Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) is trying to put the brakes on a bipartisan anti-sex trafficking bill that is picking up steam and appears headed for all but certain Senate passage early next year.
The bill, which the Commerce Committee unanimously passed this week, would allow families of victims of sex-trafficking, as well as states, to sue websites like Backpage, a Craigslist competitor, that allow advertisements selling sex with minors to be posted.
Wyden on Wednesday issued a hold on the measure, arguing that it could harm start-up Internet companies, the tech economy, and innovators.
The Oregon Democrat helped write the 1996 Communications Decency Act, a provision of which the measure would alter. He also has authored legislation aimed at curbing sex-trafficking.
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