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Posts Tagged ‘Pyrrhic Victory’

This…is just encouraging [prohibitionists] to bury us in paperwork that won’t accomplish anything.  –  an adult site webmaster

R.I.P. Shane Petzer

Shane Petzer, co-founder of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), has died following a sudden heart attack.  Petzer was renowned for his advocacy of sex work in South Africa…Dr. Gordon Isaacs…also a co-founder of SWEAT…became acquainted with Petzer during the 1983 AIDS pandemic…Petzer…[w]as a male sex worker…[who] attend[ed] the first international sex worker conference in Japan…[which] inspired him to start…SWEAT…in 1996 after Petzer [met]…Ilsa Pauw[, an academic studying]…violence against female sex workers in Cape Town. Together with Pauw, Isaacs and a group of other people, SWEAT began its fight for the protection of sex workers…As a man having lived healthily with HIV for 20 years, [Petzer] also advocated for the universal treatment of people living with HIV…

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a traumatized woman:

A Toronto [cop] who [was dispatched] to a woman’s [domestic violence] call…returned to…he[r]…home the next day and sexually assaulted her…Conal Quinn [was charged] with sexual assault and breach of trust following [the] March 21, 2021…assault [and rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Sexcrime (#911)

Respite from UK porn censorship lasted less than three years:

U.K. media [censor] Ofcom…[has] issued “new guidance” for video-sharing platform providers regarding what the government considers “measures to protect users from harmful material”…the…“guidance”…applies to U.K.-based platforms such as OnlyFans, PocketStars, TikTok, Snapchat, Vimeo and Twitch…and…includes…“protecting…users” from “material inciting violence or hatred…terrorism; child sexual abuse material; and racism and xenophobia”…[but the fine print attempts to restore a ban on “]material which has been deemed, or would likely be deemed, unsuitable for classification (such as sadistic violence or torture)[” which was struck down in February 2019]…the “Guidance” is described as “not a set of compulsory steps” but merely as “intended to help guide providers in deciding how best to comply with the statutory requirements”…[but] also [resurrects the requirement for]…”strict age-verification processes” [which was essentially abandoned as unworkable two years ago this month]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

European politicians consider talking about taking a baby step in the right direction:

The European Parliament has called for…a ban on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition, as well as other surveillance tools commonly used in the course of [so-called] predictive policing…[cop shops] would be prohibited from conducting biometric surveillance in public spaces—and a moratorium would be placed on tech that scoops up personal data via stuff like “gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, and other biometric and behavioural signals.”  The measure also suggests the banning of facial recognition databases operated by private companies—a stipulation that would seriously hamper companies like dystopian creepster Clearview AI from operating within the EU’s borders…Yet while that all sounds pretty good, Parliament’s measure is non-binding…

I Spy (#1082)

Curiosity offends the state, comrade:

The U.S. government is secretly ordering Google to provide data on anyone typing in certain search terms…such “keyword warrants” threaten to implicate innocent Web users in serious crimes…[including “sex] trafficking[“]…racketeering…[and] fraud…search term orders are effectively fishing expeditions, hoping to ensnare possible suspects whose identities the government does not know.  It’s not dissimilar to so-called geofence warrants, where [cops demand] Google…provide information on anyone within [a certain distance of some] location [labeled] a crime scene at a given time…Google is continuing to comply with such controversial requests, despite concerns over their legality and the potential to implicate innocent people…Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at…ACLU…[said] “This never-before-possible technique threatens First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people, especially if the keyword terms are not unique and the time frame not precise. To make matters worse, police are currently doing this in secret, which [hides] the practice from public debate and regulation.”

