When someone on the internet figures out you're a dog...

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

Lori Drew, the really horrible person who pretended to be a teenage boy online so she could say mean things to one of her daughter's ex-friends, with the result that the girl in question hanged herself when her parents weren't paying attention, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Federal court. Being a childish dirtbag, I'm actually happy to say, isn't against the law in Missouri (or anywhere else as far as I know), so Ms. Drew naturally isn't being prosecuted in her home state by state authorities, who properly determined that while what happened was tragic and stupid, it wasn't illegal. No, Ms. Drew is being prosecuted in California--for “Accessing Protected Computers To Obtain Information" and "Aiding And Abetting And Causing An Act To Be Done.” Hey, I don't make this crap up, folks.

The essence of Ms. Drew's crime, of course, is that she invented a sock puppet on MySpace: unlike every single other person on that wonderful website, Ms. Drew had the insidious ingenuity to sign up with a fake name, not to mention other false information--she even lied about her age and gender, something else nobody has ever done on the internet! Fiend!

It's hardly a defense of Ms. Drew to say this is ridiculous: she's a horrible little person who should never get a good night's sleep again, and people in her community who choose to shun her have the right idea. However, depressing a teenager hardly requires Gaslight-caliber machinations: tell him his poems suck or casually repeat what her friends said about her new skirt after she left and hide all the sharp objects in the household. If we're going to prosecute Ms. Drew for being an immature bitch, it seems only fair to consider charging the dead girl's parents for culpable negligence: this is what happens when you don't pay sufficient attention to your children's internet use and/or moodswings.

None of which brings back the poor dead kid; nothing will, and people will just have to live with their remorse, as they should. The larger issue with what Our Stupid Government had decided to do is with the erosion of internet privacy that a successful conviction of Ms. Drew may bring.

Anonymity doesn't generally bring out the best in people, but its often a necessary evil. One doesn't necessarily want every company one does business with online to know everything about oneself, for starters. Apparently, if one uses a fake e-mail address to log onto a website so that one may leave a comment or view an article, one is "Accessing A Protected Computer To Gain Information," a federal crime. And if others on the internet are so naïve as to think you're exactly who you say you are behind a thicket of phonelines and fiber optics, well, that's your fault, too. It's a hallowed internet tradition that online, nobody knows you're a dog. Should our government convince a Federal judge that this is a violation of the law, I imagine we'll all be expected to bark our identities as loudly and often as possible.

Personally, I don't think there's much to the Feds' case, but what do I know? We'll see whether this one has legs or not. Let's hope not.


Janiece Murphy Monday, June 16, 2008 at 3:56:00 PM EDT  

Eric, maybe I should sue you for outing my secret identity as a Chinese Crested Dog.


Michelle K Monday, June 16, 2008 at 7:46:00 PM EDT  

I think that woman probably shouldn't ever walk down a dark alley.

And I think she should also have her picture posted not just all over the internet but posted on billboards as the lying sack of shit who caused the death of a teenager.

Though Eric, I agree with your point on parent's monitoring a child's internet access, I must disagree with your statement they should have realized what was going on with their daughter.

It doesn't happen like that. When I was a teenager my parents had no idea how bad I was. My father drove me to school every day, we had family meals, and he tried to talk to me, but he simply had no idea. And he has degrees in Psychology.

And I don't blame him for not knowing.

Even knowing my past, Micheal and I have had a hard recognizing when I needed help. And we're on the look out for it.

Nathan Monday, June 16, 2008 at 8:07:00 PM EDT  

You mean you're not really a lawyer? Then why the fuck should I listen to your legal opinions? :D

Actually, I like the active shunning idea. The prosecution is a reach.

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