[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Nov 3 20:23:29 AEST 2017


    > From: Arnold Skeeve

    > I suspect that he was also still young and fired up about things. :-)
    > ...
    > (In other words, he too probably deserves to be cut some slack.)

Much as RTM was cut some slack?

The thing is there's a key difference. RTM didn't _intend_ to melt down the
network, whereas Gene presumbly - hopefully - thought about it for a while
before he made his call to inflict severe punishment.

Did RTM do something wrong? Absolutely. Did he deserve some punishment?
Definitely. But years in jail? Yes, it caused a lot of disruption - but to any
one person, not an overwhelming amount.

Luckily, the judge was wise enough, and brave enough, to put the sentencing
guidelines (and the DoJ recommendation, IIRC) to one side.

However, that too was not without a cost; it was one more stone added to what
is admittedlyalready a mountain of precedent that judges can ignore the
legislature's recommendations - and once one does it, another will feel more
free to do so. And so we pass from a government of laws to a government of
men.

But I don't give Gene the lion's share of the blame: that has to go to Rasch,
and his superiors at the DoJ, who were apparently (as best I can understand
their motives) willing to crush a young man under a bus to make a point. The
power to prosecute and punish is an awesome one, and should be wielded
carefully and with judgement, and it was their failure to do so that really
was the root cause.

    Noel


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