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Monday, April 16, 2018

COMMENTS FROM A SEX WORKER IN SWEDEN ABOUT "SWEDISH MODEL"

We got an email from a women in Sweden who wants to start a chapter of www.sexworkersanonymous.com there.  I asked her to please tell me what it's really like to be in Sweden experiencing the "Swedish model" I keep hearing about.  I edited out any references that would  identify her but otherwise left her words intact. 
_________________________________________

Thank you so much Jody for your reply!

I have a lot to say about the "Swedish model". First and most important - the law doesn't benifit the sexworkers. We went from being the most sexual liberated county in the word (not perfect) to a country with a half measured "sexual buyers law" .

 My experience, friends of mine and those professionals we know that take care of us without judgement;  We all say: "the law is no good for the girls".

When it was legal to buy sex, the transparency of the buyers were more clear and safer. It is inevitably that internet is in our lives and most girls go on internet to do business - no matter the law. But, as the John's are afraid to get caught by the police, it becomes a problem for the workers.

I payed my sex addiction treatment all out of my own pocket,  the John's get the treatment payed by the state or by their employer. You will most likely loose custody of your child being a prostitute in sweden - "immoral living" , buying sex however, despite being illegal, is considered "a normal thing men do".

I had the worst withdrawal from acting out this fall: like coming off heroin but it took forever. I was nearly psychotic, couldn't sleep, couldn't find my way home at times and sometimes I couldn't move. The pain was unbearable. It took  me nearly a 100 days to get back to the world. And now I feel sometimes really depressed. I did 90/90, I work the steps in two programs, i have contact with my sponsor every day and I'm in service. 20 years in NA - yet I feel like a newcomer. We need to talk about how to get out of the sex industry when we get clean. We need to find a way to heel. I've suffered enough and many of my friends still suffers - clean in NA.

I almost got killed this last time acting out. If it wasn't for a therapist at a sex working clinic that took me on, gave me a sponsor that works both NA/SAA, and had me on call 24/7 for 90 days, I  would not be alive today. Those two saved my life.

I hope I will be able to take this SWA program to Sweden.

 Thank you so much for reaching out!

LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP


President Donald Trump
c/o White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re:       SESTA/FOSTA Sex Trafficking Laws

Dear Mr. Trump:

When whole families were being destroyed by alcoholism, the government meant well by stepping in to outlaw alcohol thinking it would solve the problem with Prohibition.  However, all that happened was the creation of powerful organized crime with characters like Al Capone, as well as many alcoholics dying because of being driven “underground” out of fear. 

Mr. Trump, Bill Wilson created Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 – two years after Prohibition was repealed.  His group lead to the discovery that alcoholism was a disease.  But this was only after his program started alcoholics on the path to sobriety whereas before their disease was considered 100 % hopelessly fatal.  I relate our situation to alcoholism because back in the late 70’s, and early 80’s, prostitution was considered “hopeless”.

The reason for this is because law enforcement and social services found them just as “resistant” to help to exit sex work as the alcoholic once was to sobriety.  The reality was this was because there was an unseen force holding them back, i.e., pimping and sex trafficking. 

The two being the difference between that of a “criminal” and a “racketeer”.  The RICO Act was designed because the men behind organized crime were impossible to bring to justice because they couldn’t be tied to the crimes they were responsible for orchestrating.  Which was the problem with both pimps and sex traffickers back in the 70’s and 80’s.  The reason why then they weren’t able to build a case against them is because it was impossible to tie a pimp or trafficker to the victim to the money in order to build a decent case against them. 

The victims were too scared to testify against their traffickers, and cash couldn’t be traced.  With prostitution being mostly based “in the streets”, the pimp didn’t even get the cash until the victim turned it over.  Since the cops couldn’t get the victims’ cooperation to testify against the pimp, this was an impossible crime to prosecute.   

They were also “imaginary” criminals.  Literally.  Our culture used to not have RICO laws because we used to not believe there was such a thing as organized crime.  We didn’t believe there was organized crime until a member of a crime family stepped up with the Valachi Papers to tell the world the Cosa Nostra was “real”.  I was the “Joe Valachi” of sex trafficking.  If you look at my news clips I have up at www.hightechmadam.com you’ll see that I was the first person who stepped up to try and raise awareness that sex trafficking was real. 

When the general public didn’t believe me and my story, I remember Geraldo Rivera actually suggested I bring on more survivors onto his talk show.  You can check your history and you will not find anyone before us who started the first hotline for victims to call for help without fear of law enforcement, or being ridiculed that such things “weren’t real” as we were told elsewhere back then if we tried to speak of our experience.  In fact, I created the first safe house for adult sex trafficking victims, the first alternative sentencing program for victims to receive help, the first diversion program, first street outreach to connect to victims, the first jail programs, etc. 

Back in the days before websites, there was no real effective way to get a pimp locked up other than the word of the victim.  However, since most pimps had fathered children with their victims, or they knew where the rest of their family lived, the victims stayed silent.  If they were like Linda Lovelace who tried to inform the public her husband had forced her to film “Deep Throat” on a mob financed film at gunpoint, it was her word against his.  Meaning the poor prosecutor, like Edwin Meese tried to do for her, was at a loss as to how to build a case.  Linda Lovelace was trafficked on the set of “Deep Throat” and there was no ability to build a case because there was no way to get objective evidence against him for taking money from her prostitution earnings and tie back to him.  He would hide his earnings behind shell companies, or her porn earnings, and it would always come back to her “word” against his.  In other words, not enough to build a case against him.

Websites changed all that Mr. Trump.  There was a movie made about me in 1995 with Lindsey Wagner playing a mother I had helped to find her daughter.  Her daughter had been pimped on the streets of Canada and law enforcement couldn’t find her.  The only way to find a girl on the streets was on the streets.  I had to advise this mother to pretend to be a prostitute herself, go out into the streets, and then she’d be able to find her daughter through “word of mouth”.  Well that’s what she did and that was the only way she found her daughter. 

But then came the internet Mr. Trump.  Suddenly I could take a call from a mother who would send me a picture of her missing daughter and using her photo I could find that girl online in hours.  Once we found out where she was, we were able to notify the police of the IP address who could then go and rescue that girl.  If the IP address was not at a home, but a public IP address, we could then lure the victim into a fake “date” to bring her out and rescue her there.  The ads were able to be used as evidence against the pimp, with the information on the bank account used to pay for the ad giving law enforcement a way to prove he was receiving the money.  In other words, it was providing us with a way to rescue these girls and lock up their pimps that was not dependent upon the victim to be a witness against them. 

Soon cops were able to serve sites like Craigslist with a warrant for the IP address and bank information on pimps.  They were able to lock these guys up with objective evidence.  But then these people started up this campaign against Craigslist, and word spread that law enforcement was doing this, so like fish in a school, the industry soon fled to other sites.  But it was always easy to trace them to these sites.  Sites like the Erotic Review or Redbook.  If they advertised on there, it was easy to prove those ads were for the intent of prostitution, and again to trace the bank information and build the case.  It put pimps behind bars.

But then law enforcement started coming against those sites and shutting them down like they shut down Redbook.  The industry itself where the organized traffickers are, started shifting to sites like Instagram, Tinder, even personal ads where it wasn’t so easy to prove that they were actual trafficking operations.  As these people pushed the traffickers offline, we’ve seen the rise of massage parlors and strip clubs grow like weeds.  Why?  To get an undercover into these establishments, and tie the money back to the traffickers is virtually impossible. 

The only way to do this is to utilize the help of the “johns” who are paying for these things using their credit cards.  Only now comes the move to criminalize them.  So now I have the “johns” reporting they’re being drugged in these places, rolled for their cash, their credit cards robbed, and if they try to make a police report about how it really happened, they’re threatened with being arrested for being a customer because that’s now been criminalized.  So now we have the men being victims who are being criminalized into silence. 

It’s all wrapped up back into a nice bow now to where the traffickers can rape, rob and pillage the prostitutes and the johns and no one is going to blow the whistle on them because of fear of what law enforcement will do to them.  Because now instead of being arrested as a “prostitute” where they’re given the right to a phone call, a public defender, and a speedy trial – now they’re being held indefinitely as a “witness” for months without any right to an attorney, and no release date in sight until someone decides to let them go. 

The for profit prisons and child protective services are cleaning up because they’re getting paid by the day.  Is this doing anything for traffickers?  Not a damn thing because their victims are too scared to come forward.  Sure you’ll grab a few street thugs.  The ones the traffickers throw to the system that aren’t a part of their network.  Mr. Trump – with SESTA you’ve now giving the traffickers everything they want.  The work force is being driven back into the streets to work for them, and their clients are terrorized into silence for fear of being arrested.  Plus there’s no evidence of anything because everything’s now offline.  All of those victims who spoke to you against Backpage?  The fact they were brought to law enforcement was BECAUSE of Backpage.

I’ve spoken to many a vice cop who tells me they have no money to investigate organized sex traffickers.  All they can do is sweep the streets for the desperate drug addicts who stand on a corner to make enough money to pay for their drug habits.  They get forced into drug treatment and since Medicaid/Medical now pays for their treatment by the day the drug treatment industry profits as much as the for profit prisons do off their arrest.  But this is letting the truly organized sex traffickers go scott free. 

In the old days, I used to be able to go to the press when we had a situation with a real sex trafficker to bring press attention on him to get him shut down like we did with Chris Butler.  He was so well connected with law enforcement that the only way to get him stopped was to convince one of his guys to come speak to the press.  But now these people have control of social media and the press so we can’t get any stories out anymore because I have reporters telling me if they print anything we bring them – they’ll be fired.  Some have been.

What’s worse is that because these women are not being arrested as “prostitutes” any longer, they’re not being tested any longer for the HIV/AIDS virus.  Meaning for years now we have no statistics coming back “officially” to report back to you what I’m seeing – is that we’re back in another epidemic.  I took a poll of women in the Las Vegas City Jail in August of 2017, and every single dorm of 6 women had at least one woman that was infected with HIVAIDS that she was aware of.  We don’t know how many don’t know they have it because they weren’t tested.   The “Russians” did more than just try to effect the 2016 election sir – they’ve also been trying to silence what’s really going on out in the world with respect to sex trafficking. 

I’m asking you to please reconsider these attacks on these sites because not only is this winding up doing what the traffickers actually want to happen to protect them from prosecution, but it’s also making it impossible for us to reach victims anymore to get them help.  No one has the kind of money or manpower to go back out and pound the pavement to find these victims again like we did prior to 1995.  And I can’t safely advise another mother to go back out there pretending to be one anymore because it’s become too dangerous out there on the streets because of the now established hold organized crime has on street level prostitution.

We used to be able to reach the street level prostitutes in the 80’s and 90’s through the press and talk shows.  But there are no more talk shows like existed back then, and the press has told me to my face there’s a blacklist on our name anymore.  Mr. Trump, I can show you how in every location where there’s been proven organized sex trafficking – there’s a link to local law enforcement being involved.  In other words, Polaris refers victims to call local law enforcement for help.  But I can show you case after case where that local law enforcement has been aiding the actual traffickers such as the Celeste Guap case to name but one.  Rob Portman knows that even in Ohio, the so called “safe house” had it’s victims being trafficked right out of that house!   So there has to be an alternative hotline for victims to call that’s not connected to law enforcement or there’s no “checks and balances”.  Without the free press we had prior to 1995, we need those sites to be able to reach out to the victims who need help but we can’t with SESTA.  They might even shut us down for that matter!

Sincerely


Jody Williams
Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly “Prostitutes Anonymous”)
5516 Boulder Highway, Suite 2F378, Las Vegas, NV 89122
www.sexworkersanonymous.com
(702) 488-1127 Telephone

Sunday, April 15, 2018

CALL TO CAUTION

When I was arrested in 1984, I was not involved in prostitution.  I had actually quit months ago because I was making money legitimately through operating a 900 phone service that was just becoming popular in the 1980’s.  I had a lease on a warehouse I had once used for an incall operation that still had time on it, so I turned it into a “safe house” for adults.  Lois Lee was taking in juveniles who needed help through Children of the Night, and the Mary Magdalene Project was taking in a few women through their program, but these programs were not providing help to an adult who was having to escape from a pimp and/or an organized trafficker.

The LAPD had already tried to force me to become an informant which is one reason why I had left the sex industry.  They would pick me up and hold me for 71 hours “incognito” was what they called it then.  This meant I was not booked into the system and no one could know where I was.  I was not allowed a phone call, nor to call my attorney.  They had to hold me for 71 hours or charge me with a crime.  Since they were trying to force me to turn over my “book” to them, i.e., “snitch” on other people, and I would refuse, they would release me at the 71st hour. 

Only to watch me walk to my car where they would then arrest me as I walked down the street and hold me for another 71 hours.  My attorney used to check in with me daily, and after they did this four times in a row out of the same police station, he threatened them with harassment charges if they did it again.  They responded by manufacturing false charges against me in San Mateo, California.  This meant they picked me up, transported me to San Mateo, and then let me loose after 71 hours in San Mateo.   Finally they stopped when they realized they'd be sued for harassment.  But then they went and formed a task force to arrest me!

They had tried planting drugs in my car but I wouldn’t go near my car.  I asked my mother to go and pick up my car and she found the planted drugs.  I wouldn’t go to my home for fear there were drugs planted there.  My mother snuck into my apartment to get some clothes for me and she told me she found a pound of cocaine under my bed.  I had someone ask me to meet with someone one time that I had a bad feeling not to go.  I later learned it was a fake drug lab they had constructed to try and arrest me in but I foiled that attempt also. 

I already had beds in this warehouse, a shower, and high tech security, as well as it being next to a police station, so it was a secure place for someone to hide.  A woman had been arrested on drug charges and the police had offered to let her off the hook if she would agree to claim I was “pimping” her through this warehouse.  I was arrested but there wasn’t a shred of evidence against me because I wasn’t doing anything, not with her either.  She had two black eyes, a broken nose and a broken arm she told me her pimp had done to her.  So I was allowing her to stay in the warehouse for safety and healing.  There were no phones in this place, no ads, and nothing that would prove I was engaging in any prostitution.  My attorney made a joke to the DA he would like to see what client I could have sold her to being that she was all banged up even.

To try and scare my attorney off defending me, they threatened him with pimping charges if he accepted any money from me.  They threatened to charge him with money laundering, racketeering, and all kinds of things to try and scare him off defending me.  When he refused to back off defending me, they came after my mother and others to try and get me on the hook.  (They have since found a way to make sure you don't have an attorney to "interfere" by the way today.   It's called naming you as a "witness" or "victim" instead of a "criminal".)

Which is why they produced a photo of me handing my mother a $20 bill and her handing me a bucket of KFC chicken.  They claimed since she had “received money from the earnings of a prostitute” that she was guilty of felony pimping.  The photo was their evidence against my mother proving she'd taken money form me.  Mind you I had no convictions for prostitution but because I was "known" that counted under the law.  They arrested my mother and charged her with pimping me. 

When my attorney said he would love to show that picture to a jury of her giving me the $20 for a bucket of KFC, they then threatened to arrest my then 70 year old grandmother for pimping because of a Christmas present I’d bought her.  I didn’t think my grandmother would survive being booked, so I accepted a plea bargain.  Only there were no charges for anything I’d done.  The DA literally made up a charge for me to take a plea to in order to get a conviction on me.   So they don't need new laws to book you when they want to book you folks - trust me they can make things up if they want to.  They did with me.  Felony misrepresentation for purposes of prostitution.  It's not even a crime but I plead guilty and they were happy.  

Which they argued they didn’t want a conviction out of me.  Their intent was they wanted me to become an informant for them like they had going with Alex Adams.  That’s when I first found out she was a paid informant.   But the government said they wanted my “book”.  My computer had been set to self-destruct upon being unplugged.  So when they took my computer, all of the data was destroyed once they unplugged the machine. 

In fear I would “talk” about what I knew to the authorities, I had to duck attempts on my life for almost a year.  To protect my life I went to stay with my grandmother for a year without leaving her house.  If I did try and leave, I would disguise myself and attempt to leave unnoticed.  There were many strange men coming to her door with crazy excuses to try and get me to come outside, but I always refused to leave her apartment and her being a witness.  My attorney reported that the police had even threatened my life and his to caution us to silence.   Some of the threats against my life were from powerful men who were afraid of what I'd say.  Later on the scandal about what was happening on movie studios whose budgets had been padded to pay for prostitutes broke loose - but not because of me running my mouth.  But when a man is scared you're going to give them a "Stormy Daniels" scandal - many of them do more than threaten you to keep you quiet.  

When Heidi was coming up, I tried to warn her about Alex being a paid snitch, but she wouldn’t believe me.  When they arrested her, I warned her they would go after her parents.  She also didn’t believe me and that’s exactly what they did – charge her father with money laundering in fact.  The government also wanted her “Black Book”.  

She also received threats about not revealing the names in her “book”.  When she had tried to open a clothing shop in Glendale after her arrest, the threats on her life were so prevalent I was told this was why she had gone to Nevada to seek protection of the legal brothel industry. 

When Jeane was arrested in 1991, she told me that’s when the government had made a deal with her to report back information on her clients to them.  Every six months she would receive a “visit” from someone who would debrief her as to what she knew, and tell her what they wanted her to do.  About 2004 she had decided she’d had enough.  She had gone to Germany to buy a house and planned on leaving the country to retire.  She was at the airport leaving the country to retire when she was arrested. 

The authorities told her they wanted her to turn over her “Black Book” to them, but not to put the names into the court records.  She had tried to get the names entered into evidence to prove that she had been forced to work as a madam.  Why should she be charged as a madam when it was our government making her work as a madam?  To make her defense she tried to have records of their calls to her entered into the court record, but they kept denying her.  That’s why she decided finally to take her case to the press to have her story heard that she was being “forced” or “trafficked” into what she was doing. 

I had warned Jeane they would come after her mother.  When I did, her attorney went to her mother’s house to protect her.  Montgomery told me that literally as he had arrived at her mother’s house, the inspector general and the prosecutor were coming up the walkway to her mother’s house to threaten her mother.  Montgomery said he convinced them it would be “very bad press” to charge such an elderly, sick woman as her mother and they agreed to back off.

Dave Elms had founded The Erotic Review.  He hated pimps and drugs.  Because he was a “john”, he didn’t want to see escorts who were either drug addicts or who had pimps.  To “screen” the women, he would personally sleep with them and then post his reviews on the site for other clients to subscribe to and see who was “safe”.  If you wanted to be listed on the site, you had to let him see you and see you in your home.  He would inspect the home for signs of a pimp and/or drug abuse. 

When Dave would find signs of a pimp or of a drug problem, he would contact me.  I would then help this woman if she wanted help.  We had just done a “rescue” of two women out of Las Vegas from some very nasty pimps and he was impressed with what we did.  He told me he wanted to put up a banner ad on TER with our hotline number on it because we were helping women without involving law enforcement.  Dave told me his attorneys were going to draw up the papers and after we signed them, I would have a banner ad for SWA up on his site. 

The day after we made this deal, he told me he had to go down to Arizona for some reason.  The next thing I know he’s arrested in Arizona.  http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/david-elms-founder-of-prostitute-rating-web-biz-sentenced-to-4-1-2-years-for-assault-attempt-6664925  He was being held without bail at first and I had no way of reaching him while he was in custody.  I tried contacting the attorney he told me was drawing up the papers and they told me that there was “someone else managing the site now that I’d have to talk to”. 

I contacted these people and soon learned that law enforcement had taken over the site.  They of course refused to allow me to honor Dave’s wishes to have our number put onto the site.  I was told that the site was now being managed by the FBI who was using it to gather information useful in Dave’s “prosecution”. 

In 2015, I came across a woman in connection with the staged “8 Minutes”.  She was pretending to be a sex worker, while in reality she was not.  Her identification was that of a woman who had died in 2007, a woman who had been her roommate.  She evidently was using this dead womans’ ID.  I wondered how she was traveling in this post 9/11 world and I later found out she had purchased her own travel agency.  This woman had infiltrated SWOP and she placed ads on Backpage every time I questioned that she wasn’t a “real” sex worker.  She then pointed to “reviews” of her that were on TER and I laughed because I knew that law enforcement had control of that site so they could make anyone look “real” they wanted to that way. 

This woman then tried to chase me off the internet by threatening me.  When that failed, she tried to stalk and scare me.   When that failed, she tried a smear campaign about me online.  She would go to any of the sex worker advocacy groups and force them to remove me from their groups and threaten them if they continued to speak to me they would be “shut out”.  I had more than one person telling me that she had threatened them about what would happen to them if they spoke to me again. 

At that time, SWOP was asking women to identify as sex workers, and to have another “known” sex worker “vouch” for them in order to join and pay dues.  This mean they were incriminating themselves as criminals and providing financial information to SWOP.  Robin Few, the founder of SWOP had died in 2012.  She would have rolled over in her grave if she'd seen this practice.  I guess that's why these other people who were not sex workers came in and took over once she had died.  It's no different than how KFC isn't run by the colonel anymore!

The women who did this were reporting to me shortly afterwards they were having their bank accounts shut down, they were being investigated, even their landlords were refusing to take their rent suddenly.  When I tried to alert other sex workers to be cautious of this, there was a woman out of Orange, California who belonged to SWOP there who falsely claimed I had threatened her.  This woman was Meg Munoz who was also head of Abeni.  Abeni had received $30,000 from the Orange Country Human Trafficking Task Force. 

I tracked down women who had attended Abeni meetings. They told me that nothing happened at these meetings that were just “social” meetings.  However, they reported that shortly after attending Abeni meetings they were then having their phones tapped, they were being followed, and some of these women reported worse.  They talked about being contacted by law enforcement who threatened them about what they would do to them if they did not agree to become informants and do “as they were told”. 

I talked to other women in the industry who told me that the woman they met as “Meg” would show up at other SWOP or sex worker functions and it would be a completely different woman, i.e., someone posing as Meg.  Shortly after she came on the scene, she connected to the Tits & Sass blog that I had been contributing to since they launched in 2007.  Literally one day I logged onto the blog to find it had been completely “white washed”.  Not only had every single comment I’d made, or made about me, been removed, but further this site had inserted women I had never heard of as “advocates”. 

This site was grabbing the IP address of many women who were openly identifying as “sex workers”.  Women who then were reporting to me the same thing – they were soon after getting law enforcement on their tails threatening them.   When I tried speaking to the supposed owners of the blog about this, they blocked me.  Considering they had been talking to me freely before, this was clearly suspicious.

I had become a member of COYOTE in 1979 when Margo first launched the group.  However, members of the group were reporting they were all being arrested also.  Norma Jean Almodovar was one.  She wound up with spending three years in prison behind being a cop and giving a phone number to another cop that was a “regular” of hers.  I had met Norma Jean for lunch shortly after my 1984 arrest.  I was followed home from that meeting by a cop and when I went home, the light came on a device I had on my phone to alert me my phone was now bugged. 

I went and talked to Margo about this.  My concern that as members of COYOTE we were all being watched.  For all I knew, it had something to do with my 1984 arrest.  I also told her of what my attorney had advised me of, that the conspiracy laws allowed for police to arrest me on felony charges without one shred of evidence.  That all they needed was the “testimony of a known prostitute” saying I had pimped her and I could kiss my ass goodbye.  He also warned me that if we went to COYOTE meetings to discuss how to better working conditions as prostitutes, that we could be charged also with a felony conspiracy charge. 

The year 1984 was when I was also talking to Edwin Meese who was the attorney general at the time of California.  He had advised me that as a 12 step group, callers to my hotline would be protected by laws grandfathered in by AA and NA.  That our meetings would be covered under the confidentiality laws grandfathered in by NA especially.  This meant anything said in a Prostitutes Anonymous (now Sex Workers Anonymous) meeting could not be used as evidence against anyone to obtain a warrant or for any type of evidence either because it was protected by confidentiality laws.  That we could meet without fear as a 12 step group. 

