U.S. Senate introduces amendment on websites’ liability for content

The U.S. Senate has introduced an amendment to a law protecting hosts of websites with unlawful content. The existing law protects hosts from liability for content posted by others on their platforms. The amendment has been formulated in the context of child sex trafficking, as regulators referred to sites as Backpage.com, which has been accused of ‘knowingly [facilitating] the criminal sex trafficking of vulnerable women and young girls’. According to the Washington Post, the bill ‘sets the stage for a battle between Congress and some of the Internet’s most powerful players’, and is contested by free-speech advocates who are concerned about Congress’ potential power to regulate Internet content.