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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dismissal urged in Megan Meier case

Twelve law professors and several Internet civil liberties organizations say that a conviction in the federal case against Lori Drew in the suicide of Megan Meier would have the effect of "criminalizing the everyday conduct of millions of internet users." An amicus brief submitted for the group concluded: "Megan Meier's death was a terrible tragedy, and there is an understandable desire to hold the Defendant somehow accountable for it, if Defendant's conduct was as alleged. But a dangerously overbroad construction of the CFAA [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act] would criminalize the everyday conduct of millions of internet users. The novel - indeed, unprecedented in the history of the CFAA - interpretation ... advanced in the indictment cannot be squared with the plain language of the statute, its legislative history, and the constitutional requirements that criminal statutes provide citizens fair notice, avoid vagueness and comport with the First Amendment." They urge the Court to dismiss Drew's indictment. Here are the Electronic Frontier Foundation's press release on the position and the amicus brief itself in pdf format. For background, here's my original post on the Meier case.

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