California court blocks offenders reporting duties

Nov 18, 2014 1:40 PM by News Staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court has continued to block a voter-approved measure requiring registered sex offenders to give authorities a list of their Internet providers and screen names.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said the requirement violates free speech rights. The ruling upholds a lower court decision in 2013 that put the requirements on hold.

The reporting provision was part of Proposition 35, which 81 percent of voters passed in 2012 and toughened penalties for human trafficking. The harsher prison sentences remain in effect.

But the appeals court said the requirement of sex offenders to report on their Internet activity is too vague and that offenders' anonymity is insufficiently protected. The court also said requiring offenders to report to authorities with 24 hours was too onerous.

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