Create a 7 pages page paper that discusses the problem of obscenity, defamation, freedom of expression, privacy, and copyright today. The States News Service reports that a man from Irmo, South Carolina was arrested on obscenity charges in an undercover sting operation. This operation was carried out by the Internet Crimes against Children division of the Attorney General’s office. The man was arrested because he solicited sex over the Internet from a person he believed to be a minor girl but who was in reality, an undercover investigator. The crime in this instance was obscenity because the man was attempting to engage a minor person in a sexual act.

In its 1973 decision rendered in the case of Miller v California, the Supreme Court offered a definition for obscenity on the basis of three criteria, which, if fulfilled, could constitute grounds for subjecting the material to State regulation. These criteria were: (a) “(a) whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards’ would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, . . . (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”&nbsp.

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Applying this definition, it may be noted that Irmo’s man actions could fall under categories (a) and (b) and therefore constitute obscenity. As Stephanie Paul (no Date) has pointed out, obscenity laws are also being applied to the Internet, with a federal ban imposed on Internet obscenity just being declared to be constitutional in the case of Nitke v Gonzales. The same community standards that were applied in the Miller case were also challenged in this case, by Barbara Nitke and NCSF, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. The Plaintiffs stated that the same definition of obscenity may not be applicable to Internet material, because in effect it would mean that any material could be found objectionable by applying the restrictive standards of the most restrictive communities in the country.&nbsp.

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