Sex trafficking bill gets tech firmsí backing

Sex trafficking bill gets tech firmsí backing

November 4, 2017   01:04 pm

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The internet’s most powerful companies say they will support new measures that seek to prevent online sex trafficking. The Internet Association, which counts Facebook, Google and Amazon among its members, had at first said the proposed US law could hurt innovation.

But in a statement released on Friday the group said it was satisfied with “important changes” made to the bill.

US senators are expected to hold an initial vote on the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (Sesta) next week.

“This important bill will hold online sex traffickers accountable and help give trafficking survivors the justice they deserve,” said Senator Robert Portman of Ohio, one of the bill’s authors.

“I’m pleased we’ve reached an agreement to further clarify the intent of the bill and advance this important legislation.”

Technology companies had been opposed to the bill because of changes it would have made to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, enacted in 1996.

The section represents a pillar of internet law - one which protects internet companies from the actions of its users. For example, if a person uses YouTube to break the law by showing something illegal, the user, and not YouTube, is held legally responsible. The Internet Association argued that this framework meant fledgling companies were not burdened by huge, perhaps insurmountable legal risk.

- BBC Tech 

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