Lori Drew Case Officially Dropped

from the good-news dept

While this should come as no surprise -- since the judge basically said two months ago that he was planning to dismiss the ruling against Lori Drew -- it's worth noting that official ruling dismissing the case has been handed down:
The reasoning of the opinion is that whatever unauthorized access means, it cannot mean mere violation of Terms of Service without more. Such a reading of the statute would render the statute unconstitutionally void for vagueness because it would give the government almost unlimited power to prosecute any Internet user and wouldn't give citizens sufficient notice as to what of their Internet conduct was criminal.
Phew. Whatever you think of Drew's behavior, it was absolutely wrong to try to twist a totally unrelated law to find something to charge her with.

Of course, now, in the wake of this debacle, Missouri passed a new law making online harassment a potential felony, and the first case under that law has been filed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    Mike, you [adjectve][noun], how can you not see that Lori Drew is a [adjective] bitch and I hope she dies a/an [adjective] death!

    She personally killed that [adjective] girl and nothing anyone says will make me think that she shouldn't go [verb] herself with a [noun] in her [noun], you [adjective] blogger!

    [verb] You!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    Oooh! Madlibs! I love these.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward (the only real one), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    werd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    Froob!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    Winner: comment of the day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    The Cenobyte, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Isn't harassment already illegal?

    I had a dude arrested and jailed years ago because he would call and write letters calling me names, calling in the middle of the night, basicly being a jerk all around. The cops arrested and charged him with Harassment, he was fined and given jail time (Was not his first offence) and ordered to stay at least 1000' from me at all times and 1000' from any place that I might go (I listed hundreds of places all over town using mapquest to make sure most of downtown and the west end where locations he couldn't go). So why exactly do we need a new law?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    Why? So grandstanding politicians can get re-elected, of course.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Matt (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    This is an interesting sticky thicket. If Drew had been seeking money (instead of just to embarrass or harass or whatever,) this certainly would have been a wire fraud and there would have been a (more rational) federal prosecution. That the harm was not financial doesn't make much of a difference to me.

    Criminal law is not well-developed to deal with problems like this (yet). The civil law is - no doubt, if it hasn't already happened, the parents or estate will appropriately file an action against Drew and the various coconspirators for privacy torts, wrongful death, and the like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Matt (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    I should clarify - I agree with AC: harassment is already illegal. On the other hand, it doesn't always do enough - a protective order would have been useless and redundant after Megan was dead. The criminal law should be developed to account for the increased ability to people to hurt each other with the Internet. But the criminal conduct was _not_ violating some website Terms of Service, it was taunting and bullying. The prosecutors' overreaching theory was stupid. The judge did right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    In honor of such an award, I will be changing my Dark Helmet image yet again, to become Dark Joker...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    Oh! I'll play!

    Mike, you amazing bumblebee, how can you not see that Lori Drew is a visionary bitch and I hope she dies a/an enjoyable death!

    She personally killed that fat girl and nothing anyone says will make me think that she shouldn't go burn herself with a incandescent light bulb in her earlobe, you unappreciated blogger!

    [verb] You!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    bigpicture, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Oooohhhh, let's play mad libs for typical story responses...

    There was no scheming there, of course not. How can you say that those actions were from the mind of a deviant? All those actions were to make a better world, and feed, clothe and house the dying children.

    Phillip Garrido had something similar to say about how he was making a better world, to quote: "You're going to find the most powerful story coming from the witness, from the victim," he promised. "If you take this a step at a time, you're going to fall over backward, and in the end you're going to find the most powerful, heartwarming story." It's all just perspective or insanity, but never life affirming with respect to the other persons life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    DJ (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    Duh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    DJ (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    apparently you missed what Mike said, so I'll c/p it here:
    "Whatever you think of Drew's behavior, it was absolutely wrong to try to twist a totally unrelated law to find something to charge her with."

    To clarify that, he's saying that your opinion on what she did is irrelevant here, so we don't wanna hear it. Instead let's hear about your opinion on the ruling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    If she was harassed on the Interways, we need a new law saying they have to stay at least 127 bits of IPs away from the victim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    seeing that you misspelled offense, I'm going to assume you're European. In the US, it's generally not illegal to be a jerk. Even if you do something "harassing" the worst you get is a restraining order - the only crime would be violating the restraining order. However, telephone harassment can be a crime depending on what you do and where you live. In the US, making "internet harassment" a crime would be a very new thing in most states. However, there's still no real need for a new law since current law already allows you to (a) grow some balls and deal with it, (b) learn how to block certain things on the internet, or (c) get a restraining order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Aug 31st, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Harassment on a controlled platform?

