A federal jury in Los Angeles found Lori Drew guilty of fraud this past Wednesday, raising a variety of questions  about the Terms of Service users agree to when they join online social networking sites.

For our readers who don’t follow the mainstream news, the now-49-year-old Drew posed as a teenage boy who befriended Megan Meier, 13, on Myspace and sent several nice messages to the girl.  But it was all a ploy to harass and humiliate the girl, apparently because Meier had “spread lies” about Drew’s own daughter Sarah.  The “boy” who was in fact Ms. Drew began sending Meier hateful messages, ultimately writing, “The world would be a better place without you.”  Meier, who had a history of depression and attention-deficit disorder, hanged herself shortly after reading that message.
Meier’s suicide, and the subsequent revelation of Drew’s involvement, triggered outrage across the country, and led to an emotionally charged but legally dubious trial in which Mrs. Drew was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  Ms. Drew was not charged with having anything to do with Megan’s death.
The case was an unprecedented use of federal computer fraud statutes.  While the crime took place in Missouri, prosecutors there chose not to pursue Drew; the trial ended up in federal court in Los Angeles, where Myspace is headquartered.  Most legal experts find the verdict is flawed, since it essentially equates the violation of usage agreements with hacking into a computer.  Drew’s attorney is seeking a new trial.
The implications for Stickam users are obvious, since Stickam is also headquartered in Los Angeles.  Thomas O’Brien, the United States attorney there, prosecuted the case himself, an unusual move which demonstrates his strong feelings in this issue.
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60 COMMENTS

  1. Since you dumbasses didnt read the article, you keep saying shes stupid for killing herself over the internet, it was not just the internet, this girl has had trouble for a long time and theres a time when someone snaps and the straw breaks the camels back,it wasnt like she was so happy but than all of a sudden she got suicidal from the myspace message

  2. She should at least have to sign up as an internet predator due to her actions, acting like someone who is a teenager, and being apart of the child’s suicide. People say words don’t hurt, but yes words do hurt when you have a serious mental illness.

  3. that bitch should fry i mean come on shes well over 18 she knows better how would she feel if someone made her kid feel so down on themselves and she walked in on them hanging there ya no fuck that bitch my 2 year old has more sence than that GOODNESS

  4. if you read about it the girl always told the sarah girl she wanted to die, she always thought about suicide. she was insure about her weight and her looks. she said she would never get a guy and her mom knew about it all thats why she did it so she should be charged
    the girl was young she didnt know what to do. she got picked on alot in school and unlike alot of u she was not on the internet alot so she didnt know if it was fake or what not. the mom was stupd to do what she did she shouldbe charger with murder.
    and she even told the boy about how she always wanted to die and he told her no because he had her maybe if all of you would look more into the case that are saying she shouldnt be charger you would underestand

  5. “I just don’t understand how someone can stoop so low into tour tormenting some 16 yearold girl. It just never makes sense to me.”
    she was only thirteen.

  6. Violating the terms of service for a web site is not illegal. It’s an agreement between you and the web site and the only consequences that can be put on you when you breach that agreement is the removal of your profile from the site.
    This lady, no matter how much of a piece of shit she is, didn’t do anything illegal and therefore she is innocent as far as the law goes. What she did was incredibly immature and disgusting, but you can’t put people in jail for that. She didn’t hang the girl, the girl hung herself.
    In this country, words are not bullets.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. I just don’t understand how someone can stoop so low into tour tormenting some 16 yearold girl. It just never makes sense to me.

  8. ^ What does lying have anything to do with Megan? Yes, Lori and others accused lied, but I’m talking about Megan.
    Why would she need a reason to lie? Her parents monitored basically everything she did on her computer, hence why she was able to create a myspace WITH their permission.
    PLUS you’ve got to remember the “guy” she was talking to would know she was lying, seeing as she had known the daughter of Lori since elementary school AND they only lived four houses apart.

  9. >>>our brains aren’t even done growing until about our early/mid-twenties.
    More reason for the parents to instill the one cardinal rule of the Internet: LIE.
    That’s it. Never tell anyone anything whatsoever about who you really are. Follow that simple one-word rule and you’ll be safe.
    If anyone can teach that to a 13 year old, it would be the parents.
    But I’m just talking crazy here, aren’t I?