He advised me that as a 12 step group I could also visit someone in jail and not be refused or arrested.  We could also put money on the books of a prostitute without being charged with pimping.   I say that because back then if you tried to post bail for a prostitute, or put money on her books, the police would then arrest you as that prostitutes’ pimp.  As a SWA member, we were allowed to post bond and also put money on the books for a prostitute without fear of being charged criminally.  So actually it was Edwin Meese and my attorney who had explained a lot of ways we could meet and organize legally and safely was under the protection of laws grandfathered in by AA and NA.

I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to the information on Backpage with respect to the men and women who advertised on there.  Now before the attacks on Backpage, if there was a case against a pimp, the police could obtain a warrant for the records on that specific person.  They then were able to trace the ad and also track the bank account of the pimp and it would build a nice case against the pimp.  It would show he placed the ad from his computer, and that he paid for the ad.  That bank information could then be pulled to show that he was then depositing prostitution money into that account and there was then a good case against the pimp.

However, with recent sex trafficking laws, especially those in Nevada, California and Arizona, I’m very concerned.  If you read these laws, you’ll see that it grants law enforcement the ability to come into any house where they “suspect” sex trafficking activity and remove the children into protective custody.  It also grants them the ability to take a woman into custody for “investigation” into sex trafficking.  These laws are allowing them to hold a woman indefinitely – not just for 71 hours.  During this time, because they are a “witness” and not a “criminal”, they are not entitled to a phone call, an attorney, nor any type of advising of their rights that what they say might incriminate themselves. 

I personally believe that this violates our constitutional right not to incriminate ourselves.  But to take us into custody indefinitely, to take our children into custody, and then to be told this can be done until the police are “good and ready” to stop, that I think would force a lot of people to say things they don’t mean or even plead guilty when not which I believe does violate our rights not to incriminate ourselves.  If these women are being forced into giving a statement prior to speaking to an attorney, then I really think this is violating their constitutional rights to not incriminate ourselves as well as a right to due process.

I have seen how in 2014 Child Protective Services that was ran by social workers is now the Dept. of Child Safety.  That DCS is overseen by the Attorney General’s office, which is run by law enforcement.  There are now training videos out training judges to automatically have all children removed from the home of a prostitute based on the suspicion they might be trafficked, and to detain everyone until the state is satisfied they are not.  I have talked to women who have been detained for nine months without the right to an attorney, or any other rights given a criminal.  They were even denied access to know where their children were being kept because they were in “protective custody”. 

I have personally talked to more than one woman who was given  a “Sophie’s Choice”.  They were told that if they did not accuse the father of their children of trafficking, and allow him to go to prison on these charges, with them witnessing against this man, that their children would be removed by CPS and they would not even be allowed visitation because the children would be in “protective custody”.  In order the protect the children, these women have falsely accused these men of trafficking.  In return, they’ve been put into public housing so that law enforcement knows where they are living at all times.  Therefore, they’re afraid to get an attorney and defend him or fight back for fear they’ll be thrown out into the street or threatened. 

I worry about the women who have told me someone has placed an ad for them on Backpage as a joke or as revenge.  Does that mean law enforcement is going to automatically assume you are a “trafficking victim” and come at you to detain you for questioning?  Take your children?  I would urge anyone who has had this happen to them to get another computer, change their IP address, move, and not to post anything on social media about ever advertising on Backpage.  I would also make arrangements with an attorney that if you were to ever disappear, they were to come looking for you in custody like I had to do at one point with my attorney when they kept picking me up without charging me.  You also need a “visible means of support” if they were to accuse you of sex trafficking, so I would also recommend if you are working at a cash freelance job, you might want to consider getting some kind of a paycheck job with a boss who would vouch that you are working for them at a “legit” job.  A true trafficking victim would not be able to do this, and this might clear the field for investigators to hone in on actual victims this way.

I would also caution you against anyone trying to “organize you into protesting”.  I saw people doing this through COYOTE who were trying to find people they could throw under the bus to protect themselves.  If you want to protest, fine.  There are safe anonymous methods you can protest whatever is going on.  You can also safely contact us here at www.sexworkersanonymous.com and know that all of your calls to us are confidential.  Beware of anyone who wants you to do anything where you can be photographed, identified, or anything that could be producing any incriminating evidence against you. 

I want to warn women against using sites they don’t know what they are or who is behind them.  When Backpage started coming under attack, as well as Redbook and TER, I started getting calls from women telling me they had tried to place an ad on a site they didn’t know well.  They then were finding themselves blackmailed.  These people were threatening to send the photos and their ads to people they knew if they didn’t pay up.  When they tried to take ads down, they were charged $300 just to take the ad down.  Their ads and photos were popping up on sites they never advertised on which was further endangering them legally. 

Once you put your photo up online, you can find yourself being “catfished” by actual traffickers.  I’ve even found fake websites set up to look identical to mine that are trying to solicit phone calls and emails from sex workers.  Which is why I always want people to know I would never ask you for a photo, for your real name, or any other identifying information on you either. 

When “bad” cops got ahold of me years ago, they tried to coerce me into doing illegal acts and risky acts that served their careers, and risked my life in the process.  I was then branded a criminal for doing the things they were forcing me to do, which allowed them to try and use me as a pawn even more in fear.  Some of them raped me knowing that I had no way of pressing charges against them.  This is why you must be careful who you allow to believe you are a sex worker.  Even if they act like they’re “one of you”. 

To illustrate, some bad cops had set up an escort service in Los Angeles in the 1980’s called “Talk of the Town”.  In reality it was LAPD behind that service.  Not the good cops either, but bad cops who saw this as a way of cashing in.  They got to cash in on what they knew about EVERYONE – including the clients who they would threaten also into using their service so they had information on them that could be manipulated and sold to the highest bidder. 

This shames “good cops” who do exist and are out there.  The problem is you may not know who to trust.  I know of one madam in Seattle who tried to go the police about one such cop and before she left the police station, he had heard of what she was doing.  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/legal-nightmare-ends-as-vice-cop-who-strayed-agrees-to-retire/

To be honest, this might be the perfect time to quit if you are in sex work.  If you do decide you want to retire and need support without fear of legal ramifications, then know your calls to www.sexworkersanonymous.com are confidential.  You will speak to someone who is a survivor, or ex-sex worker at that hotline that’s answered 24/7.  We do not provide “resources”, only the same support that you’d find in an AA meeting from someone who has “been there”.  Remember, “resources” means “records”.  Records that can come back to haunt you. 



