Could Tech Companies Be Trying to Derail Sex-Trafficking Bill?

A controversial proposed amendment could jeopardize the bill.

sex trafficking
Representative Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican, introduced a competing approach to combating sex trafficking online. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last month, tech companies, anti-sex trafficking advocates, prosecutors and legislators got a huge win. They compromised on a bill designed to help prosecutors and victims pursue sites such as, which facilitate online sex trafficking. But now, all that may be in jeopardy thanks to a controversial new amendment to the House version of the same bill. The bill was going to remove the liability shield for websites who “knowingly” publish material related to sex trafficking. But the new proposal creates a new crime under the Mann Act, which is an infamous 1910 law that people have called our for being discriminatory. Anti-sex trafficking groups are worried all this will hurt the bill’s chance of becoming law, and they suspect tech-industry lobbyists are behind the new approach.

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