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                  The Journal of Stark County Telecom
                  Support BBS:  The Dragon's Lair BBS   
                  Running Renegade Beta  216-966-8970
                  August 8, 1992  Volume #1, Issue #3
      [ Akron Anomoly Follow-Up: Authorities Crack Down on BBS'es ]
                [ A Look at Ohio Law, House Legislation]
      As reported in the last issue of STARK NAKED, the Akron BBS
      Akron Anomoly was closed by authorities for offering porno
      GIFs to minors. In this issue of STARK NAKED, we'll look at
      other cases similar to that in Akron, viewpoints on either
      side of the issue, legislation and local efforts concerning
      Akron Anomoly.
      This was posted at 8:21am on July 25th by Robert 
      Nykvist (DCJG12A) on Prodigy's Communications Board.
      Mobile Alabama - Police seize sex computer. More than 
      $10,000 worth of computer equipment and a quantity of
      allegeded obscene materials were seized this week after a
      search warrant was served at a local residence.  The seizure
      followed a citizen's complaint of sexually explicit
      materials being made available via a computer network that
      had public access. No arrests have been made, and an
      investigation is continuing.
      ** In response, Prodigy user SPKX39A, David McClain,
      posted this on July 28 at 10:52am.
      If they are carrying porn, every citizen should point the
      finger! There are lots of subjects for a bbs, Porn doesn't
      have to be one of them. It is really sad to see that it is
      so prevalent in the bbs world. How would one of these people
      feel if they just downloaded the latest porn Gif from the
      local board, they hurry to get out the old gif viewer,
      Sweating, itching with anticipation......the picture comes
      up, and there lays there daughter, or mother, or wife...
      How would they feel then?
      The following message appeared on PCRelay and gives more
      details on the Mobile, Alabama arrest.
From    : DAVID KAHAN                            Number    : 1241 of 1381
To      : MICHAEL HARRISON                       Date      : 07/27/92 8:53am
Subject : BUSTED BBS                             Reference : NONE
Read    : NO                                     Private   : NO
Conf    : 018 - [ Sysop ]           Relay
MH>I am a sysop of a bulletin board system in a small town in Alabama about
MH>1 hours drive from Mobile Alabama.  I was watching the local Mobile news
MH>tonight and was very upset about a BBS system that was closed down by
MH>local Mobile police. According to the news this system was charging $25
MH>dollars a year for access to the system. On his system he had an Adult
MH>section, as alot of BBSes do, and had Homosexal material on it.
MH>One of his PAYING users 
MH>downloaded of of the pictures and
MH>didn't like the recived image so he called the Police and the system
MH>was shut down and his equipment taken. No charges have of yet been
MH>filled but all his equipment is gone. I do not like Homosexal
MH>activity or .GIFs of it but what gives the Police the right to
MH>take equipment. This , I believe, should be a violation of the first
MH>amendment. After all, the user did not walk into a 7-11 and see it
MH>nor did he turn on the TV and see it. He requested it! As a sysop
MH>myself, I am conserned that a unhappy user can have my equipment
MH>taken. I am no lawer but something seems quit wrong with this
MH>picture. Operation Sunburst comes to mind here. I am righting this to
MH>inform the BBS world what is going on and to see if anyone else has
   heard of such a case.
Mike, I agree with you. This user didn't have to download the file.
Every file should have a description and if he didn't read it
completely, it's his fault for downloading it.
Reading stuff like that sometimes makes me think. "Do I or don't I want
an adult area?" I know I am very picky on who I allow in my adult areas,
but you never can tell.

          MORE BBS (401)849-1874/849-2215 Middletown RI
      This information, also from PCRelay, gives an opinion on
      the Alabama incident as well as some more information on
From    : JAY HEYL                               Number    : 1323 of 1381
To      : MICHAEL HARRISON                       Date      : 07/27/92 11:04
Subject : BUSTED BBS                             Reference : NONE
Read    : NO                                     Private   : NO
Conf    : 018 - [ Sysop ]           Relay
I personally agree with your thoughts about violation of First 
Amendment rights, but the Supreme Court has determined that it's up to 
local communities to establish what is considered obscene (not 
protected by the First Amendment) and what is not.  Alabama has taken 
a very limited view of what is protected by the First Amendment as far 
as explicit sexual images are concerned.  They have effectively shut 
down at least one former "adult" satellite TV operation because this 
company was beaming their signal into Alabama.  (Sending obscene 
material across the state line.)  Never mind that the only people who 
could view this signal had to have a decoder rented from the company.  
As for why the police can confiscate the equipment, that's been 
discussed ad naseum in this forum.  Suffice it to say that if the 
police had a valid search warrant and deemed that there was sufficient 
evidence to indicate a crime had been committed (distribution of 
obscene material in this case), they are within their rights to 
confiscate the equipment to use as evidence.  If the sysop is not 
found guilty of a crime, his equipment should be returned after it is 
no longer needed as evidence.  (SHOULD is the operative term here, but 
that's a whole 'nother discussion.)

