"Legislation and aggressive prosecution are a little bit beside the point," he says. "It's remedy after the fact. There's no evidence that any of that works as a deterrent." By the time the cybercops barged through Reomel Ramones' front door Monday and started seizing computer equipment (but no computer, which was apparently disposed of while police tried to find a statute to prosecute on and a judge tech-savvy enough to issue a warrant), most offices and government agencies ravaged by the Love Bug last week had put their digital lives back together and passed out software patches to plug this Herbie's favorite holes. But no matter what their IT guys tell them, says Grossman, "virus writers will always be able to find a way around whatever walls and patches the anti-virus companies put up." Viruses that, in this irrevocably wired world, travel everywhere. And come from anywhere.
Even after having to temporarily release the Manila man they had in custody for insuffucient evidence, Filipino investigators and their FBI buddies say they've got a list of 10 suspects in their hunt for the progenitor of the Love Bug, all connected to a Manila computer school including the man, his girlfriend and her sister. But the problem with police action is that it's all cure and no prevention. And the sad fact, says TIME technology writer Lev Grossman, is that there will always be another Love Bug, another Michelangelo, another Melissa. And there's not much anybody can do about it.