Reuters “news” service reports that the punk who wrote the Sasser worm got a swift taste of modern German justicea suspended sentence.

This charming young fellow was “responsible for 70 percent of all worms that traveled through cyberspace in the first half of 2004.” Last week and this week I lost about two full working days (multiply that by four attorneys) to a different worm (this despite a pretty respectable antivirus setup); I am sure the cost to me in down time and tech consulting fees will be thousands of dollars I don’t have and a near malpractice incident because of my inability to file papers electronically by an (arbitrary, of course) judge-imposed time deadline in a federal case. But this is nothing; the cost of these malicious code outbreaks is millions and millions of dollars each time around. Even under German law he could have gotten five years.

There is a point, you know, where the System doesn’t do its basic job of protecting you. Trespass by electronic means is an assault on the liberty and property of regular people; it’s not so different from being burglarized. Government’s fundamental task is the mainenance of order; you’d think German policy isn’t interested in that — it’s interested in lots of other things, but not too much of that. Germany’s justice system is saying that what matters is that Sven had an unhappy childhood. But then again, this is a country that has a history of screwy priorities.

UPDATE: Here’s one to watch (HT to IP.) Let’s see if this time the “I’m depraved ’cause I was deprived” defense works.

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.