KY: Federal judge strikes internet restrictions, online identifiers

By Bruce Schreiner . . . LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky went too far in restricting internet access for registered sex offenders, violating free-speech rights by clamping down on their use of social media, a federal judge ruled Friday. In striking down the restrictions, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said [the] state law could keep sex offenders from participating…

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Packingham’s residual effects may impact Facebook, Twitter, even President

By Lincoln Caplan . . . DONALD TRUMP’S TWITTER account now has 40 million followers. It ranks 21st worldwide among 281.3 million or so accounts. It’s no secret that Trump is proud of his ability to use the account to communicate directly with his constituents. This summer, the president tweeted, “My use of social media is not Presidential—it’s MODERN DAY…

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Incarcerated sex offender treated as global terrorist threat

Chris Zoukis is incarcerated in a federal prison for a sexual offense conviction. Chris is a regular correspondent for NARSOL and has appeared in the Digest several times. While this piece is not related to sexual offense issues, it sheds an interesting light on the lives of many of our supporters — the “Insiders.” By Christopher Zoukis The life of…

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Sex offenders have First Amendment right to Internet, social media

By David Booth . . . On June 19, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the value of social media as a pervasive news source and a socially ingrained forum for exchanging communications when it struck down an overreaching North Carolina statute. The North Carolina law under consideration made it a felony for any person on the sex…

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Packingham case asks: Is First Amendment negotiable?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . When Lester Packingham beat a traffic ticket a few years back, he couldn’t contain his joy. He went online and wrote, “No fine. No court cost, no nothing spent. Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks, JESUS!” For this he was arrested and convicted of a heinous crime: using Facebook. Who is legally forbidden to…

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Okay to ban sex offenders from social media? Who’s next?

By Perry Grossman . . . On April 27, 2010, Lester Gerard Packingham Jr. posted a Facebook status: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismiss the ticket before court even started. No fine, No court costs, no nothing spent. . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS!” This post appears entirely ordinary—something…

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North Carolina versus First Amendment: SCOTUS to decide

By Andrew Cohen . . . Lester Gerard Packingham was having a really good day back on April 27, 2010. The North Carolina man had just learned that a traffic ticket against him had been dismissed, so he logged onto his Facebook account and gleefully told the world: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they…

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UPDATE: SCOTUS grants cert; will hear NC Facebook case

By Robin Vanderwall . . . The United States Supreme Court has accepted the petition for a writ of certiorari from Lester Gerard Packingham who was arrested in 2012 for posting a message on Facebook in violation of North Carolina’s prohibition against sex offenders accessing social media websites. On petition to the U.S. Supreme Court since January 2016, the Packingham…

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Right speech, right time, right now. Engage!

By Michael Rosenberg . . . The criminalization of the speech of registered citizens ensures Tom and Jane Public can continue with a campaign of blissful ignorance; the proliferation of enthusiastic comments beneath news articles in which our rights are violated is a quick study illustrating the detrimental effect of our inability to use our right speech when and where it…

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Packingham petition offers hope for change at nation’s highest court

By Robin . . . Among the more significant cases concerning registered citizens that have made their way to the United States Supreme Court, few have had as much potential to change the course of appellate review and affirm the First Amendment protections guaranteed to every American citizen than Packingham v. North Carolina (petition No. 15-1194). After the chief justice…

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