Online Identifier or 1st Amendment Violation? April 9, 2016

If you believe it is ok to deny registered sex offenders human rights or U.S. Constitutional rights. If you do not believe registered sex offenders are denied their human and constitutional rights or if you are against free speech.
Please leave this web page now. Thank you.

By remaining on this web page you here by acknowledge that you support human rights and United States constitutional rights for registered sex offenders and that you support freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is understood to be fundamental in a democracy. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.
This blog is not for people to be critical of what is posted here and if the reader is critical of anything here than that means they did not read the disclaimer on the top of each of the pages here and are not welcome here and should stop reading and leave this blog upon my request and in the name of freedom of speech, and my rights as a American citizen.

No sexual abuse is ever acceptable. Sex offense laws and policies should be based on sound research and common sense, not fear, panic or paranoia. Current laws and policies that paint all sex offenders with one broad brush are counter- productive, wasteful, and cause needless harm. Each offense must be judged on its own merits with a punishment that fits the crime and does not waste taxpayer dollars. The public sex offender registry and residency restriction laws do not protect children but instead ostracize and dehumanize individuals and their families. Money spent on purely punitive measures would be better used for prevention, healing, and rehabilitation.

The author of SO FAQ does not affiliate with any other organization or people on the internet or the world for that matter. I have been saying this since I first logged on to the internet. Just because I like organizations like the ACLU; does not mean I believe in everything they believe in or stand for. Just like in our great country when we vote; we will never believe in everything the candidate we vote for; believes in or stands for. That doe not mean we are should not vote.

When will this end? When we as a country do not exist because of things like this? I believe the prophecy of so many religions; that our country will not be here during the end times. I am just doing my best to try to stop the inhuman sex offender laws to not speed that end up, and to not be the main cause of our eventual non existence. Again the God of so many religions is a patient God. We can definitely hold out as long as we are a free country. We will not last long by changing the very constitution that made us who we are.

April 29 2015

Since our country is so important to the world. Maybe when our country ceases to exist; it will cause the beginning of the end. to start. Like the character in the story that has a mechanism attached to his heart; when it stops beating, it triggers a million horror bombs; destroying human life on the earth in a matter of 3 years. Like this Spawn scene:
April 28 2015:
Doe v. Shurtleff
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Doe v. Shurtleff
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Full case name
John Doe v. Mark Shurtleff
October 26 2010
628 F.3d 1217 (10th Cir. 2010)
Affirmed District Court decision. Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5, a Utah statute requiring convicted sex offenders to register their online identifiers, does not violate the First or Fourth Amendments or the Ex Post Facto Clause.
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting
Neil M. Gorsuch, Monroe G. McKay, Richard D. Cudahy
Case opinions
Monroe G. McKay
Laws applied
Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Ex Post Facto Clause
Doe v. Shurtleff, 628 F.3d 1217 (10th Cir. 2010), was a United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit case assessing the constitutionality of Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5, a law that requires sex offenders to register their internet identifiers with the state in order to "assist in investigating kidnapping and sex-related crimes, and in apprehending offenders."In this case, a convicted sex offender, appearing anonymously as John Doe, appealed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Utah to vacate an order enjoining the enforcement of Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5. Even though Doe did not dispute the state's interest in enacting such a statute, he believed that the statute's enforcement ran afoul of his:
1.First Amendment right to engage in anonymous speech;
2.Fourth Amendment rights to privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure; and
3.the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution.
Upon examining Doe's appeal, the Tenth Circuit determined that Utah's registration statute did not violate Doe's First or Fourth Amendment rights or the Ex Post Facto Clause, and therefore affirmed the lower court's decision to lift the injunction.
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997), is a United States Supreme Court case in which all nine Justices of the Court voted to strike down anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), because they violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. Two Justices concurred in part and dissented in part to the decision. This was the first major Supreme Court ruling on the regulation of materials distributed via the Internet.
McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 514 U.S. 334 (1995), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that an Ohio statute that prohibits anonymous political or campaign literature is unconstitutional. Writing for the Court, Justice Stevens asserted that such action is protected by the First Amendment, and therefore violated the constitutional principle of freedom of speech. Justice Scalia dissented, in an opinion which Chief Justice Rehnquist joined. Justice Ginsburg wrote a concurrence, while Justice Thomas wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment.
April 27 2015:
George W. Bush acknowledges family name will hurt Jeb's 2016 campaign
I applaud you GWB, A true Texan would say nothing less. I applaud all my fellow Texas; we are all of a brotherhood, few would understand. It is one thing to be a American like Bruce Springsteen and say "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much, Till you spend half your life just covering up."
If you where born in the USA you are my family. If you where born in Texas you are my favorite family member of all. No one on this planet knows what it is to suffer to be a American like my fellow Texans. The Bush family has always had my heart felt support and always will. To me it is a legacy of President Regan who was my favorite president of all time and will always be.
Nevertheless anyone that supports human rights for sex offenders and everyone else in this day and time must support democrats only or they are self destructive. Things can and will change; do not get me wrong. Who knows what tomorrow hold for us all.
Former President George W. Bush on Saturday said his brother, Jeb, faces a unique hurdle in the presidential horse race: his own name.
While fielding questions at a closed-door meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Bush "acknowledged being a liability to his brother's candidacy," according to The New York Times, which spoke to attendees as they left the event.
"He basically said being a Bush is a challenge," Norm Coleman, a former senator and current RJC board member, told the Times.
"That's why you won't see me," Bush reportedly said,
Lets not forget; George; by huge influence, I am sure, signed to change The Constitution Of The United States to make laws retroactive; through the Adam Walsh Act.
 In the United States, the Congress is prohibited from passing ex post facto laws by clause 3 of Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution. The states are prohibited from passing ex post facto laws by clause 1 of Article I, Section 10.
An ex post facto law (Latin for "from after the action" or "after the facts")
The Texas Constitution says:
(Added Nov. 6, 1956.) Sec. 16. BILLS OF ATTAINDER; EX POST FACTO OR RETROACTIVE LAWS; IMPAIRING OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retroactive law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made.

