Another advantage is that it is consistent with regulatory systems established by many
states’ legislatures that oversee business models deemed to be dangerous to consumers.285 In
state consumer protection law, a type of business that has been found to be dangerous to
consumers may be heavily regulated to reduce the chance that consumers will be taken advantage
of. For example, under Indiana law, a registration system like IPACT is found in the areas of
mortgage consultants,286 credit services,287 fundraising solicitors,288 and telemarketing.289
Further, a state consumer protection law is not inconsistent with the CDA. The CDA
provides that an ISP may not be treated as a publisher or speaker with respect to the content of
ads posted on their site. The state IPACT does not hold the ISP liable for the content of the ads
but only for its failure to comply with the regulatory requirements of the act. The state IPACT
will hold the ISP responsible if it fails to pay the surety bond and establish or implement a
gateway database that will restrict persons under the age of eighteen from accessing, posting or
being posted on their site. Thus, a state consumer protection law that provides a regulatory
mechanism to protect at-risk consumers—in this case to children who could be trafficked on the
Internet—is not likely to run afoul of § 230(e)( 3).290
Sex trafficking of children is rapidly proliferating on the Internet. Nevertheless, the
federal CDA provides nearly total protection from liability for ads posted by pimps and
traffickers, rendering law enforcement helpless to protect these children. Unless these individuals
and traffickers are prevented from posting children for sale on the Internet, the trafficking will
continue. This article outlined four proposals to protect children from this horrific abuse. Each
proposal seeks to curtail the use of Internet sites to exploit children through human trafficking.
However, only the federal and state IPACT regulatory approaches will also work to prevent
trafficking of children through verifying the age of the person posting the ad, depicted in the ad,
and viewing the ad to be at least eighteen years of age. Given the increasing numbers of minor
victims being trafficking on the Internet, it is time to take action and implement means that may
be available to protect and recover our children.
285 See, e.g., IND. CODE ANN. § 24-5-15, 24-5. 5, 24-9, 24-5-0.5 (West 2013); see also 765 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 940 (West 2013)
(Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act); 815 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 402/35(b) (West 2013) (discussing telemarketing regulation).
286 IND. CODE ANN § 24-5-15 (mortgage consultants are considered part of the credit services organization under section 24-5- 15-2
and also held civilly liable under section 24-5- 14-9); § 24-5. 5 (discussing foreclosure consultants); § 24-9 (discussing home loan
practices); § 24-5-0.5 (discussing deceptive consumer sales).
287 Indiana provides regulation of settlement and credit repair companies that assist a consumer with reducing his or her credit card or
other debt, usually by obtaining settlements with the creditor under IND. CODE ANN. § 24-5-15.
288 Indiana charitable solicitors are regulated under IND. CODE ANN. § 23-7- 8-1 to 23-7- 8-9.
289 Indiana regulates telemarketing under IND. CODE ANN. § 24-4. 7, 24-5-14.5, and 24-5-14.
290 47 U.S.C.A. § 230(e)( 3) (West 2013) (“Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any [s]tate from enforcing any [s]tate
law that is consistent with this section. No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local
law that is inconsistent with this section.”).