Yesterday I saw this story about Lori Drew who was recently acquitted off her crimes by US federal judge. Remember Lori Drew? The woman who impersonated a boy’s profile on MySpace and drove a girl (Megan Taylor Meier) to suicide?
What I found interesting was the argument put forward by her attorney.
Dean Steward argued that the facts used to support Drew’s conviction on illegal access –that she violated the website’s terms of service by creating a false account — do not constitute a criminal offense and there is no evidence she even knew the rules existed.
I argue with his argument that most people are not aware of the laws or bother to read through the terms of service. But do everyone on “dating sites” like MySpace lie? Is there any details posted on your Facebook / Orkut account which you would call a lie? At least not in my case. I am surprised no one pointed out the difference between lying on a small detail and impersonation. Even if no one pointed it out to the attorney, I can’t believe judge took his theory to come to such a conclusion.
That said, what rules does India have in this regard? Of course there is a law which holds bloggers responsible for content posted on blogs and even for content posted in comments. (comments too?) So what about Fake IPL Player, the same dude who’s cynical posts were one of the reasons quoted for the increasing conflict within Kolkata team? Can Shah Rukh Khan sue him? If yes, why didn’t he? Would a judge in India accept to the point put forward by the lawyer in MySpace case? I doubt it. That aside, shouldn’t India make an addition to its IT law to get rid of such a loop hole…
After all, you have to ‘agree to the terms’ when you sign up for any service don’t you? What say?