"Not all laws with retroactive effects have been held to be unconstitutional. One current U.S. law that has a retroactive effect is the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. This law imposes new registration requirements on convicted sex offenders and also applies to offenders whose crimes were committed before the law was enacted." Wikipedia

I still do not believe what I just read from: I have researched it and can not find anything definitive to prove this. For the first time ever; I do not believe Wikipedia.

I can not begin to tell how this has effected me since, I have read it. To think the actual Constitution of The United States has been changed seems; unbelievable and extremely wrong and un American and very illegal to say the least.. Still deferred adjudicated is not the same as a conviction; so it could be argued that if you got deferred adjudicated for a sex crime; that was required at one time; it may not apply to those folks.

Retro Active Law explained further down this page.
Here is some of the things I found about this law:
Appellate Court Affirms Decision to Block Enforcement of Prop. 35 Requirements
Posted On 18 Nov, 2014
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed the decision of a federal district court to block enforcement of Proposition 35 requirements that all registered citizens provide a list of any and all Internet identifiers as well as any and all Internet service providers to law enforcement. California RSOL is a plaintiff in this case and was represented by the San Francisco ACLU as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
According to the decision, the requirements violate the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in at least three ways: (1) the requirements do not make clear what sex offenders are required to report, (2) there are insufficient safeguards preventing the public release of the information sex offenders do report and (3) the 24-hour reporting requirement s onerous and overbroad.
“This is a significant victory for all registered citizens in California,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “The 9th Circuit of Appeals has clearly articulated that the requirements, if imposed, would violate the U.S. Constitution.”
The Court noted in it decision that the 24-hour reporting requirement of adding or changing an Internet identifier or an account with an Internet service provider is “not only onerous, it is also applied in an across-the-board fashion. The requirement applies to all registered sex offenders, regardless of their offense, their history of recidivism (or lack thereof), or any other relevant circumstance.”
In reaching its decision, the Court noted that the balance of equities in the case favor registered citizens “whose First Amendment rights are being chilled. This is especially so because the Act under scrutiny imposes criminal sanctions for failure to comply.”
November 18, 2014
Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Speech in California Prop. 35 Case
ACLU of Northern California, EFF Prevail in Appeal Over Internet Restrictions for Registered Sex Offenders

