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Unpublished Paper
THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO A TRAGIC TEEN SUICIDE: THE STRETCHING OF A STATUTE TO PUNISH CYBER-HARASSMENT, THE GROUNDBREAKING TRIAL, IMPLICATIONS FOR EVERYONE, AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE.
ExpressO (2009)
  • John M Ivancie
Abstract

This paper revolves around the novel use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to prosecute a Missouri woman, who, with her high-school-aged daughter, and a teenage employee created a fake MySpace.com account to get information about, and harass the daughter’s teen-aged friend. This harassment eventually led to that young girls suicide. No local law was broken by the trio’s actions, and thus, there was nothing local law-enforcement authorities could do. Federal prosecutors in California did respond and charged the mother under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a Federal anti-hacking statute. The way prosecutors used the statute is unprecedented and risks criminalizing a wide range Internet use—making any violation of the terms of service of a website grounds for a federal criminal charge. This paper thoroughly analyzes the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, this groundbreaking case, the legal implications of such an extension of the law and more effective means to address cyber-harassment.

Keywords
  • CFAA,
  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,
  • Internet,
  • Criminal law,
  • technology,
  • myspace,
  • lori drew,
  • prosecution,
  • criminalization,
  • overbroad
Disciplines
Publication Date
June 29, 2009
Citation Information
John M Ivancie. "THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO A TRAGIC TEEN SUICIDE: THE STRETCHING OF A STATUTE TO PUNISH CYBER-HARASSMENT, THE GROUNDBREAKING TRIAL, IMPLICATIONS FOR EVERYONE, AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE." ExpressO (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_ivancie/1/