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ACLU and EFF Challenge Free Speech Restrictions in California’s Proposition 35

San Francisco – Today the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a federal class-action lawsuit to block implementation of unconstitutional provisions of Proposition 35 – a ballot measure passed by California voters Tuesday that restricts the legal and constitutionally protected speech of all registered sex offenders in California.

Proposition 35 requires anyone who is a registered sex offender – even people with decades-old, low-level offenses like misdemeanor indecent exposure and people whose offenses were not related to the Internet – to turn over a list of all their Internet identifiers and service providers to law enforcement. While the law is written very unclearly, this likely includes email addresses, usernames and other identifiers used for online political discussion groups, book and restaurant review sites, forums about medical conditions, and newspaper or blog comments. Under the law, more than 73,000 Californians must immediately provide this information to law enforcement, and must report any new account or screen name within 24 hours of setting it up, even if the new screen name is their own real name. Violations can result in years in prison. Full Article

Complaint / pdf

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California RSOL is proud to be a plaintiff in this important case which challenges the constitutionality of provisions within Proposition 35 which require all registrants to disclose both their online identities and their online activities. The requirements of this proposition impair if not eliminate the ability of registrants to communicate online, including the CA RSOL website. Today’s filing of this lawsuit is a first step in overturning a Draconian law that could directly affect more than 100,000 registrants and indirectly affect millions. Thank you, ACLU and EFF, for leading the charge!

Thank You for your effort!!

No injunction or restraining order? So we have to provide the info today?

Hello Janice, and thank you and the team of folks working on this. I was very pleased to see this hit the headlines. I am one of those who will be seriously affected by this new law. I just completed 5 years of parole a few months ago and my business is finally picking up a little now. This law has the power to change how i do business and will effectively push me to avoid taking business risks that lead to my being able to pay my rent and my bills. When i am forced to adapt my life… Read more »

Thank you for this effort!

Since this was filed in court today, will there be a result from the request for an injunction? The ‘immediate’ enforcement of the law would lead me to suspect that a judge might be expected to give an immediate answer on at least the issue of the injunction. the ‘immediate’ clause makes an immediate injunction vital as the lawsuit rightly points out.

Was one given? Did the judge decline to decide on it at this time?

Any information on the expected timeline would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

I was told that a proposition is not legally allowed to include two entirely different ideas, such as email addresses and sex traffickers. Nonetheless, I strongly applaud the organizations for attacking the law. It is totally unreasonable. Individuals use the internet to apply for jobs, buy pizza, make hotel and other arrangements, buy things on Amazon, E-bay, etc. This sounds much like “Big Brother”. What is next? And more importantly, WHO is next. People complain about cookies following them. This is more controlling, more intrusive and more abusive. Perhaps next the requirement is that everyone must report all email and… Read more »

Well I guess I should delete my one Email Address and since this is the only place I ever posted that if I do not post anymore, I will not be breaking the law as 24 hours has not passed and it does not kick in till at least 24 hours.

I wouldn’t jump the gun yet about reporting your emails.. It’ll be a process.. The redesigning of the database, the paperwork, and figuring how to enforce it.. Its not like a cop can kick down your door without a warrant to go snooping on your computer (not unless your on parole/probation)

Since the law was so vague, though I know it specifically says we don’t have to disclose those for educational institutes…what if we have a login for work-related use only, and may not actually know the provider used by our place of work?

This should be interesting since email headers can be faked rather easily and therefore, if someone wants to frame and/or annoy a ROS it is quite possible to get someone in trouble very easily! This is another example of the techno ignorant politicians making “laws” that will do more harm than good since they are too stupid to understand it. 98% of the regulations should apply ONLY to those on active probation. Once that is completed there should be a totally different classification. It seems so obvious to anyone with any common sense but then you have to remember that… Read more »

I called my local 290 unit in San Jose again today and they still have not gotten any direction as to what they are supposed to do. They are in the process of figuring all of this out and I was told by two different officers today to call them back mid next week. I’m fortunate that the officers here have been helpful and available whenever I’ve had a question for them. Unfortunately that’s not the case in every jurisdiction.

Keep up the fight.

The comments above reflect the true uncertainty of Prop. 35 due to its vagueness. How can anyone comply with its requirements when the requirements are not certain? This is one of the arguments made in today’s lawsuit. A temporary restraining order (TRO) has been requested and an answer is expected “soon” perhaps as early as tomorrow (Thursday, November 8). If the TRO is granted, we will announce it on this website so please stay tuned!

Thank you so much for the update, Janice.
If the answer to the injunction is expected tomorrow does that mean that we should go ahead and submit our identifiers/ip providers to the PD today since that answer will come after the stipulated 24 hour period?

Looks like a judge granted the TRO!!!!!

“A judge granted the groups’ request for a temporary retraining order late Wednesday, halting the implementation of the internet reporting requirements until the case is resolved.”

Check this link:

Janice, can we get confirmation on this from you? GREAT JOB!!!!!

