The have ranged from a lusty "Hey fellaz" with hourly rates to raunchy photos, and even an offer to trade drugs for sex. Craigslist, which told ABCNews. The Web site has yet to respond to the AGs' letter sent to Craigslist attorney Edward Wes, but Blumenthal said further action would be determined, in part, by the answers to those questions.
Pressure began mounting on Craigslist last year as complaints grew about the racy posts and images that proliferated among its popular personal. Public outrage grew, however, in the wake of a string of high-profile crimes linked to Craigslist. The site's operators agreed to a of changes to cut down on illegal activityincluding removing graphic sexual images and remioving its "erotic services" category and replacing it with an "adult services" section to help eliminate blatant for prostitution or other crimes.
Since May, Blumenthal said he has noticed that most of the Connecticut containing pornographic images are gone and the of prostitution have diminished and are less explicit.
The Illinois Attorney General's office reports similar findings, but Cara Smith, deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said the state considers illegal still abound. Smith said illegal include hourly rates with "no even arguable service being offered.
When it comes to prostitution on Craigslist, little but the women's faces change from city to city.
While some cities, such as New York, were better at including the words "massage" or "body works" to lend an air of legality, posters in other large cities didn't even bother. A woman in Chicago, like many others, was so bold as to include her hourly rates in the post, carefully dancing around what exactly that money would pay for. The woman's ad was posted under the subject line "Taste the Rainbow" and featured a picture of her scantily clad in rainbow colored socks and suspenders.
One young blonde in Salt Lake City incorporated the economic crisis into her ad. Blumenthal noted that prostitution, no matter where it's advertised, is often tied to other crimes, including human trafficking, child exploitation, drugs and violence.
Such were allegedly utilized by Philip Markoff, the so-called "Craigslist Killer," until he was arrested in April and charged with the murder of year-old Julissa Brisman and the robbery of two other women in hotels in Boston and Rhode Island. Police in both states have said he met the women through Craigslist's "erotic services" section.
Markoff has pleaded not guilty. And last week, a North Carolina husband was charged with allegedly hiring a man off Craigslist to rape his wife while he watched as part of a perverse sexual fantasy.
The problem isn't always prostitution. After the "erotic services" category was pulled from Craigslist, many of the pornographic images and other illegal activities began popping up in the "causal encounters" section of the "personals" category.
In Los Angeles, one poster looking for a rough group sex encounter put up several images that would be considered hard-core porn. Blumenthal said his office is starting to pay more attention to the "casual encounters" category.
Smith likened Craigslist to an "Internet brothel. Asked to comment on the attorneys general's claims, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster said, "The Craigslist now being challenged are similar to those in any yellow s directory, and are quite tame compared to vast s of extremely graphic adult featured by hundreds of other media venues, all of which are inexplicably ignored by attorneys general and reporters alike.
It's wrong, and that's why we have the help of the general community and the law enforcement community getting rid of things like that. The trouble with trying to force Craigslist into meeting the attorneys general's demands, Smith said, is that they and other Internet sites are afforded a "tremendous amount of protection" under federal law that doesn't hold them responsible for criminal actions arranged through the Web.
While Blumenthal said there are legal avenues states can pursue against Craigslist — through consumer protection laws among others — he and Smith said they are not at that point yet.
And the attorneys general have suggestions for Craigslist. In Illinois, Smith said Madigan has discussed with Craigslist requiring "masseuses" that post in the adult services category to enter in their state- issued massage .
And in Connecticut, Blumenthal said he'd like Craigslist to take advantage of screening software that would aid the site's manual reviewers in catching illegal or pornographic before they go up. We'll notify you here with news about.
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