Thomas Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, yesterday announced that he was asking judges to ban postings to the category, and force the reimbursement of the police department for the cost of its investigations. There's no mystery at all.
We all know what's going on here. Its profits are not disclosed.
Although it is free to advertise on most of the site, the company charges for listings in certain — such as job and apartment listings. Dart said that an FBI study had found Craigslist carried more than 2, child prostitution adverts, with Chicago one of the top ten cities for underage prostitution.
The lawsuit is to recover the costs to his department that it has spent pursuing its investigation over the past year. But Dart indicated mounting frustration with progress. In a statement, Craigslist spokeswoman Susan Best said that advertising illegal activities broke the site's terms and conditions and was "not tolerated".
The site requires detailed and verification from anybody advertising erotic services, including credit card details and telephone contact s. According to Best, these records have provided valuable information to police forces around the US in investigations.
Indeed, officers in Cook County — which is home to Chicago and boasts a population of more than 5m people — have conducted a of long-running investigations based on information gathered from the site. That includes a four-month sting last year that was focused on individuals who had listed their services on the site.
That operation, which involved undercover officers posing as potential clients, resulted in the arrest of 76 people last summer. Meanwhile a three-month investigation in ended with four men being charged for running a prostitution ring.
However, Dart said that he wanted reimbursement for those investigations, and made reference to an FBI investigation last year which resulted in five people being arrested over the running of prostitution ring that advertised itself on the site. Best responded by saying that the website — which was founded in as an newsletter by computer programmer Craig Newmark — was happy to help the police whenever it could.
Police aim to cut off Craigslist's 'erotic'. Some of the erotic.
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