Sex offenders can use Facebook, declares US Court


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The Independent Online

A US federal court has struck down a ban on sex offenders using social networking sites like Facebook, calling the law unconstitutional.

How to handle the presence of registered sex offenders online has long posed a problem for lawmakers, but American states will now no longer be allowed to outright ban them from using social media - access that many fear provides opportunities for grooming minors.

Judges at the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago overturned Indiana's "blanket ban" on sex offenders accessing Facebook and Twitter, arguing that this went too far and restricted the free speech of these citizens.

Previously, a federal judge ruled that the ban was "narrowly tailored" enough that it did not impinge on the first ammendment rights of offenders.

But an Indiana man brought its legality to the courts' attention, claiming it prevented him from connecting with friends and family, advertising his business and checking his childrens' accounts.

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