Washington — The Senate has passed legislation that would narrow critical “Section 230” protections for online companies working with law enforcement to combat human trafficking. Earlier versions of the bill, including one that House Judiciary leadership tried to advance, offered better solutions to patrol for sex trafficking online, while also supporting the efforts of legitimate tech companies to work with law enforcement. The Computer & Communications Industry Association commends Senator Wyden and Senator Paul for taking a stand against this well-intentioned but misguided legislative effort.
CCIA advocated for Section 230 over 20 years ago. It ensures that online services do not incur liability for efforts to stamp out illegal conduct. CCIA appreciates how the underlying principles of Section 230 have supported the development of freedom on the internet, both domestically and globally. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“Unfortunately this bill offers little to improve the goal of fighting sex trafficking and instead could make the problem worse as internet companies risk additional liability from their ongoing efforts to patrol for trafficking on their sites.
“While senators no doubt have good intentions, the unintended consequences of this bill will deter online platforms’ efforts to alert law enforcement to signs of trafficking. It is disappointing for victims and all those working to stop trafficking that we did not get legislation that would better target the real problem and support solutions.”