I contacted the local PD today and she never mentioned a TRO in effect rather I was asked to give her my Bank log in user name as well as my ebay account user name and my paypal account user name and was told that any family members account I had access to would also have to be given to them! Ha not just violate my rights but my families rights as well and really I seriously doubt anyone could sell children on ebay. The goverment needs to redirect their manipulating ways and soon all these blind people voting will… Read more »

They asked for that? Ebay & Paypal? I’d say that’s grounds for a lawsuit.
The stated intent of the (misguided) law is about communication: chat, email & social media. What you purchase and your financial accounts are not part of what the law itemizes. That is obscene. Paypal is effectively the same as a bank. It is not a chat or forum. What you buy or sell on ebay is not a forum and has no potential for sexual abuse, neither does your bank account. I don’t think the police for your area understand the law.

She took all that info and said it was required and they even want access to my cell phone provider because I have a data plan.I explained to her that I dont do any of the facebook, twitter, chat room stuff and she said they want anything I use to sign in to any account. Even my adobe ID which is a design software company. Unfortunately I do not have the money to hire a attorney. We also have signs posted as you enter our city saying “sex offenders beware we are watching you”. To me this is targeting and… Read more »

JD that sounds absolutely insane. What city is this, if you don’t mind me asking? Some things to consider: 1. They are demanding you give them information that the law does not permit them to ask for. the law says nothing about internet accounts that are not about communication: your financial accounts and software licences are not in play. 2. They are demanding you give them information when there is a TRO placed on the law, so they have no legal right to ask for any of it. 3. Since they insisted you give them this information, presumably under threat… Read more »

Exactly! There is power in numbers and power in knowledge! We all need to be educated on the letter of the law so we are not victimized any further than is legally permitted already! There are some decent people in law enforcement, however, there are those who are on a vendetta for many reasons and actually derive pleasure from being abusive. This has become a war and we have to actively fight back! If not, we will continue to be abused and used as a scapegoat by politicians who have a personal agenda of self interest. It is about time… Read more »

JD, this certainly seems to me like your local police department is overstepping its bounds. If they insist that you bring them more information I’d bring them a copy of the TRO instead. Also, and I’m not a lawyer so I’m not suggesting that you do this, but if I were in your shoes I would ask them to return all documents you have provided to them on this issue, and if they refuse perhaps some kind of legal action could be threatened.

Unless you are on active probation (and even if you are with the TRO) they are abusing you. DO NOT ALLOW IT! They will go as far as they can (and you let them). Remember that they are not your friend…they will gather as much info as you give them use against you. In your case, I would recommend going to register with an attorney (which is legally your right to do) to assure that they stop overstepping their legal authority! You said that you don’t have the money but I am sure that someone on this site can put… Read more »

Hemet and San Jacinto are where the signs are and home of Valley Wide the recreation center that has the signs in place. I dont mind coming forth im not afraid of retaliation. I am on a mission to get our rights restored and if a lawyer wants to represent me all I need is his/her contact info and I will definately contact them. I have spoken to Janice once but she was occupied with the halloween case in simi valley so wasnt able to help me at that time.

Please know that California RSOL and I are doing all that we can at this time to stop the pendulum from swinging in the wrong direction. It’s been moving that way for many years and it will take time to stop it, then send it back in the opposite direction. We need to move slowly at first so that we can succeed at what we’re doing. Two TRO’s in two weeks is a good start! If you want us to move more quickly, then please Show Up, Stand Up and Speak Up when you are ready. In the mean time,… Read more »

Sadly it seems that with every election new restrictions are being added to the already huge number of regulations RSO must comply to. Even though I was deceived and agreed to conditions 15 years ago that I would certainly NOT have agreed to in the present form. This is totally unfair and if the majority of people were affected you can be sure that these laws would not keep being passed and more restrictive each year. Sex offenders are the new minority group that it is perfectly legal to bash and abuse. Does it matter that perfectly innocent people are… Read more »

‘Tired of Hiding,’ as to the first part of your comment, my understanding is there is a case in federal court that is taking a look at that issue of changing the rules when there is a plea bargain. The federal court has formally asked the state supreme court to answer a very specific question and their decision will depend on what the answer is. The question is whether contracts are binding based on laws at that time or if they can be subject to updates in law. The state court has ruled both ways in different cases so because… Read more »

California DOJ has posted the message below on the home page of the Megan’s Law website. We are printing it here because in case you have not yet read it. You can use this language if/when anyone requests your online information.

ATTENTION: November 9, 2012

Federal Court orders temporary stay of law enforcement collection of registered sex offenders e-mail(s), screen name(s), and internet service provider(s) pursuant to Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act. Until further notice, the DOJ and local law enforcement will not require registrants to submit this specific information.

It appears to me from reading the posts here that there is a widespread abuse of power amongst law enforcement agencies trying to gather this information. To have them ask for your password is definitely wrong. It would allow them to use your email to do whatever they wanted. Also what about this 2 hours of training they are supposed to go through. It seems to me that no amount of training could teach some of these power hungry idiots what they are supposed to be doing. If it is true that they actually asked you guys for your passwords… Read more »

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