University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review

Document Type



On April 11, 2018, President Trump signed the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) package into effect. This law amends Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act that provides safe harbors for website hosts. Under the amended law, these safe harbor laws that provide websites civil liability immunity for the actions of their users would now exclude enforcement of federal and state sex trafficking laws. While many praised the passage of this law, many others raised concerns about its effect on free speech, prosecution, and sex workers. This comment will explore the history of its passage, what the law does, examine both the claimed effectiveness of the law and some of its unintended consequences, and call for Congress to further evaluate the effectiveness of this law and its consequences.