Policing the Internet: Jake Baker and beyond

March 9, 1995


They are going to let me sit down.

Although Jake Baker is the news peg for tonight's discussion, the issues raised by his arrest are only a small part of the legal dilemmas surrounding the Internet.

Is the Information Super Highway just a dirt road with asphalt or is it really such a new conveyance that we have to develop a whole new set of laws to deal with it? How is politics involved in this discussion? Will the First Amendment survive into the next millennium?

To find out the answers to these questions, don't call 764-HELP, because tonight we have a group of experts who are on- line to help us.

The panel tonight includes Scott Charney. Scott Charney has been involved in several major hacker prosecutions that you'll be familiar with, including with prosecutions of the Masters of Deception in New York City.

He also was an assistant district attorney in New York City and now is the chief of the new Computer Crimes Unit created by the Department of Justice.

Catharine MacKinnon needs no introduction in this forum. She's the foremost feminist legal scholar in the United States; professor here at the University of Michigan Law School; the author of several books on sexual harassment, pornography; and is currently advising the young woman named in Jake Baker's Internet story.

Virginia Rezmierski is the Assistant for Policy Studies in the Information Technologies Division at the University, or ITD, as we all know it.

She is an expert in electronic mail privacy and the role of freedom of speech and how the University has had to deal with policing the Internet and pioneering new uses of it.

Danny Weitzner is Deputy Director for the Center for Democracy and Technology. It's an advocacy group that looks at policies for the Internet. He's an Internet policy watcher and is involved with much of the legislation that is being proposed and is paying attention to legislation that's being proposed in dealing with computer technology in the Internet.

Barry Steinhardt is the Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is the Chair of the ACLU Cyber Liberties Task Force, something that I'm sure didn't exist a few years ago.

The format for tonight is going to be that each of the panelists will talk, give a little discussion for about five minutes or so, and then we're going to have some discussion among the panelists and very soon after that, open it up to questions from all of you, because I know there are many questions that people want answered.

So first, let's start with Scott Charney.

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