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Government The Internet United States

Senate Passes Controversial Online Sex Trafficking Bill (thehill.com) 169

The Senate today gave final approval to a bill aimed at cracking down on online sex trafficking, sending the measure to the White House where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. From a report: The legislation, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), but also referred to as SESTA, would cut into the broad protections websites have from legal liability for content posted by their users. Those protections are codified in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from 1996, a law that many internet companies see as vital to protecting their platforms and that SESTA would amend to create an exception for sex trafficking.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the most outspoken critic of SESTA and one of the authors of the 1996 law, said that making exceptions to Section 230 will lead to small internet companies having to face an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits.
EFF expressed its disappointment, saying, "Today is a dark day for the Internet. Congress just passed the Internet censorship bill SESTA/FOSTA. SESTA/FOSTA will silence online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users. As lobbyists and members of Congress applaud themselves for enacting a law ostensibly tackling the problem of trafficking, let's be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more. Sex trafficking experts have tried again and again to explain to Congress how SESTA/FOSTA will put trafficking victims in danger. Sex workers have spoken out too, explaining how online platforms have literally saved their lives. Why didn't Congress consult with the people their bill would most directly affect? [...] When platforms choose to err on the side of censorship, marginalized voices are censored disproportionately. SESTA/FOSTA will make the Internet a less inclusive place, something that hurts all of us. This might just be the beginning. Some of these groups behind SESTA / FOSTA seem to see the bill as a mere stepping stone to banning pornography from the Internet."
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Senate Passes Controversial Online Sex Trafficking Bill

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  • Why didn't Congress consult with the people their bill would most directly affect?

    Is that a rhetorical question? Government acts like passing a law automagically fixes everything, but ultimately most laws answer to the law of unintended consequences. As much as I think human trafficking is horrific, you can always expect the government to take exactly the wrong approach to fixing it.

    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:35PM (#56300463)

      Because the people the bill would most directly affect are prostitutes, and no politician wants to be seen as acknowledging prostitutes have any rights at all. As far as politics goes, there are only two valid images of prostitutes: Sinful harlots who need to be locked up for the good of society, and innocent victims who need to be saved from their pimp... and then locked up if they don't reform.

      • This is 100% a prostitution bill. There WAS a sex trafficking bill. Then there was an amendment which replaced the entire text of the bill, other than the title. Read the bill as enrolled - it's all about prostitution, nothing about trafficking.

        • by pots ( 5047349 )
          Sex trafficking is prostitution. The word "trafficking" just means trade in illegal goods - "drug trafficking" means buying or selling illegal drugs, "human trafficking" means buying or selling humans (i.e.: slavery), "sex trafficking" means buying or selling sex (in those places where that is illegal).

          They call it sex trafficking here, rather than prostitution, because the public associates the word trafficking with human trafficking, because that's where it's most often used. In other words, they're ta
          • by fedos ( 150319 )
            "Sex trafficking" does not refer to prostitution in general. It specifically means coercion or enslavement someone and prostituting them against their will. The phrase doesn't mean that it's sex that's being trafficked, but people.
            • by pots ( 5047349 )
              Look I didn't make that up, trafficking just means buying or selling something illegally [oxfordlear...naries.com]. Thus, "sex trafficking" means buying or selling sex illegally. The fact that people often use "sex trafficking" as shorthand for "human trafficking for the purpose of sex" means that interested parties can exploit that ambiguity in language.
    • by Falos ( 2905315 )

      >Why didn't Congress consult with the people their bill would most directly affect?

      Because that wasn't the objective.

      Who cares what this bill does, it looks like I'm Doing Something About It to constituents and benefactors. People LOVE asking "so what is X doing about Y". So much it's disturbing.

      Bartender! Zero-tols for everyone, on me! I stopped crime or something!

