The worry is that the most restrictive regime created by any one state would become the new baseline of regulation in the entirety of the United States.
So, if South Carolina passed a law that required sites to authenticate all of its users or face liability for any posts that promoted sex trafficking, every website operating in the US would have to adhere to those rules as well.
Since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate in August, tech companies and advocacy groups have been mobilizing in a battle to control its message.
“But you're going to start to play with fire when you play with how the internet works.” It’s not an attractive message, and for that reason, companies like Facebook still have no comment on SESTA at this time. Earlier this month, Susan Molinari, vice president of public policy, wrote a blog post about the bill, expressing “concerns” about the bill in the softest language possible.
“We’ve met with the sponsors of the particular bill and provided alternatives that will encourage this environment, and we’ll continue to seek a constructive approach to advance a shared goal.” “Let there be no mistake,” she wrote, “Backpage acted criminally to facilitate child sex trafficking, and we strongly urge the Department of Justice to prosecute them for the egregious crimes against children in the U. and abroad.” Meanwhile, those in favor of the bill have publicly reamed companies for “tech industry obstruction.” A joint statement by a coalition including anti-trafficking advocacy groups and relatives of trafficking victims accused tech companies of backing a site they describe as “the largest online platform where sex trafficking victims are bought and sold,” saying, “While some tech companies are now publicly calling for Backpage to be prosecuted in federal court, this is in stark contrast to their private actions in support of Backpage.” This accusation is in reference to instances in which digital rights groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed amicus briefs in cases against Backpage brought by state attorneys general.
“We recognize that attempts to amend Section 230 target sex traffickers are well intended.
However, the likely result will be to create a trial lawyer bonanza of overly-broad civil lawsuits,” he said in a written statement.
SESTA also opens websites up to civil suits over user posts that promote sex trafficking.