Megan Meier Federal Cyberbullying Case Decided Today


Well, as you’ve probably heard by now, the federal jury in California found Lori Drew guilty of computer fraud (and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) but not guilty of felony charges of unauthorized computer access to inflict emotional distress on Megan Meier.  She faces up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines for each of the three misdemeanors.  My feeling is that she’ll be placed on probation, as the fact that she has a family and is a mother would serve as a mitigating factor in sentencing decisions.  The pundits are going to say that the decision opens up huge concerns for anyone who registers and uses an online account (on a social networking site or anything else) because that violation of a site’s Terms of Use can lead to a similar fate.  I don’t agree – I don’t think this case will be used as precedent towards those ends.  Rather, I believe the jury made their decision based on the fact that intentional psychological harm was inflicted by Drew (and her accomplices) on Megan, but could not hang their hats on a law that prohibits such an act (because none exists).  Therefore, they hung their hats on the violation of MySpace’s Terms of Service and, accordingly, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  I am very interested to hear your thoughts related to the case and its short- and long-term implications.


  1. They should have thrown the book at her! Being a mom herself, she should have known better. Kids need to be taught not to disrespect each other period, but they do. The worst thing any adult can do is to fuel it. If this had been my daughter that commited suicide, going to court would have been the least of this horrible excuse for a human beings biggest worry. There is no way to know what would have happened to that poor girl if she had not done this to her-but she is guilty of pushing her over the edge and should have dearly paid for it.

  2. Lori Drew is a pathetic excuse for a human being. I just hope she spends time in jail, the fines ruin her financially and she's taunted for the rest of her miserable life for what she's done.

  3. The blame for this young girls death can be put on anyone really. A teen's life is stressful and hectic and any number of things could have pushed her over the edge. I believe the problem isn't so much the suicide, although sad, but the fact that there is no law to govern such situations. If you look at what is out there… there really is no consequences for a person who does this sort of thing. Most states have pushed it off on the schools to punish offenders but if the offender is not in school or does not go to that particular school where the victim attends not much can really be done legally. Basically this case set precident and is forcing government to look at such situations and create laws that will protect people from these preditory actions.

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