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @07:29PM (#56301167)

      In this specific instance, I also think that the driving forces behind this law actually wanted a censorship law (finally getting that pesky "free speech" problem under control...), but since that would never fly if done openly, they used one of the four horsemen of the infocalypse. Hence they did not consult with the people that actually understand what this law will do, because they are perfectly aware of these consequences and _want_ them.

  • "Trafficking" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomn8r ( 635504 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:50PM (#56300109)
    ..is the new "terrorism" which replaced "think of the children"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Trafficking is a very real problem, despite some of the negative legislation that may result in the name of stopping it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        and terrorism isn't real?

        • It is a statistically low occurrance compared to the top hundred causes of death or injury in the United States.

      • Re:"Trafficking" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by the_povinator ( 936048 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:28PM (#56300767) Homepage

        Trafficking is a very real problem, despite some of the negative legislation that may result in the name of stopping it.

        My problem with "trafficking" is that it is an umbrella term that people principally seem to find useful as a way to conflate various issues and advance agendas that they don't want to state outright. Consider that "trafficking" covers such diverse situations as:

        • Teenage girls being coerced into sex work
        • People who make it easier for Chinese women to come to the USA on tourist visas to give birth.
        • The coyotes who guide people central America across the US border
        • The gangs in Libya who either help Africans cross the sea to Europe, or rip them off as they attempt to get to Europe.
        • Simple prostitution
        • People being brought illegally from abroad as domestic workers (or brought legally but exploited).

        The usefulness of ``trafficking'' is that it allows a person who is opposed to one of these forms of trafficking (typically prostitution or illegal immigration) to point to one of the forms that *everyone* can agree is wrong (typically underage children being forced into sex work) and use it as an excuse to crack down on the form of ``trafficking'' that is their real target.

        • "trafficking" covers such diverse situations as: Teenage girls being coerced into sex work

          Yes.

          People who make it easier for Chinese women to come to the USA on tourist visas to give birth. The coyotes who guide people central America across the US border The gangs in Libya who either help Africans cross the sea to Europe, or rip them off as they attempt to get to Europe.

          None of those are sex trafficking. None of those are included in this bill.

          People being brought illegally from abroad as domestic workers (or brought legally but exploited).

          Nor is that, unless they are then forced into sex.

          and use it as an excuse to crack down on the form of ``trafficking'' that is their real target.

          The only target of the bill is sex trafficking. They're doing a really bad job of targeting immigration issues, if that's what you want to claim they are actually after.

          • I wasn't talking about 'in this particular bill', I was talking about the term 'trafficking' in general.
          • "trafficking" covers such diverse situations as: Teenage girls being coerced into sex work

            Yes.

            Does it really? I don't think that transportation is necessarily involved in that.

            None of those are sex trafficking.

            He didn't day SEX trafficking, though. Just trafficking.

            • Does it really? I don't think that transportation is necessarily involved in that.

              Trafficking doesn't mean you have to transport, it means exchange. As in, pimping. You are moving product.

              He didn't day SEX trafficking, though. Just trafficking.

              He didn't, but the legislation being discussed does. He's also implying that this legislation is bad for using the word "trafficking" because "trafficking" gets expanded to mean so many things -- which this legislation explicitly excludes by limiting itself to sex trafficking.

              My bad for assuming that his comment was somehow related to the legislation.

        • Re:"Trafficking" (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @08:04PM (#56301415) Homepage

          Gee, if only someone would define it clearly [unodc.org]...

          The key element in human trafficking is that it involves coercion. No, visa facilitators don't necessarily fall into the "human trafficking" bucket, because they aren't forcing the Chinese women to come against their will. The gangs in Libya, if they don't rip off the immigrants but instead serve only as guides and charge only fees that are known up front, are also not human traffickers. The honest coyotes also aren't in the business of human trafficking, though they are typically breaking other laws.

          The problem is that all of the situations you describe are very often involved in actual human trafficking, to the extent that it's very difficult to tell the difference. A very common tactic is that a migrant makes a deal with a guide (or facilitator) to smuggle (or otherwise move) them somewhere, but the smuggler instead takes them somewhere else (usually several hundred kilometers away), confiscates their passport and other documentation, and says that due to some unexpected bribes/fees/expenses/whatever, the migrant now owes more money, and has to work to pay off the debt. The migrant thinks they can't go to the police, because they'll get sent back with no documentation. They're usually threatened with violence if they even try to escape.

          The other broad category you describe is prostitution, either underage or "simple" (whatever that means). Again, the act itself isn't the problem, but the circumstances around it. A prostitute who is not coerced in any way (including not being able to consent due to being underage) is not involved with human trafficking. Any exploitation, though, becomes a separate matter of human trafficking, completely independent of the (potentially legal) prostitution itself.

          In short, It's fine for "sex" to be your product, or "relocation", or "assistance", but once your product is "unwilling people", that's human trafficking. Sure, it'd be great if we could limit discussion to only the bad folks in each of those roles you describe. While we're at it, let's make gun laws that only apply to bad folks, too. Conversely, let's only let good people have drivers' licenses, solving the problem of road rage completely!

    • Re:"Trafficking" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:05PM (#56300245) Journal
      Human trafficking is a real thing, and it's no laughing matter, but this is a misguided attempt at best, and at worst, as alluded to above, something to be leveraged into censorship of pornography on the internet -- and, no doubt, censorship of anything else they can twist the wording around to also include. Since it's a moral issue, it's difficult for anyone to challenge it without being accused of supporting and approving of human trafficking and the sex trade, and for a politician on either side of the aisle that would be political suicide, especially these days when everyone is so completely and totally polarized. Someone will challenge it, if it's actually going too far, and the courts will no doubt hear it. Also, like most attempts (emphasis on attempts) at censoring the Internet, it likely won't be enforceable anyway; if the content they want to censor is located on a hard drive outside U.S. borders, then there's not a damn thing they can do about it. Not all that difficult these days to get hosting anywhere you need to, and not difficult to move your content to the new hosting.
    • Trafficking... ..is the new "terrorism" which replaced "think of the children"

      Neither of those have been replaced. Both are in full swing.

    • people who think of the children need their basements searched.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:52PM (#56300121)
    Banning pornography from the Internet?! What next, banning cat pictures? Might as well shut the whole thing down.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      What next, banning cat pictures?

      Our feline overlords won't stand for it. They've reached the conclusion that they can't prevent Furries from mocking them in porn, and so demanded that human pornography be outlawed.

      Yes, technically, the lizard people are in charge, but they aren't going to risk a vote of no confidence destroying their fragile governing coalition. They need the cat vote.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They want to return pornography where they used to find it at their youth: gas stations, kiosks and VIP rooms of British genteleman's clubs.

  • moral majority (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:52PM (#56300123)

    This isn't about limiting "trafficking". This is limiting all sex for pay among consenting adults, which is made easier/safer via peer-to-peer platforms. Someone who advertises on Backpage doesn't need a middleman (aka a pimp).

    i.e. it's a law not created to help victims, but rather by marching moral majority morons, to control what consenting adults are allowed to do in their own bedrooms. Same deal as with alcohol and marijuana prohibition laws.

    Throw the book at pimps who force people into prostitution or use children. But consenting adults should be able to decide for themselves. Nevada, Amsterdam, and Berlin are good examples of how the business should be treated.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Throw the book at pimps who force people into prostitution or use children."
      This is part of the problem. If a 'pimp' uses force or children they are not a 'pimp' they are a kidnapper.

      It is NOT 'sex trafficking' that is a problem.
      It is SLAVERY.
      Use the correct terms SLAVERY and KIDNAPPING.

