A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction sought by free-speech advocates who argued that a new Massachusetts law aimed at protecting children from online sexual predators effectively bans from the Internet anything that may be considered “harmful to minors,” including material adults have the right to view, reports the Associated Press. The new law closed a loophole that led the state’s highest court to overturn a man’s conviction for sending sexually explicit instant messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl. But Internet content providers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and others sought to block enforcement of the law as it applies to broad-based Internet communications. They did not seek to bar enforcement against sexual predators or others who use the Internet to send harmful material to minors…

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staff and wire services reports