2H 2019 and Q1 2020 Quick Links, Part 3 (FOSTA/Backpage)

* United States v. Lacey, 2019 WL 5448351 (D. Ariz. Oct. 24, 2019). The Backpage defendants were not able to dismiss the government’s prosecution:

  • “the Government has met its burden of showing the fifty ads in the SI are for prostitution”
  • “The SI alleges Defendants participated in moderation not merely to edit, but to “conceal the true nature of the ads being posted on its website.”… The cases Defendants rely on do not persuade the Court that the above practices alleged in the SI were merely traditional, editorial functions.”
  •  “The SI does not allege Defendants are criminally liable because they unknowingly and unintentionally operated a website used by third parties to post prostitution ads. Rather, it alleges Defendants purposely sought out opportunities to increase prostitution advertising on Backpage.”
  • “Defendants argue the First Amendment requires the Government to prove that each Defendant was aware of each ad that make up the fifty Travel Act counts and knew that each ad proposed illegal transactions. The Court is not persuaded that the First Amendment demands such a standard….The SI alleges the Defendants intentionally identified prostitutes, created free Backpage ads for them, and used those ads to try to secure future business. They also helped known prostitution advertisers (Dollar Bill and P.R.) avoid their decency filters and attempted to “conceal the true nature of the ads being posted on” Backpage.”

* Reason: Secret Memos Show the Government Has Been Lying About Backpage

* Erased: The Impact of FOSTA-SESTA, a community report by Danielle Blunt and Ariel Wolf of Hacking//Hustling. Some quotes from sex workers about SESTA-FOSTA:

  • “A bunch of whorephobic bullshit law stuff making sex work even scarier.”
  • “A complete bullshit mountain”
  • “I feel totally erased.”

The report says: “While FOSTA-SESTA was presented as a law that increases the safety of those at risk of human trafficking, 99% of online respondents reported that this law does not make them feel safer.”

The report concludes:

FOSTA-SESTA has created an environment where vulnerable populations are pushed into increased financial insecurity, making them more vulnerable to labor exploitation, and labor trafficking in the sex industry is pushed further underground. Just as sex workers warned, our research suggests that FOSTA-SESTA has increased sex workers exposure to violence while doing nothing to combat trafficking…FOSTA-SESTA’s fallout illustrates what happens when a fragile network meets the blunt force of the law. The result is stigma, isolation, poverty, and further entrenching inequality.

* NY Times: Stamping Out Online Sex Trafficking May Have Pushed It Underground

* WJLA: Why D.C. sex workers are flocking to Logan Circle: 7 On Your Side investigates

* Craigslist Reduced Violence Against Women

* NBC Bay Area: ‘Yelp for Sex’: Review Boards That Rate Women Flourish After Crackdown on Ad Sites

* BuzzFeed: Democratic Voters Are Opening Up To Decriminalizing Sex Work. This Lobbyist Wants To Get Congress On Board.

* Buzzfeed: New Lawsuit Alleges Mailchimp Facilitated Sex Trafficking


More SESTA/FOSTA-Related Posts:

* New Paper Explains How FOSTA Devastated Male Sex Workers
FOSTA Constitutional Challenge Revived–Woodhull Freedom Foundation v. US
New Civil FOSTA Lawsuits Push Expansive Legal Theories Against Unexpected Defendants (Guest Blog Post)
Section 230 Helps Salesforce Defeat Sex Trafficking Lawsuit–Doe v. Salesforce
Latest Linkwrap on FOSTA’s Aftermath
Section 230 Doesn’t End Lawsuit Claiming Facebook Facilitated Sex Trafficking–Doe v. Facebook
New Essay: The Complicated Story of FOSTA and Section 230
Who Benefited from FOSTA? (Spoiler: Probably No One)
FOSTA’s Political Curse
FOSTA Doesn’t Help Pro Se Litigant’s Defamation Claim Against Facebook
Constitutional Challenge to FOSTA Dismissed for Lack of Standing (Guest Blog Post)
An Update on the Constitutional Court Challenge to FOSTA–Woodhull Freedom v. US (Guest Blog Post)
Indianapolis Police Have Been “Blinded Lately Because They Shut Backpage Down”
Constitutional Challenge Against FOSTA Filed–Woodhull v. US (Guest Blog Post)
Catching Up on FOSTA Since Its Enactment (A Linkwrap)
More Aftermath from the ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’
‘Worst of Both Worlds’ FOSTA Signed Into Law, Completing Section 230’s Evisceration
Backpage Loses Another Section 230 Motion (Again Without SESTA/FOSTA)–Florida Abolitionists v. Backpage
District Court Ruling Highlights Congress’ Hastiness To Pass ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’– Doe 1 v. Backpage
More on the Unconstitutional Retroactivity of ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’ (Guest Blog Post)
Senate Passes ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’ (Linkwrap)
Why FOSTA’s Restriction on Prostitution Promotion Violates the First Amendment (Guest Blog Post)
SESTA’s Sponsors Still Don’t Understand Section 230 (As They Are About to Eviscerate It)
Can the ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’ Be Salvaged? Perhaps…and You Can Help (URGENT CALL TO ACTION)
Congress Probably Will Ruin Section 230 This Week (SESTA/FOSTA Updates)
What’s New With SESTA/FOSTA (January 17, 2018 edition)
New House Bill (Substitute FOSTA) Has More Promising Approach to Regulating Online Sex Trafficking
* My testimony at the House Energy & Commerce Committee: Balancing Section 230 and Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiatives
How SESTA Undermines Section 230’s Good Samaritan Provisions
Manager’s Amendment for SESTA Slightly Improves a Still-Terrible Bill
Another Human Trafficking Expert Raises Concerns About SESTA (Guest Blog Post)
Another SESTA Linkwrap (Week of October 30)
Recent SESTA Developments (A Linkwrap)
Section 230’s Applicability to ‘Inconsistent’ State Laws (Guest Blog Post)
An Overview of Congress’ Pending Legislation on Sex Trafficking (Guest Blog Post)
The DOJ’s Busts of MyRedbook & Rentboy Show How Backpage Might Be Prosecuted (Guest Blog Post)
Problems With SESTA’s Retroactivity Provision (Guest Blog Post)
My Senate Testimony on SESTA + SESTA Hearing Linkwrap
Debunking Some Myths About Section 230 and Sex Trafficking (Guest Blog Post)
Congress Is About To Ruin Its Online Free Speech Masterpiece (Cross-Post)
Backpage Executives Must Face Money Laundering Charges Despite Section 230–People v. Ferrer
How Section 230 Helps Sex Trafficking Victims (and SESTA Would Hurt Them) (guest blog post)
Sen. Portman Says SESTA Doesn’t Affect the Good Samaritan Defense. He’s Wrong
Senate’s “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017”–and Section 230’s Imminent Evisceration
The “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017” Bill Would Be Bad News for Section 230
WARNING: Draft “No Immunity for Sex Traffickers Online Act” Bill Poses Major Threat to Section 230
The Implications of Excluding State Crimes from 47 U.S.C. § 230’s Immunity