Indiana Dumps Facebook Ban on Sex Offenders

Law found to be too broad by appeals court

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 23, 2013 2:29 PM CST

(Newser) – 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 today. The 7th US 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. 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.

A Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins)
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