Cyberbullying Outlawed in Missouri

The latest events in the Megan Meier MySpace suicide case took place Monday, when Missouri governor Matt Blunt signed into law a bill which revised the the state's already existing harassment law to include telephone and electronic communication.

Those under 21 would face only a misdemeanor, but for adults, this is a felony, with a sentence of up to four years in prison.

The Megan Meier case caught the attention of the nation when it brok. A teenage girl committed suicide after a MySpace romance went bad. The romance itself and the boy involved were in fact fictional, perpetrated as a vindictive prank by the mother of a former friend who lived down the street.

The suicide occurred in October of 2006, though her parents did not find out the truth until months later. In November of 2007, Megan's home town, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, unable to find an applicable law to charge anyone with, created one which bans Internet harassment.

The new law extends protection across the entire state.

Lori Drew, the adult perpetrator of the "prank," has been charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization. The charges each carry a maximum of 5 years in prison.

Megan's mother, Tina Meier, believes more should be done nationally.
"This is certainly not the end. Bullying and cyberbullying is something that takes place every day. This is not just one case with Megan."
And why not? Why isn't there a federal cyberbullying law?  Readers, what do you think?

Via:  Hot Hardware
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