CCIA Encouraged By Progress on SESTA, Though Concerns Remain

November 7, 2017

Washington — As Congress works to reduce sex trafficking online, bill sponsors recently announced progress that has been made in tailoring the legislation to better ensure the intended target, while reducing unintended consequences.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates efforts to revise the bill to address wide-ranging concerns from industry and public interest stakeholders, and the proposed Manager’s Amendment makes considerable strides toward doing so.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Thousands of legitimate companies would be impacted in a variety of ways by changes to legislation in this area. While we believe reforms can be made, it is important to be careful that the impact of such fundamental changes in a foundational legal principle be fully understood.

“The legislation still contains ambiguities that could result in law enforcement targeting lawful Internet companies with litigation or investigations. As an association that championed Section 230 over 20 years ago, CCIA deeply appreciates how vital the underlying principles therein have been to the positive development of freedom on the Internet, both domestically and globally.

“The bill, while improved, still includes, for example, an overbroad, knowledge standard that would inadvertently sweep in providers of core Internet services and hold them liable for criminal conduct of which they do not know and cannot control. We should ensure that any legislation is well focused and thereby more effective by allowing compliance resources to be devoted to stamping out unlawful activity online, and not discourage companies from continuing efforts to police for unlawful and abusive activity.”

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