      That is why we got this shitty law.
      Almost everyone involved does not use the correct terms, so the clueless public and the clueless officials can't tell the difference between a 30 year old woman who wants to make some ext

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:49PM (#56300553)
      See here [youtube.com]. It's identity politics, regular politics and racism. Not sure about prostitution but it wouldn't surprise me. A huge part of our legal system is about voter disenfranchisement. e.g. Nailing poor people with a conviction that strips voting rights.

      Right wing ideas don't really survive on their own. Supply side economics, Military Industrial complex, lax environmental regulations and worker protections. None of these are high enough in the polls to make it. But our two party system means if you combine a bit of voter suppression, gerrymandering and the impact of our Senate & Electoral College you can get unpopular policies through despite the polls.

      This is why Congress has a 13% approval rating but incumbents. It's also why the Dems have won not just the popular vote for POTUS but even gotten more votes for the House and somehow managed to have fewer representatives. All these shenanigans add up to us barely being a democracy...
      • And Tom Brady threw for over 100 more yards than Nick Foles but the Philadelphia Eagles ended up with Super Bowl rings last month because -- according to the rules of the game which BOTH TEAMS AGREED TO -- their team won. If you don't like the rules of the game, either don't play, or get them changed -- the process to do that is very clear. Until then, cry me a river.

        • given Mr Brady's history. [wikipedia.org] And even if it wasn't, read my post a few more times. The right wing is cheating (gerrymandering, voter suppression come into play. As for the Senate & Electoral college, the game was rigged before I was born.

          There's no point to playing a rigged game fairly. You'll always lose. If we call a constitutional convention the right wing will use it to strip the constitution of the few protections workers have.

          Fairness is, if anything, a childish concept. We're adults. We're n
          • By my reading a constitutional convention doesn't just amend the Constitution. It proposes amendments for the normal ratification process. If it had the ability to change the constitution, the convention would have been better specified.

    • Nevada, Amsterdam, and Berlin are good examples of how the business should be treated.

      There's more prostitution going on in the city of Las Vegas, where it is illegal, than there is in the rest of the state. If you include Reno, where it is also illegal, then the remainder gets lost in the statistical noise — WP claims that 66 times more money is spent on illegal prostitution in NV than the legal kind. So no. Nevada is a terrible example.

  • Because in the Republican-controlled Congress, ignorance is bliss. And they are very blissful.

  • Some of these groups behind SESTA / FOSTA seem to see the bill as a mere stepping stone to banning pornography from the Internet.

    Lol good luck there

    • They will never be able to ban pornography from the internet, but they can certainly do a lot of harm in the attempt. How many services will be forced to close, how many people thrown in jail, as part of this futile effort?

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        A lot of those jailed will be "sex trafficking victims". Because that is what the police does: They charge them with prostitution (and sometimes with "trafficking" themselves or each other) and lock them up. Shows nicely that the whole thing is a Big Lie and that this is not about actually helping anybody.

  • Alright folks, break out your terminal emulators - time to go back to NNTP/Usenet.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Where's the law that says the Schelling point for sex services needs to have any physical presence in the United States? Websites like Craigslist and Backpage do not require outrageous amounts of computing power, network bandwidth, or programming skill.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:07PM (#56300263)

    Some of these groups behind SESTA / FOSTA seem to see the bill as a mere stepping stone to banning pornography from the Internet."

    Dr. Cox: [wikipedia.org] "I’m fairly sure if they took porn off the internet, there’d only be one website left, and it’d be called, 'Bring Back the Porn!'”

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:09PM (#56300277)

    From the article:

    "The bill was approved overwhelmingly in a 97-2 vote."

    If Hillary had won, she'd be signing something just as egregious into law.

    While the two sides argue over frivolities, real freedoms are inexorably crushed by both "sides".

    • There are more than two choices. The problem is that this kind of bill is wildly popular with voters, so nobody will vote for the kind of candidate who opposes it.

  • Maybe legalize prostitution? Problem solved, no eroding of our rights involved.

