Craigslist strikes back, files suit

May 20, 2009
A man walks past the office of online site Craigslist in San Francisco, California, in 2006. Craigslist announced Wednesday that it had filed suit against a state attorney general who has threatened criminal charges against the online classifieds site in a dispute over "erotic services" ads.

Craigslist announced Wednesday that it had filed suit against a state attorney general who has threatened criminal charges against the online classifieds site in a dispute over "erotic services" ads.

Craigslist last week dropped its "erotic services" ads following a campaign by law enforcement authorities and a high-profile murder in which police say the killer used the website to find his victim.

Chief executive Jim Buckmaster said in a blog post Wednesday that although Craigslist had removed the erotic ads, the for South Carolina, Henry McMaster, was still threatening to take action against the site.

Buckmaster said Craigslist has filed suit against McMaster in federal court in South Carolina seeking a "restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against Craigslist and its executives."

McMaster has accused Craigslist of promoting prostitution and made demands that the Craigslist CEO said would effectively force the San Francisco-based company to shut down entirely in South Carolina.

"Mr. McMaster?s repeated threats of criminal prosecution should we refuse to shut down Craigslist for South Carolina have left us little choice but to seek declaratory relief before the court," Buckmaster wrote.

New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced meanwhile that police had broken up a prostitution ring operating on Craigslist and arrested seven people.

Cuomo, in a statement on Wednesday, said those arrested were involved in a prostitution enterprise called Room Service Entertainment that "advertised exclusively in the Erotic Services section of Craigslist."

"Until Craigslist gets serious about putting real protections in place, it will continue to be an environment where criminal operations thrive with impunity," Cuomo said.

"Today's arrests underscore the inherent risks posed by Craigslist and, most importantly, the need for protections that are full-fledged, not half-baked," he said.

Craigslist responded to the New York arrests with a statement saying that "misuse of Craigslist in connection with illicit activity is unacceptable, and we work closely with law enforcement to address it."

It also noted that the operation by New York police "took place in 2008, well before Craigslist eliminated erotic services and commenced manual screening of all ads posted to adult services."

After shutting down its "erotic services" section under pressure from state authorities, Craigslist opened a new "adult services" category with all ads being screened by hand to discourage those promoting prostitution.

The pressure to shut down "erotic services" intensified recently with the arrest of a Boston-area medical student charged with murdering a woman who had posted an ad on .

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Craigslist CEO asks SC AG to apologize for threat

May 18, 2009

(AP) -- The CEO of Craigslist is asking South Carolina's attorney general to apologize for threatening to prosecute the company if any advertisements on the Web site lead to a prostitution case.

7 in NY charged in Craigslist prostitution ring

May 20, 2009

(AP) -- Seven people have been indicted on charges of running a 24-hour prostitution ring on Craigslist, New York's attorney general announced Wednesday, the day after Craigslist's CEO filed a lawsuit to keep South Carolina's ...

Craigslist to drop 'erotic services' classifieds

May 13, 2009

(AP) -- A month after the killing of a masseuse who advertised on Craigslist, the classified ad site announced plans Wednesday to eliminate its "erotic services" category and screen all submissions to a new "adult services" ...

Facebook Adds 'Marketplace' of Classified Ads

May 12, 2007

Facebook members looking to rid themselves of couches, find an apartment or score concert tickets no longer have to leave the confines of the social networking site as Facebook on Friday launched its own classifieds section, ...

Recommended for you

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

5 hours ago

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds 'digital currency' plans

5 hours ago

Ecuador is planning to create the world's first government-issued digital currency, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, the U.S. dollar, which ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

19 hours ago

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jonnyboy
1 / 5 (2) May 21, 2009
Way to go Craigslist!!!!!

McMaster and his ilk need to understand that the nation has laws and that he is not above and beyond them just because he is a state attorney general!!!