Monday, June 19, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Sex Offender Social Media Ban - Packingham v. North Carolina

The 2nd US Supreme Court ruling that I’ve been waiting on for 2017 has been decided and it’s a great decision and the RIGHT decision!
But keep in mind, Face book is a private provider and they currently have a policy that bans ALL RSO’s. It doesn’t matter if the conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony or if it was 2 months ago or 20 years ago.

Facebook is legally allowed to prohibit service to who they select, just like Six Flags or YMCA’s ban ALL RSO’s.
So even with this U.S. Supreme Court decision remember in Virginia all nicknames and aliases plus all email addresses of RSO’s must be registered with the Virginia  State Police (or face a felony) and then the VSP-IT Department sends those names and addresses to Facebook and if Facebook finds a match they close the account. If that Facebook account was owned by a VA RSO who is under VA-DOC Probation supervision that RSO will face a Probation violation (a felony) if social media or Internet access was prohibited.
So while this is a real win for arbitrary crimes against RSO’s it does not mean Facebook is going to allow RSO’s to join or not close their account.
Mary Devoy

Supreme Court Says Sex Offenders Can't Be Banned From Social Media, June 20, 2017

Supreme Court Strikes Down Social Media Ban for Sex Offenders, June 20, 2017

Supreme Court Strikes Down Sex Offender Social Media Ban, June 19, 2017
Writing for the court on Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy said:
Ø      Even if one were to concede the importance of the state’s declare goal — to protect minors from sexual predators online — “the statute here enacts a prohibition unprecedented in the scope of First Amendment speech it burdens.”
Ø      “A fundamental principle of the First Amendment is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more,”
Ø      “By prohibiting sex offenders from using those websites, North Carolina with one broad stroke bars access to what for many are the principal sources for knowing current events, checking ads for employment, speaking and listening in the modern public square, and otherwise exploring the vast realms of human thought and knowledge,”
Ø      “These websites can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard. They allow a person with an Internet connection to ‘become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.’”

Supreme Court rules NC law banning sex offenders from social networking sites unconstitutional, June 19, 2017
Justice Samuel Alito  wrote:
Ø      He agreed with Kennedy's opinion for the high court because of the North Carolina law's "extraordinary breadth," but Alito refused to join Kennedy's opinion because of its "undisciplined dicta."
Ø      "The Court is unable to resist musings that seem to equate the entirety of the internet with public streets and parks," Alito wrote in the concurring opinion. "And this language is bound to be interpreted by some to mean that the States are largely powerless to restrict even the most dangerous sexual predators from visiting any internet sites, including, for example, teenage dating sites and sites designed to permit minors to discuss personal problems with their peers. I am troubled by the implications of the Court's unnecessary rhetoric."
Ø      Alito's concurring opinion continues to blast Kennedy's decision for its "loose rhetoric" and wrote the Supreme Court ought to be "more attentive" to how its language regarding the differences between cybserpace and the physical world.
Ø      "The Court is correct that we should be cautious in applying our free speech precedents to the internet,"
Ø       "It is regrettable that the Court has not heeded its own admonition of caution."

Supreme Court says sex offenders can access social media, June 19, 2017

Supreme Court gives Internet broad new protections, June 19, 2017

Opinion analysis: Court invalidates ban on social media for sex offenders, June 19, 2017

SCOTUS Unanimously Rejects Law Banning Sex Offenders From Social Media, June 19, 2017
The justices say the law's "unprecedented" and "staggering" scope violates the First Amendment.

Supreme Court strikes down law banning use of Facebook by registered sex offenders, June 19, 2017

Supreme Court says even sex offenders get to use Facebook, June 19, 2017