American Consequences - October 2017

Perkins Coie. The firm’s clients include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media companies. And here is where we find a crack in Harris’ narrative. Wending its way through the Senate is a bipartisan bill to criminalize enablers of Internet child sex trafficking. Proposed by Ohio Republican Rob Portman in early August, it has garnered 35 co-sponsors. But Harris is not one of them. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act ends legal protections for the owners of websites who knowingly service sexual predators. It authorizes federal and state law enforcers to arrest and prosecute owners of websites who facilitate illegal sex trafficking, such as the owners of Backpage who stand accused. Backpage was a target of a two- year congressional investigation from which Portman’s bill emerged. But Google and 10 Internet trade groups representing the Internet’s biggest players – including Microsoft, Facebook, Reddit, PayPal, Airbnb, and Amazon – are waging a lobbying war against the legislation. Silicon Valley believes the bill will expose Internet providers to lawsuits and criminal charges. The social-media giants claim that the bill violates their Constitutional right to free speech. And it is not their responsibility to censor unlawful content posted by their customers. In 2013, Harris joined 50 state attorney generals in demanding that Congress outlaw

online child sex trafficking. And whether or not you believe the bipartisan legislation is drafted narrowly enough to only apply to websites that facilitate trafficking children and sex slaves, a major theme of Harris’ political career has been changing the law to allow the prosecution of websites connecting child Could it be because her campaign-funding machine is anchored in Silicon Valley? Is Kamala Harris really fearless? Is she for the people? Or is she a sad, empty hologram of liberal hopes enthralled to algorithms beyond her control? Harris did not respond to multiple requests for comment. molesters with enslaved children. That quest now seems to be moot.

Peter Byrne combines investigative reporting with science writing. He wrote the first feature profile of Kamala Harris in 2003 – Kamala's Karma – on her district attorney run and accusations of favoritism with former mayor Willie Brown. His reporting has been recognized by Investigative Reporters & Editors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Society of Professional Journalists. His books on strange physics, medical fraud, and political corruption are critically acclaimed. Based in Northern California, his work can be found at www. .

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