San Francisco - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Proposition 35, a 2012 California ballot initiative that would have restricted the rights of registered sex offenders to communicate on the Internet, is likely unconstitutional. The opinion affirms an earlier district court ruling in Doe v. Harris, a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2012.
Proposition 35, also known as the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act (CASE Act), requires anyone who is a registered sex offender—even people with decades-old, low-level offenses whose offenses were not related to the Internet—to turn over a list of all their Internet user names and online service providers to law enforcement. Under the law, more than 73,000 Californians would have been forced to provide this information to the government, and report any new account or screen name within 24 hours of setting it up, even if the new screen name is their own real name. Violations would have potentially resulted in years in prison.
"The Ninth Circuit has agreed that the onerous online speech restrictions required by Prop. 35 violate the First Amendment," said Linda Lye, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. "The portions of Prop. 35 that unconstitutionally limit what people say online won't help us end human trafficking. Anonymity is key to protecting speech by unpopular or controversial groups and allowing robust political debate."
The ACLU of Northern California and EFF filed a lawsuit the day after the law was passed in 2012, challenging these reporting requirements as a burden on the First Amendment right to free and anonymous speech. A lower court agreed with the groups in January 2013 and issued a preliminary injunction, halting enforcement of the law. Today, the Ninth Circuit upheld that lower court ruling.
"[T]he CASE Act directly and exclusively burdens speech, and a substantial amount of that speech is clearly protected under the First Amendment," Ninth Circuit Judge Jay Bybee wrote in the opinion.
The court noted that the law was overly broad, affecting speech unrelated to sexual offenses, such as "blogging about political topics and posting comments to online news articles. " This creates the "inevitable effect of burdening sex offenders' ability to engage in anonymous online speech," Bybee wrote. The court also found that there was no evidence that throwing out this part of Proposition 35 would hamper the state's ability to investigate online sex offenses.
"We're pleased the court recognized important First Amendment principles of free and anonymous speech apply to everyone, regardless of what crimes they may have committed in the past," EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury said. "While the law may be well-intentioned, its broad language opened the door for the government to chill free speech. Restrictions targeting sex offenders are often a stepping stone for the expansion of law enforcement power against other classes of unpopular people."
The court's ruling means the preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the reporting requirements of the CASE Act remains in effect.
Doe v. Harris
Summarized by: Rianna Venn
Date Filed: 11-18-2014
 Case #: 13-15263; 13-15267
Circuit Judge Bybee for the Court; Circuit Judge Schroeder and Senior District Judge Timlin

