Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act is a Narrowly-Crafted Solution Designed to Protect Women & Young Girls from Online Sex Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) today issued the following joint statement welcoming the support of tech giant Oracle for the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act:

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

The full text of Oracle’s letter of support is below:

September 5, 2017

The Honorable Rob Portman

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators Portman and Blumenthal,

I am writing to offer Oracle’s strong endorsement of your bill, S 1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017.

We commend your leadership on this issue. As your and other investigations have demonstrated, sex trafficking has exploded in large part due to nefarious Internet actors that knowingly facilitate and profit from it. We agree that congressional action is necessary to put an end to this tragic exploitation of human beings and hold its online accomplices to account.

We appreciate that, in keeping with your respective strong track records of supporting the growth of the Internet and information technology industry, you have worked hard to craft a thoughtful bill to hold bad actors liable.

The fact is that technological capabilities that are available today are light years away from those that existed in 1996, when the commercial Internet was just beginning. Back then, Internet startups would be launched with little to no ability to review and monitor the content they hosted. More importantly, sex trafficking and other heinous crimes had not begun to proliferate on the Internet. Nonetheless, we are 100 percent confident that a Portman/Blumenthal amendment – identical to S. 1693 – offered to the Communications Decency Act in 1996 would have passed the Senate overwhelmingly and the Internet would have enjoyed the same exponential growth and innovation over the past twenty one years. Frankly we are stunned you must even have this debate.

Today, the state of technology is far different than it was in 1996. Any start-up has access to low cost and virtually unlimited computing power and to advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and filtering software. That capability is also offered as a service in the cloud. The business success of Internet and mobile computing platforms depends on their ability to precisely analyze, arrange and segment applications, data and content, to accurately target them at their most relevant audiences – along with advertising, of course – not to blindly run platforms with no control of the content.

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

We look forward to working with you to advance your bill.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Glueck

Senior Vice President, Office of the CEO

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