Rep. Kristi Noem today joined President Trump as he signed legislation to give law enforcement and victims more tools to fight sex trafficking. More specifically, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R.1865) would:

  • Allow states and victims to go after websites that knowingly facilitate trafficking;
  • Impose stiff penalties on those who own, manage, or operate a website that knowingly facilitates trafficking;
  • Increase penalties on those who traffic people or facilitate the trafficking of people; and
  • Clarify that the Communications Decency Act does not grant immunity to websites, like Backpage, that profit from the sale of our children.

“Traffickers have hid behind the internet’s anonymity, selling children for sex and profiting immensely from it,” said Noem. “For years, we have worked to build awareness around this issue. I’ve held summits in South Dakota, met with survivors who had been trafficked online, and pushed folks in D.C. to care enough to do something about this. With President Trump’s signature today, the internet will no longer be the haven for sex trafficking that it once was.”

In the days since Congress passed this legislation, Craigslist and Reddit have already shut down personal ads on their websites. Federal authorities also seized control of Backpage – a website notorious for facilitating trafficking – and indicted a number of its owners, executives and employees.

Do you want to sign up for my E-Newsletter?