by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 22nd 2008 9:01am
While Lori Drew was eventually convicted under computer hacking laws, originally prosecutors in Missouri refused to charge her, noting that it was pretty clear she had not broken any laws in Missouri. Not surprisingly, the emotionally-tinged case meant that politicians had to rush into the void, hastily passing a law to make it illegal to be a jerk online. Of course, prosecutors couldn't go back and retroactively charge Drew, but they apparently haven't wasted much time in making use of the new law, charging at least seven people under the new law for a variety of "cyber" harassment attacks, mostly involving annoying someone with text messages. Of course, as some are noting this is a waste of taxpayer money, burdening the court system with annoyances that should be settled informally among people. Have we really reached a point in society that people have to run to court every time someone acts like a jerk towards them?
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