Remember that HUGE victory our movement had earlier this year when Congress agreed to hold sex trafficking websites accountable? When we helped pass this legislation, known as FOSTA-SESTA, we were overjoyed!
Except, now, we’re battling BIG TECH again.
This time they are spearheading a policy laundering initiative which stealthily incorporates the same problematic language into NAFTA that we got Congress to fix! If the language similar to the old Communications Decency Act Section 230 (the language FOSTA-SESTA changed) remains in the trade deal, the tech sector will not only succeed in doing an end run around Congress’ express legislative intent, but it will also create legal confusion about the enforcement of FOSTA-SESTA in the U.S.
It could provide sex trafficking websites with a potential legal defense against prosecution.
Sex trafficking will then increase dramatically! This will also export to Mexico, and potentially Canada, the very intermediary immunity that for years shielded the U.S. kingpins of online sex trafficking from civil liabilities and state criminal prosecutions.
NCOSE is part of a small coalition of anti-trafficking groups who have been working behind the scenes for months on this with the White House and Congressional leaders, but at this stage, we remain deeply concerned that the U.S. Trade Representative has not addressed this issue and we have a lot of work to do.