Dotcom’s judge described his hacking as “youthful foolishness.” The beak who rapped Assange’s knuckles said the lad was not malicious, just intellectually inquisitive. Hmm. Spare the rod?
Psych profiles of hackers reveal brainy misfits who believe themselves Michelangelos of the keyboard. They lack interpersonal skills and confidence, and get back at the world via computer sabotage. Hackers long to impress.
Assange does his St Robin Hood act by stealing secrets from the powerful to tell to the poor. Dotcom, rather differently, appears to have been mounting an attempt on the Guinness record for bad taste.
Leaks from Assange’s own organisation hint at a highly unpleasant young man, who now risks being remembered as a banana republic refugee from rape charges. For all that, one would presume Assange’s achievements earn him more in the sympathy stakes than Kim Dotcom, but this may not now be so.
The Dotcom saga has more cockups than a roll call of roosters. Plus malice, toadying, shiftiness, deceit, and buck-passing, So does anything remotely good emerge from this sorry tale?