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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Evidence…shows that [end]…demand [laws]…are [only] effective…[in putting] sex workers…at greater risk.  –  Alex Andrews

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

Five [screws] at [a Tennessee state hellhole]…entered the [cage holding] a man on suicide watch and took turns repeatedly punching him “like a pinata” without cause…and…cover[ed] the cell’s surveillance camera…[Typical and representative screws]…Jonathan York…Tommy Morris…Cadie McAlister…Carl Spurlin…Tanner Penwell…and Nathaniel Griffin…[have all either] pleaded guilty [or at least been charged]…After the [monsters]…left the man [beaten and bleeding]…they…all…agreed to say that the[ir victim had beaten himself up]…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

[West Virginia cop] Newton Higginbotham [stalked] a woman…[and raped her] on a back road…[Higginbotham knew] the woman was on probation on charges tied to drug use and didn’t want to risk going back to jail…another woman [submitted to rape because]…Higginbotham…[made it a condition for] obtaining a domestic violence petition against her husband…the State Police…believed the women…[but allowed] Higginbotham [to] resign…he was never charged.  The FBI [believed Higginbotham’s lie that the]…sex…was consensual [because bitches, amirite?]…Both women filed lawsuits against Higginbotham…[the first] one…settled the case for $150,000…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

Inmates at several West Virginia prisons are getting free electronic tablets to read books, send emails, and communicate with their families—but…the tablets charge readers…3 cents a minute to read books, even though the books all come from Project Gutenberg…the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that offers free books and education to inmates, says the fee structure is exploitative…wages in West Virginia prisons range between $0.04 and $0.58 an hour…

King of the Hill (#881)

It’s not often we see debunking in stories about the “sex trafficking hub” pissing contest:

Anna Rodriguez…of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking…said hotline calls are not an accurate measure of trafficking activity….[most] calls are not from trafficking victims but from [prohibitionists] seeking information or brochures or a referral for a trainer or speaker.  Rodriguez said…rescue organizations exaggerate the prevalence of sex trafficking…in pitches for financial support.  She said that practice has hurt the credibility of the movement, especially after news organizations have debunked exaggerated claims…“There are more cases of labor trafficking…But…labor trafficking does not sell media.  People are not interested in labor trafficking.”  Mandy Riedel…of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force [vomited out a lot of the usual “King of the Hill” nonsense]…Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd s[trutted and crowed about how big his dick is]…Christa Hicks…of One More Child Anti-Trafficking…[admitted] reliable numbers don’t…exist but [it’s better for her bottom line to pretend] that sex trafficking is widespread in Florida…

Good News, Bad News (#926)

Australia’s Northern Territory becomes the world’s third jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

The Sex Industry Bill 2019 fully decriminalises sex work, aligning sex work to existing laws and regulations as well as enabling access to industrial rights, protections and responsibilities.  The process of the Bill from development to its passing has been a demonstration of best practice collaboration and consultation…CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Jules Kim says, “This is a momentous day for all sex workers and sets a positive example that sex workers are valued members of the community, deserving of rights and protections…Sex work is work and it is fantastic that it is finally being recognised as such”…

Worse Than I Thought (#936)

Florida prohibitionists are now quadrupling down on their awful anti-whore laws:

Florida [politicians] have passed a raft of [bad] laws intended to [harass consenting adult sexuality]…includ[ing putting sex workers on the “sex offender”] registry…The law [was pushed by authoritarian sociopath] Lauren Book, [who wants to violate sex workers by forcing them and their clients and associates to participate in her needy psychodrama without their consent]…Anna Eskamani…cast the only vote against the measure [because she admitted]…sex workers [w]ould [be condemned to] the registry [while the other politicians pretended otherwise. Other prohibitionists bloviated that]…indicators [of “sex trafficking” include atheism, homeschooling, emotional trauma]…confus[ion, accident-proneness, and being American]…Claire VanSusteren, a spokeswoman for Book, [lied that “pimps” are totally and completely different from sex workers and always wear hats that say “PIMP” on them in sequins; she then vomited out a lot of end]…demand [propaganda]…

Disaster (#941)

Remember how swimwear & lingerie companies were whining about Instagram censorship?

