The Cook County Sheriff has sued Craigslist to force the site to close down its erotic services section:
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced today that his office has sued Craigslist and has asked a federal judge to ban the Internet company from posting its “erotic services” section, which the sheriff said is a clearing house for prostitution.
Dart also asked the judge to force the online classifieds company to reimburse the sheriff’s department for the approximately $100,000 it has spent pursuing its Craigslist investigation over the past year.
“Craigslist is the single largest source of prostitution in the nation,” Dart said.
He added later, “I could make arrests off Craigslist 24 hours a day, but to what end?” By filing the suit, he said, “I’m trying to go up the ladder.”
Dart said he had been working with Craigslist representatives for months, sending letters requesting them to take down or provide greater self-policing of their “erotic services” section, but his pleas have been met with no response.
The sheriff said he believes the company has been unresponsive because the “erotic services” section generates a large portion of the company’s $80 million annual revenue.
“They have crafted their site to accommodate people,” the sheriff said. “None of the ads require any imagination. There’s no mystery at all. We all know what’s going on here.”
I’d wondered when this shoe would fall. If the Internet is the Wild West, it looks like Judge Roy Bean is on his way.