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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             CONTACT: Lance Lemmonds
June 24, 2020                                                                        llemmonds@usiaht.org

 
 

U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking Calls For End To Use of Warrant-Proof Encryption Shielding Sex Traffickers


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) today announced support for the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act (Act) to end the use of “warrant-proof” encrypted technology utilized by sex traffickers and buyers to conceal their criminal activities.

The Act was introduced yesterday in the U.S. Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), and will protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans while also providing law enforcement with the necessary tools to investigate and prosecute human trafficking operations and other criminal activities. 

"The criminals who systematically buy and sell men, women, and children for sex have hidden for years behind the veil of privacy protection, withholding access to devices and technology from law enforcement agencies working to protect victims and bring traffickers to justice," said USIAHT Chairman Kevin Malone. "Thanks to Chairman Graham and Senators Cotton and Blackburn, law enforcement will have access to the necessary tools to disrupt trafficking operations and provide justice for survivors of trafficking and child sexual exploitation."

Passage of the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act would provide law enforcement with the necessary resources to effectively investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, while also protecting the individual American citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

"There are hundreds of thousands, and potentially over a million, victims trapped in the world of sex trafficking in the United States, and this legislation strikes the proper balance between legitmate law enforcement investigations that seek to protect survivors of trafficking while also protecting civil liberties," added Malone. 

This legislation mandates that service providers and device manufacturers assist, through probable cause warrants approved by a neutral magistrate to allow law enforcement to recover encrypted information stored on a device, operating system, remote computing service, or wire or electronic communication services.
 
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About the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking is working to end Human Trafficking in the United States through prevention, combating demand, rescuing victims, influencing government policy and providing safe refuge for the restoration of survivors. With offices in Tampa, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Austin, we are addressing the national problem, and also doing so with on-the-ground services.
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