Tag Archive: human trafficking

Supreme Court rejects Backpage appeal to keep sex trafficking records private

Backpage granted temporary stay from Supreme Court

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to block a Senate subpoena that had requested Backpage turn over its internal records regarding its alleged role in online prostitution and sex trafficking. In case you haven’t been following the story, back in August, a federal judge gave Backpage ten days to turn over its records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The subcommittee has been investigating Backpage for some time and has been attempting to get these records for almost a year. Backpage was given a stay after that ruling, but soon afterwards the stay was lifted. This prompted Backpage to appeal to the Supreme Court, which as I mentioned refused to block the subpoena. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes Backpage’s deadline to turn over records right about…now.

While Backpage has seem to run out of their judicial bag of tricks they still seem to be hemming and hawing about turning over the records

“The volume of documents and data required to be processed, reviewed, redacted and logged renders production of every last responsive document and complete privilege logs by September 13, 2016 impossible regardless of best efforts,” the company’s lawyers said, adding that they hoped the tens of thousands of pages they were producing would be evidence of good faith.

My main concern is when it comes to Ferrer himself. If any legislative action is handed down I’m afraid he’ll just head back to The Netherlands where Backpage’s parent company is located, and where Ferrer helps run other sex sites that are even less subtle than Backpage. However, this now oft-repeated quote continues to make my day…

Backpage lawyer Liz McDougall declined to comment.

As always though, you shouldn’t count out Backpage just yet. They have more lives than the proverbial cat, and if history is any indicator, greed is a powerful motivator for evil to survive.

60-year-old Wisconsin veterinarian charged with being Backpage sex trafficker

60-year-old Wisconsin veterinarian charged with being Backpage sex trafficker

Brian Lee Kersten

60-year=old Brian Lee Kersten is a veterinarian from Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, which has a population of not quite 3,000. I’m sure you can just imagine the kindly looking old man mending injured puppies or delivering a litter of kittens, but police consider him part of a major sex trafficking ring.

Kersten is not only accused of allegedly trying to trick a woman into prostituting herself on Backpage by promising her a legitimate job, but he’s also accused of travelling to China, with an associate, in order to being back girls and women into the country illegally to work as prostitutes for him.

This shows that sexual slavery, and Backpage’s involvement, is not just a big city problem and it’s not just being committed by minorities, like some people think. It’s also in small town America being committed by local businessmen or supposed pillars of the community. Because of Backpage, sexual slavery, human trafficking and child prostitution is happening all over our country.

Backpage granted temporary stay by Supreme Court

Backpage granted temporary stay from Supreme Court

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

In my previous post about Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, I mentioned that it would be more difficult for Backpage to appeal to the Supreme Court after being ordered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to turn over their internal records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Not surprisingly, that didn’t stop Ferrer and Backpage from filing an appeal with the US Supreme Court today, who granted them a temporary stay. In the ruling the court gave Senate lawyers until the 9th to respond.

Once again, like the scoundrel and coward that he is, Ferrer is trying to hide behind the First Amendment claiming that the ads Backpage hosts for prostitution are protected speech. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the First Amendment was crafted so that a free press could question the government without fear of reprisal. It wasn’t meant for shady businessmen to make profits from those who peddle other human beings in the sex trade.

Hopefully logic and basic human decency will prevail and Backpage will lose this appeal as well. If that does happen, it will be interesting to see if Backpage attempts to defy an order from the Supreme Court.

Backpage loses latest bid to keep records private

Backpage loses latest bid to keep records private

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

The last we heard from Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, he was ordered to turn over all of Backpage’s records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Instead of doing that, Backpage was given a stay to make a case for themselves. Backpage has always claimed that the First Amendment protects them from prosecution as their ads for prostitution are protected speech. Earlier today, the appeals court lifted that stay saying that Backpage’s free speech argument was lacking. That means that Backpage has 10 days to turn over all their records to the Senate subcommittee. This must have been a great blow to Backpage as their mouthpiece, attorney Liz McDougall, refused to comment on whether or not Backpage will appeal to the Supreme Court for another stay, which the Cleveland.com article says is more difficult to obtain. While I wish this was the end of the story, don’t count Backpage out yet. They’ve survived some pretty drastic measures against them, like not being able to accept credit card payments. They may be devious enough to pull another trick out of their collective hats.

However, if this is the beginning of the end for Backpage, don’t shed a tear for them. This is not a blow against a free press, this is a victory for all the girls and women who have suffered at the hands of pimps and traffickers that advertised their victims on Backpage.

Backpage ordered to comply with Congressional investigation

Backpage ordered to comply with Congressional investigation

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

I wish I hadn’t put off blogging for so long, because it turns out this story is kind of time sensitive.

This past Friday, a federal judge gave Backpage just 10 days to turn over documentation requested by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This is the subcommittee that has been investigating Backpage’s alleged role in the sex trafficking of women and children on its website. Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer has argued that the Senate’s investigation violates Backpage’s right to free speech and violates due process. The judge disagreed in her ruling and gave Backpage to the 15th to submit the requested documentation.

