Cybersecurity

IBM, Oracle and HPE Urge House Leadership to Pass Critical Provisions to Online Sex Trafficking Bill

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IBM, Oracle and HPE urge House leadership to pass the Walters Amendment, which contains key provisions of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), when considering legislation today to combat online sex trafficking.

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building, Room H-232
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building, Room H-204
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi:

We are writing to support passage of the Walters Amendment, which contains key provisions of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), when the House considers legislation this week to combat online sex trafficking. This critical legislation is designed to address the problem of sex trafficking websites that have used the immunity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to defend against criminal and civil actions.

We appreciate the leadership you have shown in supporting the growth of the Internet and the information technology industry. Today, the Internet is a vibrant and ubiquitous marketplace, offering almost unlimited opportunities to small and large businesses alike. But the immunity provision of the CDA, enacted in 1996 when the Internet was a nascent form of commerce and communication, was never intended to protect the online sex trafficking of children. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently reported that over the past five years, 88 percent of the reports it receives regarding child sex trafficking relate to the trafficking of a child online.

As responsible U.S. technology companies, we support limited, controlled exceptions to the CDA immunity provision that will help policymakers, law enforcement, and victims combat this kind of illicit and criminal activity on the Internet.

Our companies have previously announced support for S. 1693, the SESTA legislation sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The amendment to H.R. 1865 Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act offered by Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) and supported by Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) would incorporate many of SESTA’s key provisions into legislation being considered by the House this week, and we strongly urge its adoption.

Thank you for your leadership on this important issue and we encourage you to move expeditiously to pass this legislation to address this critical and urgent problem.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Padilla
Vice President ,
Government and Regulatory Affairs
IBM Corporation

Ken Glueck
Senior Vice President

Oracle Corporation

Maria Cino
Vice President, Americas & U.S. Government Relations
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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