Feeds

Craigslist subpoenaed over thriving adult services ads

Lawmaker renews 'brothel' fight

Security for virtualized datacentres

Already under fire for its thriving Adult Services section, Craigslist on Monday was subpoenaed by Connecticut's top law enforcement official, who is investigating whether the site is doing enough to get rid of ads for prostitution and other illegal activity.

The demand came from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal who is co-heading a group of 39 states that has expressed concern over the ads. In addition to law enforcement agencies, groups opposed to human trafficking have also criticized the ads. The controversy intensified last week when a company estimated that sales this year from adult services will triple to about $36.3m compared with sales from 2009.

"The craigslist brothel business seems booming - belying its promise to fight prostitution," Blumenthal said in a statement. "The best evidence is thousands of ads that remain on craigslist - skimpily and slickly disguised with code words. We are asking craigslist for specific answers about steps to screen and stop sex-for-money offers - and whether the company is actually profiting from prostitution ads that it promised the states and public that it would try to block."

In late 2008, Craigslist announced changes that for the first time required people posting to the site's red-light district to register using a valid credit card and telephone number. Those caught posting "inappropriate" ads were threatened with being blacklisted.

Website officials also promised to donate the proceeds of those ads to charities that work to prevent human trafficking. Craigslist later backed away from that promise and now refuses to say what it does with the ad sales.

Still, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has defended the steps his employees take to filter out prostitution services, saying they go well beyond those carried out by newspapers.

"True to form, CT AG Blumenthal is once again indulging in self-serving publicity at the expense of the truth and his constituents — touting a subpoena on television and telling whoppers about craigslist 'reneging' on promises — even before craigslist had been served with a subpoena," Buckmaster wrote on Monday in a blog post headlined Deja Blumenthal.

The subpoena came the same day that authorities learned Craigslist was the venue for the sale of a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder that was found in Times Square on Saturday night with a homemade bomb. The former owner of the vehicle said he recently sold it for $1,300 in cash to a man who didn't identify himself. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.