Though the law makes exceptions for websites that provide narrow services such as email, the three-judge N. appeals court panel that ruled in the case said it could prohibit a registered sex offender from accessing Google, Amazon or even a cooking TV channel website because the sites provide secondary social networking forums.North Carolina’s sex offender laws require people convicted since 1996 of sexually violent offenses and specific crimes against children to register with the sheriff’s office in the counties where they live.
His post was about a court’s resolution of a traffic ticket he had received. “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 sires, including for example internet dating sites,” Alito wrote for the three justices.
Many states have laws that require sex offenders to provide information about their internet use to authorities.
“It is unsettling to suggest that only a limited set of websites can be used even by persons who have completed their sentences. Supreme Court overturned that ruling, saying in a 4-2 decision that the “incidental burden imposed” upon convicted sex offenders “is not greater than necessary to further the governmental interest of protecting children from registered sex offenders.” In North Carolina, where 14,268 people are entered in the N. Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry database, civil liberty organizations have paid close attention to Packingham’s case. The 2008 legislative package came about at a time that state attorneys general across the nation were raising concerns about social media sites such as Facebook and Myspace, hoping to protect users from sexual predators using the networks.
Even convicted criminals – and in some instances especially convicted criminals – might receive legitimate benefits from these means for access to the world of ideas, in particular if they seek to reform and to pursue lawful and rewarding lives.” The state Court of Appeals ruled the law was too broad and restricted Parkingham’s free speech. The 2008 restriction was part of a legislative package that Roy Cooper, the state Attorney General at the time, advocated for many years. Packingham argued that prohibiting him from using social media sites is a violation of his rights to “free speech, expression, association, assembly and the press under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” Packingham was convicted in 2002 of taking indecent liberties with a child. Though many of those sites now are more widely used by adults than children, the North Carolina law makes it illegal for a registered sex offender to access a website where he or she knows minors have personal web pages.
At this point, we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going, Halifax. Spend as much time as you want with it, or skip over any questions that don’t apply or you don’t feel like answering. It’s completely anonymous, so feel free to bare it all.