Federal court rules sex offenders can’t be banned from Facebook

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a 2008 Indiana law forbidding registered sex offenders from using instant-messaging and social-networking sites like Facebook is an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment-protected speech.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the legislation “broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors.” (.pdf)

The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of unnamed sex offenders, follows court rulings against similar laws in Nebraska and Louisiana.