March 21, 2018

Harris Statement on Senate Passage of SESTA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement today on her vote in favor of: H.R.1865: SESTA (The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017) – FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017):

“Victims of sex trafficking should be protected and have the ability to seek justice. That’s why, from my earliest days as a prosecutor, I’ve led the fight against Backpage and other sex trafficking platforms. And I am proud to support the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which will make it possible for victims and state prosecutors to hold online sex traffickers accountable.

“For too long, traffickers have hidden behind liability protections designed to safeguard free speech. As California Attorney General, I witnessed firsthand the difficulty of charging sex trafficking sites—even for crimes as egregious as pimping minors. That loophole must close.

“I recognize that there are concerns about curbing innovation and free expression online. But it is simply a false choice to suggest that we either protect victims or we protect free speech. We can and must do both.

“For those who continue to support sex trafficking online, our message is clear: your time is up”