The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in Packingham v. North Carolina. At issue is a state law that bars people listed in a sex offender registry from accessing any commercial website that allows users under 18 to create profiles and communicate online. The North Carolina ban covers major news sites such as the New York Times and CNN. Packingham was convicted for posting "Good is God" on Facebook after a traffic ticket was dismissed. EPIC filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief joined by thirty-five technical experts, legal scholars, and civil liberties organizations, EPIC explained that the law violates the First Amendment right to receive information, censors vast amounts of speech unrelated to protecting minors, and will lead to widespread government 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. Reed, Watchtower Bible v. Stratton, and Los Angeles v. Patel.
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Privacy in the Modern Age