This essay first appeared in Cliterati on February 22nd; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.
As I’ve written many times, tyranny always starts with unpopular minorities, but it absolutely never stops with them. Every time a new kind of law, legal procedure or police tactic is dreamed up by those with the sick need to control others, it is invariably tested first on some group that the “authorities” know few others will defend; then by the time it’s expanded to the general population, it’s much too late to do anything about it. For example, US surveillance methods which were first excused as being necessary to uncover “terrorists” were quickly expanded to drug investigations, then to the entire population (as Edward Snowden revealed); similarly, the license-plate readers which were first used in the Drug War and “end demand” operations against sex workers’ clients were recently revealed to be employed in vast numbers to build a nationwide database of all automobiles. Last year, I explained how men were being arrested for talking to a computer program intended to trick them into thinking it was a young girl, and in Florida and Arizona huge police operations (with cops in place of the program) have predatorily arrested hundreds of men whose only “crime” was looking for women their own age on dating sites. In the UK, an internet censorship regime which was sold to the public in the name of “protecting children” from “extreme porn” is now being used to block anything some government official decides he doesn’t want the public to see. And “asset forfeiture” proceedings, which were first touted as weapons against “drug lords”, are now being used to rob ordinary people who have done absolutely nothing wrong of their cash, cars and even real estate.
“Sex trafficking” has proved a bonanza for those who wish to install ever-greater tyranny without the slightest opposition from the populace; besides the increased surveillance, expanded asset seizure and new laws that criminalize ordinary behaviors, fanatical politicians are working to entirely destroy the internet as we know it by subjecting website owners and operators to criminal charges for third-party content. And even if they fail, other nosy parkers are trying to harness the power of computers to spy on otherwise-anonymous citizens by analyzing what they post online:
…researchers have developed software that allows police departments to mine online ads offering prostitution services. Traffic Jam gives police a rapid way to sort sex ads, spotting indirect language that may suggest sex trafficking, or grouping ads with similar language that may have been written by the same person… research analyst Emily Kennedy said more than 100 sites are commonly used in sex trafficking…
Regular readers know this is arrant nonsense; “sex trafficking” is here being used as a dysphemism for “sex work”. Promoters of this incredibly misogynistic myth pretend that women are too asexual to choose sex for pragmatic reasons, and too stupid to place our own ads or plan our own travel; this article hilariously claims that women fly into towns “with a handler”, which is especially funny because four-year-old interviews with the same cops from the same podunk little Pennsylvania town mention no “handlers” of any kind. These imaginary persons are almost literally pasted into the line to fit the “sex trafficking” narrative that is used to justify gross invasions of privacy.
But the aforementioned cops, who are well-known for the grotesque and evil lengths to which they will go to harass and victimize sex workers, fit right into the rogue’s gallery quoted in support of this Orwellian surveillance program; another such collective entity is the Arizona State University School of Social Work, Dominique Roe-Sepowitz’s highly-criticized factory for generating bogus prohibitionist studies and the academic leg of the awful Project ROSE. And who, pray tell, financed the development of this data-mining program? Why, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which sunk $3.6 million into the project. Another, similar platform was funded by the CIA. But you just go right ahead believing that the US military-industrial complex is so very concerned with commercial sex that it’s willing to spend considerable funds just to stop people from having it; I’m sure that’s a lot more comforting than recognizing that whores are just the guinea pigs for yet another oppression that will soon be extended to everyone.