Court: Sex offender Facebook ban unconstitutional

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo, a magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich. (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo, a magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich. (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that an Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from accessing Facebook and other social networking sites is unconstitutional.

The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago on Wednesday overturned a federal judge's decision to uphold the law, saying the ban was too broad.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled in June that the state has a strong interest in protecting children and found that social networking had created a "virtual playground for sexual predators."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action suit on behalf of sex offenders including a man who served three years for child exploitation. They were all restricted by the ban even though they are no longer on probation.


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