On Thursday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the federal government and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Woodhull Freedom Foundation et al. v. United States is the first lawsuit to challenge SESTA-FOSTA, or the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which has faced widespread criticism since it was signed into law by President Trump in April.

In the complaint, EFF argues that SESTA-FOSTA violates the First and Fifth Amendments by preventing its plaintiffs from using online forums for fear of criminal charges. It argues that it is “the most broadly-based and comprehensive legislative censorship of Internet speech since Congress passed the anti-indecency provisions of the [Communications Decency Act] in 1996.” The Supreme Court found those provisions unconstitutional in 1997.

The EFF, a nonprofit founded in 1990, specializes in defending civil liberties online and in the realm of digital technology. They have been one of many organizations to mobilize against SESTA-FOSTA since it was first introduced to Congress in 2017, under the name H.R.1865. SESTA-FOSTA makes it a crime to operate or manage a website that “promotes or facilitates prostitution,” vastly expanding liability for sites that host any content on which sexuality may be discussed.

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Sex-Worker Advocates sue over Internet censorship law by Tina Horn

June 30th, 2018