In 2013 and again in 2017, Attorneys General from virtually every state and territory wrote to inform Congress of a damaging misinterpretation and misapplication of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) that rendered state and local authorities unable to enforce criminal laws against companies that actively profited from the promotion and facilitation of sex trafficking and crimes against children. To be sure, we are grateful for all the work you have done to protect the vulnerable among us. To bootstrap your efforts, we renew our recommendation for a modest but necessary amendment to the CDA. We must enable our state and local authorities to protect our citizens, including the most vulnerable among us, and to take appropriate action against criminal actors.
We believe that this legislation effectively addresses many of the concerns raised by federal regulators, voice service providers, private businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and other interested parties to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing, and we are heartened that it enables the telecom industry, federal regulators, and our offices to take meaningful steps to abate the rapid proliferation of these illegal and unwanted robocalls.
Given the recent significant rise in tobacco use by young people, particularly the use of e-cigarettes, preventing initiation and use of tobacco products is of critical importance to us and the public health community, and we sincerely hope it will be addressed by the streaming industry.