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Indiana can't ban all registered sex offenders off instant messaging services, chat rooms or social networking sites like Facebook, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
Indiana passed a law in 2008 that was aimed at keeping predators from trolling the Internet for new victims. But the law "broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors," the three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit ruled.
State courts can impose limits on social media as a condition of a sex offender's probation or parole, but a "blanket ban" on Internet use violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free expression, the judges concluded.
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