DOJ is not wielding its power to bring down online sex trafficking

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that sex trafficking is a horrendous crime, really the worst of the worst. Those who knowingly facilitate sex trafficking — whether it be online or offline — should be prosecuted and put in jail. Robbing the promise and potential of a human life is an egregious offense. One prime example is the notorious website, the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising.

In August, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) set out to thwart sex trafficking on the internet with the introduction of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). The bill would modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it easier to prosecute websites that contribute to sex trafficking.

On first blush this may seem like a good idea, but two issues should make us reconsider this approach..

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“I think that’s a really slippery slope,” said Carl Szabo of NetChoice, which advocates for a free internet.
Szabo says the government could attempt to regulate, but it would not be able to keep up with technological innovation. As soon as a law is passed, he says, that technology could be obsolete.

“You’re beginning to look at issues of free speech and the intrusion on free speech by governmental entities. So it’s very dangerous,” added Szabo.