In 1996, Univ. President Boren was visited by a state
representative who told him that the University was allowing
students to access material he considered obscene, and that it
might be convicted of obscenity violations if something was not
done. Boren blocked access to various newsgroups via the
University servers. Given the vagueness of the concept of
obscenity, not all the sites blocked were sexually explicit.
Subsequently, the newsgroups were allowed on a second server, but
one had to establish that s/he was accessing the groups for
research purposes. A professor sued the President for restricting
his freedom of speech, but he lost the case in an Oklahoma
District court ,  which ruled that he had not been harmed, that the materials
banned on the server were accessible on the web anyway, and that
the policy of allowing access to the newsgroups for research
purposes was valid because the university is dedicated to that
kind of study. The question of why so-called obscene materials
were blocked, but not other kinds of unlawful ones, was not
discussed, nor was a working definition of obscene attempted.