    Oops, my bad. I forgot who was in control.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Late 19th-century feminists had three goals: (a) get women the right to vote, (b) outlaw prostitution, and (c) outlaw liquor, and they achieved all three by 1920. Then women discovered that life is a lot less fun without alcohol, so they voted to legalize it again. But there is no way women will ever vote to legalize prostitution because keeping men in a state of sexual starvation is very important to them!

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:10PM (#56300293)

    "let's be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more"

    This makes it look like congress made things less safe for those who traffic victims.

    "victims of trafficking".. fixed that for you, EFF!

  • Facebook, Google, Twitter and the rest of the the customer-facing big boys already censor. Infrastructure providers like GoDaddy censor. Square and Paypal censor, to the extent that commerce may be considered speech. Actually worse for the latter since it's the commerce equivalent of private speech they're going after.

    If, for instance, Facebook doesn't know enough to need to ask its users if old men trolling for young boys is wrong, maybe a little cage rattling from the federal government really is called
    • That is because you rightwing nut "libetarians" care about the wrong thing. You care about guns, taxes, stupid stuff. You should care about the Constitution but you don't.
      • The Constitution is an abstract concept. Guns and taxes are only "stupid stuff" in the sense that anything that isn't an actual Platonic ideal is stupid stuff. High taxes enable perversion of the intent of the Constitution. Nigh-indiscriminate gun-grabbing is both a perversion of the intent of the Constitution and enables more perversion. Military escapades abroad are a perversion, but guess how much worse it would be if all we did was debate that all while acquiescing to higher taxes and more government mi
        • by Whibla ( 210729 )

          The Constitution is an abstract concept. Guns and taxes are only "stupid stuff" in the sense that anything that isn't an actual Platonic ideal is stupid stuff.
          High taxes enable perversion of the intent of the Constitution. Nigh-indiscriminate gun-grabbing is both a perversion of the intent of the Constitution and enables more perversion. Military escapades abroad are a perversion, but guess how much worse it would be if all we did was debate that all while acquiescing to higher taxes and more government micromanagement.

          I agree with everything you said, and did appreciate the irony in the last sentence, but I would like to add, to expand upon the section I highlighted: Nigh-indiscriminate gun-ownership is both a perversion of the intent of the Constitution and enables more perversion. In addition, from an outside perspective, background checks, licensing and registration, and so on, the seemingly sensible reforms to the current almost-free-for-all, don't add up to 'gun-grabbing' whichever way you slice it. I understand tha

          • Always good to check with another set of eyes.

            A misperception is that our gun ownership is nigh-indiscriminate. It is not. ALL commercial sales of both long guns and handguns require a criminal background check. That is a federal mandate. Many states have more stringent mandates. In my home state of Massachusetts, you are required to undergo a background check and waiting period in order to even be eligible to make a purchase. On paper the system is not bad, but the implementation is spotty. Sometimes it's
  • Short-sighted... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <theaetetus@slashdot.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:16PM (#56300349) Homepage Journal

    But some lawmakers and anti-sex trafficking advocates think the law has gotten in the way of efforts to go after online trafficking suspects like Backpage.com.
    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a co-author of SESTA with Portman and a former prosecutor, called Section 230 "outdated and obsolete" during Wednesday's press conference.

    They were talking about this on NPR this afternoon - apparently, sex traffickers were posting classified ads on Backpage.com with keywords like "lolita" and "fresh" to indicate underage girls - and the Senator wants to be able to go after Backpage...

    ... so that it no longer posts these ads...

    ... making it much more difficult for investigators to go undercover as buyers and find the victims.

    Wouldn't it have been much smarter to quietly make a deal with Backpage to forward this info to the FBI as soon as they get it?

    • Wouldn't it have been much smarter to quietly make a deal with Backpage to forward this info to the FBI as soon as they get it?

      Quiet deals don't let members of Congress make speeches about how they are defending poor innocent children.

