Privacy, Security & Virus Information
Microsoft in a Move to Ban Virus-Infected Computers from the Internet
In a move which is as logical as it is controversial, software giants Microsoft have suggested a policy to be implemented by ISPs across the globe that, if implemented, will disallow computers who do not have effective and updated virus protection to be connected to the internet.
Microsoft, whose Window operating system and Explorer browser have been under constant attack from hackers for years, feel that this may be th only effective method of curtailing the constant spread of virus attacks, which have been growing in number and ferocity over the years.
The particular worry at Microsoft is that the increasing spread of botnets across the internet, which lie dormant and can be unleashed without warning at any time infecting thousands of other unprotected computes simultaneously without warning in a cyber "hit and run."
Microsoft's claim is that no longer can irresponsible computer owners and operators can hide behind the excuse that they did not know that they had insufficient anti-virus protection. If the Microsoft edict were to be accepted, internet service providers would be entitled to check that a recognized anti-virus program, from a choice of the leading companies in the industry, was installed before they could subscribe. In addition, regular checks would be made to insure that anti-virus protection is being kept up to date.
Coming out of Microsoft's global headquarters in Seattle, USA is the suggestion that just a person who knows that they have a highly infectious disease has a moral responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent its spread, computer owners should be placed in the same category.
While Microsoft's directive is far from new, it certainly is the first time that it has come from such a key player in the software industry. In fact recent research carried out by some local networks in the United States that by beginning a program of cyber-quarantine, the spread of viruses with the closed framework create reduced dramatically and with almost immediate effect.
This form of self cleansing will probably raise the hackles of those who say that it is an intrusion in privacy and human rights. While it is still theoretical, and dependant on the total cooperation of the ISPs, it will be very reassuring for a web surfer to receive an e-mail or click on a link in the knowledge that they are being protected by a responsible community.
A spokesperson for Microsoft spelled out the company's stances by stating " The global community needs to improve and maintain the health of consumer devices connected to the Internet in order to avoid greater societal risk."