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The bill’s supporters have framed FOSTA and SESTA as vital tools that will allow officials to police websites and allow sex trafficking survivors to sue those websites for facilitating their victimization.
This is a disingenuous portrayal, however, because it fails to acknowledge the ways the internet makes it easier for sex workers to do their work , while also making it easier for law enforcement to document and gain evidence about illegal activity.
Melissa Mariposa, who responded to the bill by creating an offshore-hosted, sex worker-friendly ISP, described the risks to the Daily Dot: “If sex workers lose their storefront and safety tools, two things are going to happen,” Mariposa explained. Number two, prostitution is going to be pushed right back on the street and in hotel bars by women who will no longer want to see internet clientele and would rather take the risks freelancing.
FOSTA and SESTA began their respective lives as two different bills created in an effort to curb sex trafficking on online personals sites — in particular,