…the internal ad policies pertaining to underwear and swimwear for Instagram and Facebook…were created in alignment with a Victoria’s Secret’s advertising campaign.  [A] policy document…in use [as] of July 2019…outlines…in twenty-two bullet points the way models can sit, dress, arch their backs, pose, interact with props, how see-through their underwear can be, how the images can be cropped and where their ads can link to…It seems evident that the purpose of these…policies is to stop women from making money from sex on Instagram…[while] ensur[ing that] Victoria’s Secret [can] make money…on the same platform…sex can be sold for the benefit of major corporations…but NOT for the benefit of sex workers…

Watershed (#972)

Women’s fashion & beauty magazines are recognizing that they owe their very existence to whores, and speaking up:

Sex workers…are as diverse a group as the general population, and their individual self-care needs can vary just as much.  That said, when I asked members of the sex work community about their personal self-care routines, a few themes popped up, from dealing with the stigma against sex work to taking care of their bodies…here are some tips sex workers and experts in the space recommend others in the industry tuck into their self-care toolboxes…

Quiet Genocide

I’ve edited this to replace the word The Graun went to great length to avoid:

[Leaked] documents [have] confirm[ed the] largest mass incarceration of an ethnic-religious minority since [the] second world war…a cache of classified [Chinese] government papers…obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists…provide…confirmation from within China’s bureaucracy that the [concentration] camps were envisaged from the start as brainwashing detention centres, to be constructed on a massive scale, with inmates confined by multiple layers of security…The document states…[Concentration] camps must adhere to a strict system of total physical and mental control, with multiple layers of locks on dormitories, corridors, floors and buildings…Inmates [can] be held indefinitely – but must serve at least a year…before they can even be considered for “completion”, or release…[Prisoners] earn credits for “ideological transformation”, “compliance with discipline” and “study and training”…Even after completing their “education transformation” [prisoners] are not allowed to go free.  They move into another tier of camps, where they face a further three- to six-months’ internment for “labour skills training”…“Preventing escape” is a top priority…Control of every aspect of [prisoners’] lives is so comprehensive that they have to be assigned a specific place…in the lunchtime queue…There have been multiple accounts…of torturerape and abuse

The Monsters Are Due (#993) 

One can hardly blame the hoi-polloi for “sex trafficking” hysteria when soi-disant “experts” are vomiting up this kind of idiocy:

Social media has been flooded with posts of claims of white vans being connected with human trafficking…a psychologist [explained that this is hysteria but reporters then felt compelled to parrot idiocy from]…Virginia Josey, a [panicmonger who claims]…White vans…[aren’t] the only indicators…”It could be that someone is speaking to children”…red flags of someone who’s being trafficked…includ[e] that they…are…depressed…tense…or have poor hygiene…

“White vans aren’t the only indicators” is the semantic equivalent of “white vans are indicators”.  As for the rest, I daresay you can see that without my help.

The Cop Myth (#993)

Of course they hired him; he’ll fit right in with his co-workers:

Prichard, Alabama…[cop] Markell Carter was first arrested and charged with domestic violence against his wife…on August 15…[after] he punched her in the face, bashed her head into their headboard and threw a mirror at her…she filed and was granted a protection order…[after reporting] that Carter smashed her belongings with a hammer, stole her car, and  “viciously beat” her.  Despite these damning accusations, which were sustained with enough evidence to make an arrest, Carter was hired by the Prichard police department…Weeks later on October 20…[he grabbed] his estranged wife by the hair, pushing her to the ground and hitting her in the head.  Again, he was arrested…[then retaliated by having her] arrested after accusing her of breaking his front door…

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We might as well go down fighting.  –  unnamed Hong Kong protester

