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McVeigh v. Cohen

Impact

Involving as it did gay rights and the Internet, McVeigh dealt with issues that regularly made headlines in the 1990s; but it also involved concerns perennial to Americans, especially the right to privacy. Loundy offered a few conclusions in this regard. The "Bork Bill"--named after Judge Robert Bork, whose movie rental records had been obtained by a journalist during Bork's ultimately unsuccessful Supreme Court nomination hearings in 1986--had been "One of the fastest laws of any kind passed in this country," Loundy noted. "In other words . . . the minimal privacy rights U.S. citizens still enjoy are important." Second, with regard to AOL, "`Oops' is not a recognized defense under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act." Third, "if you are a user of electronic communications, do not be dumb . . . " McVeigh's troubles could have been avoided, Loundy suggested, had he not made the error of writing to Hajne under the "boysrch" profile. This may be true, but the case also raised serious questions about the military's policy with regard to gay members, and the lengths to which service branches will go in researching and prosecuting suspected homosexuality.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentMcVeigh v. Cohen - Significance, "boysrch"--or, The Other Timothy Mcveigh, Judge Sporkin Rules, Judge Sporkin's Ruling And The Continuing Saga