— þ SPEED 1.10 #1054 þ The Cookie Jar þ 714.997.0350 þ Running GAP 6.0/M The Crow's Nest BBS - Monarch Beach, CA

*** So what exactly can Mark Lehrer be charged with?

		    This is what the Ohio Criminal Code says about
		    obscene material. Note that the reference in the
		    law seem specific to magazine racks and really
		    aren't in reference to online "porn."
      Ohio Criminal Law [2907.31.1] 2907.311
      "(A) No person who has custody, control, or supervision
       of a commercial establishment, with knowledge of the
       character or content of the material involved, shall
       display at the establishment any material that is harmful
       to juveniles and that is open in view by juveniles as
       part of the invited general public.
       (B) It is not a violation of division (A) of this
       section if the material in question is displayed by
       placing it behind `blinder racks' or similar devices
       that cover at least the lower two-thirds of the material,
       if the material in question is wrapped or placed behind
       the counter, or if the material in question otherwise is 
       covered or located so that the portion that is harmful to
       juveniles is not open to the view of juveniles.
       (C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of displaying
       matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor of the first
       degree. Each day during which the offender is in violation
       of this section constitutes a separate offense."
		Just off of the top of my head (I'm no lawyer), it
		seems that 1) the teenager that downloaded these
		GIFs had to be a paying user because of the "commercial"
		clause, 2) the material was not just in open view,
		it had to be downloaded and a proper program run.
    One of the more disturbing things I found while 
    researching for this article was this interesting
    text file from California, courtesy of the Pleasure
    Dome BBS. It is a verbatim transcript of a letter
    sent to a local sysop. In it are some scary things
    especially from a sysop's end.
      Read some of the things in it and think about what
      these people are saying.
"From:  The National Coalition Against Pornography "Standing Together"
 Newsletter.  Community Action Column, March-April 1990"

"Computer pornography? It's Everywhere…."

 by Christine Marshall
  Apparently, the U.S. Customs Agency has been aware of and investigating
  adult BBS's for some time.  Obscene BBS programs that originate in other
  countries and are illegally imported, are being used by American computer
  hobbyists.  The privately used foreign programs are now breaking 
  obscenity laws and causing damage through computer networks across 
  the country.  U.S. Customs has learned that many of the BBS's make it 
  easier for pedophiles to molest	children by listing the names and 
  locations of potential victims-and by encouraging sexual activity with 
  Some of the programs found to this date have come from Germany.  U.S.
  Customs has been involved in investigations because the importation of 
  obscene material is prohibited by law.  In their investigations, they
  have documented the use of these networks by pedophiles as an aid in 
  molestation of children.
  When I learned of all this, I immediately wondered what course of action
  I could take as a relative "computer-illiterate" and average citizen.  
  This is what I found that we all can do:
   1.  If you have access to a computer and modem, check your local BBS
   networks for adult services.  If you find any, notify your sheriff and 
   the local U.S. Customs agent.  Give them as much information as possible
   to aid in their investigations.
   2.  Let other concerned neighbors and groups know of the existence of 
   the adult BBS's.  Encourage them to join you on Action Step 1.
   3.  Write or call the U.S. Customs Agency to encourage them to continue
   investigating pornographic BBS's.  You can write them at 1301 
   Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20229, or call (202) 566-8195."
   	Those are direct quotes from that article. When I read
   	about "child-molestation networks" I almost had to laugh,
   	but then realized exactly what this woman was saying
   	and what it would do. I read in USA Today that only 33%
   	of the American population own personal computers. And
   	of that 33%, most do not own a modem. And of those that
   	do own a modem, many of them are not active on local 
   	bulletin boards. So when a woman who sounds like she knows
   	what she is talking about begins to make this allegations,
   	people believe her. 
      [ Canton Connection Follow-Up: Rearing Our Ugly Heads (ED)  ]