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Australia[n cops’]…obsession with stamping out drug use at outdoor festivals has produced a twentyfold increase in strip searches over the course of a decade.  They have increased by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.  And…nearly two-thirds of the 5,400 strip searches performed by New South Wales police from 2017 to 2018 found absolutely nothing.  In the past three years, more than 600 people under 18 were subjected to police strip searches.  Three of them were 12 years old.  Seven were 13…The New York Times and The Guardian both report that festivals in New South Wales are now thick with police and their dogs sniffing around for…reasons to look inside young people’s underwear…

Surplus Women (#702)

One of this wannabe cop’s victims was only described as a “teen hooker” by the New York Daily News:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver…is accused of murdering three women and attempting to kill a fourth…he…targeted young black women who [did] sex work…[because he figured] no one would notice if they disappeared…His attorneys contend [his] victims [were at fault because they were whores]…and [because he]…“doesn’t look like someone who would’ve done something like this”…Wheeler-Weaver…handcuffed [his fourth victim] and covered her mouth with duct tape before raping her…and almost strangling her to death…but…she convinced Wheeler-Weaver to take her back to the motel, where she had left her cellphone, then locked him out of the room while she dialed 911….[cops] who responded to the call were more interested in figuring out if she was a prostitute…so…months would pass before Wheeler-Weaver was arrested…[and while the cops fucked around] he [murdered another woman named Sarah] Butler…[whose] family…called the police [when she didn’t come home.  Of course the cops fucked around again, so]…Butler’s parents, sister and friends had taken matters into their own hands, logging into the 20-year-old’s social media accounts to see whom she had been talking with before she disappeared…[they] created a fake profile…to lure Wheeler-Weaver into a…[trap.  After he was finally arrested, cops found] Wheeler-Weaver had conducted a slew of disturbing online searches…including “How to make homemade poisons to kill humans” and “What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone’s face to make them go to sleep immediately”…Wheeler-Weaver, who had been working as a grocery store security guard, hoped to become a police officer [so he could rape and murder women with impunity]…

Guinea Pigs (#712) 

This toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy is so vile, I can’t even be bothered to make it tolerable by my usual editing.  The important facts are: it’s about a company named “Deliverfund” whose owners are “a group of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and [other assorted pigs and spooks] who collaborate with [vice cops] to bust sex [workers] in the U.S.” (yes, it’s so bad I even had to edit a measly pull-quote).  The rest is just the usual misogynistic, self-aggrandizing male BDSM fantasies about illiterate, passive, doll-like women so stupid we can’t even book a hotel room or put up a shitty ad, and the magical ninja pimps who control us completely.  The writer is so innumerate he can’t see how claims like “a pimp spends 6 to 12 months ‘grooming’ each victim into the trade” are impossible to reconcile with claimed numbers of “victims” (or even basic common sense); so illiterate he thinks the word “gruesome” is an appropriate description of sex work; and so oblivious to red flags that he cannot recognize that “DeliverFund also provided intel to assist the takedown of Backpage…[then] moved its headquarters into the former Backpage office in Dallas” is barely one moral step above putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies.

Under Review (#733)

The European press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews:

This newsroom looked into a number of websites advertising European escorts, and on one particular site, over 1,207 entries were registered in Malta…one can even specify a locality…Escort profiles include pictures and a description of each girl…Some escort websites also allow users to leave a review of the escort, explaining their experience and services with the girls.  The reviews varied from very happy clients who left five-star reviews, to others who shamed and degraded certain escorts…some…comments…were extremely explicit and…many included internet sex slang and abbreviations of services particular escorts did or did not provide…

It must be a slow news month in Malta.

