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Computer Student in Philippines Admits 'Love Bug' May Have Been an AccidentAired May 11, 2000 - 2:34 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A computer student in the Philippines admits he may have unleashed the love bug computer virus by accident, turning the world's e-mail system into a money-losing mess a week ago.
More now from CNN's Maria Ressa. She is in the Philippines.
MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brother and sister, wearing dark glasses, they huddled together for support. Irene de Guzman, the owner of the apartment raided by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Monday, and her brother, 23-year-old Onel de Guzman.
Authorities at his computer college in Manila say Onel wrote a thesis proposal for a password-stealing program that's similar to the "ILOVEYOU" virus. Now he says he can't remember where he was a week ago when the virus was launched, or if he was even on-line. But he says if he was, it's possible he may have accidentally hit the wrong key.
It is still not clear whether he wrote the program for the virus. Onel, at times, seemed to be crying. When asked questions, he would consult his sister, then his lawyer, who answered for him. For instance, should people pay for Internet access?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Internet is supposed to be educational, so it should be for free.
RESSA: Words like this echo lines from his proposal for a program to help people steal and retrieve passwords to Internet accounts. He was asked if he knew of the legal and moral ramifications.
ROLANDO QUIMBO, ATTORNEY: He does not accept the distinction between what is illegal and what is immoral.
RESSA: NBI officials say they want to question Onel, and have issued a subpoena for Irene. She denies receiving one. Both say they won't come for questioning until they're legally forced to. They insist they haven't been in hiding.
When asked whether he considered it immoral for fees to be charged for Internet access, Onel placed his hands over his ears and refused to answer.
(on camera): So did he write the virus? did he send it? two key questions that still have no direct answers. His lawyer did make one clear stand: His client is not guilty of any crime if no law has been broken.
Maria Ressa, CNN, Manila.
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