Source: Cranium's homepage, which is largely devoted to the discussion of navis without operators:
Operator's neglect is what leads many navis to the poor state of becoming unoperated; there's not much that can be done to change that. Many people think that as soon as you get rid of the PET, your navi goes with it. This is often not the case, as the net is a vast storage space beyond your personal terminal. The navi is often left abandoned on the net, not knowing what options they have available to them. I'd like all of you navis to take a moment to think of what you ought to do if this hypothetical situation becomes your own.
There was a time where some netpolice officers had the unfortunate misconception that all navis without operators were labeled "Rogue." This is not the case. A Rogue navi is a navi with no operator, yes, but a navi only achieves the status of "Rogue" after performing a crime, which is kept on our record. It should also be noted that aiding a Rogue navi is another indicator of Rogue status, so on-the-fly judgments may be made accordingly. Still, becoming a Rogue should never be considered as an option for any navi without an operator.
An important fact to remember is that without your operator and his personal terminal, your lifeline is cut. You can't receive aid in battle, and more importantly, you can't reassemble your data after deletion like most navis can without the aid of special technology. In short, you're on your own, and with virus attacks as they are, I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.
The right option is to seek out a navi shelter. These "navi shelters" are not organized by the government, but are run as public homepages. The homepages are protected by other navis; you'll find safety in numbers. I'd ask that you consider advertising yourself for adoption by a new operator. Many operators are unsure of how to design a new navi and would be more than willing to adopt you and give you a new terminal to connect to.
Most importantly: the mafia is not your friend in this. If you are approached by a mafia recruiter, do not be swayed by anything he tells you. Joining the mafia is not your only option. Hell, it's not even an option. The mafia will use you to their own ends. To their recruiters, you're just profit. Furthermore, if they have to dump you to make their exit after being cornered by a netpolice operative, they'll be more than willing to do it. You're an acceptable loss and there's a million more of you out there, the way they see it.
The easiest way to avoid this topic, which is uncomfortable for everyone, is to make educated decisions regarding your own navi. Taking care of a navi is a commitment and hell, we're practically human. Dumping a navi isn't like dumping out an appliance that you no longer use. We'll all benefit if you guys take some time to talk it out, navi to operator.
Source: Gurta Wurm's weekly newsletter, "The Worm."
Now, I don't support the mafia by any means, but I think it's high time we paused to consider the sort of motives that might lead an unoperated navi to join up with a net mafia recruiter. We're all quick to point the finger when we imagine some hulking, ogre-like navi bribing these lost souls into a life of crime, but really, are there any alternatives worth considering for them? We know that the netpolice offers no sponsorship to any kind of shelters for these navis. The few organizations that do spring up for them are really nothing more than pounds for navis. They offer a slim chance of adoption for the navis they house. Beyond that, the navis have nothing. They are deprived of their chance to virus bust or netbattle, due to their lack of an operated PET.
Can we really condemn them for choosing an organization that allows them those advantages again, with the additional promise of monetary rewards? The mafia offers these navis opportunities for advancement! The net police offers them at best nothing and at worst deletion. If we consider the net mafia and net police two heads of a single coin, can we not see why navis are drawn by the sweeter deal?
Next time you condemn a navi for his decision to join the mafia, perhaps you should instead direct an accusing finger at the police organization that fails to support them.