The Shockwave Rider

Good Wikipedia summary of John Brunner's 1975 sf novel The Shockwave Rider. A back burner project is to list all the things Brunner got right and wrong in that book. It's often cited as the first description of a computer "worm" but the author gave the worm super-cyber abilities for a deus ex machina ending.

The worm is eventually activated, and the details of all the government's dark secrets (clandestine genetic experimentation that produces crippled children, bribes and kickbacks from corporations, concealed crimes of high public officials) now become accessible from anywhere on the network - in fact, those most affected by a particular crime of a government official are emailed the full details.

The rebel gifted child phone phreak hacker main character anticipated cyberpunk's anti-heros but the book also featured utopian communes a la Walden II.

In place of the old system, Nick has designed the worm to enforce a kind of utilitarian socialism, with people's worth being defined by their roles in society, not their connections in high places. In effect, the network becomes the entire government and financial system, policing income for illegal money, freezing the accounts of criminals, while making sure money (or credit) flows to places where people are in need.

Found it disturbing on first reading (the government kidnapping/indoctrination of smart kids as weapons) and somewhat tamer the second; will give it another go soon.