Oracle backs Senate sex-trafficking bill

Oracle backs Senate sex-trafficking bill
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Tech giant Oracle announced its support on Wednesday for a Senate bill designed to combat sex trafficking, breaking away from many Silicon Valley companies that worry the legislation poses an existential threat to online social media platforms.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Senate fails to override Trump veto over emergency declaration MORE (R-Ohio), who has been spearheading the push behind the bill, released a letter from Oracle Vice President Kenneth Glueck applauding the legislation and taking a shot at its critics in the tech sector.

“Your legislation does not, as suggested by the bill’s opponents, usher the end of the Internet,” the letter reads. “If enacted, it will establish some measure of accountability for those that cynically sell advertising but are unprepared to help curtail sex trafficking.”

The bill has engendered opposition from Silicon Valley companies that worry it would unfairly hold internet platforms liable for content posted on their sites by third-party users.

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Portman’s Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act is the result of a two-year Senate Homeland Security investigations subcommittee probe into Backpage.com, which the panel accused of knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.

The bill would crack down on websites that publish material that facilitates sex trafficking.

Portman and the bipartisan group of senators backing the bill have been dismissive of critics.

The Ohio Republican thanked Oracle for its support in a joint statement with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCummings to lie in state at the Capitol Elizabeth Warren should concern Donald Trump 'bigly' Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show MORE (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillIranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest MORE (D-Mo.), John CornynJohn CornynTrump slams 'very dumb' O'Rourke for proposals on guns, tax exempt status for churches GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate Succession at DHS up in the air as Trump set to nominate new head MORE (R-Texas) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D-N.D.).

“We are pleased with the growing support for the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, and welcome Oracle’s important voice to this effort,” they said in the statement.

“It is an acknowledgement that this simple, bipartisan bill is the right prescription for fixing a fundamental flaw in the law that has enabled online sex traffickers to escape justice. It’s time for Congress to act on this bipartisan bill.”

"I am thankful that leaders like Oracle in the big tech industry are supporting the fight against sex trafficking," Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), who introduced a House version of the bill, added in a statement. "Anyone thinking with their conscience instead of their pocket book would agree."

Updated: 4:57 p.m.