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House expected to vote on trafficking bill that worries tech

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (pictured) and Rob Portman have aggressively pushed the anti-trafficking legislation in the Senate. Photo: By Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The House is expected to vote next week on anti-trafficking legislation that has represented a major fight for tech companies over the last year, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

  • Sources said the final measure may be a combination of language from the Senate, which would allow victims of online trafficking to sue the platforms that facilitated the crime, and a measure from the House that takes an approach that’s more palatable to tech. The news was first reported by Politico.

The bigger picture: The Senate bill would weaken legal immunity that enabled the growth of the modern web platform, since Facebook or Google could never afford to be liable for every piece of content their users post. But supporters of the anti-trafficking legislation say those concerns are overblown.

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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Axios' Stef Kight.

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 4 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the Times. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.