Suicide Inspires Legislation Against Cyberbullying
The 2006 MySpace suicide case has prompted the Illinois House to draft new legislation on “cyberbullying.” The Cyberbullying Law amends the existing Criminal Code and The Harassing and Obscene Communications Act to ban threats, harassment, and stalking done through the means of electronic communication, and makes violations punishable by up to three years in prison.
The bill, which passed in the Illinois Senate last month, recently passed 180-1 in the House. The dissenting vote was cast by Democratic State Rep. Annazette Collins, who reasoned that the bill could criminalize children's online behavior even when they're not intending harm. The bill was sent to Governor Blagojevich on Thursday.
Similar legislation is being passed in the state of Missouri, where the suicide occurred. Lori Janine Drew, who had previously denied involvement in the suicide of Megan Meier, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week.