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

Hundreds of [cops] and [cop shop] staff have ill[egally] accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners…237 of…[them were] disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years [but] just half of the 45 forces responded to [reporters’] requests, which suggests as many as 500 officers have [been caught] misus[ing] databases that contain confidential personal information on millions of people [and an unknown but much-larger number have done it without getting caught]…

Banishment (#936)

This story started out in the “Procrustean Bed” tag, but is now a better fit here:

In August 2018, the mayor of Houston…announced…they would sue [sex workers]…Bissonnet Street…has been [so overpoliced it has had]…3,800 reports of [so-called] crime in the area from the beginning of 2016 through August of 2018, and a quarter of them were for prostitution…The county filed a civil lawsuit against 50 alleged sex workers, 23 alleged [clients], and 13 alleged pimps…to ban these 86 people from engaging in a wide array of “prostitution-related activities”…[including taking a] bus…walk[ing]…down the street…[or] using their cellphones in the [“prostitution-free”] zone.  If they are caught breaking these [draconian and arbitrary] rules, they could face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and up to 30 days in [a cage]…a year later, the injunction is on hold…What the county called an “unprecedented step” was another way of saying that the model was [unconstitutional]…the suit…publicly named all 86 defendants along with their known addresses before a judge ordered the names sealed in May…[thus] putting already vulnerable women and their families in grave danger…nuisance abatement laws, which the county is basing the lawsuit on, are not supposed to target individual people; they’re meant to discipline businesses that flout laws, like bars that routinely serve underage patrons…Only one other place in the U.S. has tried [a similar scheme]…Milwaukee banned 75 sex workers from…three neighborhoods…in 2002.  [It] was…a failure…

Future stories about “prostitution-free zones”, formerly filed in “Forward and Backward“, will now appear here.

I Spy (#958)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of [juveniles] charged as…delinquents — in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.  When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation [in 2015], the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed…the police department [now claims] that the database ha[s] been destroyed [just like they claimed the records were before]…The department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it [claims to have] changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid’s probing…

All-Purpose Excuse (#973)

It’s rare these days for a US court to uphold the Constitution against the government:

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled…that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.  The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the…ACLU…EFF…and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion…[ACLU attorney] Esha Bhandari [said]…“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that…we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel”…“Travelers…now can cross the international border without fear that the government will…ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney…Border [thugs] must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device…

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The FBI intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence in the Backpage case:

An October 25 evidentiary hearing…offered additional proof of the government’s bad faith in its prosecution of…the erstwhile owners of…Backpage…Witnesses…testified that when the federal government seized Backpage…the FBI failed to take proper steps to preserve the website as evidence…the defense has [repeatedly] informed the prosecution that it needs access to the databases…in the same condition as when they were seized…Tami Loehrs, a digital forensics expert…testified…that…she…tried using the forensic software that the FBI [claims] it employed to create mirror images of the servers:  FTK Imager…but…FTK Imager “is not validated to image FreeBSD” [the operating system Backpage used, so]…the process was unsuccessful…[also, Backpage’s] servers were “equipped with self-encrypting drives”…if the server’s hard drives remained in the server’s chassis…the information would “automatically decrypt.”  However, if you remove the drives from the chassis, “you’ve just scrambled all the data”…[yet the FBI claims it somehow] mirror-imaged an encrypted file [with software that couldn’t image it even if]…decrypted…

Quiet Genocide

Unlike Americans, Hong Kongers know tyranny when they see it:

…Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to [protests] with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control.  It seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to crack down even more.  Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to 10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero.  Before this current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the same poll…This is our last chance, [protesters say] very matter-of-factly.  If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China…They talk…about Xinjiang, and what China ha[s] done to the Uighur minority…China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it…

The Cop Myth (#981)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

A six-month investigation of California’s Criminal Cops by a statewide coalition of news organizations found [cops] who…commit…[domestic] violen[ce]…routinely plead down to nonviolent misdemeanors for disturbing the peace or vandalism or unreasonable noise.  And those softer charges…allow abusive [pigs] to keep their guns — and keep [inflicting violence on whoever they like without consequences]…reporters uncovered the cases of more than 80 [cops]…who[se violence was so egregious they] were [actually] convicted in connection with a domestic-abuse charge in the past decade.  And that’s just a fraction of what’s out there because the state’s records on criminal conduct among police are too flawed to illustrate the true scope of the problem…

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The notion that traumatic events can be repressed and later recovered is the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry.  –  Richard McNally

Skin To Skin

When it comes to the disabled, prudish paternalism trumps human needs:

A judge has ruled that social services should not facilitate [hiring sex workers] for a man with learning disabilities who…is in his 50s…He is now in supported accommodation and in the care of Lincolnshire county council…The judge [bloviated]…“I consider it would be wholly contrary to public policy for this court and for this local authority, to endorse and sanction [him] having sexual relations with a woman for payment”…

No Friend of Ours

Nevada has become one of the most vile, loathsome fonts of anti-whore vomit in the US:

Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world…Nevada’s attorney general [hosted a meeting so politicians]…prosecutors…[pigs, prohibitionists and other pils of feces wrapped in human skin can come up with lucrative schemes to hurt sex workers and increase their own power]…“We are now using technology to catch [sex workers and their clients]…we are going to get them,” [bloviated] Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford…

Theatrics

Why did sex workers cooperate with a filthy pig’s scheme to draw attention to himself?

A Miami Beach [cop] has been relieved of duty…after appearing in a social media video that…show[s] him faking the arrest of three…women [in lingerie] and marching them to the front door of police headquarters…William Beeker…[was critized by] Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales…[who said] “It is disgusting that a representative of the Miami Beach Police Department…would…participate in [humiliating women for]…his [own reasons instead of humiliating them to spread city-approved propaganda about]…human trafficking and other sexual crimes”…Beeker has been in the news [for humiliating women] before.  On Feb. 7, 2013…two sisters from Toronto [reported] that Beeker and another [pig sexually] assaulted them and insulted them with profane comments while they were being arrested [on bullshit charges]…just before the prior Christmas…

False Witness

Once the Satanic panic returned as “sex trafficking”, I guess the return of “repressed memories” was inevitable:

…not that many years after the repressed memory craze has ended, it’s coming back.  The terms have been updated: Today, “repressed memories” are called “traumatic dissociation,” but the concept is the same, and a new review of the research published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science found that 76 percent of clinical psychologists believe traumatic memories can be blocked for many years and then recalled later on, a rate that has grown since the so-called “Memory Wars” of the 1990s.  They also found high rates of belief among law enforcement personnel, judges, and jurors.  In fact, laypeople were actually less likely to believe in this concept than psychologists and other clinicians.  The group least likely to believe it?  Scientists working in the field of memory…

To Molest and Rape

If only there were a concise word for “sex without consent”:

A [typical and repreentative] Kentucky [cop] has been sentenced to [a mere] five years in prison for [aggravated rape of] 5 women who are [also] suing him…Pablo Cano [naturally was given]…a [plea] deal in which he admitted to having sex without consent [that somehow magically wasn’t rape] between 2015 and 2017…Cano also pleaded guilty…to possessing child porn…

Only when you’re a cop does serial aggravated rape magically shrink to “sexual misconduct”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#746)

Some readers implied I was a crank when I predicted this exact development seven years ago:

…St. Louis Aldermen listened to the details of a new way to [suppress the population].  The program involves “eyes in the sky” and is [euphemized as a] Community Support Program.  A representative…told Aldermen they could have three photographic planes covering 95 percent of St Louis…for 40 hours a week.  When a [protest such as those in Ferguson]…happened [or a political opponent needed to be smeared] they could go back to the place on the recording…pick out the [victims]…and follow [their] movements before, during, and after…This is a $7.5 million value.  But it will be provided to St. Louis for free for three years…by a rich [fascist] who [has plans to profit from it and possibly increase his own political power in the bargain]…

Cops and Robbers (#823)

Another sleazy attempt to hurt sex workers’ income bankrolled by billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt:

…online ad[s placed by pigs are easily]…distinguishable from…re[al ones by the fact that real sex workers nearly always have an established online footprint.  Men who ignore this and text pig-placed fake ads may]…receive…[bot-generated oinking]…on the[ir]…cellphone that’s designed to [scare them an thereby harm sex workers by diminishing their income]…“It’s never been harder to buy sex online,” [boasted a badgelicker in the pay of billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt, named Rob] Spectre…[who also fantasizes that] it’s never been more expensive [when adjusted for inflation, a nonsense statement intended to make it look as though “end demand” tactics work to reduce the number of sex workers]…sex workers [ex]plain the inability to “screen” prospective clients online places them at greater risk…[meanwhile fetishists like to fantasize that sex] trafficking generates $150 billion a year in profits worldwide, according to a…[fantasy promoted by notorious opportunist Siddharth Kara]…

Dirty Amateurs (#876) 

As the war on professionals escalates, STIs rise among amateurs. What a koinkydink!

