“MySpace mom” Lori Drew’s conviction thrown out

2 07 2009

“MySpace mom” Lori Drew has had her misdemeanor guilty verdict overturned by the federal judge handling the case, the LA Times reports. Violating a website’s terms of use is not, it seems, a federal crime after all.

Horrible things aren’t always crimes

The guilty verdict against Lori Drew, prosecutors crowed, would send an “overwhelming message” to online bullies. Though she escaped conviction on felony charges, the 49-year-old Missouri mom could have still faced three years in prison or fines of up to 0,000 for launching an online harassment campaign that ended in the suicide of a teenage neighbor. Drew was due to be sentenced today.

But the “message,” legal observers worried, may be that anyone who uses a website without paying close attention to those ubiquitous Terms of Service risks committing a federal crime. The judge shared those concerns.

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