[LINK] NBN and ISP differences?

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Feb 18 13:30:12 AEDT 2011

Linker thoughts on ISPs growing their points-of-difference in the future?

Because the competitive ISP 'churn' under the NBN Co plan could/should be
considerable, providers will appear to need points-of-difference. As they
will presumably be charged similiarly for wholesale NBN access, then each
public access provider will need to offer differing services. One service
could be security. That is, an ISP could 'take over' the security regimes
for customer machines. Eg, for spam, to simple port-scanning, to privacy?

Surely, soon, ISPs might need to be wondering, 'how will we be different?'
and also surely one way would be to offer security/privacy certifications?

Microsoft Changes Tune Over Steps Toward Internet Safety 

John Vinson 02/17/11 http://www.securitypronews.com/2011a/0217.html

Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, Scott 
Charney, has been vocal in the past about who is responsible for internet 

He believed ISPs were responsible for keeping infected PCs from reaching 
out to others on the web. 

After speaking at the RSA Conference, it appears as though he's changing 
his tune. 

Here's what Charney had to say specifically, "Last year at RSA I 
said, 'You know we need to think about ISPs being the CIO for the public 
sector, and we need to think about them scanning consumer machines and 
making sure they're clean, and maybe quarantining them from the 
Internet,'" he said. 

"But in the course of the last year as I thought a lot more about this I 
realized that there are many flaws with that model." 

Having a year to reflect on his thoughts, Charney has seen the flaws of 
his original plan. Most notably, privacy is a key concern. In order for 
ISPs to be responsible for internet security, they would have to scan PCs 
to root out infections. While in a technical sense this could be 
effective; most people won't want their provider snooping around their PC.

There have been strides made by ISPs to help keep the internet safe. 

Comcast has a feature called Constant Guard, which warns customers when 
they detect a security problem coming from their computer. 

Charney believes that providing consumers options for security might be 
an avenue little used at this point. (But) The option to provide their 
computer's information would be entirely up to the user. 

Internet security has been a long running debate for years. Finding the 
balance between security and privacy is always a tricky undertaking. This 
is compounded by the complexities of internet safety. As we continue 
forward the debate will continue, with the end result hopefully being a 
compromise that keeps us safe while protecting our privacy.


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