California has over 74,000 people on the sex offender registry. Every year that passes more restrictions are put into place on those on the sex offender registry. California passed a new referendum that would require those on the sex offender registry to provide authorities their email addresses , user names , screen names , and Internet handles as well as to report any changes to those within 24 hours.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit to prohibit the new law from going into effect on Firs Amendment grounds. Here are some of the comments from Michael Risher who filed the lawsuit;
“This is a problem under the First Amendment,” Mr. Risher said. “Americans have a right under the First Amendment to speak anonymously, and this eviscerated that right. People, for example, would have to turn over the screen names they use to comment on the New York Times Web site.”
“That’s not activity that can be used to commit a crime in any way,” he continued. “It is pure speech, often pure speech about important political issues of the day. It’s an area where there is no reason for the government to be requiring people to identify themselves to the police.”
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction stopping the new law for now. How does that law apply to those in Tennessee ? Tennessee requires the disclosure of certain information. Here is the exact wording as the law is now;
A complete listing of the offender’s electronic mail address information or any instant message, chat or other Internet communication name or identity that the person uses or intends to use
Tennessee has almost the same wording in its sex offender registry law as California. If the ACLU wins this case in California , it may impact a portion of Tennessee’s sex offender registry laws.