Through advancements in technology, computer use has expanded from simple office tasks to life-changing activities. Through this increased computer activity, potential crimes done with them boomed on the last decade – and the legislation is not prepared for the new trend.
An example is Megan Meier’s murder case. She committed suicide by hanging herself on her closet yet is still considered murder as the suicide is invoked by a “Josh Evans” she met in MySpace, which was later found to be used by neighbor Lori Drew. Drew allegedly used the said account to humiliate Meier and she, in return responded with messages like “You’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.” (Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case, 2008).
The most applicable law to use that time is the Computer Use and Fraud Act. The case ended with reduced counts of misdemeanors and conspiracy. The problem is that this law is made to protect private institutions from computer fraud and identity theft. This act looks upon the case on a corporate view, which is not appropriate and unfair at some point unfair to the Meiers. The legislation is not prepared to meet a new kind of crime, and the books of law has no bill purposely made for this kinds of crimes.
Megan Meier’s incident of cyber-bullying triggered legislative bodies of the country to review and revise their laws to incorporate such kind of cases so that they can handle similar situations in the future better. Missouri, for example, passed a legislation that will protect children and adults from harassment on social networking sites. This is in response on the state’s lack of appropriate laws to cover the case, as such case is the first of its kind there. This test of feasibility shows the government’s inability to create enough laws to protect its citizens, and a case of some kind must first occur before they can make a law regarding it. In comparison, the 9/11 on the Twin Towers gave the legislative body the idea to create terrorism-related laws.
Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case. (2008, November 26). New York Times .