Computer underground Digest Sun Dec 4, 2020 Volume 6 : Issue 102 Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2020 18:34:51 CST From: Anonymous Subject: File 1--Amateur Action BBS Sysops Sentenced in Memphis (reprint) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: For more details on the Amateur Action BBS case, including discussion of why the case seems a gross abuse of law by Federal prosecutors, see CuDs 6.09, 6.33, 6.35, 6.37, 6.43, 6.53, 6.55, 6.56, 6.67 and 6.69)). Source: Chicago Tribune, Dec. 3, 1994 (p. 16) (Associated Press): A California couple drew sentences of at least 2 1/2 years in prison Friday for sending pornographic images via computer in a case that raised questions about how to apply obscenity law in cyberspace. The prosecution of Robert Thomas and his wife, Carleen, was the first obscenity case in which operators of a computer bulletin board were charged in the place where the material was received, rather than where it originated. The Thomases were found guilty in July of transmitting obscenity via interstate telephone lines. A postal inspector testified that he joined the bulletin board under a fake name and received the images in his computer in Memphis. ((Robert Thomas was sentenced to 37 (sic) months in prison, and Carleen received 30 months. Under federal sentencing rules, both must serve the full terms)) ((Judge Julia Gibbons said that the government can seize the couple's computers used to run AABBS. Thomas Nolan, the Thomases' lawyer, indicated that there will be an appeal)) Nolan said one of his appeal arguments would focus on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that defines obscenity by local community standards. Critics of the government's case say that with the advent of computer networks, which have no boundaries, the meaning of "local community" is debatable. ((The couple argued at the trial that they were prosecuted in Memphis because it was a conservative city and increased the chances of a conviction))