Acquitted “cyber-bully” Lori Drew a victim of online tormenters

By Keegan Hamilton
Riverfront Times
​Technically this is old news — the judge in the case said way back on July 2 that he had “tentatively” decided to overrule the LA jury’s three guilty verdicts and acquit Lori Drew on misdemeanor charges of violating MySpace’s “Terms of Service” agreement. But, as of last Friday, the judge’s ruling became official and the (mostly positive) long-term implications warrant a little discussion.

In the ruling, which you can read in full by clicking here, Judge George H. Wu wrote that convicting Drew would set a dangerous precedent and “convert a multitude of otherwise innocent Internet users into misdemeanant criminals.” In other words, if you’ve ever skipped to the end of a lengthy, legalese-filled Terms of Use policy and just checked the box without reading, you can now thank Judge Wu for potentially saving you some hassle and a possible criminal conviction.

Several legal and online naval-gazers are celebrating the ruling. Perhaps the folks at Wired put it best when they wrote that the acquittal is “the only sensible disposition of a depressingly sad case.” The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog said the decision protects an “unconstitutionally vague” reading of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Full story.


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