Congress passes bill to combat sex trafficking

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The Senate voted 97-2 to approve a bill to crack down on sex trafficking. The legislation makes it a crime to operate a facility such as an internet platform with the intent to promote prostitution. The bill now heads to President Trump for his signature.

The legislation, which seeks to ensure that websites can be held liable if they knowingly facilitate sex trafficking, cleared the Senate 97-2 Wednesday after passing the House on Feb. 27. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. The White House has supported the measure, while calling for some changes.

Major tech companies face increasing pressure in Washington on issues including their size and Russia’s use of social media platforms to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook Inc. has come under fire for revelations that a political data firm that worked for Trump’s campaign retained information on millions of its users without their consent.

The legislation makes it a crime to operate a facility such as an internet platform with the intent to promote prostitution. It states that a 1996 law giving immunity to websites for content posted by third parties was never intended to protect “websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts.”

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