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

THE WORDING FOR SESTA

S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017

Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 1/11
                                                      Calendar No. 292 115th Congress         }                          {           Report  2d Session                      SENATE                                                  }                          {            115-199
______________________________________________________________________
                                   
                                                     
                 STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017
R E P O R T   of the  COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION  on  S. 1693                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
                January 10, 2018.--Ordered to be printed                                                 ______                     U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE       
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 2/11
     79-010                WASHINGTON : 2018                                                                                             SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION                      one hundred fifteenth congresssecond session,

JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi       
BILL NELSON, Florida
ROY BLUNT, Missouri               
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
TED CRUZ, Texas                   
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska             
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
JERRY MORAN, Kansas               
BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska             
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DEAN HELLER, Nevada               
CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma         
TOM UDALL, New Mexico
MIKE LEE, Utah                   
 GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin           
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West         
TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois     Virginia
CORY GARDNER, Colorado             
MARGARET WOOD HASSAN,New Hampshire  '
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana             
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada                     
Nick Rossi, Staff Director               
Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director                   
Jason Van Beek, General Counsel               
Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director            Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                                                       
Calendar No. 292 115th Congress        }                           {           Report                                  SENATE  2d Session           }                           {           115-199 ======================================================================
               STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017
                                _______                               
                January 10, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                _______                               
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 3/11
Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,                          submitted the following
                              R E P O R T
                         [To accompany S. 1693]
      [Including Cost Estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to  which was referred the bill (S. 1693) to amend the  Communications Act of 1934 to clarify that section 230 of that  Act does not prohibit the enforcement against providers and  users of interactive computer services of Federal and State  criminal and civil law relating to sex trafficking, having  considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an  amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that  the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill
    S. 1693 would amend Federal law to ensure that section 230  of the Communications Act of 1934\1\ (section 230) does not  prohibit the enforcement of Federal and State criminal and  civil law relating to sex trafficking against providers and  users of interactive computer services (ICSs). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------     \1\47 U.S.C. Sec. 230. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Background and Needs
    The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), enacted as  part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,\2\ was the first  bill signed into law seeking to regulate obscenity and  indecency on the internet. It was an attempt to address, among  other things, concerns about minors' access to pornography and  other indecent material online. Section 230 (as added by the  CDA), the section central to the discussion around S. 1693,  states that ``no provider or user of an interactive computer  service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any  information provided by another information content  provider.''\3\ This provision has had the practical effect of  preventing ICSs from being held liable for the content that  people who use their services create, unless a violation of  Federal criminal law has occurred. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------     \2\Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat. 56, 133.     \3\An ``interactive computer service'' is any information service,  system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer  access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a  service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems  operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.  47 U.S.C. Sec. 230(f)(2). This term has been found to include, among  other things, the following: websites (Carafano v. Metrosplash.com  Inc., 207 F.Supp.2d 1055 (C.D. Cal. 2002), affirmed on other grounds,  339 F.3d 1119); website hosting services (Ricci v. Teamsters Union  Local 456, 781 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2015)); search engines (Baldino's Lock  & Key Service, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 88 F.Supp.3d 543 (E.D. Va. 2015),  affirmed 624 Fed.Appx. 81, 2015 WL 7888322); and social networking  sites (Klayman v. Zuckerberg, 753 F.3d 1354 (D.C. Cir. 2014),  certiorari denied 135 S.Ct. 680). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------   

Over the years, much of the CDA as originally enacted has
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 4/11 been struck down in court on freedom of speech grounds,\4\ but  section 230 and its liability protections remain. Many have  argued that this section provides an essential underpinning of  the modern internet and is critical to the explosive growth of  websites that facilitate user-generated content.\5\ At the same  time, however, those protections have been held by courts to  shield from civil liability and State criminal prosecution  nefarious actors, such as the website BackPage.com, that are  accused of knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.\6\ S. 1693  would eliminate section 230 as a defense for websites that  knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. It would also empower  State law enforcement to enforce criminal statutes against  websites, and introduce new civil liabilities for violations of  Federal criminal laws relating to sex trafficking. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------     \4\See, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844  (1997).     \5\See, e.g., Letter from Faiz Shakir, National Political Director,  American Civil Liberties Union, to Hon. John Thune, Chairman, United  States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Nov.  7, 2017, available at https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-letter-opposing- sesta.     \6\See, e.g., Jane Doe No. 1 et al., v. BackPage.com, LLC, 817 F.3d  12 (1st Cir. 2016). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Legislative History
    S. 1693 was introduced on August 1, 2017, by Senator  Portman (for himself, Senator Blumenthal, and 23 other original  cosponsors), and was referred to the Committee on Commerce,  Science, and Transportation of the Senate. On September 19,  2017, the Committee held a legislative hearing on the bill. On  November 8, 2017, the Committee met in open Executive Session  and, by voice vote, ordered S. 1693 reported favorably with an  amendment (in the nature of a substitute).

                          Estimated Costs
    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the  Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the  Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the  following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget  Office:
S. 1693--Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017

    S. 1693 would aim to eliminate legal obstacles to the  successful prosecution of people or entities that violate  federal laws against sex trafficking. As a result, the  government might be able to pursue cases that it otherwise  would not be able to prosecute. CBO expects that the bill would  apply to a relatively small number of offenders, however, so  any increase in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings,  or prison operations would not be significant. Any such  spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated  funds.     Because those prosecuted and convicted under S. 1693 could  be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might  collect additional fines under the bill. Criminal fines are  recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and  later spent without further appropriation action. CBO expects  that any additional revenues and associated direct spending  would not be significant because the legislation would probably  affect only a small number of cases.

4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 5/11

    Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and  revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO  estimates that any such effects would be insignificant in any  year.     CBO estimates that enacting S. 1693 would not increase net  direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four  consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.     S. 1693 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector  mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.     The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz.  The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy  Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement
    Because S. 1693 does not create any new programs, the  legislation will have no additional regulatory impact, and will  result in no additional reporting requirements. The legislation  will have no further effect on the number or types of  individuals and businesses regulated, the economic impact of  such regulation, the personal privacy of affected individuals,  or the paperwork required from such individuals and businesses.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending
    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the  Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no  provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the  definition of congressionally directed spending items under the  rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis
Section. 1. Short title.
    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as  the ``Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Findings.
    This section would find the following: that section 230 was  never intended to provide legal protection to websites that  facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex  acts with sex trafficking victims; and that clarification of  section 230 is warranted to ensure that that section does not  provide such protection to such websites.
Section 3. Ensuring ability to enforce Federal and State criminal and          civil law relating to sex trafficking.

    Section 3(a) would amend section 230(b) to declare that it  is the policy of the United States to ensure vigorous  enforcement of Federal criminal and civil law relating to sex  trafficking.     Section 3(a) would further amend section 230(e) to clarify  that nothing in the section should be construed to impair or  limit: (1) any claim in a civil action brought under section  1595 of title 18, United States Code, if the conduct underlying  the claim constitutes a violation of the Federal sex  trafficking statute (18 U.S.C. 1591); or (2) any charge in a  criminal prosecution brought under State law if the conduct  underlying the charge constitutes a violation of the Federal  sex trafficking statute.
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| Library of Congress
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    The Committee notes that this Act would not abrogate  section 230(c)(2)(A). This provision would ensure that ICSs  cannot be held liable on account of actions taken in good faith  to restrict access to objectionable material. With this  provision preserved, an ICS should not be concerned that it  will face liability for knowingly assisting, supporting, or  facilitating sex trafficking based on its actions to restrict  access to material that violates the Federal sex trafficking  statute. As section 230(c)(2)(A) provides, an ICS would not  have their good faith efforts to restrict access to  objectionable content used against them.     If a plaintiff shows that an ICS is knowingly assisting,  supporting, or facilitating sex trafficking, then the ICS  cannot avoid liability by characterizing those actions as  efforts to remove objectionable material. For example, if a  website screens advertisements in an effort to remove  objectionable material, but then merely edits illegal  advertisements to make them more difficult for law enforcement  to identify, or knowingly assists, supports, or facilitates sex  trafficking, then even an ICS's efforts to remove objectionable  content are no bar to liability. Section 230(c)(2)(A) was never  intended to, and does not, pose a barrier to liability on these  facts.     Section 3(b) would establish that the amendments made by  this section would take effect on the date of enactment of this  Act, and that the specific amendment to section 230 related to  allowing State criminal prosecution or civil enforcement  actions would apply regardless of when the alleged conduct  occurred.

Section 4. Ensuring Federal liability for publishing information designed to facilitate sex trafficking or otherwise facilitating sex trafficking.

    This section would amend the Federal sex trafficking  statute to clarify that ``participation in a venture'' means  ``knowingly assisting, supporting, or facilitating a  violation'' of subsection (a)(1) of that statute.

Section 5. Actions by State Attorneys General.
    This section would amend the Federal civil remedy statute  for sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. 1595) to clarify that the  attorney general of a State may, as parens patriae, bring a  civil action against a violator of the Federal sex trafficking  statute on behalf of the residents of that State in an  appropriate district court of the United States.

Section 6. Savings clause.
    This section would establish that nothing in this Act or  the amendments made by this Act is intended to limit: (1) any  claim or cause of action under Federal law that was filed, or  could have been filed, before the date of enactment of this  Act; or (2) any claim or cause of action under State law,  including statutory and common law, that was filed or could  have been filed before the date of enactment of this Act, and  that was not preempted by section 230.

                        Changes in Existing Law
    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the  Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by  the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law  proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 7/11
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change  is proposed is shown in roman):

                TITLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
                             PART I. CRIMES
        CHAPTER 77. PEONAGE, SLAVERY, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
Sec. 1591. Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion
  (a) Whoever knowingly--           (1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce,  or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, recruits, entices,  harbors, transports, provides, obtains, advertises,  maintains, patronizes, or solicits by any means a  person; or  (2) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has          engaged in an act described in violation of paragraph       

(1),         knowing, or, except where the act constituting the violation of paragraph (1) is advertising, in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of force, threats of  force, fraud, coercion described in subsection (e)(2), or any combination of such means will be used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act, or that the person has not attained the age of 18 years and will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).  '

 (b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is--         

(1) if the offense was effected by means of force,  threats of force, fraud, or coercion described in          subsection (e)(2), or by any combination of such means, or if the person recruited, enticed, harbored,  transported, provided, obtained, advertised,  patronized, or solicited had not attained the age of 14  years at the time of such offense, by a fine under this  title and imprisonment for any term of years not less  than 15 or for life; or       

 (2) if the offense was not so effected, and the          person recruited, enticed, harbored, transported,          provided, obtained, advertised, patronized, or          solicited had attained the age of 14 years but had not          attained the age of 18 years at the time of such          offense, by a fine under this title and imprisonment          for not less than 10 years or for life.   (c) In a prosecution under subsection (a)(1) in which the  defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the person so  recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained,  maintained, patronized, or solicited, the Government need not  prove that the defendant knew, or recklessly disregarded the  fact, that the person had not attained the age of 18 years.   (d) Whoever obstructs, attempts to obstruct, or in any way  interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section,  shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for a term not to  exceed 20 years, or both.   (e) In this section:           (1) The term ``abuse or threatened abuse of law or          legal process'' means the use or threatened use of a          law or legal process, whether administrative, civil, or          criminal, in any manner or for any purpose for which          the law was not designed, in order to exert pressure on
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
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        another person to cause that person to take some action          or refrain from taking some action.           (2) The term ``coercion'' means--                   (A) threats of serious harm to or physical                  restraint against any person;                   (B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to                  cause a person to believe that failure to                  perform an act would result in serious harm to                  or physical restraint against any person; or                   (C) the abuse or threatened abuse of law or                  the legal process.           (3) The term ``commercial sex act'' means any sex          act, on account of which anything of value is given to          or received by any person.           (4) The term ``participation in a venture'' means          knowingly assisting, supporting, or facilitating a          violation of subsection (a)(1).           [(4)](5) The term ``serious harm'' means any harm,          whether physical or nonphysical, including          psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is          sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding          circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the          same background and in the same circumstances to          perform or to continue performing commercial sexual          activity in order to avoid incurring that harm.           [(5)](6) The term ``venture'' means any group of two          or more individuals associated in fact, whether or not          a legal entity.
Sec. 1595. Civil remedy
  (a) An individual who is a victim of a violation of this  chapter may bring a civil action against the perpetrator (or  whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving  anything of value from participation in a venture which that  person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in  violation of this chapter) in an appropriate district court of  the United States and may recover damages and reasonable  attorneys fees.   (b)           (1) Any civil action filed under [this section]          subsection (a) shall be stayed during the pendency of          any criminal action arising out of the same occurrence          in which the claimant is the victim.           (2) In this subsection, a ``criminal action''          includes investigation and prosecution and is pending          until final adjudication in the trial court.   (c) No action may be maintained under [this section]  subsection (a) unless it is commenced not later than the later  of--           (1) 10 years after the cause of action arose; or           (2) 10 years after the victim reaches 18 years of          age, if the victim was a minor at the time of the          alleged offense.   (d) In any case in which the attorney general of a State has  reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that  State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by any  person who violates section 1591, the attorney general of the  State, as parens patriae, may bring a civil action against such  person on behalf of the residents of the State in an  appropriate district court of the United States to obtain  appropriate relief.
                       COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934
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https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 9/11
                        [47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.]
SEC. 230. PROTECTION FOR PRIVATE BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE                      MATERIAL.
                            [47 U.S.C. 230]
  (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:           (1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and          other interactive computer services available to          individual Americans represent an extraordinary advance          in the availability of educational and informational          resources to our citizens.           (2) These services offer users a great degree of          control over the information that they receive, as well          as the potential for even greater control in the future          as technology develops.           (3) The Internet and other interactive computer          services offer a forum for a true diversity of          political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural          development, and myriad avenues for intellectual          activity.           (4) The Internet and other interactive computer          services have flourished, to the benefit of all          Americans, with a minimum of government regulation.           (5) Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive          media for a variety of political, educational,          cultural, and entertainment services.   (b) Policy.--It is the policy of the United States--           (1) to promote the continued development of the          Internet and other interactive computer services and          other interactive media;           (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free          market that presently exists for the Internet and other          interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or          State regulation;           (3) to encourage the development of technologies          which maximize user control over what information is          received by individuals, families, and schools who use          the Internet and other interactive computer services;           (4) to remove disincentives for the development and          utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that          empower parents to restrict their children's access to          objectionable or inappropriate online material; [and]           (5) to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal          criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in          obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of          computer[.]; and           (6) to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal          criminal and civil law relating to sex trafficking.   (c) Protection for ``Good Samaritan'' Blocking and Screening  of Offensive Material.--           (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker.--No provider          or user of an interactive computer service shall be          treated as the publisher or speaker of any information          provided by another information content provider.           (2) Civil liability.--No provider or user of an          interactive computer service shall be held liable on          account of--                   (A) any action voluntarily taken in good                  faith to restrict access to or availability of                  material that the provider or user considers to                  be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy,                  excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 10/11
                objectionable, whether or not such material is                  constitutionally protected; or                   (B) any action taken to enable or make                  available to information content providers or                  others the technical means to restrict access                  to material described in paragraph (1).   (d) Obligations of Interactive Computer Service.--A provider  of interactive computer service shall, at the time of entering  an agreement with a customer for the provision of interactive  computer service and in a manner deemed appropriate by the  provider, notify such customer that parental control  protections (such as computer hardware, software, or filtering  services) are commercially available that may assist the  customer in limiting access to material that is harmful to  minors. Such notice shall identify, or provide the customer  with access to information identifying, current providers of  such protections.   (e) Effect on Other Laws.--           (1) No effect on criminal law.--Nothing in this          section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of          section 223 or 231 of this Act, chapter 71 (relating to          obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation of          children) of title 18, United States Code, or any other          Federal criminal statute.           (2) No effect on intellectual property law.--Nothing          in this section shall be construed to limit or expand          any law pertaining to intellectual property.           (3) State law.--Nothing in this section shall be          construed to prevent any State from enforcing any State          law that is consistent with this section. No cause of          action may be brought and no liability may be imposed          under any State or local law that is inconsistent with          this section.           (4) No effect on communications privacy law.--Nothing          in this section shall be construed to limit the          application of the Electronic Communications Privacy          Act of 1986 or any of the amendments made by such Act,          or any similar State law.           (5) No effect on sex trafficking law.--Nothing in          this section (other than subsection (c)(2)(A)) shall be          construed to impair or limit--                   (A) any claim in a civil action brought under                  section 1595 of title 18, United States Code,                  if the conduct underlying the claim constitutes                  a violation of section 1591 of that title; or                   (B) any charge in a criminal prosecution                  brought under State law if the conduct                  underlying the charge constitutes a violation                  of section 1591 of title 18, United States                  Code.   (f) Definitions.--As used in this section:           (1) Internet.--The term ``Internet'' means the          international computer network of both Federal and non-         Federal interoperable packet switched data networks.           (2) Interactive computer service.--The term          ``interactive computer service'' means any information          service, system, or access software provider that          provides or enables computer access by multiple users          to a computer server, including specifically a service          or system that provides access to the Internet and such          systems operated or services offered by libraries or          educational institutions.           (3) Information content provider.--The term          ``information content provider'' means any person or          entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for
4/9/2018 S. Rept. 115-199 - STOP ENABLING SEX TRAFFICKERS ACT OF 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/199/1?overview=closed 11/11
        the creation or development of information provided          through the Internet or any other interactive computer          service.           (4) Access software provider.--The term ``access          software provider'' means a provider of software          (including client or server software), or enabling          tools that do any one or more of the following:                   (A) filter, screen, allow, or disallow                  content;                   (B) pick, choose, analyze, or digest content;                  or                   (C) transmit, receive, display, forward,                  cache, search, subset, organize, reorganize, or                  translate content.
                                  [all]