Earlier this year, Congress passed a deeply irresponsible and dangerous bill known as SESTA/FOSTA, which Donald Trump promptly signed into law. Proponents of the bill hoped SESTA/FOSTA would hold sex traffickers liable by making websites responsible for the third-party content posted on them. In reality, SESTA/FOSTA has rolled back internet freedoms and inflicted deep damage on already-marginalized communities, putting lives at risk while setting the fight against trafficking back decades.

Sloppy legislating is nothing new from lawmakers who don’t listen to the communities that their policies impact, but SESTA/FOSTA is an especially terrible law that has been sharply condemned by anti-trafficking organizations, civil rights groups, and even the federal anti-trafficking prosecutors who would have to enforce it.

Freedom Network USA, the largest anti-trafficking network in the country, says the law “will not provide a meaningful improvement in anti-trafficking efforts, and may cause severe consequences for sex workers and trafficking victims alike.” The American Civil Liberties Union opposes the law as “a risk to freedom of speech on the Internet as we have come to know it.” The Department of Justice says the law will have “unintended consequences” that actually make it more difficult to prosecute sex traffickers by “creating additional elements that prosecutors must prove at trial” and that parts of it are simply “unconstitutional.”

Read the full article:

We Must Repeal SESTA, a Deadly Law That Does Nothing to Help Trafficking Victims by Suraj Patel

Broadly, May 21, 2018