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JUDGE STRIKES DOWN LAW ON SEX OFFENDER RESTRICTIONS TO INTERNET ACCESS

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A federal judge has struck down Kentucky’s restrictions on Internet access for registered sex offenders, saying they are too broad and violate First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled Friday on a lawsuit by a man who registered as a sex offender after his conviction for possessing child pornography. The judge said state law is so broad that it would prohibit the man from accessing a newspaper website to comment on news, or from creating an online account to purchase fishing equipment. One law barred sex offenders from using social networking websites or instant messaging or chat rooms that could be accessible to children. The Justice Cabinet says attorneys are reviewing the decision. Van Tatenhove cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a similar North Carolina law.

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