BREAKING: Sen. Ossoff’s Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Online Exploitation Signed into Law

Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan law with Sen. Marsha Blackburn will toughen penalties on websites and social media companies that fail to report crimes against children

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan bill to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation is now law.

Today, President Biden signed into law Sens. Ossoff and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)’s bipartisan REPORT Act, which will — for the first time — require websites and social media platforms to report crimes involving Federal trafficking and enticement of children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan law will increase fines for companies that knowingly and willfully fail to report child sex abuse material on their site and will also require evidence to be preserved for a longer period, giving law enforcement more time to investigate and prosecute crimes.

“My bipartisan law with Senator Blackburn will ensure tech companies are held accountable to report and remove child sex abuse material and to strengthen protection for kids online,” said Sen. Ossoff. “At a time of such division in Congress, we successfully brought Republicans and Democrats together to protect kids on the internet, and now our bill is law.”

“Children are increasingly looking at screens, and the reality is that this leaves more innocent kids at risk of online exploitation,” said Senator Blackburn. “Under this new law, Big Tech will now be required to report trafficking, grooming or enticement of children found on their sites to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline. I’m honored to champion this bipartisan solution alongside Senator Ossoff and Representative Laurel Lee to protect vulnerable children and hold perpetrators of these heinous crimes accountable. I also appreciate the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s unwavering partnership to get this across the finish line.”

Reps. Laurel Lee (R-FL-13), Susie Lee (D-NV-03), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), and Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04) led introduction of the companion bipartisan bill in the U.S. House.

U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), James Lankford (R-OK), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) co-sponsored the REPORT Act in the Senate, and Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL-13), Barry Moore (R-AL-02), Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Russell Fry (R-SC-07), Carlos A. Gimenez (R-FL-28), Lucy McBath (R-GA-07), Glenn Ivey (D-MD-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), and Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (D-GA-04) co-sponsored the REPORT Act in the House.

“The REPORT Act will help fight against the exploitation of children online by strengthening existing reporting procedures and requiring companies to disclose crimes involving child sexual abuse to NCMEC,” said Representative Laurel Lee. “I am glad to see this crucial piece of legislation make its way to the President’s desk and be signed into law.”

“Nevada has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the nation, and a sickening number of those crimes involve children,” said Congresswoman Susie Lee. “Abuse of children online must be met with swift and complete justice. This includes implementing the most state-of-the-art reporting technology, requiring Big Tech to report all instances of child abuse, and increasing penalties for those who fail to report these crimes against children. I’m proud to work with Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate to lead this legislation to protect our children, crack down on human trafficking, and hold those accountable who turn a blind eye to these sickening crimes.”

The REPORT Act is endorsed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), International Justice Mission (IJM), ECPAT-USA, Fraternal Order of Police, ChildFund International, the End Online Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OSEAC) Coalition, Wired Human, Raven, and Internet Works.

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) applauds the enactment of the Revising Existing Procedures on Reporting via Technology (REPORT) Act today. We thank Senator Blackburn, Senator Ossoff, and Congresswoman Lee for their continued leadership on online child safety issues. The REPORT Act provides critical child safety improvements such as enabling the use of modern technology to store and electronically transfer child sexual abuse material (CSAM); empowering children and adult representatives acting on a child’s behalf to report CSAM in which the child is depicted to NCMEC; requiring online platforms to report child sex trafficking and online enticement to NCMEC; and supporting law enforcement investigations by extending retention time for information reported to the CyberTipline from 90 days to one year. We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to prioritize the safety of children online because every child deserves a safe childhood,” said Michelle DeLaune, President & CEO of NCMEC.

“IJM commends the bipartisan, bicameral response to the growing problem of online sexual exploitation of children through the REPORT Act. Americans are some of the top offenders paying for and consuming child sexual abuse material and committing child sex trafficking online, including via livestreaming. Additionally, most of the technology platforms and apps weaponized to exploit and abuse children, including in the Philippines, are based in the U.S. and governed by our laws. From IJM’s experience in training international law enforcement partners on CyberTipline investigations, it was clear that updates were desperately needed to the existing reporting framework. For example, the REPORT Act will give law enforcement around the world much needed time to triage and respond to CyberTipline reports, which can have a downstream impact of more victims identified and more arrests made. The signing of this bill into law is an important step in strengthening federal policy to better protect children online in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Nate King, Director of Congressional Affairs for IJM.

“Due to the increasing number of children and teens online, it has become increasingly easy for predators to exploit and victimize them. The CyberTipline, run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is a critical tool for law enforcement, but, as technology advances, so do the methods of exploitation and the threats our children are exposed to online. The REPORT Act aims to improve the reporting and prosecution of those taking part in the online sexual exploitation of children in the United States. Identifying, arresting, and prosecuting those who prey on the most vulnerable in our society should be a priority, and we believe that this bill provides the tools law enforcement needs to stop these predators. We are tremendously grateful for the leadership of Senators Blackburn and Ossoff as we moved this legislation through Congress. They were both great partners in this effort and, as a result, our children will be better protected from on-line predators,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.

“The passing of The REPORT Act is a reawakening of American values for children and families. Big Tech has made it clear by their actions that profit over people is the value system driving their choices, not child well-being and safety. The REPORT Act incentivizes Big Tech to do the right thing or lose what they protect the most, their bottom line,” said Jason Frost, Co-Founder of Wired Human.

“The REPORT Act represents a collaborative effort between lawmakers from both political parties to embrace solutions to this horrific form of child sex trafficking, abuse and exploitation,” said Coco Lammers, Director of the End OSEAC Coalition. “Its adoption marks a significant milestone in the journey toward protecting kids from a multitude of online harms.”

“The amount of children being exploited online has risen to an epidemic level and we need help from our legislators. The passing of the REPORT Act will allow for the electronic transmission of victims for identification and the retention of records for a longer period to identify victims and locate offenders. We are thankful for the passing of this important piece of legislation to identify victims of online child sexual abuse,” said John Pizzuro, CEO of Raven.

# # #


Thank you

Your form has been received. Someone from our office will contact you when the next Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) process begins. If your request needs immediate attention, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington, D.C. office or Atlanta office.

Thank you

Your form has been received. Someone from our office will get back to you as soon as possible. Please allow 5–7 business days to process a request. If your request needs immediate attention, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington, D.C. office or Atlanta office.