Project Safe Childhood Act of 2023
Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual
exploitation and abuse. The Department of Justices’ U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal
Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) coordinate with federal, state and
local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the
Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
Project Safe Childhood’s Five Elements:
– building partnerships
– coordinating with law enforcement
– training Project Safe Childhood partners
– creating public awareness
– establishing accountability
The Project Safe Childhood Act of 2023:
– Modernizes, reauthorizes, and updates this important program, making strategic and
planning improvements, both at the Department of Justice level as well as in individual
– Improves coordination and communication with the Internet Crimes Against Children
Task Forces and state and local law enforcement.
– Establishes training protocols for the identification and rescue of children and continued
prosecution of these crimes, making sure there is collaboration between state, local and
federal law enforcement.
– Creates a definitional framework to empower law enforcement to target offenders who
commit multiple crimes, commit crimes both in person and online, and who take
advantage of a position of power or a trust relationship in order to facilitate their criminal
behavior. The Department of Justice has repeatedly reported that many defendants hold
positions of public trust.
– Addresses some technical gaps for a limited class of child exploitation offense, closing
the livestream loophole.
Endorsers: National District Attorneys Association, National Association of Police
Organizations, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, National Center on Sexual
Exploitation, Fraternal Order of Police, Rights 4 Girls, National Children’s Alliance and the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The EARN IT Act of 2023
Sponsored by Senators Graham and Blumenthal
As shown in recent New York Times investigations, online platforms have fueled the
unprecedented proliferation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Children are exploited,
trafficked, and abused online through platforms we use every day.
CSAM is one of the starkest harms presented by the internet, and the tools to fight against
online child sexual exploitation are often freely-available and effective. There should be no
excuse for inadequate and inconsistent efforts to stop this appalling abuse from the largest and
most technologically sophisticated companies.
The EARN IT Act (Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies
Act) creates new incentives for the tech industry to take online child sexual exploitation
- CDA §230 is amended to carve out federal and state CSAM laws (18 U.S. Code § 2252
and 2252A, and state analogues) to allow state enforcers and survivors to hold tech
companies accountable for the distribution of child sexual abuse material.
Establishing the National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention
- A National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention is established to
ensure sharing of expertise and transparency to improve efforts to fight child abuse and to
put survivors at the same table as tech and other stakeholders.
Furthering the Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation
- Federal statutes are updated to use the term “child sexual abuse material” instead of
“child pornography”, to strengthen the CyberTipline, to lengthen preservation times, and to
allow companies to take further steps to improve their detection and response to CSAM.
- The DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is required to develop
and support innovative tools to enhance efforts to combat online child exploitation.
Protecting Civil Liberties
The EARN IT Act of 2023 includes specific safeguards for encryption, ensuring that an online
platform will not be held liable simply because it provides privacy-enhancing technologies, while
also ensuring that law enforcement has tools to hold predators and their direct enablers
accountable for the abuse of children.
The EARN IT Act is supported by over 150 advocacy organizations from across the
country, representing national and state-focused anti-human trafficking efforts,
child safety advocates, law enforcement, women’s groups, tech, and religious communities
The Kids Online Safety Act of 2023 [Draft]
Sponsored by Senators Blumenthal and Blackburn
As Congressional hearings, media reports, academic research, and heartbreaking stories from families
have repeatedly shown, online platforms can have a harmful effect on children and teens: fostering body image
issues, creating addictive use, promoting products that are dangerous for young audiences, and fueling bullying
and other destructive behaviors.
The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) provides kids and parents with the tools, safeguards, and
transparency they need to protect against threats to children’s health and wellbeing online. The legislation
would require that online platforms put the interests of children first, providing an environment that is safe by
default. KOSA also ensures that parents and policymakers know whether online platforms are taking
meaningful steps to address risks to kids by requiring independent audits and supporting public scrutiny from
experts and academic researchers. The Kids Online Safety Act of 2023 builds on the version from the 117th
Congress by clarifying key definitions and rules to better focus on urgent harms to kids
Providing Parents and Kids Safeguards and Tools to Protect Kids’ Experiences Online
- Requires social media platforms provide minors with options to protect their information, disable
addictive product features, and opt out of personalized algorithmic recommendations. Platforms are
required to enable the strongest settings by default.
- Gives parents new controls to help support their children and spot harmful behaviors and provides them
(as well as schools) a dedicated channel to report any harms to kids.
Creating Accountability for Online Platforms’ Harms to Kids
- Creates a duty for online platforms to prevent and mitigate specific dangers to minors, including
promotion of suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, advertisements for certain
illegal products (e.g., tobacco and alcohol), and other matters.
- Requires large social media platforms to perform an annual independent audit that assesses the risks to
minors, their compliance with this Act, and whether the platform is taking meaningful steps to prevent
Opening Up Black Box Algorithms
- Provides academic and public interest organizations with access to critical dataset
The Kids Online Safety Act has been endorsed by over 240 organizations and associations representing mental
health experts, nurses, parents’ groups, young people, consumer advocates, faith groups, tech experts, and other