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Upton Supports Efforts to Fight Online Sex Trafficking

Bipartisan bill advances by a 388 to 25 vote

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Washington, February 27, 2018 | Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined the majority of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in voting to advance H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), by a bipartisan 388 to 25 vote.

“Online sex trafficking is a heinous crime that tragically occurs on a daily basis. Enough,” said Upton. “This legislation will provide news tools for our law enforcement officials to prosecute criminal websites that knowingly facilitate illegal prostitution and sex trafficking and allow victims to keep much-needed restitution. This will make a real difference. I was proud to stand with my colleagues – Republicans and Democrats alike – to take much-needed action against online sex trafficking. We must continue to work together on this vitally important issue.”

“We greatly appreciate Rep. Upton’s support for this important bill so that victims of this horrific crime can seek restitution from their traffickers and see justice served,” said Sara Morley-La Croix, Founder and Chair of the Kalamazoo Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition. “This is a critical step in the right direction as we continue the fight against sex trafficking herein Kalamazoo and across the country. We cannot let up.”

H.R. 1865, creates a new federal anti-trafficking law to specifically target bad-actor websites that have engaged in the promotion or facilitation of prostitution yet escaped criminal and civil liability. Under current law, interactive computer services, i.e. those that enable or provide access by multiple users to a computer server, are not treated as the publisher or speaker of information provided by another information content provider. This immunity has barred civil challenge even when courts find that the interactive computer service has tailored its website to facilitate sex trafficking.

H.R. 1865 is supported by groups including Concerned Women for America, Facebook, the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children, Trafficking in America Task Force, the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking and more.

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