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Government Security The Internet Politics

Australian Cybercrime Enquiry Report Released 81

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian Government Standing Committee on Communications has released the results of a year long enquiry into cybercrime in a report titled Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime. This report includes a recommendation that Internet Service Provider customers should be forced to install anti-virus and firewall software on their computers as part of their contractual obligations. The Australian Communications and Media Authority receive further powers and responsibilities under the recommendations with respect to shutting down websites hosting malicious content and ensuring that infected consumer devices are disconnected from the Internet."
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Australian Cybercrime Enquiry Report Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:33AM (#32653892)

    A stupid law like this will lead to the requirement the ISP install some kind of audit software on your PC to monitor compliance. Something like punkbuster. It would have to monitor your local system and possibly report back to the ISP. I don't see any other way this could work. This would be a nightmare to support a range of OSes and would possibly make a system that was properly maintained to be less reliable.

  • by Rich.Miller.6 ( 1602871 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#32653932)
    It's time to reclassify Linux as an antivirus product. Experience to date suggests that it is much more effective than single-purpose antivirus products - and it does so much more, for free!
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:38AM (#32653958) Homepage

    I'm imagining some poor schmuck on the phone with an ISP trying to explain that the government mandated anti-virus software doesn't support their OS of choice (which the moron on the phone has never heard of) and being told that they can't have internet access because they don't have Windows.

    Don't act like it won't happen. Heck, most ISPs if you're trouble-shooting almost demand that you remove the firewall and plug the machine directly into the cable modem, and only have trouble-shooting instructions for Windows and can't comprehend that you might actually be qualified to say that, since nothing has changed on your end, their network must be currently broken.

    While I appreciate the intent of this, every time someone tries to legislate solutions to technical problems, they break more stuff.

  • by LambdaWolf ( 1561517 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:47AM (#32654112)

    ISPs would have to: require all subscribers to install anti-virus software and firewalls before the Internet connection is activated

    It seems to me like this is a strange requirement. I couldn't tell you the last time I actually went to a brick-and-mortar store and bought an antivirus product. And what about lesser-known or free antivirus solutions?

    Indeed. And how do they define the threshold of effectiveness and necessity of "anti-virus software"? Will the nine-year-old copy of Norton that originally came with the dusty old PC that I just plugged in suffice? And what do I need to put on this highly secure Linux distribution I just installed? If I write my own operating system from scratch, do I need to wait until someone releases an anti-virus product for it before I can legally connect it to the Internet? Can I write my own anti-virus software from scratch, and if so, how much does it actually have to, you know, do in order to be considered such? And who determines whether it even does it correctly? Is there going to be some kind of review board for this?

    Sometimes I think politicians aren't aware of how many questions they create.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:49AM (#32654144) Journal

    >>>does that mean that any website with ads should be, by this law, taken offline?

    Or return to the simple GIF and PNG ads of yesteryear. That sounds like a positive outcome to me, since I'd rather download a 20k banner than a 500k movie banner.

  • Better Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SnugglesTheBear ( 1822258 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:50AM (#32654146)
    I say Australia should have the ISPs refuse service to anybody running a windows box. This would remove at least 70% of the malware and would improve customer satisfaction!
  • Follow the funding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:53AM (#32654198) Journal
    So we have a "Office of Online Security be established within the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet"
    Then we see a cut to "The Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team", a unit of the Australian Federal Police of $2.8 million. []
    We also have some fun news via []
    Beyond the "want the source and the destination IP addresses for internet sessions" they are dreaming of linking
    ""They want allied personal information with that account, including, [the department] said, passport numbers.""
    with "automate the process of requesting and obtaining access to telecommunications data."
    One day your ip could be linked to your isp and photo id while you surf on a filtered internet with Windows anti-virus and firewall software running.
    Some great projects and funding for someone :)
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:31PM (#32654646) Homepage Journal

    I'm wondering which antivirus vendors' lobbyists are pushing for this.

    Follow the money...

  • Re:Taking the piss (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:28PM (#32655382)
    Well it's not the Australian Government, it's a committee of the Australian Parliament, and I'm sure useless suggestions in the report will be ignored as is usual. If it was the Australian Government the report would have been commissioned by Senator Conroy (the current World's Greatest Luddite) and be about installing an iris on all computers to close off the portal to tricks and japes.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak