President Trump signed a bill Wednesday that would give more power to federal and state prosecutors to go after websites that allow sex trafficking ads on their pages.
The legislation, known as the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA),” makes it harder for websites to be protected from legal liability for content posted by its users and enables prosecutors to threaten legal action against websites for abetting sex trafficking.
“I’m signing this bill in your honor … You have endured what no person on Earth should ever have to endure.” Trump said, addressing the sex trafficking victims and their families at his side. “This is a great piece of legislation, and it’s really going to make a difference.”
The bill passed both the House and the Senate, although some lawmakers raised concerns that smaller websites would be susceptible to frivolous lawsuits and might not have the resources to prevent that kind of content from appearing on their sites.
The bill signing took place two days after federal authorities shut down the website Backpage.com for allegedly allowing ads promoting prostitution with underage sex-trafficking victims.