Full Text Opinion:
First Amendment: Content-neutral restrictions on protected speech must not burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.
The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (“CASE”) Act “added provisions to California’s sex offender registration requirements related to Internet usage by persons subject to the Act.” The Act requires sex offenders to provide “‘[a] list of any and all Internet identifiers established or used by the person’ and ‘[a] list of any and all Internet service providers used by the person.’” The Act also established a 24-hour written notice requirement to law enforcement of any changes to these lists. A represented “class of registered sex offenders who regularly use the Internet to advocate anonymously on behalf of sex offenders and to comment on news articles, forums, and blogs” filed suit once the Act took effect claiming “the Act violates their First Amendment rights.” The representative “moved for a temporary restraining order” while the district court considered the representative’s “motion for a preliminary injunction.” The district court granted the preliminary injunction after finding the Act was “not narrowly tailored to serve the government’s important interest” and “that loss of First Amendment freedoms is an irreparable injury.” The State appealed, and the Ninth Circuit reviewed the “preliminary injunction for abuse of discretion.” The panel evaluated the Act’s constitutionality using the “intermediate level of scrutiny applicable to content-neutral restrictions that impose an incidental burden on speech.” The panel considered whether the Act’s requirements “burden[] substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.” The panel found that the Act “clearly intended to serve a legitimate interest” but determined “the Act unnecessarily chills protected speech.” The panel concluded that the Act’s reporting requirement was ambiguous and the Act had insufficient safeguards for the information reported. The panel also found the 24-hour written notice requirement “onerous and overbroad.” The panel therefore affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction. AFFIRMED.
I am going to try to explain retro active law and why it is wrong:
Ex post facto law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law. In criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed; it may aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in when it was committed; it may change the punishment prescribed for a crime, as by adding new penalties or extending sentences; or it may alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime likelier than it would have been when the deed was committed.
As you can read on this page retro active laws are illegal in most of the world not just our country.
United States:
In the United States, the Congress is prohibited from passing ex post facto laws by clause 3 of Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution. The states are prohibited from passing ex post facto laws by clause 1 of Article I, Section 10. This is one of the relatively few restrictions that the United States Constitution made to both the power of the federal and state governments before the Fourteenth Amendment. Over the years, when deciding ex post facto cases, the United States Supreme Court has referred repeatedly to its ruling in Calder v. Bull, in which Justice Samuel Chase held that the prohibition applied only to criminal matters, not civil matters, and established four categories of unconstitutional ex post facto laws. The case dealt with the Article I, Section 10, prohibition on ex post facto laws, because it concerned a Connecticut state law.
Not all laws with retroactive effects have been held to be unconstitutional. One current U.S. law that has a retroactive effect is the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. This law imposes new registration requirements on convicted sex offenders and also applies to offenders whose crimes were committed before the law was enacted. (This does not make this right. The Online Identifier law was enacted before this law; that makes it a good fight in court for sure. I believe it is only a matter of time before this law is repealed. At any rate it is worth fighting in court.)The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Smith v. Doe (2003) that forcing sex offenders to register their whereabouts at regular intervals, and the posting of personal information about them on the Internet, do not violate the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws, because these laws do not impose any kind of punishment. *
This is not right because there have been recent court cases that have been won against people posting sex offenders on there websites. : Sunday, March 23, 2014 Offendex (extortion website) is going out of business This looks like the end of Offendex and affiliate extortion sites. And I'm not surprised that the owners of Offendex are convicted felons. I am amazed they managed to make a lot of money from these websites. The article from AZCentral is incredibly detailed so read on:
*Again what is wrong with this is non compliance means prison so to say: because these laws do not impose any kind of punishment. * is actually a lie.
In Starkey v. Oklahoma Department Of Corrections, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma found the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act, or SORA, to be punitive in nature, if not in intent. While the law in question has been ruled as not being retroactive in nature, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections had been applying the new legislation retroactively, and "also find the Department's retroactive application of the level assignment provisions of 57 O.S. Supp. 2007, 582.1 - 582.5, as amended, violates the ex post facto clause."
When states make retroactive laws they should be sued by our country. There is always that possibility.
Controversy has also arisen with regard to Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Laws, which allow the indefinite commitment of a person with a mental abnormality which predisposes him to molest children. This issue arose in the case Kansas v. Hendricks.[24] In Hendricks, a man with a long history of sexually molesting children was scheduled to be released from prison shortly after the enactment of Kansas's SVP act. Rather than being released, he was committed on the grounds that he had a mental abnormality. Hendricks contested the law on ex post facto and double jeopardy grounds. The Supreme Court of Kansas invalidated the Act, but the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision and ruled that the law was constitutional on the basis that the law did not impose a criminal punishment.
It is obvious that this is very controversial and I believe the only reason this is not deemed illegal is because it has not been fought enough in court. Imagine if someday it is found illegal and the people that enacted such laws are thrown in prison themselves.
It is a blight on us all that the euphoria of sex offender cruelty has been aloud to perpetuate; just so the media and the internet can make money off of it. It only goes to show how much the media and the internet has power over politics and voters in the land of the free. Yet laws like online Identifier seeks to take any voice of protest that might actually help us all. History has proven that this will end sooner or latter.

