ACLU, EFF Sue to Block Parts of New Sex-Offender Law

The American American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued to block portions of a California law to combat human trafficking that creates new requirements for sex offenders, alleging parts of the measure violate free speech rights.

California’s Proposition 35, which includes increased prison terms for human trafficking, requires anyone who is a registered sex offender to turn over a list of all their Internet identifiers and service providers to law enforcement, the groups said in an e-mail today.

The measure’s online speech regulations are overly broad and violate the First Amendment, both because they prohibit anonymous speech and because the reporting requirements burden all sorts of online speech, even when the speaker is using his own real name as a screen name, they said.

The suit, which seeks a judge’s order blocking the allegedly unconstitutional portions of the law, was filed today in federal court in San Francisco by two registered sex offenders and the non-profit group California Reform Sex Offender Laws.

The case is Roe v. Harris, 12-5713, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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