Internet giants were accused of profiting from sex trafficking in Britain last night as security chiefs warned of a new wave of “pop-up brothels” sweeping the country.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) last night accused firms such as Google and Facebook of “making profits” from the trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom end up in temporary sex clubs and massage parlours that have sprung up around the country.
The agency’s “modern slavery tsar” said web companies have become the “key enabler for the sexual exploitation of trafficked victims in the UK” and demanded action.
Ministers are reportedly considering new laws to make internet giants liable when human traffickers use their sites to “pimp” their victims to potential clients.
“Pop up” sex clubs have been discovered in Cornwall, Cambridge, Swindon and holiday cottages in the Peak District.
New US laws are set to overturn more than 20 years of blanket immunity for sites.
It will make firms liable if they “knowingly assist, support or facilitate” content that leads to trafficking.
Downing Street and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said they are “looking at” whether and how to replicate the action in the UK.
It is understood Google does not profit from AdultWork as it has a zero-tolerance policy for adverts that promote escort services and prostitution.
Facebook said it welcomed the new US legislation.