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Missouri Governor Signs Cyberbullying Bill

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Yesterday Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed a bill expanding the definitions of harassment and aggravated stalking. It also upgrades the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony when the victim is a minor and the accused is an adult.

Senate Bill 818 is in direct response to the public outcry last year when local authorities were unable to find a law with which to charge Lori Drew. Drew was involved in a Myspace hoax that many believe contributed to the suicide of Megan Mieir. A task force was assembled in response and the bill is a result its recommendations.

KWMU news reports that Megan's mother, Tina Meier, is grateful, "It touches my heart immensely to know that the state of Missouri has worked so hard in honor of my daughter and for all of the other families..."

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Lori Drew has been charged with internet fraud and conspiracy to inflict emotional distress in Los Angeles, where MySpace is based. On June 14, Lori Drew pleaded not guilty to the charges. On June 26, Drew's attorney appeared in court to ask that her trial date be changed from July 29 to Oct. 7.

Photo by Vironevaeh via Flickr