EPIC Urges Supreme Court to Protect Online Privacy, Right to Read

EPIC has filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief in Packingham v. North Carolina, a U.S. Supreme Court case about a state law that bars access to certain websites. Under a North Carolina law, released sex offenders are barred from accessing any website that allows people under 18 to create profiles and communicate online, including major news sites, such as the New York Times and CNN. In a brief joined by thirty-five technical experts, legal scholars, and civil liberties organizations, EPIC explained that North Carolina laws violates the First Amendment right to receive information, censors vast amounts of speech unrelated to protecting minors, and will lead to widespread police monitoring of all internet users. "The state can no more criminalize what an individual chooses to read on a personal electronic device than it can restrict the contents of a home library: the privacy of both is sacrosanct," EPIC wrote. EPIC regularly files amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. EPIC previously argued for First Amendment privacy protections in Doe v. ReedWatchtower Bible v. Stratton, and Patel v. Los Angeles.

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