View all text of Chapter 16 [§ 1861 - § 1887]

§ 1862w. NSF support of research on impacts of social media on human trafficking
(a) Definitions
In this section:
(1) Human trafficking

The term “human trafficking” means an act or practice described in section 7102(11) of title 22.

(2) Social media platform
The term “social media platform” means a website or internet medium that—
(A) permits a person to become a registered user, establish an account, or create a profile for the purpose of allowing users to create, share, and view user-generated span through such an account or profile;
(B) enables 1 or more users to generate span that can be viewed by other users of the medium; and
(C) primarily serves as a medium for users to interact with span generated by other users of the medium.
(b) Support of research
The Director of the National Science Foundation, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall support merit-reviewed and competitively awarded research on the impact of online social media platforms on the maintenance or expansion of human trafficking, which may include—
(1) fundamental research on digital forensic tools or other technologies for verifying the authenticity of social media platform users and their materials, that are utilized in the promotion or operation of human trafficking networks;
(2) fundamental research on privacy preserving technical tools that may aid law enforcement’s ability to identify and prosecute individuals or entities promoting or involved in human trafficking;
(3) social and behavioral research related to social media platform users who engage with those promoting or involved in human trafficking;
(4) research on the effectiveness of expanding public understanding, awareness, or law enforcement efforts in combating human trafficking through social media platforms; and
(5) research awards coordinated with other Federal agencies and programs, including the Information Integrity Research and Development Interagency Working Group and the Privacy Research and Development Interagency Working Group of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program, the Office for Victims of Crime of the Department of Justice, the Blue Campaign of the Department of Homeland Security, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the Department of State, and activities of the Department of Transportation and the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.
(c) Survivors

To the extent possible, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall ensure that research supported under subsection (b) incorporates the experiences, input, and safety and privacy concerns of human trafficking survivors.

(d) Reports
(1) Findings and recommendations
Not later than 1 year after January 5, 2023, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives—
(A) the Director’s findings with respect to the feasibility for research opportunities, including with the private sector social media platform companies, to improve the ability to combat human trafficking operations; and
(B) any recommendations of the Director that could facilitate and improve communication and coordination among the private sector, the National Science Foundation, and relevant Federal agencies to improve the ability to combat human trafficking operations through social media.
(2) Results of research

Not later than 4 years after January 5, 2023, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives on the results of the research supported under this section.

(Pub. L. 117–348, title I, § 124, Jan. 5, 2023, 136 Stat. 6218.)