State's top law enforcement official says the Internet bulletin board isn't doing enough to curb prostitution on the site.
Connecticut's attorney general subpoenaed Craigslist on Monday as part of an investigation into whether the Internet bulletin board is doing enough to curb prostitution on the site and whether it is profiting from them. Richard Blumenthal, who is leading a coalition of 39 states involved in the probe, said in a statement Monday that prostitution remain on the site despite assurances they would be removed.
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 that it promised the states and public that it would try to block. Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster responded in a blog post that Blumenthal was "once again indulging in self-serving publicity at the expense of the truth and his constituents.
Craigslist had come under scrutiny after law enforcement agencies complained that the site's erotic category was a digital meat market where prostitutes and pimps could safely conduct business. The site's erotic services section was thrust into the national spotlight following the arrest last year of Philip H. Markoff, who is suspected of killing a year-old masseuse he met through Craigslist at a Boston hotel.
However, even before the so-called "Craigslist killing," the site had worked with a group of 40 attorneys general to create new measures on the site deed to thwart for prostitution and other illegal sexual activities. Craigslist requires anyone posting to the erotic services section to submit an operational phone and credit card, the site announced last year.
But those measures don't didn't go far enough to stem prostitution, according to a federal lawsuit filed in March against Craigslist by the sheriff of Illinois' Cook County.
Sheriff Tom Dart asked the court to force Craigslist to remove the erotic services section. Buckmaster suggested at the time that the suit was a waste of timesaying that "Craigslist cannot be held liable, as a matter of clear federal law, for content submitted to the site by our users.
District judge ultimately agreed, dismissing the suit in October Craigslist announced in March that for such services were down 90 percent to 95 percent during the 12 months. However, many CNET readers suggested that the reduction was due to the being relabeled and moved to another section. Buckmaster announced in May that Craigslist planned to implement a monitoring system for adult and do away with the erotic section.
Blumenthal's subpoena seeks documents related to the company's manual review process, which the company uses to review potentially objectionableas well as documents that detail the revenue gained from sold to the company's erotic services or adult services.
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