from the tech-industry-siesta dept.
Internet Giants Support SESTA
In a unanimous vote, the Senate Commerce Committee approved the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (or SESTA), clearing the way for a full vote by the House and Senate. As Congress wrestles over tax reform and the debt ceiling, it's still unclear when SESTA will reach a larger vote, and it still faces stern opposition from tech policy organizations and even some anti-trafficking groups. But with more than 30 senators already signed on, the bill seems primed to pass whenever it reaches the floor.
The biggest twist has come from the industry itself. After weeks of debate, a string of tech companies and industry groups have come around to supporting SESTA, leaving critics with few allies and narrowing options. It's an unusual stance for the tech industry to take on a bill that some say would strike at some of the internet's most fundamental protections. But as Google and Facebook face mounting pressure for regulation, SESTA increasingly seems like a workable compromise, giving prosecutors a new tool while fending off more onerous regulation. For anyone dealing with user-generated content, the result could be a dangerous new source of legal risk, one that only the largest companies are fully equipped to handle.
SESTA Could Destroy Wikipedia
For many people supporting SESTA, the discussion seems to start and end with "sex trafficking is bad, this bill says it targets sex trafficking and therefore it's good" (and maybe with a touch of "if it hurts big internet companies, that's fine, they deserve it.") But, the impact of SESTA goes way beyond that (not to mention it doesn't actually do anything to stop sex trafficking and could make the problem worse). It's good to see Wikimedia speak up -- and hopefully someone in Congress will finally start to understand why SESTA is such a bad bill.
[Update: With thanks to lgsoynews,
Here is the link to the text of the bill:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1693/text and, another link, from the EFF, with some IMPORTANT context in the beginning (missing from the official link) :