The Next Target (#1130)

This elaborate concern kabuki is the direct result of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

XBIZ has been able to review a suggested “Report Abuse” compliance form that is part of compliance packages that several major industry sites have received with instructions to customize before October 15 in order to continue processing credit card transactions.  The form features a checklist of clickable boxes that anyone visiting an adult site is encouraged to use to report what they [claim] to be…“underage material,” “copyright/trademark infringement”…“prostitution or trafficking,” “weapons,” “drugs” and “other”…[one] webmaster said…“They want us to put a link to this [checklist] in all the footers on every page…which is then [copied] directly to Mastercard.”  The webmaster pointed out that both ruthless competitors and crusading anti-porn activists are likely to flood the system with bogus complaints…The webmaster also noted that the form essentially forces all adult sites to add the words “underage material,” “prostitution or trafficking,” “weapons” and “drugs” to their metadata, which then puts them at risk of AI shadowbans or even state surveillance…

Stalkers in Blue (#1140)

A whole gang of sexual predators specifically targeting traumatized women:

A woman who[se] picture…[was taken without her consent while cops abducted her from a] Sarah Everard vigil [that the cops had tried to prevent w]as [harassed by] “about 50” [cops]…via a dating app, leaving her “terrified”.  Patsy Stevenson…said they knew she was “fearful of police” and had done it “for a reason”…Hundreds attended the vigil…in south London fo[r]…Ms Everard, who was [raped and] murdered by [typical and representative cop] Wayne Couzens after he abducted her while she was walking home…[even though cops tried to] cancel…[the event by claiming]…it w[as] illegal under lockdown restrictions…[just as Couzens himself had used those same tyrannical diktats to intimidate his victim into submitting to abduction]…the “sombre atmosphere… turned very scary very quickly” after police started t[errorizing] the crowd…[Stevenson] has since launched legal action against the Met Police over the arrest

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Catherine MacKinnon lives in a small world…where there can be no woman who gets to make decisions about her own life.  –  Scott Greenfield

Feminists and Other Puritans (#671)

MacKinnon has come out from under her rock to explain why OnlyFans isn’t really a woman’s choice“:

[Catharine MacKinnon believes that] if you don’t see the evil [of sex work], it’s only because the evil has blinded you to the evil…the idea that [women can] choose [it] is anathema.  It can’t be true because no one would make such an undignified choice…Maggie McNeill would disagree with this characterization, rather vehemently I would guess.  As would many others, including those who have taken advantage of the opportunity presented by OnlyFans…But to the MacKinnons wielding their axes as they destroy barrels of demon rum, save us from reefer madness, and prevent helpless oppressed women from doing as they choose with their bodies, there are only exploited victims because no women would ever choose to live in a way that fails to meet MacKinnon’s approval…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

The glassholes are back, only worse:

Facebook’s new camera glasses…are not called Facebook Glasses — they are called Ray-Ban Stories..because they are made in partnership with Ray-Ban…Knowing that Facebook is discussing building facial recognition into these things curdles the stomach…The privacy features for the glasses wearer are decent; privacy features for the rest of the world? Not so much…Your data and images may be safe from the prying eyes of Mark Zuckerberg, sure, but the real danger here is…the fact that you’re walking around wearing barely perceptible spy glasses, taking videos and photos of anyone you want, likely without them noticing…The sleek Wayfarer frame design means that unlike Google Glass or the flashy bright yellow Snapchat Spectacles, these look very much like regular sunglasses…

You Were Warned (#1046)

Australia’s rulers seem even more eager to destroy the internet than US rulers:

Australia’s High Court…has ruled that Facebook users are responsible for the content of complete strangers who post defamatory comments on their posts…the…ruling…is just a small part of a larger case brought against Australian news outlets, including the Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Australian, among others, by a man who said he was defamed in the Facebook comments of the newspapers’ stories in 2016…Dylan Voller…was [tortured by screws]…at a [prison for legal minors] in 2015 when undercover video of kids being…abused [by screws] was captured and…[bootlickers on Facebook] fabricate[d] stories about [Voller]…to imply that…he…somehow deserved the treatment…Voller’s full case against the media companies can now go forward…The High Court ruling is arguably one of Australia’s dumbest in recent memory…

I Spy (#1064) 

Pigs want to root around in people’s social media in order to destroy their lives:

