Love bug charges dropped

Philippines officials Monday dropped all charges against the student suspected

of releasing the "ILOVEYOU" computer virus that infected e-mail servers

worldwide in May.

The Associated Press reported that the charges against Onel de Guzman,

23, were dropped for lack of evidence and also because the charges filed

against Guzman by the National Bureau of Investigation were not related

specifically to computer hacking.

The former student from a computer college in Manila was charged June

29 with theft under a Philippines law that traditionally covers credit card

fraud. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

In mid-June, Philippine lawmakers enacted a new law to cover Internet

crime, but it cannot be applied retroactively against Guzman.

The "ILOVEYOU" computer virus was released May 4 and quickly crippled

e-mail servers around the globe. The bug was sent to about 84 million users,

and 2.5 million to 3 million were actually affected.

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