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.
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