Engine's Statement on the Senate Passage of SESTA

The following statement can be attributed to Evan Engstrom, Executive Director: 

“We are disappointed that the Senate has now joined the House in adopting legislation that won’t make it easier for prosecutors to stop sex traffickers but may hurt small startups. We fully support the underlying goal of the bill—reducing online sex trafficking—but we are concerned that the final version of the bill will do little to address trafficking while creating new headaches for prosecutors and startups.

As the Department of Justice has noted, this legislation may actually make it more difficult to for prosecutors to charge and convict sex traffickers. Honest platforms should not have to worry about facing meritless lawsuits if they take steps to address problematic content on their sites. As we have argued throughout this process, there are simple steps that Congress could take to address the many obvious problems with the bill while still effectively fighting online trafficking. Unfortunately, the bill’s sponsors pushed through legislation without adequately understanding its unintended consequences.

We applaud Sen. Wyden’s efforts to improve this problematic legislation and we are incredibly grateful to have champions like him in the Senate advocating for sensible policies that support startups, victims, and law enforcement alike.”