A new post from Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is once again attempting to swell federal power and erode civil liberties by preying on fears about sexual exploitation. Today, she and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Combat Human Trafficking Act, a bill that would expand federal and state wiretapping authority, mandate that the Department of Justice (DOJ) spend more time investigating and prosecuting buyers of sex acts from trafficking victims, and increase criminal penalties for buyers by legally defining them as human traffickers.
What could be so bad about going after those who buy sex from trafficked individuals, especially sex-trafficked minors? For one, the bill doesn’t require a buyer to know that an individual has been trafficked or is under 18 years of age to be criminally liable. But, more broadly, the bill seems largely aimed at additional encroachments on American privacy and expansion of federal law enforcement power.