    • ... making it much more difficult for investigators to go undercover as buyers and find the victims.

      As if the undercovers couldn't adapt their tactics based on changing criminal behavior.

      Wouldn't it have been much smarter to quietly make a deal with Backpage to forward this info to the FBI as soon as they get it?

      First, you have the issue of a private company providing data to the feds without a warrant. That's the common /. meme when a company hands data to the government voluntarily.

      Second, when the criminals determine that Backpage is sending every ad with the word "fresh" in it to the feds, they'll choose a different code word and you'll be back at the poor undercovers not being able to figure out that the code word has chan

      • ... making it much more difficult for investigators to go undercover as buyers and find the victims.

        As if the undercovers couldn't adapt their tactics based on changing criminal behavior.

        It's a lot tougher when the advertisements go underground to invite-only sites.

        Wouldn't it have been much smarter to quietly make a deal with Backpage to forward this info to the FBI as soon as they get it?

        First, you have the issue of a private company providing data to the feds without a warrant. That's the common /. meme when a company hands data to the government voluntarily.

        There's nothing illegal about that, and it happens every day. Transmit some child porn through your Gmail account. You'll shortly receive a knock on your door from the feds. Google scans all attachments and compares their hashes to a set of hashes provided by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and forwards any matches to the FBI.

        Second, when the criminals determine that Backpage is sending every ad with the word "fresh" in it to the feds, they'll choose a different code word and you'll be back at the poor undercovers not being able to figure out that the code word has changed.

        Again, the issue is not which keyword they use, but whether it's a site that's easily acce

        • It's a lot tougher when the advertisements go underground to invite-only sites.

          And if the feds start prosecuting Backpage users, whether or not Backpage turns over all ads with the right "keywords", don't you think the traffic will move to that anyway?

          There's nothing illegal about that,

          I didn't say there was. I said it was a common /. meme -- awful company violates user privacy by handing data to feds without warrant.

          Transmit some child porn through your Gmail account.

          Like I said, awful company scans every piece of email you send and receive ...

          Think of the difference between sharing files on, say, Usenet vs. sharing files on invite-only bulletin boards or torrent trackers.

          I understand the difference. The point is that they will start doing that anyway when prosecutions start ramping up, if ever,

    • Re:Short-sighted... (Score:5, Informative)

      by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @07:51PM (#56301367)

      They were talking about this on NPR this afternoon - apparently, sex traffickers were posting classified ads on Backpage.com with keywords like "lolita" and "fresh" to indicate underage girls

      Which they are not in all these cases. Nobody would advertise something like that openly. It is purely the fantasy of the customer being addressed here. A "lolita" is a sex worker that looks young, but is anywhere from 18-30. There are basically almost no underage sex workers, and where there are, they are 17 or 16. There are, for example, also statements from brothel owners in Switzerland where prostitution used to be legal from 16 years on, that they actually did not want any this young because they cannot do the job well and mainly cause problems. And there were statements from the Swiss police that this was extremely rare and in the small handful of cases they merely informed the parents.

      Incidentally, from countries were it is legal, we also know that there are almost no sex workers forced into the trade. For example, the Mafia stopped decades ago, because it does not work economically. A forced sex worker is a bad, non-motivated sex worker that brings in the lowest rates and comes with the problem that typically one of the first customers reports this to the police because men are not total scum. For example a famous case in Germany about 20 years back had 3 actual customers and the first one went to the police. These things are so rare that they make the national news, while there are an estimated 1 million (!) prostitutes in the US.

  • by losfromla ( 1294594 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:17PM (#56300351)

    I wish they would ban pornography from the internet. I wish they had banned it 20 years ago. We'd probably be coasting around in self-driving flying cars given the amount of (especially nerd) time we've lost to it.

    • And what _exactly_ constitutes pornography?

      Where do you draw the line between art and pornography?

      • Where do you draw the line between art and pornography?

