Policing the Internet: Jake Baker and beyond – March 9, 1995
This archive details a debate which occurred on March 9, 1995 at the University of Michigan concerning the celebrated Jake Baker case (a student who wrote a violent pornographic work of fiction using the name of a fellow student.) The following is a page the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review set up to cover the event.
The Baker case, at the trial level, has been published and is available online.
University of Michigan Law School
Catharine Mackinnon is a lawyer, teacher, writer, activist, and expert on sex equality.
She has a B.A. from Smith College (1968), a J.D. from Yale Law School (1977), and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University (1987). Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School since 1990, she taught for the previous decade at Yale, the University of Chicago, UCLA, Minnesota, Harvard, Osgoode Hall (Toronto), and Stanford.
Beginning in the mid 1970’s, Catherine MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination and, with Andrea Dworkin beginning in 1983, conceived and wrote ordinances recognizing pornography as a violation of civil rights. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted her theory of sexual harassment in 1986 and the Supreme Court of Canada adopted, in part, approaches that she created with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to equality (1989), pornography (1992) and hate speech (1991).
Professor MacKinnon is the author of Sexual Harassment of Working Women(Yale, 1979); Feminism Unmodified (Harvard, 1987); Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (Harvard, 1989); Pornography and Civil Rights: A New Day for Women’s Equality (With Andrea Dworkin) (OAP, 1988); and Only Words (Harvard, 1993), as well as numerous articles.
Center for Democracy and Technology
As Deputy Director, Daniel Weitzner is responsible for advocacy and research on the policies related to the National Information Infrastructure, the Internet, structuring open access, common carriage regimes for advanced communications networks, and privacy concerns raised by new digital technologies. Mr. Weitzner has drafted open platform network access included in the telecommunications reform bill passed by the House of Representatives in 1994 and developed the rationale for the expanded privacy protections for email transactional informational enacted by Congress last year.
The Center for Democracy and Technology was founded in 1994 by Jerry Berman, Janlori Goldman, and Daniel Weitzner. Its mission is to develop public policy solutions that advance constitutional civil liberties and democratic values in new computer and communications media. Before founding the Center, Mr. Weitzner was the Deputy Policy Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Daniel Weitzner earned his J.D. from the Buffalo Law School and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Director Of Computer Crimes
Department Of Justice
Scott Charney has been involved in several major hacker prosecutions (such as the Masters of Deception in New York City), authored the Justice Department’s comments on proposed legislation to regulate workplace monitoring, worked with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France on the Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems, and appeared before the United States Sentencing Commission in an effort to revise the computer crime sentencing scheme.
Scott Charney was also Assistant District Attorney in New York City, Bronx County (the last two of seven years in the office as Deputy Chief in the Investigations Bureau). Mr. Charney has been a member of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Justice Department and the General Litigation and Legal Advice Section in Washington, D.C. While in the Justice Department, Mr. Charney was named Chief of a new dedicated computer crime unit created by the Justice Department as part of the Computer Crime Initiative which he was previously tasked with implementing.
Scott Charney serves on two subgroups of the Administration’s Information Infrastructure Task Force: the Privacy Working Group and the NII Security Forum. Scott Charney earned his law degree with honors from Syracuse University in 1980.
American Civil Liberties Union
Barry Steinhardt is Associate Director of the National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Chair of ACLU’s Cyber Liberties Task Force. Mr. Steinhardt has previously served as Executive Director of the ACLU affiliates in Pennsylvania and Vermont. He also served as Executive Director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
Mr. Steinhardt has authored articles in a variety of publications including, Business and Society Review, U.S.A. Today, Net Guide, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Barry Steinhardt earned his J.D. at Northeastern University School of Law.
University Of Toledo
Professor Donald E. Lively is the author of two books on Communications Law, Modern Communications Law, and Essential Principles of Communications Law, as well as numerous articles, essays and reviews dealing with First Amendment, media, and regulation.
Prior to teaching at the University Of Toledo College Of Law, St. Thomas University, and Citypolytechnic of Hong Kong, Professor Lively was a member of Coghill and Goodspeed, P.C. (1982-84) and an attorney for the Des Moines Register (1982) and the Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the General Counsel(1980-1982). His other previous positions include Assistant Manager for Public Relations for Georgia Power Company and television journalist.
Professor Lively has also authored numerous books and articles on Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and the Supreme Court. He received his J.D. from University Of California at Los Angeles; he earned a M.S. from Northwestern University; A.B. from University Of California at Berkeley.
Information Technology Division
University of Michigan
Virginia Rezmierski is the Assistant for Policy Studies to the Vice Provost for Information Technology at the University of Michigan. She speaks nationally on topics of electronic mail privacy, liability on the networks, the critical role of freedom of speech, conflicting rights in the new electronic environment, and the importance of empowerment to establish personal boundaries in the use of information technology.
Professor Rezmierski currently teaches a graduate seminar in Ethics and Information Technology Use in the Institute for Public Policy Studies.
Rezmierski received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Michigan.
- PLEASE READ: Editorial Policy regarding transcript
- Opening Statement by Dean Lehman
- Introduction by Joan Lowenstein
- Scott Charney’s Opening Statement
- Virginia Rezmierski’s Opening Statement
- Daniel Weitzner’s Opening Statement
- Catharine MacKinnon’s Opening Statement
- Barry Steinhardt’s Opening Statement
- QUESTION ONE: What is the Department of Justice’s position on prosecution of encryption?
- QUESTION TWO: Anonymity, accountability, and the ‘Net
- QUESTION THREE: How can the Internet be used for empowerment?
- QUESTION FOUR: Rights for Computer programs?
- QUESTION FIVE: How should lawmakers be educated as to current technology?
- QUESTION SIX: Is a civil suit pending in the Jake Baker case?
- QUESTION SEVEN: Will Federal Law preempt state law in cases involving the Internet?
- QUESTION EIGHT: Comment about the Baker affidavit
- QUESTION NINE: Why did the University of Michigan choose to respond in this way to the Baker incident?
- QUESTION TEN: A question about Catharine MacKinnon’s positions on obscenity and pornography
- QUESTION ELEVEN: Does pornography drive the ‘Net?
If you’d like to know basic information about the event, here is the original press release with more details.
The Baker Case
Additional information about the Baker case itself is available at Peter Swanson’s Jake Baker page.