ACLU, EFF Challenge Human Trafficking Proposition in Court

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(AP and KQED) The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging California’s new voter-approved law to boost penalties for those convicted of human trafficking and increased monitoring of sex offenders.

Voters approved Proposition 35 on Tuesday with 81 percent of the vote.

In its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the ACLU and the EFF argue that a provision of the measure restricts the First Amendment rights of registered sex offenders.

The initiative requires all registered sex offenders in California to provide the police with their email addresses, user names and Internet service providers.

ACLU attorney Michael Risher says the measure violates free speech and due process rights of sex offenders.

For example, Risher said, “73,000 Californians [the number of registered sex offenders in California] would have to, before they create a screen name to comment on an article that they read in the paper… inform the police within 24 hours they’d created that new screen name or face arrest or possible prosecution.”

The groups also argue that provision sets a dangerous precedent.

Proposition 35′s author, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, calls the lawsuit an attack on the very idea of sex offender registration,

A hearing on the lawsuit is set for later this month.

  • very close eye

    Screw Chris Kelly. He has no idea what the Hell he’s doing. It’s more serious but it’s like saying if you got convicted of a speeding ticket 20 years ago you have to call the police department every time you get ready to drive. We know human trafficking is a very serious problem however draft a law that ADDRESSES THEM and not everyone since the beginning of time who urinated in public. It’s another PRIME EXAMPLE of fear in the public eyes and playing on unrealistic fear in the public on sex crimes. How many sex crimes have you seen on the local news in the past year? Probably less than 5. The big ones like Penn State get the press but the bottom line is, and you can look into this, less sex crimes are being committed and the current laws are sufficient in that area. Human trafficking is a whole different package than simple rape and molest cases.