        If a nerd spends less than 1% of his day looking at it, it's art. If he spends more than 10%, it's porn.

      • ornography/pôrnärf/
        noun

                printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

      • Clearly self-driving flying cars (whatever that means) are pornography because some people get off on it! So we should ban self-driving flying cars.
    • I don't care about pornography, but can we please ban cat and dog videos. I think those are a bigger time waster than porn.
    • We have the technology top ensure that everyone spends their time doing productive work. The only problem is defining "productive" . By what measure is traveling in a flying car more productive than watching a porn video? What is the end goal that we are trying to optimize by banning porn?

  • Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) OBVIOUSLY means the aim is to make it harder to fight online sex trafficking- That's how we do things around here-

  • The MPAA did it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:00PM (#56300603)

    This isn't about sex trafficking. This is about US representatives paid off by the MPAA to remove CDA Sec 230 protections so that they can go after people who share content, require ISPs to censor or block postings, and enforce permanent takedown ("staydown") instead of merely providing a notice that ISPs may or may not send the end-users.

    It's a dark day for the Internet. It's a dark day for freedom of expression. It's a dark day for open discourse and discussion. ...and it will make things worse for sex trafficking victims...

    Everybody loses. Except congress reelection campaign donation funds.

    Ehud

    • This is about US representatives paid off by the MPAA to remove CDA Sec 230 protections so that they can go after people who share content, require ISPs to censor or block postings, and enforce permanent takedown

      You haven't read the bill, have you? It's pretty specific in what it says about 230. It's also pretty specific in what it deals with. "Share content" isn't mentioned even once, not even sideways, unless by "content" you mean "sexual organs" and "share" you mean "sell or operate in the business of selling."

      If your rant is because this law shows that laws can be changed and protections provided to ISPs could be removed, well, good morning. You've woken up to the fact that laws can be changed. This law isn't

      • by gavron ( 1300111 )

        You haven't read that expression about "slippery slope", have you?
        It doesn't specify any exact topic whatsoever, but it applies to everything where policy is influenced by money.

        E

        • You haven't read that expression about "slippery slope", have you?

          Of course I have. I also realize that laws have been changed before, so that slope is well above and behind us. This bill does nothing to change it.

          It doesn't specify any exact topic whatsoever, but it applies to everything where policy is influenced by money.

          Uh, yeah. Tell me who is buying this legislation again? It takes someone with deep pockets to buy legislation that allows easier prosecution of operators of websites that have an "intent to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person"?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a Canadian, just gotta say, we need to get those backbone servers the hell out of the USA. Start building out WAY more of our own.

    All of this, ajit pai, this crap, it's part of a larger picture to do a sort of fascist takeover of the internet. It is becoming increasingly obvious.

    We need to make sure as little as possible of our data flows across US backbone servers.

    I am writing to my member of Parliament immediately.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:18PM (#56300705)

    The legislation, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA)

    Why isn't it called ASVFOSTA?

    And what's with "SESTA", where does that come from? Aren't acronyms supposed to be made of the first letter of each word of the thing?

    If they're going to make their own rules about acronyms, then I'm going to make my own and call this bill "FIESTA" or "SIESTA".

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:34PM (#56300799)

    Let's say I work for AT&T. Can I use this to publish ads for underage sex on a competitor/enemy's website. Fake ads, but I don't think anyone really cares. (On the darkweb you can buy weapon's grade plutonium. It's true because a reporter saw an ad) Since I control the network, I have godlike powers. I can be very very hard to track down.

    Can I use this to cause my competitor/enemy to come under crushing legal scrutiny? Seized servers, fines, etc.

  • How does this apply to content hosted outside the USA? Are they simply pushing ISP jobs overseas, or are they going to Build A [Fire]Wall?

  • There are surely some jurisdictions where the USA will be unable to enforce this stupid law. People will adjust and some business will leave the USA, but their customers will remain in the USA.

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