November 14, 2012

New Parties Want to Defend Trafficking Law

11-14-2012 California:

AN FRANCISCO (CN) - Human trafficking opponents want to intervene in a class action brought by two registered sex offenders fighting a California proposition.

The two offenders, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, claim that a provision of Proposition 35 violates their civil rights in requiring them to give police a list of their Internet activity.

In its bid to fight human trafficking, part of the voter-approved initiative requires sex offenders to turn over their Internet service providers, screen names and email addresses.

Defenders of civil rights say this provision impedes the right of sex offenders to engage in anonymous, online free speech.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson granted a temporary injunction on the section last week.

On Monday, Henderson received a motion to intervene from Daphne Phung, founder of the nonprofit California Against Slavery, and Silicon Valley attorney Chris Kelly of the Safer California Foundation. Phung and Kelly officially backed Proposition 35.

The pair say that the sex-offender plaintiffs do not oppose such intervention, but that they want to assurances that their anonymity will not be compromised.
"Plaintiffs' concerns do not present a legitimate basis for opposing or restricting proponents' intervention," according to Phung and Kelly's motion. "These plaintiffs have come to this court seeking to overturn the will of an overwhelming majority of California voters who want Proposition 35 to protect them, their children, and their communities from registered sex offenders who are online sexual predators. Although plaintiff sex offenders have the right to a full hearing on their claims in this court, plaintiffs go too far when they seek to restrict the ability of the People of California - who speak through a ballot measure's official proponents in post-election litigation - to be fully heard on all of the issues that plaintiffs bring before this court."

It adds:"It strains credulity to suggest that the voters of California should have less voice in that matter than the registered sex offenders from whom they seek protection, for any reason, let alone the mere convenience of those offenders."

Phung and Kelly are represented by James Harrison and Margaret Prinzing of Remcho, Johansen & Purcell of San Leandro, Calif. ..Source.. by MARIA DINZEO

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