the gas station to get a can of fuel for the lawn mower! Should he not be allowed to buy gas, because he's too young to drive, doesn't have any training yet, and doesn't have the paperwork to drive on public roads?
    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      So it could make sense to hold Microsoft responsible for an OS with a horrible security record

      And Linux, and Mac. They are all just as insecure with a bad user behind the keyboard. Windows has these problems because it is popular, when it is Mac, or Linux that is popular, it will shift.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        Linux and Mac are different, their authors could claim them more secure due to administrative controls being more tightly locked down by default, and fewer privileged system services running by default, that can be accessed by untrusted applications, smaller attack surface.

        Microsoft could claim Windows is 'more secure' because there are more users, therefore more vulnerabilities discovered.

        Linux distro makers could claim Linux is more secure, because it is open source, and more people are looking at t

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Evidence? In order to install a program in Linux, Mac, and with Windows Vista and above, you need privilege escalation. In all of these OSes, the privilege escalation window is generally the same.

          In Mac, it says this program requires privilege escalation to do "something" please enter your password

          In Windows Vista and above, it says this "program" is trying to do something, please click yes or no

          In Linux (Ubuntu in this case, as it is the only one I have seen which actually offers a prompt) it says, pleas

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          To address the rest of your post which I didn't actually read till just now. It is common industry knowledge that Windows is the largest attack vector merely because it is the most common OS out there. You can feel free to Google it and come up with the studies. As far as the compromised machines, that is mostly due to people refusing to upgrade from XP and earlier OSes, as the problems that caused the exploits are no longer present on newer OS releases, much as if you still had a Linux install from 2002

  • "It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers," IIA chief Peter Coroneos said. Some 91 ISPs have signed on to the iCode [a kind industry self-regulation] to help users resolve computer infections and quarantine some if needed.

    To extend the metaphor to include iCode, then I guess car manufacturers will be working to help bad drivers and quarantine some of them if needed.

  • Better would be to say road operators had to remove reckless drivers. Which is arguable more sensible.

    • by Dr. Hok (702268)

      Better would be to say road operators had to remove reckless drivers. Which is arguable more sensible.

      Yup, like in Austria, where they bury blades in the Autobahn exits that slice tires of cars which enter the wrong way. (These drivers are confused rather than reckless, which fits the virus analogy even better.)

  • Now THAT's what I call service. They're even doing the car analogies for us!

    • a pity one has to wade through 150 odd posts about the merits of the analogy before reading a single post relevant to the goverment's decision.

      I'd moderate the whole thing off-topic but instead perhaps SeñorTaco will create a 'motor cars for nerds' site.

  • by phayes (202222) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:48AM (#34385806) Homepage
    'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'"

    No. It would be like forcing toll road operators to refuse access to cars that are actively spraying oil all over the road surface that have been causing accidents.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stms (1132653)
      I don't understand can someone use a computer analogy to explain this instead of a car analogy.
    • You should have been modded insightful instead of funny. I had exactly the same reaction.

      Like a toll road operator, ISPs would have a security duty, based on visible facts (without actively searching computers, just analysing statistical output traffic patterns). It wouldn't be akin to a penalty, but act like a quarantine for the benefit of the majority.

    • by c (8461)

      >> It would be like forcing car manufacturers to
      >> take responsibility for bad drivers.

      > No. It would be like forcing toll road operators to
      > refuse access to cars that are actively spraying oil
      > all over the road surface that have been causing accidents.

      No, it would be like forcing Slashdot editors to make sure all Slashdot car analogies, even user posted, make sense.

    • 'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'"

      No. It would be like forcing toll road operators to refuse access to cars that are actively spraying oil all over the road surface that have been causing accidents.

      Are you saying that if someone is actively spraying oil all over the road surface, and they are coming up on a toll bridge...

      The standard policy is for the toll booth operator to do... nothing? Not even like... Call the police or fire department... nor passively detain or interfere?

