US lawmakers look to fight sex trafficking by holding websites accountable

3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago Friday, March 23 2018 Mar 23, 2018 Friday, March 23, 2018 7:41:00 PM CDT March 23, 2018 in News
By: Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A bill is heading to President Trump's desk which would help fight sex trafficking online. 

H.R. 1865, or the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, would allow prosecutors to hold websites accountable for facilitating the sale of unlawful sex acts. 

Nanette Ward, a board member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, said the sale of humans for sex online affects people in Columbia and mid-Missouri.

"There's a long history of using Craigslist and Backpage for advertisement. And we've had survivors that we've worked directly with whose personal stories included being sold, having to be advertised on Backpage," said Ward.

Those websites allow users to post advertisements without censorship. The bill would amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which bars prosecutors from taking action against websites for content posted by third parties.

Opponents of the bill fear it would negatively affect freedom of speech online and encourage censorship.

Keazha Berry said the internet makes it easier to force people into sex trafficking. 

"I think that it's easy to abuse people who are on there. It can give other people the chance to bring more girls into that," said Berry. 

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, helped lead an investigation into Backpage and its link to sex trafficking. She said the bill would help local law enforcement to respond to sex trafficking cases in their area.

"This is a new tool in the toolbox of the frontline of criminal prosecutions in this country, and I am so proud to have been a part of it," McCaskill said on the Senate floor. 

More News

Grid
List
LAKE OZARK - Firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that killed four people early Thursday morning. ... More >>
42 minutes ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A majority of Republicans passed a tax bill Tuesday night, but it is still drawing some criticism... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
TIPTON – Some Tipton residents spoke out Wednesday against a potential new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Critics say CAFOs... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pamela Fitzmaurice has a special section in the cookbook her mother passed down to her. That section is... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico was left powerless on Wednesday, nearly seven months after the powerful September storm,... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:32:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens filed a restraining order against Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday over the investigation... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:34:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly and Westran Public School Districts celebrated their Healthy Schools Healthy Community initiative on Wednesday. The initiative is... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MEXICO - It might seem strange to sight an ocean bird in Missouri, but seeing the American White Pelican isn't... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said Wednesday she was never educated on sexual assault and never realized she... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate's top budgeter is proposing giving public K-12 schools $48 million more next... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:12:16 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – Dry, windy weather is partially to blame for a large grass fire that destroyed a significant portion of... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:52:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – More than one thousand t-shirts covered Kuhlman Court on MU's campus on Wednesday. That's one for every... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Passengers at airports across the country are learning firsthand the impact of new security measures the TSA is... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - By the year 2022, Columbia aims to have 25 percent of its energy come from renewable resources. ... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:57:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Law enforcement arrested a former employee at the state capitol on suspicion of sex crimes involving a... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:33:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say deputies have shot and killed a parole absconder who raised a handgun at them... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a driver fled from officers before causing a fatal crash in Springfield. Police... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:15:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating the death of a 32-year-old male early Wednesday morning at a home on Clark Lane.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:51:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
9am 38°
10am 39°
11am 42°
12pm 44°