jackofallgeeks: (Default)
[personal profile] jackofallgeeks
So this whole Lori Drew case is something of a huge mess.

If you haven't heard, Lori Drew is a lady who created a fake MySpace persona
(Josh) in order to find out what an ex-friend (Megan Meier) of her daughter
was saying about said daughter. Things moved from there to a plan to
confront and humiliate Megan, but then it was decided that they should back
off, pull out, and remove the page. The decided the best way to do that
would be to have "Josh" start being mean to Megan in order to get her to end
their friendship. Instead, Megan killed herself.

The details help clear up the issue a bit more, but that's the long and
short of it. There are some who say that Megan's suicide was a result of a
fight she had with her own mother, but apparently she killed herself shortly
after "Josh" said the world would be a better place without her. The point
though is that Lori Drew has been taken to court on three counts of
"unauthorized computer access" and one count of conspiracy.

That's the bit that gets me, though. Lori Drew clearly
seems to be a wretched woman. I think it's clear that she harrassed Megan,
though I think it's more than a stretch to try and say that Megan's suicide
was Drew's intent. None of that's the point, though, because she
hasn't been charged with harrassment or manslaughter or anything else
of that nature. She's been charged with "unauthorized computer access";
computer fraud, hacking. Where's that come from? Because she made a fake
MySpace page, and fake pages are against MySpace's Terms of Service. So
they're trying to say that breaking MySpace's TOS is a criminal act of
computer hacking. Which is not only terribly troubling, it's absurd.

drew deserves to be vilified, and I hope the guilt of what her plot lead to
weighs on her for the rest of her life. But trying to twist the law in
order to punish her for something generally unrelated to the charges at hand
is unjust. As such, I hope Drew wins this case and gets off.

Date: 2008-11-21 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tarsus4.livejournal.com
I don't think there's a legitimate criminal charge that could be brought against her. Manslaughter, possibly, but that's not a slam dunk at all. That kind of harassment isn't criminal behavior, as far as I know.

Now the victim's family is free to file a civil suit on any of these claims. Wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. But as far as Myspace and the state are concerned, this is the best they can do.

(which then raises the question, are computer access violations fair criminal charges? If what they're being used for isn't criminal, then why is the means? One doesn't bring charges for misuse of a hammer...)

Date: 2008-11-21 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackofallgeeks.livejournal.com
You've kind of hit on my point. "Unauthorized computer access" is a crime; it's the digital equivalent of breaking and entering. But that requires some amount of forced entry into a system that's closed to you; violating TOS is not unauthorized access. She basically just gave false information to the website, something practically everyone does from time to time (if not regularly). If unauthorized access is breaking and entering, then violating TOS is like going into Taco Bell without shoes on -- the the remedy should be the same, denial of service and nothing more.

Date: 2008-11-22 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] otakulk.livejournal.com
I stayed far away from this case cause I thought it would disturb me, but I completely agree with everything you said.

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John Noble

August 2012

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