An Editorial by the Sorcerer

      As I told you in the last issue, Canton Connection BBS has
      refused to allow this newsletter on their system, for some
      reason. And after asking them about it a few times, I was
      refused on their system!
      Since then, I'd like to thank the users that have stood up
      for me on there. There are many who do not want to have
      their names published, but the ones that have let me know
      what side they are on include the Lord, Elminster, Electric
      Messiah, the Magister, and others. 
      When Elminster found out that the newsletter had been deleted,
      he posted a public message in the Hello Sig just asking the
      sysops to explain why they thought that the newsletter was 
      unfit for download. The message was deleted. So was Elminster.
      Sanguinius also had poetry deleted in the Poetry Sig. This
      news came to me a few days ago and I don't really have any
      details on it.
      So Elminster and I thought that we would call up Larry Smith,
      co-sysop of Canton Connection, and ask him about Elminster's
      account. I was called by Larry right after he deleted me
      last Sunday morning but Elm had been given no reason or anything
      for his "dismissal."
      We called Larry a few days ago. The conversation was extremely
      interesting. Although not verbatim, it went something like,
      "Hello, is Larry there?"
      "This is Larry."
      "Larry, this is the Sorcerer and Elminster. We just want to
       talk to you about Elm's account getting deleted."
      "This is who?"
      "You know, Longshot and Elminster. From your bulletin board."
      "I don't run a bulletin board..."
      ELM: "You have a modem?"
      "A modem? What's that?"
      "Uh, Larry, no offense, but we've talked to you before and
       we know your voice."
      >> CLICK <<
      So we called back.
      >> CLICK <<
      Again, that is not a verbatim account of what happened, but
      it is pretty close. I found it interesting that this Larry
      Smith that we called knew enough to know that one "runs" a
      bulletin board, yet he didn't know what a modem was. Most
      people who aren't aware of what a modem is don't know what
      a bulletin board is, either.
      So, I take it that we aren't going to get a straight answer
      out of the Canton Connection staff. I guess that the users
      there will be happy ... until they post something that the
      sysops don't like. 
      By the way, the number that we called for Larry Smith was
      confirmed by three sources. And trust me: it was him.
      At any rate, I would urge everyone that does not believe
      that we should put up with censorship on bulletin boards
      should ask Larry about their decision. And let us know
      what happens. I know that I'm interested. Thanks.
                                                -The Sorcerer
      [ Making the Rounds: Stark Naked is Getting Around the Area	]
      Imagine my surprise while going through the messages at 
      Saturday !! BBS to see this post:
Msg # 77 of 79                   Date: Mon  7-27-92, 11:43 pm
Read: 9 times
Subject: Re: Akron Anamoly?
I just uploaded a txt file that I got from Triway BBS. It is some sort of a
newsletter from Dragon's Lair BBS. It has a lot of information on the Akron
Anamoly bust. It was a sting operation in which the police co-operated with
a 15 year old for 2 months to bust Mark. They confiscated all of his
equipment. The newsletter also include an article which was in the Plain
Dealer (July 21, I think). Put it on line so it can be downloaded for more
Again  Reply  Mail  Prev  Next  Goto  Thread  Other  Quit  

	Wow ... wasn't I excited! The newsletter is making its way 
	around the area!
      [ Have Something to Say? ... Information on Stark Naked 	]
      Got something to say? Want it published? You can send it
      to me at the Dragon's Lair BBS. The number is (216) 966-8970
      running Renegade Beta at 3/12/2400, 24 hours a day, 7 days
      a week. 
      Also, any sysop who would like his/her system to be a
      distribution site for Stark Naked should contact me. If I
      am a regular user on your system, you can leave me mail there.
      The next issue of Stark Naked will move away from the Canton
      Connection line and also a little from the Akron Anomoly line.
      New stories will be here.
      Let me know how I am doing! I have gotten a little feedback on
      the stuff in Stark Naked Issue #2, but I'd always like to hear
      what you have to say. 
      I leave you with this SLMR thought: All prosecutors will be
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