For the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States…”Combined they total 2.4 million infections that were diagnosed and reported just in last year alone,” said Elizabeth Torrone, a CDC epidemiologist who worked on the new report, adding that the combined number marks “the most cases” ever recorded since monitoring began in the United States…

Buried deep in the article:  the rise is mostly among adolescents and young adults, and is tied at least in part to decreased rates of condom use.  I must also point out that people in this age group are far more likely to have received “abstinence only” miseducation instead of proper sex education.

Surplus Women (#895) 

Stick to sex worker victims, and you can murder as many women as you like without cops giving a shit (or even noticing):

Samuel Little, 79, confessed to strangling 93 victims between 1970 and 2005…triple the number of victims that Ted Bundy confessed to killing.  Now, the FBI is asking the public to help identify more victims of the man they [claim] is America’s most prolific serial killer.  Little targeted women, often of marginalized and vulnerable groups, many [of whom] were [sex workers, so]…their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated…”For many years, Samuel Little [was]…not…caught because…no one [in power gave a damn about] his victims,” said [spokespig] Christie Palazzolo…”Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to [use this as a way]…to close every case possible [so as to maintain the Hollywood myth that we’re defenders of the people rather than the federal cops we actually are].”  That’s where the public comes in.  FBI crime analysts [claim]…all of Little’s 93 confessions are credible, but so far they’ve only been able to verify 50 of them…

The Course of a Disease (#896)

The Swedish rot has now invaded Germany:

Bundestag members of the SPD and CDU [parties] plan to criminalize prostitution…Bundestag member Leni Breymaier (SPD)…[and] other[s]…want to introduce the “Nordic model”…[which] prohibits [both] paying [for] sexual services and…mutual support among sex workers, for example, protective measures….this means discrimination and deprivation of rights. A comprehensive study by the Swedish sex workers’ organization Fuckförbundet proves that this deprivation is a breeding ground for exploitation and exclusion…

Bait and Switch (#977)

Where “wantonly destroying people’s lives for sport” is euphemized as “crossing the line”:

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office…is [making excuses for an]…entrapment [scheme which led to]…the arrest of 23 men…and the suicide of a 62-year-old soon-to-be-grandfather…records…reveal the outrageous lengths the [cops have] been willing to go to try and convince law-abiding men to break the law to boost arrest totals in their “To Catch a Predator”-style undercover stings.  In one example from a 2017 operation, SCSO spent two days trying to seduce a 20-year-old man who showed no interest in having sex with a [legal minor.  Lying pigs]…posted a…[fake] ad for an 18-year-old woman on Tinder…and proceeded to swap “getting-to-know-you” texts for more than an hour; only then did [the wanking pig pretend to be]…a 14-year-old girl…he [repeatedly] rebuffed the attempts, but [was fired by the sheriff’s office where he was a civilian employee for not falling for the trap]…SCSO has also made a habit of destroying records related to the stings before they can be obtained by the public…

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These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuse’s livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hit-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

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This is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people.  –  Ken White

Torture Chamber 

Ken White on the inhuman abominations that the US calls “correction”:

Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death…Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.  Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America…

Regular readers know these stories are nauseating, but you really need to read them all. Every last one.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

The correct term is “tippelzone”, not “sex booth” or some other snickering adolescent coinage:

The mayor of [Berlin]…is proposing “Verichtungsboxen”…at Tempelhof Airport.  His proposal for the establishment of the sex booths…came as part of a discussion about street prostitution in his district and how to improve the safety of Berlin’s sex workers…

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

More than 200 letters have been delivered to residents [near a stroll] in…Nottingham…to [intimidate] residents…in[to informing on their neighbors]…the…letters were hand delivered to [make the]…int[imidation feal more real]…Since 2004, Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force has been working to find ways of [pretending that harassing and stigmatizing] sex workers [is] get[ting] the[m] help…whilst gradually removing the[ir income.  The cops bizarrely imagine harassing people and choking off their income will]…break down the barrier between sex workers and the police…

Soap Opera (#809)

Magical stickers, secret-squirrel codes…this is like a bad episode of Get Smart!

