SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today warned that the tech industry is pressing the Trump Administration to adopt language in a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal that would protect websites like the notorious Backpage.com that facilitate child sex-trafficking.
The tech industry efforts come as Congress is taking bipartisan steps so websites like Backpage.com can be held accountable by victims and their families. Twenty-one Senators introduced a bill Tuesday, endorsed by Consumer Watchdog, amending a key Internet law to combat such abuses. A similar House bill has 101 co-sponsors.
Tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter say that law, Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act, protects Internet Freedom and are pushing for similar language in a new NAFTA deal.
“Internet freedom must not come at the expense of children who are sex trafficked,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director. “Just as the First Amendment does not allow you to shout fire in a crowded movie house, or to assist hit men and drug dealers in their criminal activity, CDA Section 230 must not be allowed to protect an exploitative business that is built on child sex-trafficking. Such language cannot be included in trade agreements.”
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