May 16, 2008

Loathsome--definitely, but a Federal offense?

Internet asshole Lori Drew has been indicted by a federal grand jury for fraudulently opening a MySpace account and "for accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress."

Drew is the 49-year-old woman who who posed as a teenage boy on MySpace in order to harass 13-year-old Megan Meier. Meier committed suicide after Drew's alter ego told her the world would be a better place without her.

Lori Drew is a despicable individual; every time I hear about this case, I am newly infuriated by her behavior. But I just cannot agree with this indictment. It stinks for several reasons:

  • It's an encroachment on free speech.

  • The indictment was brought before a grand jury by Los Angeles US Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien; Drew lives in Missouri and the local US Attorney declined to press charges. O'Brien, clearly a self-serving glory hound a la Eliot Spitzer,"saw a Los Angeles nexus because MySpace Inc. is a local company." O'Brien just had to hold a press conference announcing the indictment as the first of its kind in the nation.

  • This case, and others like it that the media has blown way out of proportion, has created a new, phony industry with its own set of charlatans, like Parry Aftab, who told Meredith Vieira this morning on "Today" that she was going to hold the first ever cyberbullying conference this fall. Personally, I can't wait.

My heart goes out to Tina and Ron Meier, Megan's parents. No parent should have to go through that and no adult should behave the way Lori Drew did. I can't imagine what it must be like to see that woman going on with her life. But this indictment isn't the answer; it just breeds more bottom feeders.

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