July 24, 2013

A NEW SEASON BEGINS TODAY ON THE WAR AGAINST CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING
 

 For Immediate Release                                                  Media Contact Information:

                                                                                                                                                                          Lillian Schoeppler, Enough Is Enough®

                                                                                                                                lillians@enough.org

                                                                                                                                703-476-7890                                       

A new season begins today on THE War against CHILD Sex Trafficking

Enough Is Enough® joins 47 of the National Attorneys General in asking Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act and restore jurisdiction to state and local authorities to investigate and prosecute suspected online prostitution and sex trafficking

Reston, VA. July 24, 2013.  Today marks the beginning of a new season in the war against child sex trafficking.  Every day in America and around the world, children are being sold for sex; over 1.8 million children are being used in the commercial sex industry, globally. For years, online classified ad sites have created an online marketplace for prostitution, with child sex trafficking emerging as a predictable subset of that marketplace. Such sites are estimated to produce millions of dollars per month in revenue.  In fact, a recent AIM group report estimated that Backpage.com, the largest of these sites, is now making $5 million per month in revenue from sex ads.

In a letter delivered to Congress today by National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and signed by 47 state Attorneys General,  Congress  is being asked to amend the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA)  in order to grant criminal jurisdiction to state and local governments. The CDA, 47 U.S.C. § 230, commonly known as the “Good Samaritan Defense” provision, has been broadly interpreted to provide criminal and civil immunity to Internet content providers, even if the intention of those providers is to profit from illegal activity.

 

“Sex trafficking has largely moved from the streets to the Internet. We commend the vision and leadership of the Attorneys General. The Good Samaritan Defense provision of the CDA, which Enough Is Enough® supported at its inception, was intended by Congress to encourage Internet content providers to take good faith measures to protect children online. However, due to unintended consequences, the provision’s misuse has allowed online classified ad sites to foster the abuse of children and escape prosecution,” said Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and President of Enough Is Enough®, a national non-profit organization that has been on the frontlines of making the Internet safer for children for twenty years.

The proposed amendment is narrow and surgical, adding just two words to the existing law, “or state.”   Through implementing this minor change, Congress would extend criminal jurisdiction, currently held only by the federal government, to state and local governments to criminally investigate whether these organizations and their management are culpable for aiding and abetting prostitution or other similar crimes such as child sex trafficking.

“The simple rifle shot approach of this carefully tailored amendment maintains the civil immunity of mainstream online content providers, allows for continued innovation of the Internet and preserves the First Amendment. It’s a win-win solution to help combat child sex trafficking and we urge Congress to act now.” continued Ms. Rice Hughes.

ABOUT EIE

Enough Is Enough®® (EIE) is a 501(c) 3 national, non-partisan non-profit with a mission to
make the Internet safer for children and families by advancing solutions that promote equality, fairness and respect for human dignity with shared responsibility between the public, technology and the law.


ABOUT INTERNET SAFETY 101
EIE’s Emmy award winning Internet Safety 101SM®  program was created to prevent Internet-initiated crimes against children through educating, equipping and empowering parents, educators and caring adults with the knowledge and resources needed to protect children from online p*rnography, sexual predators and cyberbullies , as well as cyber security risks and dangers related to social networking, online gaming and mobile devices. The proven evidence-based curriculum motivates and equips adults to implement both safety rules (non-technical measures) and software tools (technical measures) on youth's Internet enabled devices.