Microsoft Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney, in a keynote address at the RSA security conference in San Francisco yesterday, called for quarantines on malware-infected PCs. His remarks were widely covered by a variety of web news outlets.

He compared the threat from infected PCs with the threat from smokers in public places and resulting bans on smoking because of second-hand smoke: “You have a right to infect and give yourself illness. You don’t have the right to infect your neighbor. Computers are the same way.” Charney didn’t discuss specific techniques.

The idea has been discussed before but usually stumbles on the issue of forcing ISPs to shoulder the expense and legal problems from enforcing quarantines.

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