Committee Announces Legislative Hearing: S. 1693, The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017

Hearing will discuss proposal to combat online exploitation as well as concerns about weakening protections of the Communications Decency Act

September 13, 2017

WASHINGTON  U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a legislative hearing titled “S.1693, The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017” at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. 

S. 1693, sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and 27 additional cosponsors, proposes amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to create new legal liability for internet companies whose sites knowingly facilitate sex trafficking and other crimes through content hosted on their platforms. While it does not affect federal criminal liability, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was written to protect internet platforms from civil and state criminal liability for content created by others, including liability arising from the actions of others who post unlawful content or use the platform for unlawful behavior. The hearing will include expert testimony regarding efforts to protect children and other vulnerable individuals from criminal exploitation involving online platforms as well as potential impacts on the operation of the internet.

A section-by-section summary of S. 1693 is available here (source: Sen. Portman’s office).  


-  Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
-  Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.)
-  Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
-  Ms. Yvonne Ambrose, Mother of Desiree Robinson


-  *The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, State of California
-  Mr. Eric Goldman, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law
-  Ms. Abigail Slater, General Counsel, Internet Association
-  Ms. Yiota Souras, Senior Vice President, General Counsel National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

(Additional witnesses may be announced)

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
10:30 a.m.

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on

* 9/15/17 -- Attorney General Becerra added to witness list
* 9/18/17 -- Four speakers added to agenda