9., e /S~aeI
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 16, 1995 - 5
Continued from page 1
In his letters, Baker describes his stories as just fiction.
"See, Watson, my friend, this is why I write those
stories - to rid myself of the overwhelming anger I feel,"
Baker said in a message to Watson.
"So give me your best shot. I've recieved so many
supporting e-mails your position seems to be in the minor-
ity. And even if you win this one, there'll be another to
replace me," Baker wrote.
"Can you fight the world. Because that's what you're
doing. Freedom is slowly sprining (sic) from long years of
darkness. Your slavery is a dark blight on the soul of
mankind. Perhaps I shed no light, but I burn away your evil.
"I have already won."
In one of his messages to Watson, Baker tells of the
nature of his Internet stories.
"My stories are harmless diversions," Baker wrote. "I
have never hurt anybody, and never plan on hurting anybody.
"... I have remained honest to you people, simply to
express the fact that I would never do the things in my stories,"
he wrote. "I leave myself open to attacks such as these, which
is perhaps not the best thing, but I believe it is proper."
Baker also told Watson his opinion about Watson send-
ing his stories to the University and officials in Washington.
"You, on the other hand, are trying at the least to ruin
my reputation, and at most, get me expelled from the
school's net system," Baker wrote. "Although I don't care
about the former, and am not at the least worried about the
latter, I would express great dissaproval (sic) of your
actions. It is people like you who make others use
anon(ymous) adresses (sic), something I find distasteful
and would never do."
In his letters to Watson, Baker also cites religious
references coming from Buddhist writings.
"'And the dark lord grew very angry at the Buddha," he
wrote. "All the beautiful women turned into the most vicious
fiends of hell. They launched a thousand arrows at him. But
the Buddha simply kneeled down, and let his fingers brush
the ground. He said, 'This place is mine.' The limbs of the
Tree of Life reached down to protect the Buddha, and when
the arrows came near, they turned into flowers of worship,
and landed gently at the Buddha's feet."
In Baker's first letter to Watson, just before 1 p.m. Jan.
13, Baker said posting his stories was a First Amendment
right, and declared all of those who censor him criminals.
"What you are advocating is called censorship,"
Baker wrote. "People like you have burned Alexandria;
destroyed great works of art in Hitler Germany. A
person like you shot Martin Luther King Jr. Silencing
a voice is never right, and although I do not claim there
exist (sic) any grand philosophical revalations (sic) in
revalations (sic) in my stories, I am angered that you
would jeperdize (sic) my college career in the name of
"The great spirit judges you only by what you do, not
what you think or by what is done to you," Baker continued.
"I have done nothing - my soul is clean. You have filthied
yours with the vilest of crimes - the crime of censorship."
Watson, who said he is not pro-censorship, sent e-mail
and a copy of Baker's story to University officials and to
authorities in Washington. Watson said he was for free
speech, but said Baker's story went beyond what should
be allowed on the Internet.
"I was merely concerned about a person who would
pass off as 'erotica' a story about rape, mutilation and
snuff," Watson said in an e-mail message to the Daily.
Watson's e-mail address appeared on documents en-
tered into evidence at Baker's detention hearing in Detroit
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Continued from page 1
Users also addressed privacy rights and the
vague regulations for electronic communication.
"There is one hell of a difference between
*writing a generic fantasy and writing a fantasy
which specifically names another person," wrote
David Hines (email@example.com).
Kevin Pugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote,
"It appears to be a crime prevented, and another
incident that casts a poor light on the Internet and
those that use it. ... Eventually there will be
enough of an outcry by disturbed citizens, most of
whom will either be computer illiterate or over
protective parents, forcing a regulation of the Net
by local, state and federal agencies."
Some feel that Baker's actions were improper.
"I do not believe Jake Baker should be hung
from the highest yardarm, but I'd also rather not
see him return to take up residence in East Quad
again," said A.J. Annala (email@example.com).
Scott McGrath (firstname.lastname@example.org)
wrote, "This was a clear violation of her civil
rights on JB's (Jake Baker's) part."
Referring to a case at MIT involving a student
who illegally used university computer resources,
Erik Trimble (email@example.com) was concerned
about applying existing laws to the Internet.
"While neither of these cases has run its full
course, let me say that I expect the outcome to
be the same: that the individual in question is
acquitted due to the inapplicability of current
law to the electronic medium, but is expelled/
suspended from the Institution in question for
misuse of school property," Trimble wrote.
Some people have been surprised by the
popularity of the Baker case in the media. "This
case is the O.J. case of the Net," lamented an
Many users stressed the problem of identify-
ing a single consciousness or ideal with the Internet.
"The net is not a monoculture," wrote Jim
Jewett(firstname.lastname@example.org). "Socially, we haven't
yet worked out the bounds of public/private on
the Net-and I don't think we will soon."
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