Los Angeles Times, USA Today Run Editorials Opposing Lori Drew Verdict:
Today both the Los Angeles Times and the USA Today are running editorials against the government's prosecution of Lori Drew under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The Los Angeles Times editorial is titled "Government as CyberBully," and it argues that Judge Wu should grant our motion to dismiss:
  [T]he prosecutors' interpretation of Section 1030 would "criminalize the everyday conduct of millions of Internet users." The government should be particularly wary when the allegedly criminal activity is speech, even when that speech leads to something as tragic as Megan's death. Websites can and should do a better job of responding to cyber-bullying and other abuses of their terms of service, rather than relying on the federal government to do it for them. Wu reserved judgment when Drew's lawyer asked him to acquit Drew of the charges before the jury began its deliberations. He should grant that motion now.
The USA Today's editorial is titled "MySpace case bends the law":
  Drew wasn't convicted of driving someone to suicide or showing criminally poor judgment, but of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes unauthorized use of a computer a crime.
  The law was written in the 1980s to deter computer hackers and has been revamped several times, but this was the first time it was used to punish cyberbullying. To find a way to charge Drew, prosecutors might have stretched the law too far and made potential criminals out of millions of Americans.
  Any Internet surfer is familiar with the ritual it takes to join many websites, including social networking ones such as MySpace, which is where the bullying occurred. You're presented with legalese known as the "terms of service" and asked to accept them. Most people never bother to read them, but by clicking "Yes" or "I accept," you've crossed a legal threshold. If you violate those terms — even if you have no clue what they are — you're not just breaking the website's rules, you also might be committing a criminal act. Drew was convicted of violating MySpace's terms of service.
  This could create millions of "criminals," because Internet users commonly violate terms of service for valid reasons. For example, people worried about identity theft or online predators often join websites under fake names, a practice explicitly prohibited by some websites, including MySpace.
  It's absurd to think that prosecutors busy with real crimes will comb the country looking for people who violate website policies, but it's a little less outlandish to imagine that a politically motivated prosecutor could take advantage of an overly broad law.
  . . . . [S]ince the Missouri tragedy shows how dangerous cyberbullying can be, it makes sense to update harassment laws to attack it directly. That could provide a way to hold the next Lori Drew liable — without making potential criminals of innocent people in the process.
  (Incidentally, click here for a prescient law review article that foresaw the governemnt's theory in the Drew case five years ago and explained the problems with such a theory.)

  In an effort to achieve balance, the USA Today has also run an essay in favor of the Lori Drew prosecution by Nick Akerman, an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney who appears from his firm bio to have built a civil practice relying on broad constructions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. (Akerman is the co-chair of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Practice at the firm.) As far as I know, Akerman is the only self-described "expert" on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act who actually supports the government's theory in the Drew prosecution. Akerman tries to make the case for the prosecution here.

  As an advocate in the Drew case, I'm certainly pleased by these editorials. It's not every day that two of the most important newspapers in the country take your client's side in litigation. And as a scholar of computer crime law, I'm also pretty amazed: I can't say I ever expected the LAT and the USA Today to run editorials on the proper construction of 18 U.S.C. 1030 -- and to get it right!