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First Amendment Library:
Richard Diaz


In 2004, a special agent entered an internet chat room to combat online child exploitation. The agent, under an alias, engaged in a private chat with Michael Williams and exchanged photos with him. Williams shared a hyperlink with the agent that contained several images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Williams was arrested and charged with violations of the PROTECT Act, including the pandering of “material or purported material in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe” that the material is illegal child pornography. Williams filed a motion to dismiss the charges as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. The Eleventh Circuit agreed with Williams and struck down the pandering portion of the PROTECT Act as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague.