Bad Bills Alert: Protecting Marginalized Communities Amidst Congressional Threats

Aug 4, 2023

Bad Bills Alert —​​ We feel like a broken record telling you about bad bills, but Congress keeps proposing them so here we are. There are currently numerous bills circulating the legislature, including the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), STOP CSAM Act, EARN IT Act, RESTRICT Act, and the Cooper-Davis Act. All of these bills present themselves as ways to combat child p*rn and s*xual exploitation, but all they really do is put SWers and other marginalized groups (including folks seeking abortions) at risk. Oh, and they also violate everyone’s right to privacy.

Our friends at Fight for the Future put together an awesome and easy-to-use website folks can use to contact their legislators. Please let your representatives know that you oppose these bills!

More on KOSA (Kids Online Safety Act) — Among the many bills on our radar that are being rushed through Congress, KOSA is perhaps the most alarming. If signed into law, KOSA would require websites to remove any content that might cause “anxiety or depression” in children. The issue here is what content is deemed unsafe for children and who is in charge of making those decisions.

Under KOSA, state attorney generals would be the authorities on what is good or bad for kids in America. At a time when gender-affirming care, access to safe abortions, and general LGBTQ+ rights are under attack, it’s inevitable that conservative attorney generals will wield their power under this law to erase queer communities and people providing resources to those seeking abortions from the internet, in addition to SWers.

Well this is terrifying — A group of vigilantes, most of whom are current or former military members and law enforcement agents, are using online surveillance tools to “hunt human traffickers.” They call this absurd online crusade “Skull Games,” and it essentially boils down to perusing SWer esc*rt ads, identifying who they think they are, and then handing over that information to the police.

Moral panics have real life consequences, and the so called “Skull Games” is one of them. Conflating human trafficking and consensual SW is nothing new, but some of the surveillance technology these guys are using is new. Don’t get it twisted, these folks are hunting SWers for sport, and calling it charity.