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Internet Censorship - Just Say No Essay

Project id 1013490
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 3440
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Internet Censorship: Just Say No In December of 1994, a young college student named Jake Baker posted among his fiction pieces in an alt.sex newsgroup. Usually, his gifts to this widely-read site consisted of short stories about rape, torture, and murder of women. In this particular newsgroup article, he continued with his standard contributions; however , he took it a bit further by writing about among his fellow classmates, using her name and identity in the bit. Faculty members in the University of Michigan found his story and afterwards expelled him from school. Federal agents then raided his home, arrested him , and discovered copies of email Baker had exchanged using a Canadian, mapping his and the Canadian's plan to meet in Ann Arbor the following summer to commit rapes and murders together. Baker was indicted in federal court for threatening his classmate, however, the indictment was revised to drop the charges dependent on the newsgroup posting and also to depend on the threats to unspecified "victims" made in the e-mails Baker traded with the Canadian. Late in June, a federal judge dismissed charges against Baker, holding his acts were not a federal offense (http://www.spectacle.org/). Now, four decades later, the questions still remain: Can Baker cross the line when he used the victim's name and personal description? Did he violate the free speech/free press rights? Can Baker abuse his posting privileges, and did he commit a crime via the Internet? My answer is his newsgroup posts didn't constitute a true threat. Baker might have written hard-core pornography and offensively viscious articles, but he had the freedom to do so. Many would disagree with me, asserting that Baker was way out online when.

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