No Punishment For Hacker

(Manila, Philippines-AP) -- The student accused of releasing the so-called ``Love Bug'' computer virus is off the hook. The Philippine Department of Justice has dropped all charges against former computer college student Onel de Guzman.

De Guzman has acknowledged he may have accidentally released the ``I LOVE YOU'' virus that crippled e-mail systems worldwide in early May. But he refused to say whether he authored it. At the time the virus was unleashed, the Philippines had no laws against cyber-crimes. Officials charged de Guzman with more traditional crimes, such as theft.

Justice officials say the charges filed by investigators either did not apply to computer hacking, or there wasn't enough evidence to back them up. New laws were recently passed in the Philippines to outlaw computer hacking, but they can't be applied retroactively.