Jake Baker Information Page

This page is a publication of facts relating to the Jake Baker case. I will try to keep this page free of opinion whenever possible, and expand it as time allows. Where possible, I have included references for the facts available here. Some things have not been converted to html format yet. As far as I know, all of the information here is publicly available in libraries and archives. Thank you in advance for your patience. -- Pete

New information since 1/30/97

Decision on Baker spurs legal debate (1/31/97)
Reaction to the U.S. Circuit Court decision.
Court panel dismisses Baker case, Justices uphold earlier ruling favoring Baker (1/30/97)
According to a Jan. 30 story in The Michigan Daily, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has upheld the dismissal of charges against Baker, ruling that Baker's email exchanges with a man in Canada did not constitute a credible threat against Jane Doe. A university officer is also quoted as saying Baker did not violate any university information technology policies.

Current status of the case

Case dismissed
Baker was charged with 5 counts of transmitting threats across state lines in connection with his email. Charges related to his stories have been dropped. Baker's defense lawyer, Douglas Mullkoff, petitioned the court to dismiss the charges. US District Judge Avern Cohn dismissed the charges, citing the government's lack of evidence that Baker planned to act on his writings. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, ruling that the writings did not constitute a threat.

Currently Available Information

Short biographies of the people involved in the case.
A summary of events in the case, in chronological order.
What's the Big Deal?
An incomplete summary of the controversy surrounding the case.
Informational Postings
Informational postings to the Internet community and linked news articles, summarizing facts of the case.
Relevant Newsgroups
A selection of newsgroups that have been discussing the case.
Legal Documents
Links to legal and quasi-legal documents related to the Jake Baker case.
Jake's Stories
Jake Baker's stories, one of which is the story in question. The stories have been removed in compliance with the CDA.
Other Questionable University Actions
Other actions of the university which are are probably violations of the bill of rights.
Letters to the Editor
Published letters to the editor of the Michigan Daily and other newspapers.

Information Not Available

Pictures of the people involved in the case. The pictures of Baker and his attorneys have been removed because they are not relevant to the case and take up a disproportionate amount of disk space.

Administrative Information

My right to publish
...in case the university hassles me about these pages.
When I leave the University
...what will happen to the Baker Page?
The Whole Baker Page
Every bit of information in this archive, in tar and compressed form (Baker.tar.Z). On unix machines, save the file (using "Save link as.." in Netscape or "Load to local disk" in Mosaic) with the filename Baker.tar.Z. Then decompress and extract the file using uncompress Baker.tar.Z ; tar -xvf Baker.tar. If you don't use Mosaic or Netscape, or don't use a unix system, I'm afraid I can't help you download the archive. You can have your own copy, in case mine disappears someday. About 80kB.
Copyright Info
I put this information in the public domain, at least as much as I have the authority to do so.

Other Relevant Resources

These links break on occasion as they get old. I am leaving them here in case someone can use them.
Anarchy Online
A book by Charles Platt documenting and discussing issues of crime and sex on the net. Of particular interest to the Baker case is his chapter titled Threatening Behavior: The Jake Baker Case. Mr. Platt tracked down and reported many of the details missing in this archive. I think you'll find it an interesting and complementary view of the case.
The MIT Student Association for Freedom of Expression (SAFE)
SAFE Documentation of the Jake Baker events, containing text of news articles from the Ann Arbor News and Michigan Daily.
The Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review
The Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review is committed to using interactive media to promote informed discourse about the interrelated legal, social, and public policy issues raised by emerging technologies.
Cyber News
An e-journal on information technology law published at the University of Montreal. A French language version is available.
The Jake Baker Scandal: A Perversion of Logic
An article by Adam Miller in the 4/6/95 Trincoll Journal.
An e-zine of legal developments affecting the Internet.
The Ethical Spectacle
An e-zine focusing on ethical issues.
The Ethical Spectacle: Humans and their Pornography
This issue contains summaries of the views of Catharine Mackinnon, Nadine Strossen, and Wendy McElroy on the topic of free speech and pornography. It is a bit editorial since it is presented in the form of a philosophic analysis.
The Ethical Spectacle: Threats to the Net
This issue contains several free speech/pornography/privacy cases, including one article on the Baker case.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The EFF also has a Baker case archive of legal documents and newspaper articles.
Voters Telecommunication Watch (VTW)
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)
Computer Underground Digest (CUD)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Law Journal Extra!
Has a Censorship on the Net page.
The Michigan Daily
University of Michigan campus newspaper.
The Detroit News
One of the Detroit newpapers, online. Also has an outstanding search engine for finding articles in old editions.


I am not affiliated with Jake Baker in any way. Information here is provided for the benefit of the Internet community, many of whom have no other source of factual information about the case. I suppose that makes me a publisher and/or journalist.

This WWW page is provided out of my own disk allocation and maintained in my spare time; I do not profit from the information available here. Views presented here do not represent the University of Michigan, except in direct quotes by officers of the University.

When the appeals are exhausted, this set of pages will move to the MIT SAFE Archive .

hits since January 26, 1996.
Last Updated: 1/30/97