The Senate has voted 97–2 to advance the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, a controversial initiative meant to crack down on sex trafficking on the internet.
The Senate approved the legislation 97 to 2
The bill would hold websites liable for hosting sex trafficking content by making a change to a key part of the Communications Decency Act. Some free-internet activists — as well as some tech company representatives — have argued that the bill places an unrealistic burden on small website operators, and will ultimately chill online speech. Sex workers have also opposed the legislation. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a critic of the bill, offered an amendment that might have clarified the bill’s purposes, but it was voted down.
“Today is a dark day for the Internet,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation tweeted, saying that the legislation “will silence online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users.”
Last month, the House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation. Following the broad support in Congress, President Trump will likely sign the legislation when it reaches his desk, and Ivanka Trump gave the measure her support yesterday. “Passing this important piece of legislation will bring us one step closer to ending sex trafficking online & restoring safety in our communities,” she tweeted.