It was expected to be a very interesting legal battle. First there was the indictment, now the challenge. The defense attorney for Lori Drew filed motions to get her case thrown out of court. The case involves the first time that a 22-year old law, that was written to catch hackers, is being used in a case of online bullying. At issue, were prosecutors reaching, when they charged Drew with a crime for her involvement in the MySpace hoax that led to a 13-year old's suicide?
Background: Drew is the Dardenne Prairie women who is accused of creating a fake MySpace website to harass 13-year old Megan Meier, who committed suicide. Drew was charged in June in Los Angeles, where MySpace is headquartered, with illegally accessing MySpace computers, conspiracy and accessing a protected computer without authorization. Prosecutors based the charges on a law that was designed to catch hackers. On Wednesday, July 23rd, defense attorney Dean Steward filed motions to have the indictment dismissed and laid out a detailed argument to explain why.
In court documents, Steward argues that the law is too vague to know when it's actually been broken. He claims that in the government's zeal to charge Drew with something, they've criminalized the violation of the terms of service for the use of the MySpace website or any website. He wrote, 'If violating user agreements is a crime, millions of Americans are probably committing crimes on a daily basis and don't know it. In the wake of Megan Meier's death, several laws have been passed to punish those who bully others online. It will be interesting to read the federal prosecutor's response, which is expected to be filed in three weeks.