  10. ^^ continued from above
    The law, you see, is selectively applied to whatever prosecution the public mob is calling for. We are no longer a nation of laws, we are a nation of Oprah-fied justice, where people are first found guilty in the tabloids, and then prosecutors scrounge around for some law they can find that might somehow apply.
    The whole thing has turned out justice system into a complete joke.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000552_MySpace_suicide_computer_crimes.html

  11. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Lori Drew is a wicked, wicked woman who impersonated a 16-year-old boy in order to torment a teenage girl (Megan Meier) who killed herself after the fictitious boy broke up with her on MySpace.’
    It’s a despicable situation involving seriously disturbed individuals. But let’s get something straight here, folks: Did Lori Drew violate the law by impersonating a teenage boy in chat rooms?
    If that’s the case then half the people in chat rooms are felons, because almost none of them tell the truth about who they really are. The internet is rife with impersonation. Since when did tormenting someone in a chat room become a crime?
    Prosecutors claim it’s illegal to violate the terms of service with MySpace. Really? It’s a felony to violate the terms of service that nobody even reads? Have YOU ever read the complete terms of service for a new credit card, an online membership or even a purchase you’ve made online? Virtually no one has.
    So how do you know you’re not violating something in those terms? Maybe the terms of service you didn’t read require you to jump up and down, hooting like a monkey and scratching your butt crack. If you don’t do that, according to the prosecutors in this case, you’re suddenly a FELON that should spend 20 years in prison!
    It’s no exaggeration: This is the claim of the prosecutors. They say Lori Drew is a felon for violating the terms of service of MySpace, and that’s it.
    Gee, I’m pretty sure that’s not a criminal offense, folks. The terms of service are a private agreement between YOU and the company. They are not enforced by the government, nor are they rules of law.
    In other words, if you believe in actual law, you know that this whole Lori Drew case was total hogwash. Lori Drew was illegally prosecuted using laws that don’t even apply to her actions. And the real reason why she was found guilty on these counts is because she was already pronounced guilty in the court of public opinion.
    Is Lori Drew guilty of something? No doubt. She’s probably guilty of being a mean psycho b*tch. But that’s not (yet) illegal in this country, and if it ever becomes illegal, the prisons would be filled to capacity.
    Listen: If a person decides to go kill themselves based on something you said, that’s their problem, not yours. Words and thoughts are not crimes. ACTIONS are crimes. If Lori Drew pummeled that teen girl to death with an oversized computer monitor, then that would be a crime. But creating a false online personality and taunting the girl with words is no such crime.
    It may be stupid. It may be mean. It may even be psycho. But it’s not a crime.

  12. I think it’s terrible how tons of kids kill themselves because of the internet, but no one is aware of the reason. But when someone FINALLY realizes, it’s alllll over the news. Obviously it’s a big problem, right? In my opinion, parents should be more aware of what their kids are doing if they’re 15 & under. I’m almost 15 an I’ve gotten into tonssss of crap that I shouldn’t have. Parents shouldn’t let their children be so exposed without having a good eye on them.
    Like this girl, she was 13. I don’t know if they lowered the age limit on MySpace but as far as I know, she was too young to be on the site.
    She was young and fragile. She would have believed anything a boy would have said, most likely for the acceptance. When she found out “he” turned on her I’m sure her heart was broken.
    And the terrible thing is, this is happening to girls AND boys older than her by several years over the internet. Young kids shouldn’t be sitting on their asses all day in front of a computer, at least not on the internet. They should be out having lives and being with friends. No friends? With their families.
    And it doesn’t take all day to have your heart broken. In that one second of reading a breakup message or whatever, a girl or boy’s heart is shattered. Simple because they’ve grown to the internet an know nothing more. So what are they to do when this person that knows secrets about you is now “against” you?
    This girl was just too young to be on the internet without parental guidence.
    I think just about everybody’s had their heart broken over the internet. It’s a terrible feeling. And most of them don’t have anybody to talk to about it irl because they’re ashamed of their internet life.
    I don’t know where else I’m going with thissss….
    And this wasn’t just about the girl up there, this was about any kid who is “addicted”, or not, to the internet or whatever.
    Goodbye.

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