BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Facebook and other social networking sites are again off-limits for a list of certain sex offenders in Louisiana.
A similar previous law was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, so lawmakers rewrote the provision, hoping tightened language could stand up to judicial scrutiny.
The House gave final passage to the rewrite Tuesday with a 93-0 vote that sent it to the governor, who supports the measure.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, will more narrowly define what sites are prohibited. News websites, e-mail pages and online shopping sites aren’t included in the ban.
Banned will be websites whose primary purpose is “facilitating social interaction with other users of the website and which allows users to create web pages or profiles about themselves that are available to the public or other users.”
The prohibition will apply to anyone convicted of a sex offense against a minor or of video voyeurism. Conviction of the crime of unlawful use or access of social media would carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years. A second conviction would mandate a prison sentence of at least five years and up to 20 years.
A federal judge threw out a law passed last year that made it a crime for the same list of sex offenders to use networking websites, chat rooms and peer-to-peer networks. The Baton Rouge-based judge said the law was too broad and would effectively ban those sex offenders from the Internet.
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