      • by phayes (202222)
        I'm saying that you need reading lessons as you misunderstood my analogy to mean the opposite of what everyone else does. ISPs should cut off clients that are actively spamming/distributing malware, & not claim to be uninvolved.
  • More like-- I operate a toll road, now I can ignore the robbers who shoot out tires on that road.

  • Metaphor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordCrank (74800) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:51AM (#34385828)

    It would be like forcing an ISP to take responsibility for a copyright infringer.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Also, if we give ISPs the authority to quarantine infected computers, what's to stop that power from being subverted by the MAFIAA?

      • by jack2000 (1178961)
        I'd rather have isps quarantine infected computers. The Mafiaa doesn't enter into this in any way.
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:04AM (#34385882) Homepage

    The government shouldn't be requiring ISPs to disconnect infected computers, no. But ISPs still should be disconnecting infected computers. Not computers that don't run the ISP's anti-virus package, not computers that aren't up-to-date on Windows, but computers that're actively showing the tell-tale signatures of known infections (including spewing spam e-mail). If a computer shows up infected, the user should be warned. If the infection isn't removed fairly soon after, the computer should be disconnected until the user contacts the ISP about solutions.

    Think of it like a medical quarantine. We don't quarantine you just because you haven't had your shots. But once you're diagnosed with the actual infectious diseases, you're quarantined until either you get medical treatment and are cured, you get over the infectious stage on your own or you die.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      I agree but within reason. If a computer is found to be infected how long do you allow the zombie on the internet before you cut it off? Remember that once the internet is cut-off so is updates to anti-virus software, the ability to easily download new anti-virus software, and the ability to research your infection. It also brings into question the payment. Can an ISP simply refuse access to a paying customer? Sure, but what if the customer is locked into a 24 month contract?

      Our ISPs actually already ta
      • by Rhywden (1940872)
        You can exclude the routes to update servers and redirect all http-traffic to a page stating just that. Thus the customer can download antivirus software and get the latest patches, but still isn't allowed to wreak havoc unto the greater internet.
        • by thegarbz (1787294)
          Not a bad solution, but who to maintain it? Latest zero day virus comes out and wreaks havoc on networks, a complex manual solution to get rid of said virus is easily found on google, but no patch or virus defs have come out yet, do you still cut them off?

          Common sense would say no, but the problem is that common sense isn't very common. Likely there'll be no one making judgement calls and a simple computer will be there to decide who gets internet and who doesn't. I'd be much more accepting of the propos
      • by Todd Knarr (15451)

        That's why the warning first: so the user knows there's a problem and can go download updates, get anti-virus software and generally clean things up before getting disconnected. If they don't react, I say disconnect them completely (their modem goes dark, they get no IP connectivity whatsoever, not even to the ISP's Web servers) until they call customer service. Once they've called, had the situation explained and promised to clean things up, CS can reconnect them so they can clean things up. If the problem

    • by Teun (17872)
      That's what a responsible ISP like xs4all.nl does.

      They send you a mail explaining the problem and block most but not all traffic.
      You can call their help desk and access a special page with help topics to resolve the problem and in case you need to download patches that's possible through the proxy server.
      This approach is helpful to the owner of the infected computer and the internet in general.
    • by dangitman (862676)

      Not computers that don't run the ISP's anti-virus package, not computers that aren't up-to-date on Windows, but computers that're actively showing the tell-tale signatures of known infections

      For example, computers that run non-approved Operating Systems such as Linux?

    • by garwain (688087)
      Hey, better idea. Don't just pull the plug on the connection, but throw them onto a seperate network segment, which uses a proxy for web traffic, and blocks all other ports, have the proxy display an virus alert for every page request (including VERY CLEAR AND SIMPLY WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS), execpt a list of approved antivirus and anti-malware sites. Perhaps list some phone numbers for computer shops in the region as well.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:09AM (#34385914)

    Is a telephone provider responsible for drug dealers, pimps and other assorted crooks, who run their business over the providers' telephone lines?

