Friday, August 5, 2011

Missouri Facebook law draws attention of ACLU

A new Missouri law prohibits teachers from ‘friending’ students on Facebook … and the law caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri is considering litigation to challenge the law, citing free speech infringement.

Legal director Tony Rothert says the law is too vague and that legal action is possible.

"I think reviewing the law and hearing from legislators on what they were intending to do versus what the law actually says, it appears that the law is crafted by people who just don’t understand how Facebook specifically and the Internet more generally work," Rothert said. "They’re spooked by technology and are trying to put restrictions on something that they don’t understand."

Rothert says it is odd that the law is designed to protect children from predator teachers yet bans them from interacting with teachers in a setting that has an evidence trail.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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