Opinion: Online Sex Trafficking

Sep 15, 2017
In The News

To the Editor:

Nicholas Kristof’s Sept. 7 column, “Google and Sex Traffickers,” sheds light on a critical issue: lobbying efforts to defeat “legislation that would crack down on websites that promote sex trafficking.”

Human trafficking is happening here in the United States, and we have an obligation — to trafficking victims, survivors and their families — to combat this horrendous act and punish it as the criminal activity it is.

I have spent many years fighting human trafficking, and I, too, am puzzled and disappointed by opposition to this badly needed legislation. Congress never intended to enact a law that shields traffickers from prosecution. There should be broad support for this narrow amendment that will protect children and trafficking victims.

In 2013, 47 state attorneys general explicitly asked Congress to amend Section 230 so that it no longer pre-empts state anti-trafficking laws.

To me, this comes down to a question of values. Will we continue to allow traffickers to roam the internet freely, immune from the law, or are we going to protect our children from this horrific crime? And as the courts have said, it’s up to Congress to answer this question.

CAROLYN B. MALONEY
WASHINGTON

The writer is a Democratic member of Congress representing the 12th District of New York.