    The telephone provider runs a line to your house. What takes place on the other side of the line, inside your house, they have no control over. The same is true for an ISP. They provide an Internet connection to your home. What you hook up to it, is your responsibility . . . and liability.

    • Yes, but up to a point. That point is that you want to cooperate. If you really are a crook, you would not. In your analogy, a telephone provider can cut off people who use their phone for sexual harassment, for example. Not that this is not something automatic, but (thank goodness) requires a serious procedure and complaint from the victim before such a thing is done. Also, this is done in cooperation with the police and the culprit has to face the law instead of just an automatic switch off.
    • by Haeleth (414428)

      If a drug dealer, pimp, or other assorted crook was breaking into my house and using my telephone to run their business, I would be very pleased if the telephone company told me about it.

  • It's more like... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121)
    ...ISPs being required to disconnnect infected computers.

    The analogies are pointless. It comes down to factors such as feasability, harm done, harm prevented and responsibility. An ISP is capable of disconnecting the computers from the internet. Forcing them to do so would prevent harm. So it comes to whether the cure is worse than the disease.

    The ISPs make the perfectly reasonable point that the goals can be achieved by self regulation, and this will be much more flexible. On the whole the ISPs a
  • by Anonymous Coward

    How does the governement decide whether a computer is infected or not?
    Does running a P2P program counts as "infected"?
    I understand that to decide whether a computer is infected or not, one would have to store and analyze the network traffic with DPI.
    Do you also want the government to close their eyes when they see which websites you browse, and the content of your emails? (which is usually not encrypted)
    Finally, does "infected computers" include computers from political oponents, like in China?

    I actually ha

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      How does the governement decide whether a computer is infected or not?

      I'm guessing all those nice capitalist non-government-affiliated antivirus companies might just have an idea or two about that.

      Does running a P2P program counts as "infected"?

      What? Why on earth would it? We're talking about detecting malware, not enforcing copyright law.

      I understand that to decide whether a computer is infected or not, one would have to store and analyze the network traffic with DPI.

      DPI would not necessarily be required

  • ..it looks like we desperately need BadAnalogyGuy [slashdot.org]

  • Sometimes good news is good.
    (I know, profound)

    At least I can start drinking Foster's again to pretend to be "outback"!

    Also I found a US winning a robot battle against Australia [zdnet.com.au] on the side panel, and robots merit an instant mouse click!

    ...

    On a more enlightened note, I found TFA really shallow and not providing the news in the most ideal way I wanted:

    The government accepted response to recommendations that federal, state and territory police forces establish an "e-crime managers group" to improve information-sharing and cross-jurisdiction cooperation, which would fall under the auspices of the Australia and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency's e-Crime Committee.

    So really our collective "uphill battle of common sense" is really just a temporary mitigation to the common sense necessity. (Don't confuse my comment in not

  • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:29AM (#34386250)
    It would be more like a robot enter your vehicle through its wide-open windows, jacking into the electric system, manufacturing more robots out of the car material, then sending more robots out to enter other cars with open windows.
  • Now all someone needs to do is write a virus containing a distributed bit-torrent server that "infects" users machine and there is jack shit they can do the ISP's wont have to be responsible for dealing with it.

  • 1. The Customer's PC is not the property or under control of the ISP
    2. The ISP can trivially detect the presence of 'questionable activity' like egress email in the 1000's for a consumer broadband account
    3. ISP's can through deep packet inspection (if employed) easily detect the presence of well known computer viruses / exploits both ingress and egress
    4. If decided to do so, an ISP can cut off a customer's line or block an IP both automated (based on some pre-defined traffic analysis) or manually due to hum

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Anything that allows *anyone* to inspect my encrypted traffic without a warrant automatically gets my stamp of disapproval.

