online anonymity – Is It Coming to an END

clipped from www.techcrunch.com

MySpace is one of a number of companies that are believed to have been subpoenaed as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Megan Meier.

For those not familiar with the case, 13 year old Megan Meier committed suicide after she received “cruel” messages on MySpace allegedly from the mother of a school rival who was posing as a 16 year old boy in October 2006.

The case drew international headlines last year as authorities investigated whether it was possible to charge those involved with harassment. However the local investigation was dropped as Missouri law did not cover online harassment (but did cover other forms of harassment).

Whilst it’s easy to say go get’em in this case (and personally I hope they do given the circumstances,) any ruling that using a false identity online constitutes a federal felony as internet fraud could have a chilling effect for online anonymity depending on how the court rules. Definitely a case to watch.

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