"We all know our various governments spy on various percentages of emails and other web traffic, especially those that cross national borders. And perhaps/probably this spying is excessive."
No, we don't all know that. Accepting the premise that some governments do monitor some communications (I do believe this is true) does nothing to indicate the scope of the monitoring, nor the quality of analysis.
"For the cost to privacy of this major intrusion, it certainly does not seem to be helping national security or individual security in any meaningful way -- if it did the authors of this worm would be locked up right now."
There are so many assumptions in this paragraph it's hard to know where to start. First of all, we don't know how "major" the communications monitoring is. For the sake of argument, however, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Let's say that each government has access to all international communications. The next assumption is that the goverment has the capability to analyze these communications in real-time (because if they couldn't the backlog would grow exponentially). But let's give that to you as well. We next have to assume that the perpetrators have in fact identified themselves and given away their locations in international communications. Then we have to assume that these worm authors are, in fact, high enough on the list of criminals exposed by this supreme analytical database for the government to allocate resources to apprehend them. Then we have to assume that the government has either a) some legal agreement with the government of the location where these individuals are residing, or b) the resources and the nerve to invade the sovereignty of another nation (okay, maybe I'll give you that -- but for a few worm-writers...?) Then we have to assume that the government would necessarily publicize its efforts, which I find highly unlikely given that such would likely expose illegal activity on the part of the government
"Why isn't protecting the public and the nation when the public can't protect itself the purpose of government?"
1. The public CAN protect itself -- the patch has been available for THREE MONTHS. There are also antivirus programs, firewalls, alternative operating systems, just doing something else instead of using a computer...
2. The purpose of government is to protect the interests of said government. Anything more is an assumption of your ideology.
"For example, why is proof of identification not required to register a domain name?"
Because it's worked so well in bars and at border crossings? For the record, contact information is necessary to register a domain name, but there's no easy way to prove identity. There is no such thing as a reliable proof of identification. All attempts at creating such a thing have met with strong opposition from privacy advocates, as it would require large amounts of personal information in the hands of those with questionable ablility to protect it. In fact, I find it ironic that you bemoan governments' excessive monitoring of communications and yet propose a solution which would require an equal invasion of privacy. It's clearly not as "non-intrusive" as you think.
"For nobody, not even the registrar, to know who the owner is, is an abdication of responsibility bordering on, and maybe surpassing, gross negligence."
The owner of what? The worm-writers haven't registered any of the domains the worm is contacting. That's why the security professionals have been able to register them.
"(Yes, invulnerable sections of code require more resources.)"
Significantly more resources? Not likely. Not if your development is security-focused to begin with and if you develop on security-focused platforms.
"I'd really like to see some lawyer types in a major jurisdiction launch some class action lawsuits on this."
"I (and much of the public) malign lawyers and law enforcement, but this is a situation where they could easily step in, and where they should step in, because this worm and malware in general is a gross threat to the privacy of us all as individuals, and is a threat to economic and national security."
No, they could not easily step in. And no, this is not a reasonable prioritization of resources. Bringing these people into a court of law isn't going fix the infected systems, or prevent anyone else from registering the domain names those systems will contact in future. It also will do nothing to stop the real crimes that are happening on a daily basis. The inconvenience of patching security flaws and using antivirus software is NOT on the same order of magnitude as the major financial scams and physical violence and exploitation, not to mention inefficent use of resources, global pollution, etc., which are going on in our lovely world. And if the lawyers and the government can't stop those, why do you expect them to be able to fix the IT world's minor boo-boos?
Have some fairy cake and get yourself a sense of proportion.