Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Court Realizes Lifetime Internet Ban Is Unreasonable

from the seems-a-bit-extreme,-right? dept

We've discussed how ridiculous it is for courts to ban people from the internet entirely just because the crime they committed took place on the internet. You don't see people getting banned from using the telephone because their crime involved a phone. However, judges keep putting such a ban in place. An appeals court has now overturned such a ban, pointing out how excessive it appeared to be. In this case, the guy was "prohibited from accessing any computer equipment or any 'online' computer service at any location, including employment or education. This includes, but is not limited to, any Internet service provider, bulletin board system, or any other public or private computer network." As the article notes, that would mean he basically couldn't use a mobile phone (or VoIP phone) these days. And, it's getting increasingly difficult to find a job or class that doesn't involve computers and the internet in some manner. To ban it completely, for the rest of this guy's life, was clearly extreme -- and it's good that the appeals court has agreed. As for the lower court, it sounds like they just were so interested in the "internet" angle to the case, they didn't quite realize the consequences of a complete ban for life.

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  1. identicon
    Mike4, 8 Jun 2007 @ 5:20am

    Re: Perma ban

    I agree wholeheartedly, Michael Whitetail, and was thinking the same exact thing when I read this article. The idea of not being able to work with or near a computer seems absurd, but the kicker for me was the idea of this guy trying to get an education without being able to use a computer. Where is that going to happen nowadays?

    At this point, there are computers everywhere and more and more of them have the ability to access the internet as time goes on. I don't think we're far off from seeing internet-enabled computers built into cars.

    An internet-enabled car shouldn't be an issue for this guy, though, because for the reasons you pointed out, he will never be able to get a decent job again in his life to afford one.

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