July 12, 2015 4:00 am
BLOOMINGTON — A requirement that Illinois sex offenders report all Internet sites they use to police is unconstitutional because it violates the offenders’ free speech rights, according to a ruling by a McLean County judge.
Judge Robert Freitag agreed with arguments from the defense lawyer for Mark Minnis, 22, of Normal, that state law is overly broad in its mandate that all email addresses and sites a sex offender uses or plans to use, including Facebook, must be registered with police.
Minnis was charged with failure to register the address of his residence after he missed his annual registration deadline by three days in August. As part of that requirement, he disclosed two email addresses, but did not list a Facebook and Ebay account he uses, according to court records.
States’s Attorney Jason Chambers said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office plans to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review the decision. The high court's ruling will impact all future Illinois cases on the First Amendment issue in sex offender cases.
Defense lawyer Stephanie Wong said Thursday the Internet portion of the law “is not well-written and provides no guidance as to what the requirements are. The statute has to be more narrowly tailored.”
According to Wong, no other court decisions have been issued on the free speech aspect of the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. In Wong’s opinion, the opinion issued Tuesday by Freitag bars authorities from enforcing the Internet requirement at this point.
In his order, Freitag cited a federal court decision challenging a similar mandate in Nebraska. The court there said ordering a sex offender to report all access to Internet sites “clearly chills offenders from engaging in expressive activity that is otherwise perfectly proper, and the statute is therefore insufficiently narrow.”
Freitag noted that he is not bound to follow the federal opinion, but found the reasoning in the case “to be persuasive and sound.”
Chambers said his office “takes sex offender cases very seriously.”
The conditions imposed on sex offenders living in the community “are not meant as a penalty, but for the safety of those living around them,”  he said.
The rules related to Internet access are one of many requirements for Illinois sex offenders. Restrictions on where offenders can live, work and visit puts them at risk for criminal charges and incarceration if not strictly followed.
November 10 at 1:45 PM
I’ve said it many times before — these sex offender cases are of the deepest importance, not because of any special concern we might have for convicted sex offenders but because they’re the despised minority du jour, subject to the harshest treatment that legislators and law enforcement officials can dream up, and unless the courts stand up and make it clear that there are lines the government cannot cross without running afoul of the Constitution, government action will become more and more abusive, and then all of our rights are at risk. A shame that the NC court didn’t view things that way.

David G. Post is a Sr. Fellow at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. He taught intellectual property/Internet law at Georgetown and Temple Universities, and is the author of In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace. Views expressed are his own and should not be attributed to his affiliated institutions.
 November 12, 2015
I have been following all the good stuff Human Rights Watch does since college back around 2003. My professor told me about HRW. 
Found these cool pages today:
X. Human Rights and Sex Offender Laws
Governments have an obligation to protect people and take appropriate steps to safeguard the lives of those within its jurisdiction to protect them from violence. One element of that duty is to take measures to deter and prevent crime. They must do so, however, within a human rights framework, which places restrictions on those measures that infringe on the human rights guaranteed to all. A person’s conviction of a crime does not extinguish his or her claim to just treatment at the hands of government. 
Sex offender laws interfere with a panoply of protected rights: the rights to privacy, to family and home, to freedom of movement and liberty (including the right to work and to reside where one chooses), and to physical safety and integrity (including protection from harm by private as well as public actors). None of these rights are absolute. But laws that infringe upon them must be necessary to serve a legitimate public interest, the relationship between the interest and the means chosen to advance it must be a close one, and the laws must be the least restrictive possible. For example, as the UN Human Rights Committee, which assesses compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has stated with regard to limiting the right to movement
Sex Offenders Laws in US Courts
