The Louisiana House Tuesday embraced an updated version of legislation that aims to restrict Internet use for convicted sex offenders whose crimes involved children.
Dubbed the Facebook bill, the legislation cleared the House on a 97-1 vote.
House Bill 620 by state Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, reworks a similar proposal that a federal judge declared as a “near-total ban on Internet access” and unconstitutionally broad.
Thierry said she “improved” this year’s proposal by defining specific intent. Sex offenders would have to commit “intentional use” of a social networking site by creating a profile or attempting to contact other users on the site.
“This does not mean you cannot check email. This does not mean you can’t go on websites such as Google or Yahoo,” Thierry said.
The legislation would prohibit sex offenders convicted of crimes involving juveniles from using social networking sites such as Facebook. The bill is part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s legislative package.
First-time violations would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.