Kim Zetter at Threat Level spoke the jury forewoman who helped convict Lori Drew. The picture that emerges is of a panel unwilling to apply the original felony counts due to lack of evidence. However, they had no reservations about using anti-hacking statutes to criminalize breaking a website’s terms of service.
“I always read the terms of service,” Valentina Kunasz told Threat Level. “If you choose to be lazy and not go though that entire agreement or contract of agreement then absolutely you should be held liable.”
Drew created a sockpuppet account on MySpace with the intention of humiliating Megan Meier, a troubled youngster who had fallen out with Drew’s own daughter. Meyer killed herself after receiving a message from the account that said the world would be a better place without her.
Unable to apply normal harassment laws to the internet, local prosecutors could not proceed against Drew, leading those in California, where MySpace is located, to challenge her using a computer security law. Though Drew’s callous behavior lent her few defenders, many voiced concerns about a judgment that could make internet anonymity a crime.
Do you find and read the terms of service of every website you visit? I’ve never even read our own!