Electronic Frontier Foundation, Government Pressure Shutters Backpage’s Adult Services Section
Succumbing to years of government pressure, the online classified ads website Backpage.com has shut down its adult services section. Just like Craigslist before it, Backpage faced the difficult choice of censoring an entire forum for online speech rather than continue to endure the costly onslaught of state and federal government efforts seeking to hold it responsible for the illegal activity of some of its users.
Center for Democracy and Technology, Backpage.com Succumbing to Government Is Blow to Free Speech Online
“While the fundamental legal framework protecting free speech remains strong, too often we see government officials attempt to circumvent these protections to achieve their censorship goals.”
“When government officials move beyond the bully pulpit and conduct persistent pressure campaigns to achieve a result repeatedly denied to them in court, we’re in the territory of unaccountable government censorship that is anathema to First Amendment values. With government actors at the highest level publicly threatening and bullying journalists and activists, the risks of unchecked extralegal censorship are all too clear.”
Cato Institute, The Chilling Effect of the Government’s Subpar Subpoenas
These tactics represent a marked escalation since September 2010, when Craigslist caved in to pressure from a group of 17 state attorneys general and shut down its “adult advertisements” section. As a federal court had already ruled at that time—and numerous courts have held since—the government cannot assume that ads that mention sex are advertising illegal transactions, much less coercive sex-trafficking. Laws censoring such websites have been roundly and repeatedly held to violate the First Amendment.
Children of the Night,a privately funded NGO established in 1979, dedicated to rescuing America’s children from the ravages of prostitution. https://www.childrenofthenight.org/
Help to Quit Sex Work http://www.sexworkersanonymous.com/
The Human Trafficking Prevention Act
Legislation by State http://humantraffickingpreventionact.com/
Does this act help or hurt women?
FAQ – ANSWERS by humantraffickingpreventionact.com with links to videos uploaded to YouTube account Human Trafficking Prevention Act
In terms of hurting business, will this act cause retailers and manufacturers of products that distribute the internet to lose money; won’t it cost the retailers and manufacturers to install filters, manage a reporting website, and to maintain the quality of the filters?
How can this act, which only regulates retailers and manufacturers in this state,compel and incentivize out of state manufacturers to install and ship their products with activated filters to this state, while providing the mechanism to deactivate to the retailer so that the retailer can comply?
Monday, January 16, 2017 – LETTER TO BACKPAGE RE: SHUTDOWN http://linkis.com/blogspot.com/6Msat
My name is Jody Williams. In 1987 I created the first hotline in this country, as well as Canada and the world for that matter, for anyone who wanted to leave the sex industry for ANY reason, sex trafficking included (please note the slang term of “sex trafficking” was not coined until the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 giving this issue federal recognition), who were adults to call us for help in doing so.
The hotline was connected to the first 12 step program addressing sex work also created for adults to find help in leaving the sex industry. This 12 step program, originally named Prostitutes Anonymous, was used to create the first alternative sentencing, diversion and outreach program for adults to be provided with alternative sentencing when convicted of prostitution criminal charges.
North Dakota Legislature Withdraws “Porn Vending Machine” Internet Censorship Bill January 11, 2017 by Rob Port https://www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/north-dakota-legislature-withdraws-porn-vending-machine-internet-censorship-bill/ Lawmakers in the state House withdrew the legislation on a unanimous voice vote.
GoUpState.com. State Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Spartanburg, said the Human Trafficking Prevention Act would require manufacturers or sellers to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices that access the internet to prevent the viewing of obscene content.
The bill would fine manufacturers or sellers that sell a device without a digital blocking system installed. But any manufacturer or seller that didn’t want to install the system could pay a $20 opt-out fee for each device sold.
Any buyers who want the filter lifted after purchasing a computer or device would have to pay a $20 fee, after verifying they are 18 or older.
“If an end user buys an apparatus, a computer, and they want access to that, they would have to pay to have that filter removed,” Chumley said.
The money collected from the fines and fees would go to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office’s human trafficking task force, which works with law enforcement leaders, nonprofits and state advocates to find solutions to trafficking.
The bill also would prohibit access to any online hub that facilities prostitution and would require manufacturers or sellers to block any websites that facilitate trafficking, Chumley said.
“I Am Jane Doe” Takes on Backpage by Tad Friend, End of Innocence -January 16, 2017 http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/16/i-am-jane-doe-takes-on-backpage– The documentary filmmaker Mary Mazzio interviewed some of the more than a hundred thousand American children who are being trafficked.
Backpage attorney blasts raid, CEO’s arrest October 7, 2016 –
The attorney for Backpage.com is blasting the raid on the online classified ad portal’s Dallas headquarters and the arrest of chief executive Carl Ferrer as “an election year stunt” on the part of the California attorney general and “not a good-faith action by law enforcement.”
In a statement issued Friday, Backpage general counsel Liz McDougall said “the actions of the California and Texas attorneys general are flatly illegal” and “ignore the holdings of numerous federal courts that the First Amendment protects the ads on Backpage.com.”
She also said the actions violate a federal law that she says pre-empts state actions such as these and immunizes web hosts of third-party-created content.
The Backpage Raid: Misguided at Best, Dangerous at Worst Oct 7, 2016 – The CEO was arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. The arrest is being hailed as a positive, aggressive move against those who benefit from human trafficking. https://medium.com/@hipsdc/the-backpage-raid-misguided-at-best-dangerous-at-worst-91d8afe013a7#.spbhvew65
Washington County battles sex trafficking
Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking – Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations January 10, 2017 10:00AM https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/hearings/backpagecoms-knowing-facilitation-of-online-sex-trafficking
shrt lnk: http://wp.me/p5eLCS-mI