Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lori Drew Indicted in MySpace Hoax

Several months ago in this blog, I predicted that US Federal authorities would find a way to prosecute Lori Drew, the alleged perpetrator of the Dardenne Prairie MySpace cyberbullying effort that resulted in the death of Megan Meier, her teenage neighbor.

My prediction was based on the fact that Drew's alleged messages undoubtedly traveled through the MySpace Los Angeles data center - a detail that I thought would enable Feds to take an interest in the case.

The good news out of Los Angeles today is that the Feds there have come to the same conclusion, and indicted Drew. I doubt this action would have been taken without some serious reflection on behalf of prosecutors, and careful examination of the evidence.

Regardless of whether or not Drew goes free at the end of this (I'm sure First Amendment free speech rights will form at least part of the argument for the Defense), Megan's mother Tina and the rest of the Meier family - and other families affected by cyber-bullying - can at least be comforted that some level of justice may be in sight.

Undoubtedly the case, when it comes to trial, will get massive media attention - and spur some attempts at legislation. Watch this (My) Space!

Note: On the subject of parental controls, I've been recently playing with a new version of Authentium's SafeCentral that enables parents to lock their kid's surfing choices to a manifest.

This service, which will hopefully launch this year, adds some new options to parents seeking to protect kids from some of the more extreme users (see above) of the more anonymous social networks, like MySpace.

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