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FCC Releases New U.S. Anti-Bot Code

Voluntary Code of Conduct for ISPSs – Anti-Botnet Code of Conduct
(PDF of code March 22)
The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) joined a unanimous vote at the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) meeting today, approving the voluntary U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), also known as the ABCs for ISPs. As a member of the CSRIC appointed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the OTA has been working with the FCC and leading ISPs to develop this voluntary Code.

The development of the ABCs for ISPs was a multi-stakeholder effort over the past 12 months, with the participation of ISPs, trade associations and companies, including OTA members PayPal, Microsoft, Symantec, and Internet Identity, and leading ISPs, including Comcast and CenturyLink. Focusing on residential users, the Code includes five areas of focus for ISPs: education, detection, notification, remediation, and collaboration.

Based on OTA analysis and initial ISP self-reporting, approximately 29 percent (or 23 million) of the 81 million U.S. households who have broadband service are realizing added protection from ISPs who have adopted the Anti-Bot Code of Conduct. The CSRIC report cites research that ISPs also benefited — from reduced upstream traffic, spam, and helpdesk calls — when they took a proactive approach to bot remediation.

Voluntary Code of Conduct Participation Requirements – To participate in this Code, an ISP is required to engage in at least one activity (i.e., take meaningful action) in each of the following general areas:

• Education – an activity intended to help increase end-user education and awareness of botnet issues and how to help prevent bot infections;

• Detection – an activity intended to identify botnet activity in the ISP's network, obtain information on botnet activity in the ISP's network, or enable end-users to self-determine potential bot infections on their end-user devices;

• Notification – an activity intended to notify customers of suspected bot infections or enable customers to determine if they may be infected by a bot;

• Remediation – an activity intended to provide information to end-users about how they can remediate bot infections, or to assist end-users in remediating bot infections;

• Collaboration – an activity to share with other ISPs feedback and experience learned from the participating ISP's Code activities.

Related topics: Access Providers, Cyberattack, Cybercrime, Malware, Policy & Regulation, Security

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