September 15, 2017

Mary Leary, professor, law, published commentary in The Hill on the Communications Decency Act and trafficking victims. Leary was also quoted in an Ars Tehnica story on the CDA and in Bloomberg News. She co-wrote an op-ed in Huffington Post with alumnus Kevin Ryan on trafficking victims.

The courts cry for help and Congress holds the protection of trafficking victims in its hands. Just two weeks ago a California Court dismissed the pimping charges against the owners of Backpage.com for its role in allegedly knowingly collaborating with human traffickers to sell women and children online for sex. In so doing, it joined an increasing list of courts asking Congress to amend the so-called Communications Decency Act (CDA), which they have interpreted to provide immunity for such companies.

In closing his opinion, Judge Lawrence Brown made this shocking statement: “Until Congress sees fit to amend the immunity law, the broad reach of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act even applies to those alleged to support the exploitation of others by human trafficking.” That’s right – immunity for collaborators of human trafficking.

This is yet another common sense appeal to Congress to make clear that companies who actively partner with human sex traffickers to sell victims online are not immune from liability. Judge Brown’s opinion joins a growing chorus of countless human trafficking victims, law enforcement, and a broad coalition of non-profit organizations to amend the CDA.

The good news is that Congress has begun to listen.

Continue reading in The Hill. 

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