An Iowa newspaper employee recently {claimed to have] helped save a[n unnamed] woman trapped in a sex trafficking ring…after she flagged the delivery driver down on the side of the road…a 25-year-old East Dubuque Woman was arrested and charged with pimping….[a Cedar Rapids, Iowa] Bar…[posted a] sign in the woman’s restroom [reading]…”are you in an uncomfortable situation, do you need our help?”…[and] lists a code word drink…that customers can order to alert the bartender they’re in need of help… Teresa Davidson…of Chains Interrupted [wants] more …stickers that read “Are you safe” in bathrooms across the state….The organization is also working to [indoctrinate] convenience store employees…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it is far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…Beijing has gone to [great lengths to] identify and control Uighurs…Within Kashgar…residents must line up to…swipe [ID cards] at each checkpoint….[and] expose their faces to [omnipresent]…facial recognition…[cops] need neither probable cause nor a warrant to detain Uighurs and check their phones for the surveillance software that they’re legally required to install….”re-education” camp[s imprison]…hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Muslims…[now] Ecuador is using a “national emergency response and video surveillance system built entirely by Chinese companies and financed by Chinese state loans”…As this technology improves and gets cheaper, it will likely become affordable to every two-bit dictator on Earth…

Disaster (#935)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress.  A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag…below $10 million…Tumblr…was…considered a major player in the social media space.[when it]…was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.  [But] Verizon…[intentionally destroyed the network by ill-considered censorship]…last year.  Automattic’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to maintain the ban [so as to use the dying site as a tax write-off]…

Where Are the Victims? (#945)

Despite their pious posturing to the contrary, this is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Fianna Fáil has called for an anti-prostitution law to be reviewed, because of the consequences it has on sex workers who live together.  The main opposition party has suggested that it would be open to considering decriminalising sex workers who live together.  The majority of Irish political parties want the government to review and possibly scrap a law which punishes sex workers who live together under a harsher “brothel keeping” offence which was brought in two yeas ago…It follows a high profile case earlier this summer where two migrant sex workers were both jailed for nine months after they were prosecuted for brothel keeping.  One of the women was pregnant when she was jailed…Sex worker advocates had warned at the time that most of the people who were being prosecuted for brothel-keeping were independent sex workers…B[u]t…Fianna Fáil had voted down the amendment…now…it wants the law to be reviewed, after…the “[wholly]…intended consequences” [became public]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

Amazon Web Services…has rolled out more terrifying features for its cloud-based facial recognition system—including, it claims, the ability to detect fear…Emotion recognition is a facial analysis technique that…works by training a machine learning system to look for certain features on a detected face which indicate emotional content…Amazon has updated the range of detectable emotions for Rekognition’s face analysis to include “fear,” adding to a list of seven other emotional states: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Surprised”, “Disgusted”, “Calm”, and “Confused”…the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute…[but used by] government agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement…and Customs and Border Patrol…

Between the Lines (#962)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from the rebranded “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

…The FBI no longer reports the number of adult sex workers whom these initiatives claim as collateral…However, local news and law enforcement agencies often do..in Alabama, 49 “sex workers and their facilitators” were arrested around the Birmingham area…[and] 14 [in Homewood]……Northern Ohio [arrested nine] women…Pennsylvania [two]…Mississippi [five]…In South Carolina [five]…In…Florida [three]…In the San Diego area, six…Louisiana…25…in Shreveport…and…seven…in Baton Rouge…Police have portrayed the 4-year-old [abducted from one of their victims] as being rescued from “human traffickers”…

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