We've been covering Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's totally misguided crusade
against Craigslist on the topic of prostitution. For years, he's complained and threatened Craigslist because prostitutes use the service. Of course, he's never taken legal action because he must realize that there is no legal action he can take. The law is pretty clear: the liability is on the users of the service, not the makers of the service. Even so, Craigslist has repeatedly changed the way its service works to appease Blumenthal, and while he initially seems happy with those changes, months later, he's always back to complaining (just in time for elections too...).
Of course, the point we've made all along in response to Blumenthal is that for smart law enforcement officials, Craigslist is an excellent tool for monitoring and cracking down on prostitution. In fact, it appears that some police in Connecticut are doing exactly that. Eric sends in the story of police in Naugatuck, Connecticut using Craigslist to crack down on prostitution
in their city.
The police responded to a few ads that they believe were from prostitutes seeking money for sex, and arrested two women. Separately -- and a bit more questionably -- the police also put up an ad themselves, waiting for men to reply, and eventually arrested eighteen men who replied (including a city official). It's difficult to see how that latter part of the sting isn't entrapment, but they insist it's not. Either way, it does seem like a bit of a contradiction when the state's Attorney General is seeking to block Craigslist from dealing in such ads entirely while police in the state are using it as a tool against prostitution at the same time. Maybe they should talk to each other. But, of course, when Blumenthal's real purpose is not about stopping prostitution, but instead making sure he's re-elected, suddenly the seemingly contradictory actions make a lot more sense. Oh, and if Blumenthal is really looking to grandstand about Craigslist, why not complain about the fact that the guy who bought the Nissan Pathfinder used in the failed Times Square car bomb attack this weekend supposedly bought it via Craigslist
. Surely, if Craigslist can be blamed for prostitution, now it can also be blamed for terrorism...