Under the watchful eye of law enforcement in 40 states, Craigslist pledged Thursday to crack down on for prostitution on its Web sites. As part of Craigslist's agreement with attorneys general around the country, anyone who posts an "erotic services" ad will be required to provide a working phone and pay a fee with a valid credit card.
The Web site will provide that information to law enforcement if subpoenaed. Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's chief executive, said the deal will allow legitimate escort services to continue advertising, while providing a strong disincentive to companies that are conducting illegal business. They should have no problem providing a phone or credit card credentials.
Craigslist filed lawsuits this week against 14 software and Internet companies that help people who post erotic service to circumvent the Web site's defenses against inappropriate content and illegal activity. Craigslist, which posts 30 million every month for everything from apartment rentals to jobs in hundreds of cities, will also begin using new search technology in an effort to help authorities find missing children and victims of human trafficking.
Police across the country have been arresting people for using Web sites like Craigslist to advertise the sexual services of women and children. He added: "I am fully convinced that Craigslist wants to stop this activity as much as we do.
Buckmaster said the agreement does not cover Craigslist's personalwhere prostitutes have been found advertising for "dates. But this partnership is going to be active in that area as well, anywhere where crime does or could occur.
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