The Communications Decency Act: Immunity for Internet-Facilitated Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, published an article in the University of Rhode Island’s Dignity Journal that explains why Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act must be amended.
This paper reviews the original intent and historical application of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), most notably Section 230, with special regard to cases of Internet-facilitated commercial sexual exploitation. Although the CDA was originally created to protect children online, section 230 of the CDA has been interpreted by the courts to grant broad immunities to websites facilitating the sexual exploitation of children and adults alike. Through analyzing the genesis and evolution of the CDA, it becomes clear that court interpretations of Section 230 are starkly inconsistent with original Congressional intent, and that the primary way to avoid de facto decriminalization of Internet-facilitated commercial sexual exploitation is to amend the Communications Decency Act.