With few exceptions, judges have upheld sex offender laws, rejecting procedural due process challenges, equal protection, banishment, and ex post facto claims, and arguments that such laws violate fundamental rights, including the right to privacy. 
Community Notification
The US Supreme Court has twice upheld state (Alaska and Connecticut) community notification laws. The specific constitutional issues raised in the cases differed, but in both cases the Court failed to grapple forthrightly with the practical implications of community notification. It gave little weight to the shaming and stigma that inevitably and necessarily accompany community notification, and overlooked the unnecessarily broad scope of the statutes with respect to both who is required to register and who may access the registry. Lower courts have similarly failed to acknowledge the serious rights violations that accompany community notification laws. For example, with regard to the privacy rights violated by community notification laws, a federal court noted, “a state’s publication of truthful information that is already available to the public does not infringe the fundamental constitutional rights of liberty and privacy.”
Dissenting justices have acknowledged the significant consequences of community notification. For example, Justice Ginsburg noted community notification’s “onerous and intrusive obligations” on the offender, the resulting “profound humiliation and community-wide ostracism,” its resemblance to historical practices of shaming, reliance upon convictions rather than present dangerousness, and the law’s “excessiveness in relation to its non-punitive purpose.”
Former offenders in a number of cases have claimed that sex offender registration and notification laws impermissibly infringe on protected rights. After concluding that fundamental rights were not, in fact, implicated by the laws, the courts did not subject them to close scrutiny, nor did they question the laws’ proportionality. For example, a registrant in Tennessee argued that the state’s registration law “ depriv[ed] him of his constitutional rights of privacy and employment, and the right to be free from stigma, without due process of law. ”The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, refused to recognize a privacy right in this context as a fundamental right. Similarly, residents in Florida challenged that state’s sex offender registration law, arguing that the law infringed on their right to associate with their families, the right to be free from threats, and their right to find and/or keep employment and housing. The appellate court ruled that none of these are fundamental rights. 
Under US constitutional jurisprudence, if a fundamental right is not involved (and absent discrimination), courts will not require regulations to be anything more than “rationally” related to a legitimate public purpose, and the rationality test is easily satisfied unless a law is utterly irrational.
Residency Restrictions
The United States Supreme Court has yet to consider the constitutionality of residency restrictions.  Federal and state courts have, for the most part, upheld these laws against challenges that the restrictions are unconstitutionally overbroad and vague; permit a regulatory taking without just compensation; interfere with the right to contract; and violate substantive due process rights to housing, the Ex Post Facto Clause against retroactive punishment, and the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Iowa residency restriction statute, concluding that residency restrictions are a form of civil regulation, and that keeping sex offenders a certain distance from where children gather was rationally related to the legitimate legislative goal of protecting children. The court found that the federal constitution does not include a “right to live where you choose.” The Court rejected the registrants’ contention that the law violated their fundamental right to live with their family members, because the law only limited where registrants could live, not with whom—any impact on the family was only incidental or unintended. Although, as the dissent in the case noted, Iowa’s residency restriction law leaves “so few legal housing options that many offenders face the choice of living in rural areas or leaving the state,” the majority court refused to lend such consequences any legal significance.
Sex offenders have challenged the rationality of residency restrictions by pointing to a lack of evidence that the exclusion zones enhance children’s safety. Courts have conceded that the efficacy of the restrictions is unproven but have responded that the legislature deserves broad discretion to deal with potentially dangerous situations. No court applying rational basis review has held that residency restrictions are an unreasonable means to achieve the state’s legitimate purpose of protecting children.
ACLU Calls for Sex Offender Reform
The ACLU is calling for regulation reform for sex offenders.

