A Breakdown of Proposed Sex Trafficking Legislation

If you’re confused by all the proposed legislation on sex trafficking, you’re not alone. There is a lot of false information out there and multiple pieces of legislation being proposed on the State and Federal level. That’s why we have created this summary so you can stay informed and take action to ensure this legislation passes. Call your representatives today!

Update: Texas HR 112 and HB 2266 have not been passed onto committees for review, so the bills will not move forward this legislative session. The bills will be reintroduced next legislative session.

  • Currently, if you do not want pornography and prostitution hubs on your device, you must ask the retailer for a filter.
  • Texas House Bill 2266 requires retailers to ensure that the products sold contain a digital blocking capability that makes obscene material inaccessible to minors and inaccessible to adults who do not pay a deactivation fee for access. 
  • The deactivation fee creates valid government revenue to finances state programs that fight trafficking like the Human Trafficking Task Force and the Victim’s Compensation Fund
  • Texas House Resolution 112 recognizes pornography as a public health issue.
  • The Federal Filter Act is currently in the commerce committee and has yet to be signed into law by Trump. This act would ensure that online purchases would be shipped to the consumer with filters installed.
  • These bills do not hurt business. They create a new revenue stream that has the potential of a huge profit as retailers can charge an additional deactivation fee of their own to offset cost of compliance.
  • Currently interactive online services like Backpage.com have immunity against lawsuits due to content created by their users, except for in cases of federal criminal liability and intellectual property claims, because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
  • H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, and S.B. 1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 have been introduced in Congress to amend Section 230.
  • The amendment ensures that websites who publish information “designed to facilitate sex trafficking” will be held liable.
  • The amendment will NOT lead to a slippery slope of lawsuits, forcing good samaritan websites to remove large amounts of their content.
  • The amendment affects ONLY bad-actor websites that host ads for trafficking a child.
  • Service providers that work to monitor their content with a myriad of low cost tools from advanced analytics to filtering software would not be prosecuted. 

*Passed in the Senate September 11th. Read more here.

  • Ensures the Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund runs through 2023
  • Reauthorizes key Trafficking Victims Protection Act programs
  • Requires mandatory restitution for victims of commercial sexual exploitation offenses
  • Enhances statutory maximum penalties for human trafficking offenses
  • Ensures all law enforcement agencies get trained on how to recognize human trafficking victims, refer them to services, and avoid arresting or prosecuting them
  • Allows both state and local governments to seek wiretap warrants in sexual exploitation cases
  • Creates a human trafficking coordinator for every U.S. attorney’s office and at the Department of Justice
  • Improves data collection and reporting on the number of human trafficking crimes
  • Permanently authorizes the Human Trafficking Advisory Council
  • Continues a Department of Human Services pilot program to provide training to health care providers on human trafficking

*Passed in the Senate September 11th. Read more here.

  • Reauthorizes Trafficking Victims Protection Act programs
  • Extends a grants for training school personnel on trafficking detection and reporting
  • Allows prosecutors to prohibit conduct that violates human trafficking statutes by issuing an injunction
  • Allows the U.S. Secret Service to offer investigative and forensic assistance to law enforcement agencies fighting trafficking
  • Improves grant programs and education on best practices for detecting victims
  • Improves coordination among federal agencies through consolidation of federal agency data reporting at the FBI and by requiring the Homeland Security Department to submit annual assessments of the human trafficking investigations