"Whenever you propose a new law, imagine what the results would be if that law was enforced by your worst enemy or the stupidest person you know." - AnonymousA while back, a real b!t*h of a mother allegedly managed to humiliate a young woman by the use of a fake MySpace page to the point that the young woman hanged herself.
There doesn't seem to be a law on the books for that, but, since Prosecutors are as fond of Law & Order (the TV series) as most of America seems to be, one in this case has decided to do the Jack McCoy route, and stretch an existing law to fit:
Internet suicide case goes to federal courtHere's what the law is for:
A Missouri woman accused of taking part in a MySpace hoax that ended with a 13-year-old girl's suicide has so far avoided state charges — but not federal ones.
Lori Drew, 49, a neighbor of the dead teen, was to make an appearance in federal court here Monday, accused of one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress.
The charges were filed in California where MySpace is based. MySpace is a subsidiary of Beverly Hills-based Fox Interactive Media Inc., which is owned by News Corp.
Drew, of suburban St. Louis, Mo., allegedly helped create a fake MySpace account to convince Megan Meier she was chatting with a nonexistent 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans.
Megan Meier hanged herself at home in October 2006, allegedly after receiving a dozen or more cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her. Drew has denied creating the account or sending messages to Meier.
U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said Drew is expected to enter a plea in federal court, then have her case assigned to a judge and be given a trial date. He said she would then be allowed to return to her home state pending trial.
The statute used to indict Drew usually applies to Internet hackers who illegally access accounts to get information.But:
James Chadwick, a Palo Alto attorney who specializes in Internet and media law, said he has never seen the statute, known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, applied to the sending of messages.No, but a U.S. Attorney is going to try.
He said it was probable that liability for the girl's death would not be an issue in the case. "As tragic as it is," he said, "You can't start imposing liability on people for being cruel."