U.S. Law Doesn’t Bar Cyber Bullying, Argues MySpace Defendant


A defense attorney for Lori Drew, Missouri woman charged in a MySpace hoax that allegedly led to a 13-year-old girl’s suicide argues that prosecutors are bending a cyber crime statute to prosecute his client, reports the Associated Press. At issue is whether the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which usually is used in hacking cases, is relevant to cyber bullying. “Cyber bullying is not, under any definition, trespass or theft,” defense lawyer H. Dean Steward said yesterday.

Drew is accused of helping to create a false-identity account on the MySpace social networking site and harassing her young neighbor with cruel messages. The girl hanged herself in 2006. Federal prosecutors stress the rapidly changing state of law involving the Internet and social networking and argued that Congress envisioned the law “as a tool to address all manner of cyber crimes.” A hearing is set for Sept. 4, the trial for Oct. 7.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/19/AR2008081900369.html

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