A 1997 United States appellate court’s dismissal of a highly publicized Internet case that began in 1995 involved a university student named Jake Baker. This case garnered much attention from the press because the dismissal of the case provoked mixed reactions from many regarding the First Amendment. Baker, who was charged with interstate transmission of threats over the Internet, was arrested in 1995 for posting a story on the Internet involving a detailed rape and torture depiction of a woman who had the same full name as a classmate in his university Japanese course. Baker was suspended indefinitely from the university in 1995 and was imprisoned for one month.
Besides the controversy around the First Amendment, other issues were raised with the dismissal of this case. For example, Gloria Allred, the attorney for O.J. Simpson’s murdered wife, Nicole Simpson, accused law officials of not treating cyberstalking cases seriously—which is what she alleged the Baker case was about.
Kosseff, J. Decision on Baker Spurs Legal Debate. The Michigan Daily [Online, January 31, 1997.] The Michigan Daily Online Website. http://www.pub.umich.edu/ daily/1997/jan/01-31-97/news/news4.html.