It will be interesting to see how Backpage reacts since their strategy up to this point has been to run and hide. When Ferrer was subpoenaed to appear before congress last year, his reaction was to simply not show up claiming business matters in Amsterdam were more pressing. This led to the Senate holding Backpage in contempt and being the first entity in 20 to be sued by the Senate.

I don’t know if I can wait to see what Backpage has up their sleeve this time. If this is any indication…

Backpage attorney Elizabeth McDougell declined to comment.

…then Backpage may finally be out of tricks.

US Senate files lawsuit against Backpage

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

In the wake of Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer no-showing a congressional hearing on sex trafficking and the Senate voting to hold Backpage and Ferrer in contempt, the US Senate is now filing a lawsuit against Backpage. This lawsuit, the first filed by the Senate in 20 years, is meant to compel Backpage to turn over internal records about how it monitors the ads for prostitution and what length it goes to in order to prevent minors from being trafficked on their site. Backpage has also been accused of editing ads so the people placing the ads will avoid police action. It will be nothing if not entertaining to see how the worms that run Backpage try to protect how they make millions of dollars off the victims of human trafficking and child prostitution.

US Senate holds Backpage in contempt

capitol

In light of Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer refusing a subpoena to appear before congress the U.S. Senate voted to hold Backpage in contempt last week. This means that the Senate could file a lawsuit against Backpage.

A Senate subcommittee investigation believes that Backpage is complicit in assisting pimps and traffickers with their ads for prostitution….

For example, the site edits ads before they’re posted, often removing evidence of law-breaking in its “adult” classifieds, the probe determined. Backpage removes certain words from ads that would trip alarm bells, and it permanently deletes metadata from posts’ images that could allow law enforcement to determine who posted an illegal ad, according to the Senate investigation.

If that allegation is true then Backpage’s usual defense under the archaic Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 would be negated. Usually Backpage cites the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech to stay in business but if they are actively editing the ads in order to skirt the law then that speech is no longer protected.

When a podcast pursues prostitution

microphone

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently when the subject turned to prostitution. Now this wasn’t some hard-hitting news podcast but more of a humor/entertainment podcast. The podcast participants started commenting about how prostitution should be legal and how they don’t see it as a problem. I had to turn the podcast off at that point. I wasn’t offended but I just knew I would get frustrated listening to what essentially came down to the much cited myth of ‘consenting adults’. I just don’t see how legalizing prostitution would magically eliminate all the problems that go along with it. How would that eliminate human trafficking, child prostitution, rape, organized crime, drug addiction, violence against the prostitutes committed by both johns and pimps, and the like?

As is usually the case when this subject comes up a lot of people will point to places like Amsterdam and Nevada as examples of how legalized prostitution is flourishing. Sadly the reality here is even in legal zones like those mentioned all the aforementioned problems still take place.

Do I think the podcasters were trying to push some pro-sexual slavery agenda? No, of course not. Like too many people they are just uneducated on what prostitution really entails beyond the ‘consenting adults’ mantra.

Backpage sues government to prevent enforcement of SAVE Act

Backpage CEO  and Congressional fugitive Carl Ferrer

Backpage CEO and Congressional fugitive Carl Ferrer

When the SAVE Act (Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation) was passed by both houses of Congress I wondered if this would be the impetus for Backpage to finally move overseas as they’ve been threatening. I also said that the Constitutionality of the law would inevitably be challenged. What I didn’t expect was for Backpage to sue the federal government to prevent enforcement of the law that was signed by President Obama back in May.

Of course they’re basing their suit on the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech as they always do. I may not be a Constitutional scholar but in my opinion the First Amendment does not give everyone carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want then claim free speech. To allow the First Amendment to be used like that renders it meaningless. Not to mention as I’ve said before, your rights end at my nose. Backpage is using their so-called free speech to profit off of women and girls who are having their Thirteenth Amendment rights violated by the pimps and traffickers who advertise them on Backpage.

Also I find it convenient that Backpage is suing the federal government while their CEO, Carl Ferrer, refuses to appear before Congress.

9 things you didn’t know about sex trafficking plus one from Trench

Stop-Human-Trafficking-bw

I’m usually not one for ‘listicles’ because they’re usually only worthless clickbait. However RollingOut.com’s ‘9 things you didn’t know about sex trafficking’ is a listicle that’s not only informative but one that more people should actually see.

By all means please click on the link to read the article but there’s something from the article itself I wanted to discuss. Of course it touches on craigslist and backpage but I specifically wanted to talk about the following…

Girls get into the sex trade in different ways

    Friends or family influence
    Boredom (they see this as something exciting and new)
    To afford a drug habit
    “Boyfriend” tricks them into believing they will do it for the boyfriend if they love them
    Gang initiation

These are all true but I wanted to talk about another reason how underage girls are tricked into child prostitution. In the past I’ve called it the modeling scam where a pimp, or other predator, approaches a girl online and preys upon a girl’s vanity by telling them they can get them into modeling. A variation on that trick is where a pimp will promise their victim a life of money and glamour by working for them without telling them what they’d really be doing.

Other than that small addition the list is spot on and should be forwarded around on Facebook rather than ‘100 ways bananas are better than bicycles’ or some such crap.