Myspace suicide woman 'did what loads of people do online'

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Missouri mother Lori Drew’s lawyer is now arguing that if she is guilty, then so are millions of other internet users every day.

The case concerns the harassment of a young girl over the net which spiralled out of control when the torment got too much for thirteen-year old Megan Meier, who was subsequently found hung in her bedroom. Drew is charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorisation

Court papers filed yesterday show that while what Drew did can be seen as wrong, there is no actual legal sanction against it. Drew’s assumed identity of a 16-year-old-boy ‘Josh Evans’ and a count of conspiracy is all she can be pinned for.

Defence attorney H. Dean Steward wrote: “The government, in its zeal to charge Lori Drew with something, anything, has tried to criminalise everyday, ordinary conduct: the wayward or misuse of a social network site”.

This causes a problem, as Drew is but a drop in an ocean of people who commit this ‘crime’ every day.

A former computer crime prosecutor, Mark Rasch confirms this point by noting that “the problem with this case is it makes a criminal out of virtually everybody online.”

Orin S. Kerr, a former federal computer crime prosecutor points out that “the possibilities for abuse are endless because Web site terms of service are arbitrary”, and so the debate continues.
theinquirer.net (c) 2010 Incisive Media
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