      • by ADRA (37398)

        Inspection is an interesting question. Assuming nothing is stored, and no encryption is infiltrated, is your data being compromised in any way that a half intelligent switch/router isn't already doing today?

  • by the_raptor (652941) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @07:05AM (#34386642)

    Any responsible ISP should be doing this voluntarily anyway. My ISP (Exetel) redirects you to a page telling you that you are infected and telling you how to fix it (and giving links to AV software hosted on their servers). Cars have mandatory yearly inspections or they aren't allowed on the road so Peter Coroneos was just trying to dodge legal liability not talking any kind of sense.

    Botnets are a huge organised crime business and any ISP that isn't fighting them is either incompetent or is profiting from botnets (either being paid by the mob or making money selling DDOS protection and the like).

    • by Anomalyx (1731404)
      And how much do they bill you for the AV software? Sounds to me like this would be way too easily abused... or like those popups that some people still get that say "Your computer is infected! Pay $40 for this tool to remove!"

      How would they know you're botnetted? Perhaps you just happen to have a traffic pattern similar to a particular botnet because of a server you're hosting... I'd be annoyed if I was getting redirected on every http request. Either that, or they already have your PC compromised with th
  • Two faces of OZ! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The government doesn,t force ISPs to disconect infected computers, but it will MONITOR all the computers, FILTER available content to users, LOG users access, and RESTRICT access, at its own discretion of course! Good to see its not doing anything to stop viruses, and malware and spam. . . . . .

  • by akedia43 (1950226) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @07:20AM (#34386702)
    Actually, if you're going to stick with cars, it's like a safety and emissions check in realtime. If your car is spewing excessive pollution or presents a hazard to other drivers (critical safety features like turn signals, head lights, tire treads, etc., missing or malfunctioning) they don't let you go around being a hazard on public roads. It makes sense for ISPs, in a uniquely capable position to detect it, to disconnect systems that are spewing malware and presenting a hazard to other computers on the network.
  • ...still using cars, though.

    The state provides us with roads to travel on but also polices those roads and removes people that are hazards to others. The ISP provides roads for our internet traffic and should remove users that are hazards to others (spam, viruses, etc).

    Sorry, but if you can't manage your PC then you don't get to play Farmville till you get your shit fixed.
  • It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.

    No. It would be like forcing gun manufacturers to take responsibility for murderers.

    ~Loyal

  • Only geeks support this, because we've been playing with a computer since birth so it wouldn't be a hassle to keep a computer clean. The rest of the world won't be receptive of a blacklist law.

    Punishing the victim has never been popular. See how popular TSA is? Whatever the problem is, you start with the criminal. We are far from exhausting all options against spammers. This is purely a zero-cost (to the law makers) law made to fill a resume for re-election. Off the top of my head I can think of all sorts o

  • I actually think the car analogy is a poor one. That would imply that car manufacturers, or even the dealers, KNEW about bad drivers, and had a way of disabling their automobiles.

    ISP's can tell with a fair degree of certainty that a computer they have connected to the network is spewing either spam, or participating in a known 'botnet. They also have a way to contact the user to tell them that something is happening. Also, having an infected computer isn't usually something the user chooses, and they

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @11:30AM (#34388762) Homepage
    ISPs are like tollbooths, not car manufactures. An infected computer is like a drunk driver.

    This ruling basically says that tollbooth attendants are not required to stop drunk drivers from driving drunk.

    While I would say that this is true, barring any specific law, I also see that such a law would be a good idea. Governments could easily pass a law that required tollbooth operators to refuse to let drunk drivers get on their highway. Such a law would not be a bad law. I see few reasonable objections to it.

    As such, I would state that while without a law, ISP's should not be legally required to stop infected computers from using them, it should be quite easy for a government to pass such a law, and that law would be:

    a. Reasonable and proper

    b. A good idea

  • I've picked pieces from all the analogies given and here's what I believe to be the closest one:
    It would be like toll booths taking responsibility for crashes that occur on the toll road.

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