WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) today released the following statement after the passage of H.R.1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA):
‘Though I am proud of the success we have had in combatting human trafficking, we must do more to ensure that this moral injustice ends and that perpetrators see prosecution. For too long, sites like Backpage.com have facilitated the exploitation of young women and children for their own financial profit, and have done so using a loophole in a bill passed in 1934. This legislation will bring justice and accountability and promote our principle that all life is invaluable and worth protecting.’
The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017would:
- Amend Section 230 to allow State authorities to investigate and prosecute websites that facilitate sex trafficking using State criminal statutes that prohibit sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of children.
- Amend Section 230 to allow victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children to exercise civil remedies, such as the private right of action available to sex trafficking victims in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
- Amend 18 U.S.C. § 1591, the sex trafficking statute, to define ‘participation in a venture’ in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s 2016 decision in Jane Doe vs. Backpage.com, LLC.
- Amend 18 U.S.C. § 1591 to clarify that it is unlawful for a provider of an interactive computer service to publish information provided by an information content provider, with reckless disregard that the information is in furtherance of a sex trafficking offense.