    There really is no such thing as "harassment" on the Internet. Almost every site has tools necessary to deal with such annoyances. In Gmail, I can specify a filter to either delete incoming emails or direct them into storage (and "mark as read") for evidence in court. On Facebook, I can remove someone from my friend list and block someone. I left MySpace almost 4 years ago (member for about a month), but I assume it has blocking mechanisms.

    The only real grounds for harassment would be someone who repeatedly signs up under new names just to avoid your blocks. There MIGHT be a case there where someone is actively trying to throw themselves onto the victim, but other than that it amazes me how anyone can let themselves be bothered by stuff online.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Xanthir, FCD, Sep 1st, 2009 @ 6:56am

    Texas has them now, too

    I can't recall whether it's a Houston law or a Texas law, but starting today online harassment is a separate crime as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    isn't telephone harassment in the US a felony as well?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    brent (profile), Sep 1st, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    I think what she did was wrong!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Harassment on a controlled platform?

    well that teenage girl was duped....I'm not sure what question i should ask you to prove my point but one does go here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    davetopper, Sep 6th, 2009 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Isn't harassment already illegal?

    Harassment is illegal but, like in your case the internet is just another place.

    A place where this person can create a fake e-mail account, ( way too easy at google ) can use proxy servers so his IP can never be traced, and be more trouble for you online and you have no recourse but to put up with it or leave the net.

    You tell me with all that, that we need new laws. Where the internet is now concerned we may need more new laws rather than just one.

    Sure its already illegal, but the internet like I said is a whole different place with it's own jurisdiction.

    That needs to change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Grow a backbone teenagers!, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    I was bullied way worse in person than this girl was online. She needs to grow a fucking backbone and realize not everyone's going to fawn all over here. Sounds to me like she caused trouble for Lori Drew's daughter first, and just couldn't cope with it when she got back what she dissed out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Sandra, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    Something is mentally wrong with Lori Drew to behave like that. What stable adult does something like that anyway?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anubis, Nov 29th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Drew is a CUNT

    Lori Drew is nothing but a fat, ugly, and bitter cunt! She had nothing better to do than pick on a 13 year old girl. Eventually she'll get whats coming to her, carma is a real bitch just like this butch dike cunt Lori drew. God will put her in her place down below soon enough. Burn bitch!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Lori Drew Hater, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:29pm

    lori drew die a slow painful death you fat fucking bitch!

    I think that Grow a backbone ^^^^^ comment above sounds like lori drew to me, get the fuck out of here you fat dyke looking bitch. I hope you die a slow and very painful death. How fucking immature can you be to play someone like that. How can you live with your fat ugly dyke ass knowing you caused the barely teenage girl to be so upset she killed herself? So what if she said your daughter as an ugly fat bitch at school? I am sure she is if she is half as ugly and fat as you are she probably looks like jabba the hutt junior with ass breathe.

    I am surprised you even have a kid! The father must be fucking blind or have been drunk as hell when he poked lori drews fugly jabba the hutt looking self. I bet Lori Drews daughter is a big bitch too!

    I don't generally wish ill on anyone, but I hope to one day hear about something bad happening to this bitch. She has got me wanting to go all voodoo child and put a hex on her fat dyke ass. If I was one of the neighborhood kids you better believe she would be getting egged regularly, especially her car. Your lucky you don't live in my neighorhood you better never move here either, you better recoginize! You give americans a bad name.

    Do us all a favor and legally change your name from Lori Drew to BigFat DykeLooking ChildKiller. That way no one will have any questions about your ass breathe self. If I ever see you in real life I will spit in your face and give you my monkeypox! I will keep an eye out for Lori drew, fucking bitch!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    Re: lori drew die a slow painful death you fat fucking bitch!

    Hmm. Interesting. Four paragraphs of hate.

    LDH, lemme ask you a question: if Lori Drew reads that and commits suicide over it, what does that mean for you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Cherryl Lewis, Apr 19th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Internet Harassment

    I think it is appropriate for the masses to continue to harass Lori Drew and her family. I can send her a post card every week for fun, since her whereabouts is being tracked and published on-line. It's neat how the internet works that way so anonymous people can get away with communicating others, kind of like poetic justice, it is.

    >^;^

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Noksa, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Re: lori drew die a slow painful death you fat fucking bitch!

    Retribution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    RACHEL, May 16th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    Re: lori drew die a slow painful death you fat fucking bitch!

    FUCK YOU ASSWHOLE. GET A LIFE YOU TO FAKE STFU. GLAD THAT LITTLE GIRL IS DEAD. SHE DESERVED IT. YOU BIOTCH.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Chris m, Jan 22nd, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Cut her head off CUT HER HEAD OFF!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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