Senator Blumenthal attends hearing on sex trafficking bill (Photo Credit: WTNH)

After meeting several strong oppositions, the sex trafficking bill intended to penalize operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking, has received a serious boost as top players in Silicon Valley have agreed to back the legislation.

Tech big boys like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter had initially fought against the bill saying that it would infringe on freedom of speech and suggesting that service providers might err on the side of scrubbing user content “or face unsustainable liability”.

However, on Friday 3rd, Nov. 2017, Michael Beckerman, the president of the Internet Association which represents Silicon Valley giants, said that group has reached a compromise with the Senate and now supports the bill which is fostered by both the Republican and Democrat lawmakers.

The bill will enable authorities and victims of sex trafficking to sue tech companies that are unable or won’t rid their platforms of “sexually exploitative” contents.

The Internet Association President and CEO said “Important changes made to Sesta will grant victims the ability to get the justice they deserve, allowing internet platforms to continue their work combating human trafficking, and protect good actors in the ecosystem,”

“Internet Association thanks cosponsors Sen. Portman and Sen. Blumenthal for their careful work and bipartisan collaboration on this crucially important topic and Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson for their leadership of the Commerce Committee. We look forward to working with the House and Senate as SESTA moves through the legislative process to ensure that our members are able to continue their work to fight exploitation.” he added.

On their parts, Republican and Democrat senators, Rob Portman and Richard Blumenthal have expressed their delight in the compromised reached after some months old negotiations.

Senator Rob Portman said “This important bill will hold online sex traffickers accountable and help give trafficking survivors the justice they deserve,”

“Removing the unwarranted shield from legal responsibility will save countless children from horrific tragedy, both physical and emotional.” His Democrat colleague added.

The Senate commerce committee will hold its first vote on the sex trafficking bill next week.


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