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 SensenbrennerProtecting the fundamental right of all Americans to have access to the voting booth Republicans compare Ron Johnson to Joe McCarthy: NYT GOP puts pressure on Pelosi over Swalwell 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 PortmanOvernight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken McConnell: Republicans 'united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling' 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.