Read the full article by Sophie St. Thomas at NS-FW.com

SESTA-FOSTA is supposedly anti-sex trafficking legislation. SESTA, which stands for the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, is meant to further define the U.S.’s current sex-trafficking laws. The Senate passed SESTA on March 21 with a whopping vote of 97-2. FOSTA is similar legislation that stands for Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. It updates Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from being sued for the content posted by their users, the ACLU explains. Supported by Republicans and mainstream liberals alike (celebrities such as Amy Schumer have done PSAs in favor of the legislation) have vocalized their support of the bills. “This is hardly surprising considering the Hitler-Stalin pact between radical feminists and right-wing extremists who have set aside their differences in order to pursue their shared prohibitionist agenda,” says Nina Hartley, an adult performer who has been in the industry for 35 years.

Now, prosecutors can charge websites with a federal crime punishable by up to ten years in prison for running “an interactive computer service” with “the intent to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.” FOSTA passed in the House on February 27th with a 388-25 vote. “SESTA-FOSTA considers even consensual sex work to be sex trafficking — any site used by sex workers will now be criminally liable for trafficking. Sites where sex workers advertise, warn each other about dangerous clients, discuss civil rights issues or fight harassment and violence will be shut down,” Hartley says.

How Does That Affect The Porn Industry?

Because SESTA-FOSTA uses vague language to make it enforceable as needed, as mentioned, we may not understand the entire scope of how adult industries are affected until it happens. Adult film production is legally distinct from sex work in California and New Hampshire. However, other states do not have protections. “SESTA-FOSTA means that state prosecutors would have full license to go after adult sites and performers in the rest of the country. It will also enable individuals to bring actions in civil court against not only large-scale ISP’s but also against the operators of small-scale, home-based adult entertainment sites, in effect enlisting anti-porn civilians as vigilantes to bankrupt such businesses, depriving their owners of their livelihoods,” Hartley says. Time will tell how the laws affect the production companies, but currently, performers are the most at-risk, if not at the moment for appearing in porn, but for the job requirements outside of being on camera.

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