Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Sawyer continues work to save abused and exploited children

OLYMPIA – Yesterday the House of Representatives passed Rep. David Sawyer’s (D – Parkland) latest bill to go after child pornographers and abusers and rescue exploited children.

Currently, when law enforcement groups like the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force — which Sawyer secured funding for with a bill last session — finds people trafficking child pornography, they have to secure a subpoena from a judge to get the records from the Internet Service Provider (ISP). The problem is, the Internet industry is becoming more and more decentralized, so large ISPs like Comcast will direct law enforcement to subsidiary companies that handle Comcast’s data, which then direct law enforcement to data centers they contract with, and so on.

At each step in the process, law enforcement has to secure a new subpoena from a judge, sometimes in the middle of the night. Sawyer’s bill (HB 2483), which passed the House unanimously, would authorize prosecutors to issue administrative subpoenas, simplifying the process for law enforcement and saving valuable time.

“We know that the majority of child pornography traffickers are hands-on offenders,” Sawyer said. “When law enforcement finds someone dealing with images or videos of child rape, they are in a race against the clock to find these people, bring them to justice and save any children being abused. Every minute counts, and can mean the difference between life and death for a child. This bill can help save lives.”

HB 2483 now goes to the Senate for consideration.