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Social network sex offender ban ruled unconstitutional by US appeals court

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An Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites and services has been ruled unconstitutional bu the 7th US Circuit of Appeals, the Associated Press reports. In the decision, the judges write that the law "broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than targeting the evil of improper communication to minors." The ACLU has fought to overturn and prevent such bans from being implemented, and filed a class-action suit in Indiana.

Registered sex offenders have fought legal battles in several states, including Nebraska and Louisiana, which attempted laws prohibiting offenders from signing up and using several social networking sites, chat rooms, and instant messaging clients. As the AP reports, federal judges have barred similar laws in those states.