Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Speakeasy forum

General discussion

Are you who you say you are?

by JP Bill / December 4, 2008 11:45 AM PST
Cyberbullying verdict turns rule-breakers into criminals

They couldn't convict her of being a terrible person, so they had to nail her for impersonating one.

That was the sorry end of a landmark cyberbullying trial heard in the United States. Lori Drew, the woman whose phony MySpace account may have driven a neighbour's teenaged daughter to suicide, was convicted in a Los Angeles court this week ? but not for cyberbullying. There's no law against that. Instead, Drew was convicted of ?unauthorized access? ? a crime usually reserved for hackers. And that spells trouble for everyone.

That's right: It wasn't the laws of the United States of America that she violated, so much as that fine print that comes up whenever you install a new piece of software or sign up to a website ? the kind that most everybody grumbles at and clicks right past.

In the case of MySpace, the fine print had a clause prohibiting users from signing up under a false identity. According to the prosecution's logic, Lori Drew had flaunted those instructions when ?Josh Evans? was created, and was therefore making unauthorized use of MySpace ? which made her, in a manner of speaking, a hacker. And that's what she was convicted of.
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Are you who you say you are?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Are you who you say you are?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
i don't see how they did it
by jonah jones / December 4, 2008 10:07 PM PST

of the MILLIONS of internet IDs floating around, how many people actually use their REAL names/s??

i wonder if an appeal is in the offing?


Collapse -
I wonder how many, though
by Angeline Booher / December 4, 2008 10:32 PM PST

.... have TOS that specifically say no false names.

Even before "handles" were allowed in this community, the registration user name was real-sounding, but did not mean it was necessaily the user's real name. The TOS did not demand it. I wish we could dump these handles which serve as shields for some people to hide behind.

I am personally glad that the woman was convicted under a law by which she could be, Maybe other cyber bullies will learn from it.

Speakeasy Moderator

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!