Science

Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Stop Online Sex Trafficking

Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Stop Online Sex Trafficking”

After passing the Senate Commerce Committee, new legislation to stop online sex trafficking will now go to the full Senate for a vote.

The approval came after major US internet companies dropped their opposition to the measure, which amends a decades-old law that is considered a bedrock legal shield for the companies.

"With today's unanimous vote of the Senate Commerce Committee, Congress is one step closer to passing the most important anti-trafficking legislation in almost twenty years, said Lisa L. Thompson, Vice President of Research and Education at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation".

In September, Attorney General Xavier Becerra testified before Congress in support of the legislation, which would amend the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and make clear the authority of state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute companies that profit from sex trafficking and crimes against children. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation applauds the action of the Commerce Committee and calls on the full Senate to move swiftly to pass the bill.

SESTA would give victims and prosecutors the opportunity to take sites to court for helping to facilitate sex trafficking.

He said Wednesday that just because a big tech company says something is good-the Internet Association, whose members include Google, Twitter, Amazon and Facebook, backed the amended bill-dose not make it good for the internet or for innovation. He says he fears it will make it harder to catch risky criminals, that it favors big tech companies at the expense of smaller start-ups and stifle innovation.

In a letter on Tuesday, a dozen civil liberties organizations said the bill would threaten free speech online and unevenly harm smaller companies with fewer resources to police their platforms.



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