Federal judge rules fax machine ban unconstitutional
- by admin
A federal judge has ruled a federal ban on fax machines is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge David Gwin in Alexandria, Virginia, issued the ruling Friday.
Gwin said the ban violates the Constitution because it forces businesses to pay a price for the use of the machines.
The judge said it violates the right to privacy.
“The Government’s argument that the Federal Government has no legitimate interest in imposing a ban on the operation of fax machines and its rationale for the ban are wholly unpersuasive,” Gwin wrote.
“We conclude that the ban is unconstitutional because it imposes an undue burden on the Government’s legitimate business interests.”
The Justice Department appealed the ruling.
The government said in a brief Friday that the decision is not intended to prevent the government from seeking court injunctions or other relief, and it will “continue to vigorously defend the decision in court.”
The Federal Communications Commission last month approved a rule that requires businesses that send faxes to customers to obtain a $3 fee.
The FCC is also proposing to impose fees for customers who receive faxes from other businesses, but it is not clear whether the FCC will go that route.
The ban was passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Since then, businesses have used fax machines to send fax messages and to receive letters from their customers.
A similar ban was in effect in the state of Wisconsin until it was lifted in 2015.
A federal judge has ruled a federal ban on fax machines is unconstitutional.U.S. District Judge David Gwin in Alexandria, Virginia,…