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Japanese woman faces jail over online 'murder'


A Japanese woman could face a prison sentence after killing off her virtual husband in a computer game. The 43-year-old became so angry about a sudden "divorce" from her online husband in the interactive Maple Story game that she logged on with his password and deleted his digital persona.




Second Life affair leads to real life divorce


British couple set to divorce after wife finds her husband's alter-ego chatting affectionately with a woman in the virtual world.



Okay, those two are ridiculous - but this was far more serious....


MySpace bully case dismissed


An American woman, accused of driving a teenage girl to suicide by bullying her on MySpace, has been cleared of one of the most serious charges against her. Lori Drew, 49, was found not guilty of accessing a computer without authorisation to inflict emotional distress. The jury failed to reach a verdict on another conspiracy charge. She was convicted on three minor counts of violating the website's terms and conditions.



A recent interview with employees from chatmoderators.com (an internet social networking security outfit) hint that moderators have to be keen to spot the vulnerable:


"ENISA's report http://infosecurity.us/?p=3715 calls for a set of laws governing virtual environments not only for MySpace, and Facebook, but all the internet newsrooms, chatrooms, messageboards and bulletin boards. This is a serious issue. The failure to recognise the importance of protecting users from online theft, bullying and slander is leading to an increase in attacks online. In 1996 John Perry wrote an important manifesto written during the dawn of the internet, titled A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. This libertarian manifesto explicitly warned governments to stay out of the internet "You have no sovereignty where we gather, we have elected no government.....Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement and context do not apply to us." Barlow stated. However the so-called declaration of an utopian digital concept had its shortcomings. Barlow failed to appreciate that, much as in the real world, people can be exploitative and malicious in virtual reality. Perhaps the greatest oversight was the failure to appreciate the anonymity the internet can afford us. The internet provides a smoke-screen behind which people can launch assaults on forums chatrooms and comment pages without leaving their chair, and look their targets in the eye."
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