Bill to crack down on child sexual abuse material online advances in Senate
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill to crack down on child sexual abuse material online. The bipartisan legislation now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.
If passed, the bill would allow victims of online child sexual abuse material to bring civil suits against tech platforms like social media sites and app stores that promote or facilitate the exploitation. Lawsuits would also be permitted against platforms that host, store or make the material available. Federal law currently protects companies from lawsuits.
This issue became a bipartisan effort, as lawmakers saw the dangers their own children and grandchildren face online.
Sen. Josh Hawley: “I’ve just become convinced that maybe the only way to get the attention of these platforms is to give individuals the right to get into court and to have their day in court. And I think that’s the way we’re going to achieve real change here and give real power back to the victims.”
The bill does more than let victims sue. It makes it easier for victims to report the material to companies and request that they take it down. It imposes fines for failure to comply with the removal request. The bill also facilitates restitution and strengthens cybertipline reporting requirements.
ONline Child Sexual Abuse Material proliferated as social media sites became increasingly popular.
From March 2009 to February 2022, the number of victims identified in this abuse material rose from 2,100 to 21,000.
From 2012 to 2022, the number of reports to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline concerning child sexual exploitation increased from 415,650 to over 32 million. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.