SESTA – FOSTA – Section 230

SESTA and FOSTA aim to change Section 230 of the Communications Act. Sadly, neither of the two bills are going to do anything to prevent sex trafficking, but actually seek to punish and harm sex workers by conflating consensual sex work with sex trafficking. SESTA and FOSTA are overly broad and sweeping. It will lead to websites that sex workers use to work in safer ways shutting down, could criminalize legitimate public health messaging and education efforts, could silence actual victims of sex trafficking and make the prosecution of traffickers more difficult.

SESTA-FOSTA does NOTHING to prevent Trafficking

SESTA-FOSTA was signed into law April 11, 2018. The anti-trafficking legislation passed by Congress, may look progressive, but the bill is so poorly and broadly written that it will devastate protections for the sex worker community, do nothing to prevent trafficking, and make it harder for trafficking investigators. We — along with the ACLU, the Department of Justice, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Transgender Center for Equality, and thousands of sex workers and sex worker advocates opposed the bill.

  • 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.
  • SESTA-FOSTA will force sex workers offline and underground — where actual sex trafficking thrives. Pushing sex work offline means that sex workers are more likely to face abuse, rape, harassment, theft and physical violence. If SESTA passes, sex workers will die.
  • SESTA-FOSTA makes websites liable for the content that users post. That means websites are likely to shut down comments area, forums, message boards, blogs and chats. The danger is particularly acute for adult sites, sex educations sites, and social media sites.

Over the past several years, adult performers have seen broad-based crackdowns by social media and corporations. We only expect this to intensify if SESTA-FOSTA is passed, as the liability for keeping accounts related to the sex industry is too high. We are likely to see much greater restrictions placed on performer uploads on clips and cam sites, a new wave of banking closures, banned social media accounts, and wholesale abandonment of places online where workers can congregate.

While adult film production is legally distinct from sex work in California and New Hampshire, it is not elsewhere. SESTA-FOSTA means that state prosecutors would have full license to go after adult sites and performers in the rest of the country.

Survivors Against SESTA-FOSTA

Sex Trafficking Survivors and Sex Workers have put together this incredible resource platform to aid the community with keeping them informed, support advocacy and activism, and to provide safety advice. This website also offers others who may be unaware of the struggles of trafficking survivors and sex workers context to better understand why SESTA-FOSTA is contrary to what the affected population actually needs.

Video by Philip DeFranco

Published on May 3, 2018

SOURCES regarding FOSTA/SESTA:

A great video by Watts The Safeword

Published on Apr 20, 2018

“SESTA-FOSTA, the anti-trafficking legislation, may look progressive, but the bill is so poorly and broadly written that it will devastate protections for the sex worker community, do nothing to prevent trafficking, and make it harder for trafficking investigators. THIS IS A SCARY OVERREACHING BILL!”

Recent News about SESTA-FOSTA

Quick Info

Electronic Frontier Foundation

About Section 230

Center for Democracy and Technology

CDA 230, SESTA and FOSTA

Wikipedia

Section 230

The Bills

US Congress Senate Bill 1693

Proponent Republican 42, Democrat 25

Introduced August 1, 2017

Progression 25%, placed on Senate Legislative Calendar

HB1865 was amended to include sections of SB1693. The amended version was passed and signed into law.

US Congress House Bill 1865

Proponent Republican 114, Democrat 60, Independent 4

Introduced February 20, 2018 (as amended)

Progression 100%, passed and signed into law.

Opposition Letters

National Center for Transgender Equality (March 9, 2018)

Adult Performer Advocacy Committee
Advocates for Youth
Advocating Opportunity
AIDS United
APLA Health
Best Practices Policy Project
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
Collective Action for Safe Spaces
Desiree Alliance
Equality California
Equality North Carolina
Family Equality Council
Free Speech Coalition
Freedom Network USA
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA)
Harm Reduction Coalition
HIPS
HIV Modernization Movement
Howard Brown Health Center
In Our Own Voices, Inc.
International Women’s Health Coalition
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Lysistrata
MASWAN
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National LGBTQ Task Force
New York Harm Reduction Educators
PFLAG National
Positive Women’s Network – USA
Pride Action Tank
Rad Care
RAD Remedy
Reframe Health and Justice
Sex Law and Policy Center
Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center
Support Ho(s)e
SWOP – USA
SWOP Behind Bars
SWOP Orlando
The Anti Exploitation Project at the Legal Aid Society
Transgender Law Center
Treatment Action Group
Unity Fellowship Church
Washington Heights CORNER Project
Whitman-Walker Health
Woodhull Freedom Foundation

FSC Letter to Oppose SESTA (March 7, 2018)

National Center for Transgender Equality (February 26, 2018)

Advocating Opportunity
Desiree Alliance
Equality North Carolina
HIPS
Massachusetts Sex Workers Ally Network
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Pride Action Tank
Rad Remedy
Reframe Health and Justice
Support Ho(s)e
SWOP Behind Bars
SWOP Orlando
SWOP-USA
The Exploitation Intervention Project, The Legal Aid Society, New York
The Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center
The Woodhull Freedom Foundation

American Civil Liberties Union Opposing FOSTA (February 26, 2018)

American Civil Liberties Union Opposing SESTA (November 7, 2017)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (February 26, 2018)

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
Federal Public and Community Defenders

R Street et al (February 23, 2018)

TechFreedom
Engine
FeedomWorks
CitizensOutreach
R Street Institute
Committee for Justice

Freedom Network USA (September, 2017)

Letter by US DOJ

US Department of Justice (February 27, 2018)

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