Feeds

US prosecutor orders Craigslist 'erotic listings' shutdown

Plug prostitution postings or be probed

High performance access to file storage

A US prosecutor has told Craigslist that if it doesn't take down all "erotic listings" within 10 days, it will face a criminal investigation and possible charges.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said today he's sent an open letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster demanding the site immediately shutter all listings for his state that he sees as encouraging prostitution. If the classifieds aren't gone by 5:00 PM on Friday, Craiglist management may be probed and prosecuted, McMaster postured.

"Many of the classified and communication services on the Craigslist site provide the public with a valuable service," he wrote to Buckmaster. "However, it appears that the management of Craigslist has knowingly allowed the site to be used for illegal and unlawful activity after warnings from law enforcement officials and after an agreement with 40 state attorneys general."

Craigslist entered a pact late last year with dozens of states' top prosecutors to "help combat unlawful activity and improve public safety on the web site." Law officials claim the website is a hotbed for illegal prostitution and must implement new screening policies such as telephone and credit card verification before users are allowed to post an "erotic services" listing.

Craigslist made the changes, and in March, boasted a "spectacular" 95 per cent reduction in the volume of erotic ads. But McMaster said he doesn't believe Craigslist has done enough to curb online ads-of-negotiable-virtue or "graphic pornographic material" accessible by impressionable tots.

Bruckmaster responded to the warnings in the Craigslist blog today, saying the site's counsel sees "no legal basis whatsoever for filing a lawsuit against craigslist or its principals."

Given the progress that has been made dealing with these tremendously complex issues in a very short time, and the ongoing collaboration between craigslist and law enforcement to make further improvements, we urge Attorney General McMaster to look closely at the facts before proceeding with his threat.

McMaster's legal ire would join Chicago's sheriff, Thomas Dart, who filed a lawsuit against the site in March claiming prostitution listings are straining his department's ability to enforce the law.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, has also been forced to publicly defend the site's "erotic listings" recently amongst sensationalistic coverage of the so-called "Craigslist murder."

A copy of McMaster's letter to Craigslist is available here as a PDF. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.