Action Center

Call to Action: REPORT Act and Kids Online Safety Act
Children are being groomed, enticed, exploited, trafficked, and abused online through the platforms we use every day. Congress should act now to protect children from online child sexual exploitation. Over 99.5% of the reports received by the National CyberTipline in 2022 involved incidents of suspected child sexual abuse materials.     

Congressional committees have held hearings and are working in a bipartisan manner to move major bills forward to protect our children. Online platforms have fueled the extreme and unprecedented proliferation of child sexual abuse material. Law enforcement has repeatedly warned that children are groomed, enticed, exploited, trafficked, and abused online through the platforms we use every day. There are tens of millions of photos and videos circulating throughout the internet, showing the most heinous acts of sexual abuse and torture of children. It is time for Congress to enact legislation to protect children from online child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. 

The REPORT Act (Revising Existing Procedures on Reporting via Technology, S. 474, H.R. 5082) improves the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline by requiring reporting of child sex trafficking and enticement or grooming. It also extends the retention period of reported material from 90 days to one year to give law enforcement more time to conduct investigations and expands the ability of parents and minors to report child sexual abuse material without fear of liability for transmission. The Senate passed the REPORT Act, sponsored by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), on December 14, 2023, and the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 5082, sponsored by Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL), by an overwhelming bipartisan 23-0 vote on March 21. As a result, the full House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the companion Senate-passed measure, S. 474, very soon. We urge the House of Representatives to approve this measure and send it to the President’s desk for signature. 

The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA, S. 1409, H.R. 7891) creates a legally relevant “duty of care” requiring online apps and platforms to responsibly design their products in a manner that is safe for children. The Senate bill has 67 co-sponsors and has been revised to especially protect marginalized and vulnerable children from rampant online harms like child sexual exploitation, suicide instruction, harassment, eating disorder content, and more. We urge Senate leadership to bring the bill to the floor. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Big Tech CEOs was held on January 31. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee hearing was held on April 17, and they will soon mark up their bill, led by Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Rep. Kathy Castor, both from Florida. Additional bills will be considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including the American Privacy Rights Act, a compromise bill recently announced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Maria Cantwell, both from Washington, and the Children’s and Teen’s Online Privacy Protection Act introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Rep. Cathy Castor (D-FL). 

In 2022, 31.9 million reports of child sexual abuse material were made to the CyberTipline, hosted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the nation’s clearinghouse and comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization. This is an 89 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. Technology companies have tools, including photo DNA technology, but have not been held accountable for their platforms. These bills provide a pathway forward to protecting our children and have bipartisan support. 

Momentum is building. Lawmakers need to hear from GFWC that action is necessary now! The health and safety of our children online must be a priority!   


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