FOSTA-SESTA Upheld After First Amendment Free Speech Challenge

Apr 22, 2022

April 11, 2022 marks four years since the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” became federal law. You’ve heard us talk about FOSTA before, and this certainly won’t be the last time. This law was supposedly intended to curb the use of Internet platforms by traffickers, but instead has had the exact effects that sex worker activists warned it would. FOSTA has made the internet less safe for sex workers, hasn’t had any affect on sex trafficking, and has impinged upon online free speech for everyone.

This year, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Internet Archive, and two webmasters sued the U.S. government to constitutionally challenge FOSTA. But unfortunately, on March 29, 2022, a D.C. court ruled that the law doesn’t doesn’t violate the first or fifth Amendment. While that outcome is disappointing, the movement will continue to fight this harmful law. 

The Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City is asking people to call their Representatives and Senators to support the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act (also known as HR 6928 and SB 3758). This new bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to study the impacts of the reduction in access to client screening, information sharing, and harm reduction websites resulting from FOSTA on individuals engaged in consensual adultsex work. Through understanding the actual impacts of existing legislation, we can work to make better policies in the future.

Excerpted From: We Plead The 14th Amendment / Old Pro News

Learn More: The Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City is a national organization that defends the human rights of sex workers by destigmatizing and decriminalizing people in the sex trades through free legal services, education, research, and policy advocacy. 

Woodhull Freedom Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.

Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in one hundred countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Background: DC Court Upholds FOSTA-SESTA, Rejects Free-Speech Challenge /

Federal Online Sex Trafficking Law Survives First Amendment Look / Bloomberg Law