Craigslist to SC Attorney General: Back Off!

May 21, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has had enough and isn’t taking it anymore! On Wednesday, Buckmaster filed a retraining order against South Carolina Attorney General, Henry McMaster who has been persisting in an all out media campaign against the online classifieds site, blustering and threatening criminal prosecution unless Craigslist removed all prostitution ads and pornographic images from the South Carolina section.

Other state attorneys general joined in the fray demonizing Craigslist as well, after the site received weeks of negative publicity from Philip Markoff, the so called “Craigslist Killer,” who used the site to lure women advertising erotic massage services to a hotel, so he could rob them. Markoff savagely murdered one of the women.

Craigslist listened to the concerns and shut down its erotic services section. Replacing it with a new adult services section that requires a $10.00 fee to register, with each ad monitored by staff before it’s published.

And yet, Attorney General, Henry McMaster kept up with his threats, repeating his threat to criminally prosecute Buckmaster and Craigslist as recently as Sunday, unless the site shut down its ads promoting prostitution in South Carolina.

McMaster’s threats are seen as more bluster than bite, because he essentially doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. Craigslist and other Internet sites are protected from criminal prosecution for material posted on its site, under the Federal Communications Decency Act.

Buckmaster finally had enough of McMaster’s empty threats and filed a complaint against the Attorney General in U.S. District Court in South Carolina, seeking a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction. The lawsuit claims McMaster’s threats violate Craigslist’s rights under the Federal Communications Decency Act, violated the site’s free-speech rights and created an undue burden on interstate commerce.

Meanwhile, McMaster seems to be taking his rhetoric down a notch or two, noting in a recent statement, minus the threats, that South Carolina will continue to monitor the site.



One Response to “Craigslist to SC Attorney General: Back Off!”

  1. Old Man Dotes on May 21st, 2009 7:59 pm

    I suggest that South Carolina monitor McMaster’s extracurricular activities; there is certainly a skeleton in the closet, and if that skeleton’s not a hooker or two, he’s no Southern politician that anyone’s ever heard of before.

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