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
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
voters in 2012. California
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.