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State appeals court upholds parole board ban on use of social media by sex offenders

Posted Nov 27, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Saying that convicted sex offenders pose a danger to the public if they are allowed access to the Internet, a New Jersey appellate court on Tuesday upheld a state parole board ban on the their use of social media.such as Facebook and Twitter.

Objectors argued that the rule is overly broad and limits both job and social opportunities, the Star-Ledger reports.

However, the Appellate Division panel said those who have a work-related or other reasonable need to use the Internet can seek a special exemption and agreed that the social media ban is justified because sex offenders are more likely than many other ex-convicts to repeat a crime.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said they plan to appeal. "You can’t live these days without being on the Internet—you can’t find jobs, you can’t even parent," attorney Joseph S. Murphy told the newspaper. "You know how people are getting their news today? Twitter."

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