Lori Drew's conviction overturned: A classic case of ugly facts but even uglier legal arguments appears to have (finally) concluded with the legally correct result.
This case mattered, because the government's legal theory would have turned every violation of a private firm's terms of service into a crime. Yes, that bad.
A federal judge tentatively decided today to dismiss the case against a Missouri woman who had been convicted of computer fraud stemming from an Internet hoax that prompted a teenage girl to commit suicide.
Lori Drew of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., was convicted in November of three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer.
The decision by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu will not become final until his written ruling is filed, probably next week. Wu said he was concerned that if Drew was found guilty of violating the terms of service in using MySpace, anyone who violated the terms could be convicted of a crime.
Congratulations to Orin Kerr, who worked pro bono for this result.
See also article at wired.com.