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Tag: Lori Drew

Cyber-Bully Mom Off the Hook in MySpace Suicide Case

myspace-images3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It looks like cyber-bully mom Lori Drew has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed notice in court that it does not plan to pursue an appeal in her case. She was charged with computer fraud and Abuse Act after she created a fake MySpace account to harass a teenage girl who committed suicide, WIRED’s Threat Level website reported.

Drew was convicted in L.A. last November, but a federal judge acquitted her in July.

“We have a notice with the 9th Circuit that we are withdrawing our notice of appeal in the case,” a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles wrote in an e-mail to Threat Level.

The case raised all kinds of Constitutional questions. In the end, the law governing the Internet remains murky.

Prosecutors charged Drew under a federal hacking law, but U.S. District Judge George Wu ruled that the government’s interpretation was, in the end, unconstitutional and would have opened up the gates for more questionable prosecutions.

Background on the MySpace Case

Fed Judge Dismisses MySpace Conviction of Missouri Mom in Teen Suicide Case

myspace-images3

The judge decided the conviction could not stand. Yes, what she did was profoundly stupid and inexcusable, but criminal?  The Justice Department thought so. But apparently the judge did not.  The law for the Internet remains unclear after all this time.

By Alexendra Zavis
Los Angles Times
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge tentatively decided today to dismiss the case against a Missouri woman who had been convicted of computer fraud stemming from an Internet hoax that prompted a teenage girl to commit suicide.

Lori Drew of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., was convicted in November of three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer.

The decision by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu will not become final until his written ruling is filed, probably next week. Wu said he was concerned that if Drew was found guilty of violating the terms of service in using MySpace, anyone who violated the terms could be convicted of a crime.

Drew 50, was to be sentenced in May but Wu had delayed the sentencing until today, saying he wanted to consider the defense motion to dismiss the entire case.

For Full Story

Judge Delays Sentencing in MySpace Suicide Case: Says Fed Prosecutors May Have Gone Too Far

This latest glitch only clouds the boundaries in the area of Internet law. Should we look at this as a setback for prosecutors or an opportunity for a judge to provide clarity for prosecutors in the future?

myspace-images3

By Victoria Kim
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — When federal prosecutors in Los Angeles indicted a Missouri mother last year for committing an Internet hoax that apparently led to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl, they touted the novel legal approach that allowed them to file the case halfway across the country. On Monday, a U.S. district judge indicated they may have gone too far.

“Using this particular statute in this particular situation is so weird,” Judge George H. Wu said, calling some of the prosecution’s argument “troublesome.”

Wu’s comments came Monday afternoon at a hearing where Lori Drew, 50, was to have been sentenced. Wu delayed the sentencing until July, saying he wanted to consider a defense motion to dismiss the entire case.

For Full Story