McColo takedown: Vigilantism or Neighborhood Watch?

Security researchers defend efforts to police Web against rogue ISPs, malware purveyors

Similar doubts were expressed even in the Post 's full story about the McColo takedown that the newspaper itself had helped trigger. According to the story, it's hard to know the extent to which McColo could be held legally responsible for the activities of its hosted clients. There also is no evidence that McColo has ever been charged with any crimes, the story reported.

The apparent lack of action on the part of US law enforcement agencies to curb either McColo or Intercage is surprising, said Zmijewski, the Renesys executive. "It's not like these companies were in the middle of nowhere," he said, adding that many of the activities being carried out by companies hosted by the two ISPs, such as spamming and child pornography, were clearly illegal.

Zmijewski thinks that invoking the rule of law would be preferable to having private groups initiate policing efforts of their own. But with law enforcement not getting involved, it isn't surprising that some people have begun "taking matters into their own hands," he said. For now, he added, "this perhaps is the only option."

Tags spambotnets

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Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld

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