Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 by voice vote. This bill creates a new federal statute with increased penalties for promoting sex trafficking online and amends section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to permit local and state criminal prosecutions of bad-actor websites.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Representative Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) have issued the following statements:
Chairman Goodlatte: “I applaud my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee for acting quickly to combat the scourge of online sex trafficking. I’ve worked closely with Representative Wagner, law enforcement, and other stakeholders on this new legislation and I am pleased that the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 empowers prosecutors with new tools to hold violators accountable, and adds mandatory restitution and civil recovery provisions to aid victims. I believe H.R. 1865 provides the best available legislative solution to this growing problem, and I hope the House takes up this legislation without delay.”
Representative Wagner: “I would like to thank Chairman Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee for passing meaningful legislation that will help end online sex trafficking. FOSTA is a victims first bill that will shut down the websites that profit from modern day sex slavery, send the people who operate them to jail, and ensure that vulnerable people are never sold online. Importantly, this brings Congress one step closer to passing a bill that will finally provide justice for sex trafficking victims. This legislation is about more than just Backpage.com; by amending Section 230 to give federal, state, and local prosecutors practical tools to hold websites accountable, we will wreak havoc on the hundreds of websites profiting from the sale of sex trafficking victims across my district and our country.”
For a full list of advocates, law enforcement, and industry groups that support this legislation, click here.