Court Decision on Sex Offenders and Social Networking Websites

US Court of Appeals for The 7th Circuit
No. 12-2512
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. No. 1:12-cv-00062-TWP-MJD
A recent Indiana statute prohibits most registered sex offenders from using social networking websites, instant messaging services, and chat programs. John Doe, on behalf of a class of
similarly situated sex offenders, challenges this law on First Amendment grounds. We reverse the district court and hold that the law as drafted is unconstitutional. Though content neutral, we conclude that the Indiana law is not narrowly tailored to serve the state’s interest. It broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications
to minors.
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