MySpace web hoax case : The juror's view and hacking argument.

Posted by Unknown on Dec 2, 2008

In Brief : The jury leader in the trial of a Missouri woman accused of an Internet hoax that ended in a teenage neighbor's suicide said most panelists favored convicting the defendant of felony conspiracy.
The jurors in Myspace internet hoax case convicted Lori Drew the accused only on federal misdemeanor charges because they were unable to agree on whether the MySpace hoax was malicious, according to forewoman Valentina Kunasz.
Drew, 49, of the St. Louis suburb of O'Fallon, was convicted Nov. 26 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, where the case was tried because MySpace has servers in the area.
Witnesses had testified that the aim of the hoax had been to find out whether Megan was spreading rumors about Drew's daughter, Sarah, who was also 13 at the time.
The "boy" dumped Megan in 2006, telling her: "The world would be a better place without you." Megan hanged herself soon afterward.
They didn't think she intended to have this girl kill herself. But she knew she was suicidal, depressed and taking medicines and still continued to pursue this act. Whether (Drew) physically types those messages we'll never know, but she didn't make any effort to stop it, so, that was malicious.
Drew had conspired to create a fictitious teenage boy on MySpace to get Megan Meier, 13, to divulge information, not to harm her.

Megan's mother, Tina Meier, pointed out that Drew is an adult. "She knew what was going on," Meier said on "Today." "She allowed this to continue to happen."
She said she was disappointed that Drew was not found guilty of additional charges, "but that's something I can't dwell on."
The specifics of the Lori Drew case are messy and emotional. The important fact is that there is no federal cyberbullying statute, so the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles turned to a novel interpretation of existing computer hacking laws to try to punish the woman. The general idea is that in creating terms of service, a Web site owner specifies the rules of admission to the site. If someone violates any of those contractual terms, the "access" to the Web site is done without authorization, and is thus hacking.
Unfortunately for Internet users everywhere, a jury bought the theory last week and found Lori Drew guilty of three misdemeanor violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, punishable with up to one year in a federal prison and a $100,000 fine for each of the three counts
SENTENCE :Drew could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for her convictions on three misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization.

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