Let's face it, no-one's a fan of internet service providers (ISPs) being forced to impose content filtering rules or block BitTorrent downloads, which explains our joy at iiNet's court victories and our loathing of censorship laws. But having ISPs voluntarily make life easier for customers is another matter, which might explain why icode — a voluntary scheme introduced by the Internet Industry Association (IIA) where ISPs notify customers about potential security violations on their PCs — has been so successful.
The icode was introduced as a voluntary initiative last June, and formally went into place in December. Speaking today at a press event for local security software developer (and IIA member) TrustDefender, IIA chief executive Peter Coroneos said that the code already covered virtually all of the local market and demonstrated that self-regulation worked better than mandates imposed from on high:
We currently have ISPs who represent about 90% of the market in the scheme. It hasn't required any legislation or direction from government. This is something that has been industry led. It's in nobody's interest to have infected users on their service.
Other countries are now seeking to copy the scheme, Coroneos said.
We've had a lot of enquiries from both governments and organisations around the world. Rather than proclaiming ourselves as big geniuses, it's more a question of a pretty good idea at a very good time in the market. This zombie botnet activity is not originating in Australia; it's fair to say we're more the unwilling elements, the vectors, rather than the root cause.
IIA is seeking to sign up additional ISPs to cover that last 10%, and will announce the next round of additions during Cyber-Security Awareness Week, which takes play from May 30 to June 3.