Broadband users whose computers are found to be infected with virus-spreading software could be banned by their ISPs.
Under European Union recommendations, ISPs should bar customers who have picked malicious software, viruses from Spam attacks and Trojans from using the internet.
The proposals, which have been put forward as part of a new paper named 'Security Economics and European Policy', ISPs who fail to stop broadband users with potentially-infective computers from getting online would be hit with a fine.
According to David Allen of Tech Watch: "These rules will affect just about anyone who uses the internet, as at any time a computer can be attacked with malicious software, viruses from spam attacks and even Trojans, and some people do not even know that their machine has been attacked."
Broadband Telewest is known to have already operated its own banning system in the past.