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Indianapolis - Court: Sex Offender Facebook Ban Unconstitutional

Published on: January 23, 2013 05:14 PM
By: AP
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FILE - A slow exposure picture shows the "Like" button of Facebook during a company's press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30 May 2012.FILE - A slow exposure picture shows the "Like" button of Facebook during a company's press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30 May 2012.

Indianapolis - An Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from accessing Facebook and other social networking sites that can be accessed by children is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago overturned a federal judge’s decision upholding the law, saying the “blanket ban” was too broad and didn’t protect children.

“It broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors,” the judges said in a 20-page decision.

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U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled in June that the state has a strong interest in protecting children and found that social networking had created a “virtual playground for sexual predators to lurk.” She noted that the Internet remains open to those who have been convicted of sex offenses.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action suit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation and other sex offenders who are restricted by the ban even though they are no longer on probation.

Federal judges have barred similar laws in Nebraska and Louisiana.

Officials at the ACLU and the Indiana attorney general’s office said they hadn’t yet reviewed the ruling and had no immediate comment.


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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 23, 2013 at 06:49 PM victorg Says:

Can't we just make a law that says these animals have no rights?

2

 Jan 23, 2013 at 08:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
victorg Says:

Can't we just make a law that says these animals have no rights?

Can't we make a law saying idiots like you should keep quiet?

3

 Jan 23, 2013 at 09:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Not to worry--our sex offenders know the Internet is ussur.

4

 Jan 24, 2013 at 05:34 AM victorg Says:

Reply to 2
As well as people that champion the cause of these animals

5

 Jan 24, 2013 at 07:51 AM CherryKnish Says:

Our justice system is protecting the criminals instead of innocent potential victims.

6

 Jan 24, 2013 at 08:23 AM vuzisdus Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Can't we make a law saying idiots like you should keep quiet?

That was uncalled for.

7

 Jan 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM esther Says:

Reply to #5  
CherryKnish Says:

Our justice system is protecting the criminals instead of innocent potential victims.

i don't think it's the justice system as much as it is this misguided and dangerous radicals over at the aclu.before i even read the story i knew who was responsible for this travesty.

8

 Jan 24, 2013 at 03:02 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #1  
victorg Says:

Can't we just make a law that says these animals have no rights?

Unfortunately we can't. The people incapable of thought who have to resort to visceral reactions, such as Anon#2, will defend the worst kind of perverts and are a reason why we can't..

9

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