Pas d’antivirus, pas de connexion à Internet

This article in Le Monde caught my eye today: Australie : pas d’antivirus, pas de connexion à  Internet.

It concerns a report, published on June 21st by the Australian Standing Committee on Communications, in which the following recommendation is proposed:

"... la coupure de l'accès à Internet si l'usager dispose d'un ordinateur infecté par un programme malveillant, ou si la base de données de son antivirus ou son pare-feu n'est pas à jour"

For the benefit of any non-Francophones reading, this translates as “the disconnection of internet access if the user has a computer infected with malware, or if his antivirus software is either switched-off or out of date”

The suggestion appears to be that the ISP will be tasked with the responsibility of, effectively, running anti-malware health checks on the client’s computer and imposing a kind of “Three Strikes And You’re Offline” rule.

It sounds like a good idea – I am all for systems to protect the innocent cyber-surfer – but it must surely involve the installation on the client’s computer of “un logiciel espion”, spyware, which may not be acceptable to everyone.

This is, however, not unlike the system that I have imposed on my two offspring.  On arrival at my house their laptops and USB sticks are whipped away before you can say “Hi Mum can you lend me £10?”, checked to ensure that all security updates are applied and then scanned for infections.  Only once I am happy that they are not harbouring harmful malware are they allowed online access.

It may seem a little over-cautious but “mieux vaut prévenir que guérir“.