Service providers to patrol internet ?

Posted by Mayuresh | Security | Wednesday 18 June 2008 9:14 am

AT&T is planning to offer security services to inspect and stop malicious traffic before entering the corporate network.
Ref: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_9593411

In all these years service providers are always looked upon as just thick pipes that do their best to get every piece of data to customers. Fundamental question that arises here is should they be allowed to look into the traffic passing through their network? One of the intended use is to stop spams before reaching the corporate networks. According to AT&T, 80% of emails that it delivers is spam. Argument looks very attractive and seems logical to stop all digital debris, malicious content at backbone itself.

But what if ISPs misuse this power. There are endless possibilities. With so many sophisticated solutions available today, it’s not hard to dig more to characterize behavior of subscribers which then can be used for targeted content OR to keep particular traffic away. Remember Comcast delaying BitTorrent traffic generated enough flames!! This needs to be studied deeply from legal aspects.

Nevertheless, I feel this would open lot of opportunities for security vendors who are struggling to sell in crowded enterprise market.

Comments welcome!!

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