Conviction in MySpace Suicide Case Dangerous Ruling
December 1, 2008
The conviction of a Missouri woman accused of creating a fake MySpace account to harass a girl who later committed suicide represents a gross and inappropriate expansion of federal power to regulate speech and communications over the Internet. Lori Drew was convicted of illegally accessing MySpace computers on the basis of having created false registration data using a law intended to prosecute criminal computer break-ins. CDT, in court filings, warned that using that law to prosecute Drew had "dangerous ramifications" for Internet users. If the current ruling stands, it "would convert the millions of Internet-using Americans" into instant criminals for nothing more than entering a convenient nickname for online identification purposes. CDT believes the conviction should be overturned and further prosecutorial attempts abandoned.