Letter: Change decency act
Last week, I attended the premier showing of the film “I Am Jane Doe” at the Aspen Institute. This film exposes a disturbingly dark secret of the internet where children are criminally prostituted across the country by adults taking advantage of a little-known and obscure provision of federal law called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
Imagine trying to pick your 13-year-old daughter up from soccer practice and finding that she didn’t show up and suffering the agony of not knowing where she is for many years. Then, years later, you realize your daughter was repeatedly sexually abused by adults who used the internet to post sexually provocative photographs and advertisements of these little girls for sex.
When she grows into an adult and escapes this hell on earth, you and she sue the internet site that facilitated this sexual trafficking of children, and your lawsuit is thrown out of court, because of Section 230 of the CDA being interpreted by the courts as providing immunity to the internet site host based on First Amendment freedom of speech.
This has happened countless times. The law needs to be changed by Congress, and we should let our representatives know they must act now to change this law. You can help by going to: http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com/ and following the steps to send your U.S. representative a letter demanding the problem set up by that Section 230 of the CDA be fixed.
We’ve seen the pictures posted in public places of missing children, and if you watch the film, you will be compelled to act as I am.
Jefferson J. Cheney
9th Judicial District Attorney