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NetChoice Voices Support for FOSTA — With Pause

[UPDATED 3/7/18] Washington D.C. – Today, NetChoice voiced its renewed support for legislation to combat sex trafficking on the internet, and welcomed attempts by the House of Representatives for taking action to address this urgent national priority.

With the House action today, it remains to be seen how courts will interpret both the sex trafficking provisions and the broader law of which it is a part. “With the final architecture of the bill now coming into focus,” Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice said, “we hope and expect that courts will take its sponsors at their word that the new law protects consumer privacy, user-generated content, smaller web enterprises, and freedom of expression.  Protecting these bulwarks of a healthy internet will be a proud accompaniment to this final step toward ensuring justice for sex trafficking victims.”

As a voice for consumers who rely on user-generated content across the internet, NetChoice is pleased that the original Senate bill, the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA), has been strengthened with the addition of new criminal authorities for both federal and state prosecutors.  These additional provisions are designed to ensure that cracking down on websites engaged in illegal activity is accomplished in a way that does not threaten legitimate and socially useful websites, compromise consumer privacy, unfairly disadvantage smaller web enterprises, or chill freedom of expression.

“The House Judiciary additions to the legislation were crafted after listening to the concerns of advocates of sex trafficking victims, law enforcement, and tech experts,” said Szabo.  “While we are concerned with additions such as the Walters amendment, we look forward to the Senate taking the opportunity to make adjustments based on concerns raised by the Department of Justice and echoed by the White House.”