Woman Convicted of Computer Fraud After MySpace Taunts Leads to Young Girl’s Suicide

The woman accused of using MySpace to bully a vulnerable teenage girl who subsequently killed herself has been found guilty of three misdemeanor charges. Lori Drew created a fake MySpace profile in the name of Josh Evans and used the persona to flirt with a thirteen year old girl named Megan Meier, who her daughter had previously fallen out with.

After weeks of flirting Drew then sent her message which said: “You’re a shitty person, and the world would be a better place without you in it.” About 20 minutes later, Tina Meier found her daughter hanging from her belt … Read the rest

“Google Transit” To Help Customers Navigate New York City Transit System, But At What Cost to the Privacy of Its Customers?

This is cool! Google Transit, a feature of the Google Maps online mapping service, provides point-to-point public transit trip planning. Google Transit will now allow travelers to access streamlined, regional trip-planning based on up-to-date schedule data across the subway, bus and rail systems, including walking directions for the beginning or end of the trip.

The new service will include transit services throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) service territory including: New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus and Staten Island Railway, as well as other regional connecting services participating in the initiative, … Read the rest

They’re Marketing Prescription Medications to Our Children in Our Schools

Advocates for children are upset that Alloy Media and Marketing has run ads for prescription drugs from its Channel One website. Channel One provides free news and original programming to about 10,000 middle and high schools. Channel One is, in the opinion of many, a controversial in-school news program that makes viewing ads a compulsory part of the school day for grades six through twelve.

One of Channel One’s drug ads links to Acneheroes.com, a kid-targeted website created by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis to promote BenzaClin, a prescription drug for acne. The website features actor Cody Linley, who introduces himself … Read the rest

Do You You Know What “Hash Value” Is? New York State Uses It to Combat Child Pornography on the Internet

Every online picture has unique “Hash Values” that, once identified and collected, can be used to digitally match the same image anywhere else it is distributed. It is analogous to a fingerprint.

As part of an undercover investigation, the New York State Attorney General’s office built a library of the Hash Values for images identified as being child pornography, enabling investigators to filter through tens of thousands of online files at a time, speedily identifying which Internet Service Providers were providing access to child pornography images.

This led to five of the world’s largest Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), AT&T, AOL, … Read the rest

Ensuring Every American Access to Broadband Is Essential For the Nation’s Health Care, Says Congress

Ensuring that every American has access to broadband throughout the country has been declared to be an essential health care imperative by the Joint Advisory Committee on Communications Capabilities of Emergency Medical and Public Health Care Facilities in a recently released report. The Joint Advisory Committee was established pursuant to legislation Congress passed in 2007 to implement the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.

The Committee found that home broadband can enable access to distant telemedicine applications, remote monitoring technologies, health information, and the ability of health care workers to work remotely in an emergency. Broadband communications systems can help ensure … Read the rest

Amid Privacy Concerns, Google Announces “Google Health”, an On-Line Health-Records Management System

Google has announced a pilot project called Google Health in which it will begin storing the medical records of 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who agreed to an electronic transfer of their personal health records so they can be retrieved through Google’s service, which will not be open to the general public. Each health profile, including information about prescriptions, allergies and medical histories, will be protected by a password.

Last year Microsoft introduced a similar service, HealthVault, and AOL co-founder Steve Case founded Revolution Health, which also offers online tools for managing personal health histories.

The project … Read the rest

Bill Introduced To Protect New Yorkers, Especially Children, From Sex Predators On The Internet

New York’s legislative leaders, at the request of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, have introduced a new and comprehensive bill known as the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) that establishes vital protections against sexual predators so that users of the Internet can more safely surf the Web.

e-STOP would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers, and would give access to that information to online social networking companies. Those sites would then be able to pre-screen and block access by convicted sex offenders.

According to the … Read the rest

Subpoenas Issued in MySpace Fake Identity Case Linked to Suicide of 13-Year Old Missouri Girl

Subpoenas were issued to Myspace by a federal grand jury last month. The subpoenas issued are connected to the suicide of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl from Missouri. Megan’s suicide is linked to Lori Drew, Drew’s teenage daughter and Ashley Grills, Drew’s former employee who set up a fake online account under the social networking site, MySpace.

Drew, her daughter, and Grills used the identity Josh Evans, a good-looking 16 year-old to befriend Megan. Josh contacted on Megan’s MySpace account one month before her suicide with friendly messages, but the final message to Megan said The world would be a … Read the rest

MySpace Agrees to Take New Steps to Protect Children from Sexual Predators and Bullies

MySpace, the country’s largest social-networking Web site, has agreed with attorneys general of 49 states to take new steps to protect children from sexual predators and bullies on its site. MySpace also agreed to lead a nationwide effort to develop technology to verify the ages and identities of Internet users. The popular online hangout will create a task force of industry professionals to improve the safety of users, and other social-networking sites will be invited to participate.

“We must keep telling children that they’re not just typing into a computer. They’re sharing themselves with the world,” said North Carolina Attorney … Read the rest

Attorney’s Pro Forma Notices at End of E-mails Not Worth the Bytes They’re Stored In (Beware the Employer’s E-mail Server)

It has become commonplace for attorneys and others sending faxes and e-mails to include at the end of such communications standard language stating that the contents thereof are confidential and privileged. Such standard language should provide no comfort, however, for senders and receivers of e-mails that use an employer’s server.

A decision by Hon. Charles E. Ramos of the Supreme Court, New York County, holds that a pro forma notice at the end of an e-mail message did not inure the attorney-client privilege to the e-mail when an employer’s e-mail server is used. The Court was particularly persuaded by the … Read the rest