There's been an ongoing debate about whether or not protection against things like spam and malware belong at the network level or on the desktop. There are strong arguments for both. At the network level, obviously, it takes the responsibility off of the end-user (who is often the weakest link in all of this) and also makes sure that everything is up-to-date. In fact, many end-users are trying to get out from under the responsibility of safe computing by saying they'd prefer it if their ISPs protected them from spyware. However, in just relying on your ISP, it leads to all sorts of other problems. First off, in an age of laptops and wireless connections, your regular ISP isn't always how you connect to the internet. So totally relying on your ISP can create other problems when going off network. A second problem is that the user can't get around blocks if they're incorrect. For example, I'm currently on a different ISP than usual, and I just tried to send an email to a colleague, but it was rejected because this ISP says it had characteristics of a spam message. In other words, I'm mostly stuck (there are some ways around it, but it's somewhat involved). The ISP's attempt to "protect" means that I can't actually do my work any more.
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