PROBATION CONDITIONS LIMITING OR PROHIBITING INTERNET USE: THE FEDERAL PERSPECTIVE

Federal courts have imposed probation conditions involving limitations on the use of Internet by those convicted of sexual offenses, particularly if the accused used the Internet for the purposes of committing the offense. However, certain types of restrictions also may be imposed upon sexual offenders who did not use the Internet to commit their offenses.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

May state courts and state legislatures impose broader restrictions on a defendant in light of possible future technological changes?
Can a Federal court require defendants to undergo random computer inspections by a parole officer?
Do the Federal Sentencing Guidelines provide any instructions with respect to the permissibility of restricting Internet usage?

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