U.S. v. Sofsky Cases of Interest >  Cyberlaw

U.S. v. Sofsky

287 F. 3d 122
second circuit
ISSUE: Sofsky is challenging the internet prohibition special condition of his supervised release.

Sofsky had received on his home computer via the Internet more than 1,000 images of child porn in the form of both still and moving pictures. Some of the images were transferred to CD ROM disks. Sofsky also used the Internet to exchange images of child porn with other ppl. No claim that Sofsky ever produced any of the images he received or exchanged with others.
• Offense level of 32. He challenged the Special condition of supervised release that said “Defendant may not access a computer, the internet, or bulletin board systems at any time, unless approved by the probation officer.”

DECISION ON ISSUE: Condition of supervised release prohibiting all computer and internet access is VACATED.

Court persuaded by observation in Peterson that “although a ∆ might use the telephone to commit fraud, this would not justify a condition of probation that includes an absolute bar on the use of telephones.” A total ban on internet access prevents use of e-mail and other common place computer uses such as “doing any research, getting a weather forecast, or reading a newspaper online.” White case.
The court finds the condition prohibiting sofsky from accessing a computer to BE REASONABLY RELATED but the condition inflicts a greater deprivation on Sofsky’s liberty than is reasonably necessary.
• A more focused restriction, limited to pornography sites, could be enforced by unannounced inspections of Sofsky’s premises.

This guy had more than a 1,000 images of child porn. The court finds the condition is reasonably related but there is too great a deprivation of liberty.

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