- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Wednesday that sex offenders can use social networking sites such as Facebook.

The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals stems from an Indiana law that prohibits registered sex offenders from using social media. A district judge had found the law was constitutional; the appeals court found otherwise, calling the “blanket ban” illegal.

“We conclude that the Indiana law is not narrowly tailored to serve the state’s interest,” the judges wrote in a 20-page opinion, according to a USA Today report. “It broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communication to minors.”

The case was initially filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for a man who served jail time for child exploitation.

Federal judges, the Associated Press reports, have overturned laws in Nebraska and Louisiana that have barred sex offenders from social media

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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