Dear Big Ocean Women,
We have been made aware through our global networks and coalitions the need for action on a particular issue, the CDA230 (Communications Decency Act Section 230) in the current revision of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). We need your help!!
CDA230 was the statute that allowed corporate officers of online organizations protection from legal repercussions when a third party used their sites to post services. The most known example of this is the Backpage scandal. Backpage employes were both allowing and facilitating prostitution rings to use Backpage as a way of advertising those being trafficked. This included minors. However, due to CDA230 regardless of the information found during an investigation, these employees could not be charged. Due to the actions of our friends at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation, Congress passed FOSTA-SESTA which amends CDA230. These pieces of legislation now allow websites to be “subject to criminal and civil liability when a third party (users) misuses online personal unlawfully” This lead to some high profile arrests and ultimately a governmental seizure of Backpage on April 6th of this year. Needless to say, this was a BIG win for the coalition, and victims of sex trafficking everywhere!
However, this amendment made a lot of powerful people upset. For the last five months, there has been a push to reintroduce similar language into law thus allowing a loophole to the amendment of CDA230. The coalition just received information that similar language to the original CDA230 has recently been introduced into the current NAFTA draft. This is concerning because the process of passing Trade Agreements does not provide transparency or an honest revision process. As NAFTA is being drafted, only certain committees have access to the language. Once the draft is completed it is presented to Congress as a “Clean Vote” meaning that no amendments are allowed. They either accept it whole or reject it whole. As you can imagine with all the coverage the agreement is receiving there will be a lot of pressure to pass it once it reaches Congress, and the CDA230 language will be an unfortunate byproduct of an otherwise good agreement. If the agreement passes with this language, it will once again protect big tech companies from the repercussions of breaking the law and turn sexual exploitation into a trade product.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
The coalition has composed a letter addressed to the White House stating their concerns with the potential CDA230 language and asking that it be removed before presenting the agreement to Congress.
They have asked all coalition members and their networks to resend this letter to their different representatives in the House Homeland Security subcommittee. I have included a link you can use to resend the letter to the full committee if you feel so inclined. This link shows the individual members of the House Committee on Homeland Security. You can contact each individual from there if you prefer.
TWEETS THAT CAN BE USED:
@USTradeRep: Sex trafficking is not an U.S. export. Remove #Section230 language from #NAFTA. #NoEndRun #StopOnlineSexTrafficking #ListenToSurvivors #IamJaneDoe
@CanadaTrade: Don’t allow U.S. language decriminalizing online sex trafficking in #NAFTA. Say no to the U.S. export of sex trafficking websites! #NoEndRun #StopOnlineSexTrafficking #ListenToSurvivors #IamJaneDoe
@ (MEMBER OF CONGRESS): Stop Big Tech end run around #FOSTA-SESTA. No immunity for sex trafficking websites in NAFTA! #NoEndRun #StopOnlineSexTrafficking #ListenToSurvivors #IamJaneDoe
@IvankaTrump: Please don’t allow language decriminalizing sex trafficking websites in #NAFTA. Say no to the U.S. export of sex trafficking websites! #NoEndRun #StopOnlineSexTrafficking #ListenToSurvivors #IamJaneDoe
@MxUSTrade: Tell @USTradeRep to remove language exporting online sex trafficking to Mexico. No immunity for sex trafficking websites in #NAFTA! #NoEndRun #StopOnlineSexTrafficking #ListenToSurvivors #IamJaneDoe
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