House panel to hold hearing on online sex trafficking next week

House panel to hold hearing on online sex trafficking next week
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A House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing next week on cracking down on online sex trafficking, an issue that has provoked a standoff between lawmakers and Silicon Valley.

On Tuesday, the crime subcommittee will look at revising Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a provision that gives online platforms expansive legal immunity when it comes to content posted on their sites by third-party users.

The tech industry has opposed those efforts out of concern that it would leave internet companies vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits.

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“Continuous advancements in technology have made life better in many respects, but such innovations have also led to despicable and dangerous behavior, such as using the Internet for the purpose of sex trafficking,” Rep. Jim SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerRepublicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea Trump calls on House Republicans to let committee chairs stay on the job longer Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE (R-Wis.), the chairman of the subcommittee, said in a statement.

“This dangerous and illegal act must be addressed, which is why we will be exploring the problem in greater depth, as well as reviewing current legislation in order to determine what the next steps forward should be to solve this serious problem.”

A bipartisan Senate bill being pushed by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE (R-Ohio) has sparked clashes with Silicon Valley that culminated in an emotional hearing earlier this month. And Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) is pushing similar legislation in the House.

The House hearing will feature testimony from Evan Engstrom, the executive director of Engine, a technology trade association that has come out against revising the Communications Decency Act.