President Donald Trump signed a bill Wednesday aimed at giving prosecutors greater power to curb sex trafficking on internet websites.
The measure, approved overwhelmingly by Congress, weakens a legal shield for online sites that host abusive content, including sex trafficking, enabling victims and state attorneys general to sue the sites for damages and to block objectionable advertising.
The new law grew out of complaints from sex trafficking victims and others that sites with classified advertising for illegal sexual encounters could claim they were not responsible for questionable content and were merely transmitting posts submitted by others.
"I'm signing this bill in your honor," Trump said as he addressed victims and family members at the White House. "You have endured what no person on Earth should have to endured."
Trump's approval of the legislation came days after seven executives for Backpage.com were arrested on charges that the website facilitated prostitution and that teenage girls were sold for sex on the site.