Published 04/07 2016 06:30PM
A man from Normal is working with the American Civil Liberties Union and The Electronic Frontier Foundation, to ask the State Supreme Court to reduce internet regulations for sex offenders.
Mark Minnis is a registered sex offender who was convicted on a misdemeanor charge as a juvenile. According to the ACLU, he was recently brought up on charges because he failed to report he had posted a picture to his Facebook. A McLean County circuit court dismissed the charges after ruling the tight regulations were a burden on first amendment rights.
Senior Staff Counsel for the ACLU Rebecca Glenberg said, “Our entire regulation of sex offenders is extremely burdensome, ineffective and requires serious reform.”
Minnis and the ACLU are calling the laws "overboard" and asking the Supreme Court to rule in favor of reform.
April 7, 2016 9:48 am
ACLU of Illinois, EFF ask state supreme to strike down limits on free speech in cumbersome sex offender laws
CHICAGO – The ACLU of Illinois, joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, today asked the state supreme court to strike down the “incredibly broad scope” of limitations contained in the state’s sex offender registry laws. The amicus brief was filed in the case of Mark Minnis, a young man from downstate Normal who served a 12-month probation for a misdemeanor offense, which he completed. Though years have passed, Mr. Minnis still is forced to navigate a series of onerous and cumbersome requirements under the State’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).
Mr. Minnis was targeted by law enforcement officials because he failed to provide the account information for a Facebook account to which he had uploaded a photograph. Mr. Minnis did provide the information for two personal email accounts. A state circuit court dismissed the charges, finding that the Illinois law “clearly chills offenders from engaging in expressive activity that is otherwise perfectly proper.”
“We encourage the state supreme court to take a close look not only at the facts in this case, but at the impact that these laws have on the legitimate free speech rights of many Illinois residents,” said Rebecca Glenberg, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Illinois. “Under the current law, Mr. Minnis and countless others who made bad decisions as teens sacrifice all freedom to anonymous speech on the internet.”
“The Illinois law is overbroad in the amount of speech that is regulated and the number of people who are regulated.”
The two civil liberties groups’ amicus brief filed today notes that such laws are not even justifiable as effective, since sex offenders are highly unlikely to commit a new offense using the internet, and that juvenile offenders (like Mr. Minnis) are particularly unlikely to re-offend since their offenses typically reflect the poor impulse control of an incompletely developed brain. Yet, the Illinois law burdens and limits many types of speech on the internet.
“Illinois’ SORA is an overbroad statute that imposes jail time on a sex offender who doesn’t report to law enforcement that he has written an online letter to the editor, posted a political comment, or researched health information. This infringement on speech and regulation of Internet expression far exceeds, and in fact has little to do with, the state’s interest in deterring sexual offenses,” said Sophia Cope, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
For example, someone subjected to these rules could not engage in any anonymous speech on the internet, despite the fact that anonymous speech has played a critical role in political and societal discourse throughout our nation’s history. The rules also substantially burden religious speech and political speech of other types, even though these areas of discussion have no relevance to the State’s legitimate purpose of attempting to stop recidivism among sex offenders.
“These burdens on speech are just one of the myriad of challenges faced by someone convicted of a whole array of sex-related offenses – even as a youth,” added the ACLU’s Glenberg. “We have built a complex system that severely limits where people can live, where they can work and with whom they interact.”
“Courts around the country have found similar reporting requirements to be unconstitutional, as they severely burden virtually all online speech with only a tenuous connection to law enforcement’s interest in protecting the public from crime. We are joining the ACLU in urging the Illinois Supreme Court to come to the same conclusion about SORA,” said Adam Schwartz, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.
April 7, 2016 | By Sophia Cope and Karen Gullo
Illinois Law Requiring Sex Offenders To Report All Internet Activity Violates Free Speech Rights
With the goal of keeping tabs on sex offenders, the state of Illinois has veered way off course. Its offender registration statute requires individuals to report every nook and cranny of their online activities to law enforcement—or face jail time. Every Internet site they visit, every online retailer account they create, and every news story comment they post must be reported to police.
EFF and the ACLU of Illinois today asked the Illinois Supreme Court to strike down these onerous requirements of the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). The rules violate free speech rights guaranteed to all people—even unpopular people—under the Constitution.
The law was challenged by a Normal, Illinois, man who served 12 months of probation for a misdemeanor offense he committed as a juvenile. Several years later he was arrested and charged with a felony punishable by a year in prison because he failed to report to police a Facebook account to which he uploaded a photo. An Illinois judge last year correctly ruled that the online speech requirements of SORA were overbroad and unconstitutional. He noted that SORA has absolutely no limitation on the type of speech or communication offenders are required to report, and disregards whether the speech being targeted “is in any way related to” the purpose of the statute—which is to deter sexual offenses. The state has appealed the decision.
No one, not even sex offenders, should be forced to report every aspect of his or her online life to law enforcement or be prevented from speaking anonymously on the Internet. Illinois’ law requires reporting of all email addresses, usernames, and websites used, and law enforcement must make that information available to the public. Participating in political discussion groups, banking online or posting a restaurant review has no nexus with police enforcement of sex offender laws. Compelling individuals to turn over this information imposes severe burdens on speech that go way beyond what’s needed for the state to ensure sex offenders don’t offend again. As Illinois Judge Robert Freitag said in his ruling last year (citing a court that struck down a Nebraska law very similar to Illinois’), such online speech reporting rules clearly chill offenders “from engaging in expressive activity that is otherwise perfectly proper.” 
EFF and ACLU in 2012 successfully challenged a state ballot measure aimed at combating human trafficking that restricted the legal and constitutionally protected speech of all registered sex offenders in California. We argued that requiring registrants to turn over their online identifiers doesn't fight trafficking but rather creates a dangerous slippery slope, stoking law enforcement’s desire for accessing more and more personal data online. A district court ruling blocking enforcement of the measure was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and California chose not to appeal the case to the Supreme Court
In the Illinois case, state officials make the argument that no website is “unrelated” to the purpose of its sex offender registration law, and any physical location in which the public may encounter a sex offender is relevant to police investigations of those offenders. By that logic, sex offenders should be required to report their every move—when they take a bus, go to the post office, shop at the grocery store, or attend a meeting. The law doesn’t force offenders to report to police every place they come in contact with the public, nor should it force them to disclose everywhere they go online. That’s not just wrong, it’s unconstitutional.

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