Sunday 09 May 2004

Sasser Suspect and cyber laws

The big news over the weekend is that the Sasser Worm creator has been arrested but I notice that nobody seems to have raised the question of what is to become of him and if our laws are adequate for his type of crime.

According to news reports, the boy turned 18 on April 29 and is believed to have created the worm before this date, therefore, it is possible he could be tried in a youth court because he was still a minor when he created the worm. If tried in an adult court, the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment for "Computer Sabotage".

I find it strange that the boy committed a crime which is international in scope, the Sasser Worm is still out there and may still be around for years to come, yet the boy is likely to be tried according to local laws.

I am not trying to join the chorus of "string him up" - which seems to be a recurring theme in Newsgroups and Forums - I just think that in the four years since the Melissa Virus, we still have not realised that the Internet is not local in scope and cyber crimes such as the one committed by the Sasser Worm creator shouldn't be left to local laws that may have been drafted before the emergence of the Internet.

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