Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Portion of California’s 2012 Proposition 35 (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act) to Fight Human Trafficking is Ruled Unconstitutional By the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals Because it Tramples on Free And Anonymous Speech of Registered Sex Offenders



Convicted sex offenders, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the First Amendment, November 19, 2014


California can't enforce rules tracking sex offenders online, court rules, November 18, 2014
By Karen Gullo

San FranciscoCalifornia can't enforce a law to combat sex trafficking because it tramples on free speech rights of sex offenders by requiring them to report online activities, such as their Twitter, e-mail and chatroom accounts, a U.S. appeals court ruled. 

The San Francisco-based court Tuesday upheld a judge's decision to block enforcement of a voter-approved law that was backed by former Facebook Inc. executive Chris Kelly and garnered support from more than 80 percent of California voters in 2012. 

The measure, known as Proposition 35, isn't clear about what accounts or Internet service providers offenders are required to report and targets online speech that could include blogging about politics and posting comments on news articles, the appeals court's three-judge panel said Tuesday. 

The law also harms sex offenders' ability to engage in anonymous speech because it allegedly allows police to disclose their online identities to the public, the court said. Failure to report on Internet activity can lead to criminal sanctions.

A requirement that registered sex-offenders notify police within 24 hours of using a new Internet identity chills activity protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, U.S. Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee wrote in the unanimous ruling.