LAPD…has directed its [thugs] to [demand] the social media information of every [person] they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime…the “field interview cards”…reveal that LAPD [thugs] are [demanding]…Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information…the Brennan Center for Justice…conducted a review of 40 other…US [cop shops] and was unable to find another…that [admitted to] social media collection on interview cards…LAPD…us[ed] the cards to falsely label [victims] as gang members…and prosecutors have previously used Facebook photos and “likes” to make dubious…allegations of criminal gang activity…LAPD also shares data with federal [cop shops and spook houses via] “fusion centers”, and [also feeds the data into] “predictive policing” [scams]

The Implosion Begins (#1163)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

…a former Marine beset by delusions of child sex trafficking [based on propaganda spread by the government and anti-sex groups for two decades]…massacre[d]…a Florida family…Bryan Riley…[happened to see] Justice Gleason mowing his lawn with his 11-year-old daughter in the yard…an[d cast the girl as a character in his delusion] named Amber who was suicidal and being held by a supposed sex trafficking ring that God had told him to confront.  In fact, no one named Amber lived at the home and Gleason repeatedly told Riley that before asking him to leave their initial encounter…Riley left angrily…[then] left his home around 1 a.m. Sunday and went to the Gleason home…because, Riley later told detectives, “God told me to kill everyone and save Amber cause she’s a victim of sex trafficking”…The 11-year-old girl survived the attack despite being shot multiple times…her family huddled in a bathroom after Riley shot his way into the home, killed their dog and then attacked everyone hiding there…The victims are Gleason…his…girlfriend, Theresa Lanham; their baby boy, Jody…and…Lanham’s mother [Catherine Delgado]…

It seems likely that even the imaginary “trafficking victim’s” name was derived from government-backed hysteria: “Amber”, as in “Amber alert”.  Also: the sheriff in the story, Grady Judd, has for years eagerly promoted the same ugly propaganda which shaped Riley’s delusions to justify his pocket police state.

Dangerous Speech (#1171)

This is little more than a delay in a case the government cannot win fairly:

Judge Susan Brnovich has granted the [Backpage] defense’s motion for a mistrial. “I, at the beginning of this, gave the government some leeway…Yet, in the [government’s] opening and with every witness thereafter, it seems, the government has abused that leeway”…The opening statement from federal prosecutor Reggie Jones “was close to causing mistrial,” she said.  Then, despite agreeing “to minimize the focus on child sex trafficking” from then on out, the government continued to harp on it.  And despite being told that witnesses could only talk about Backpage’s general reputation if it was tied to communication with specific defendants in this case, government witnesses like Sharon Cooper “talked about the reputation of Backpage untethered from communications with the defendants,…I will call the jury in to dismiss them and then we will set a date a couple weeks out to talk about when we can reconvene”…

To Molest and Rape (#1171)

“Having inappropriate behavior” is a really awkward way to say “molesting”:

A [typical and representative] Ashland [Tennessee cop] has been arrested for [molesting] a minor [girl]…Benjamin Moore…was…[also] charged with…official misconduct…and…tampering with evidence…

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How do we know it won’t happen again?  –  Lacy Lennon

I Spy (#930)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google received more than 20,000 geofence warrants in the US in the last three calendar years…[this fascist surveillance technique allows cops to] carve out a specific area and time period and [demand]…information about the devices that were present during that window.  The information is anonymous…[until cops demand more details, at which time]…Google [happily violates] those users’ [privacy]…In 2018, Google received 982 [such] warrants.  The following year, it rose to 8,396.  Last year, it jumped to 11,554.  In all, Google received 20,932 geofence warrants…since 201[8]…

Business As Usual (#1011)

The media are still downplaying the crimes of this psychopathic rapist-murderer cop:

A federal judge has set a new trial date for a [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig who murdered a sex worker when she wouldn’t submit to rape]…Andrew Mitchell is [only being] charged with…federal [conspiracy and perjury-type crimes even though]…he…had [a long history of raping] prostitutes…Mitchell also faces state charges [for shooting 100-pound] Donna Castleberry [eight times at point-blank range] after she [fought back] during an [attempted rape by] Mitchell, who has [described the wanton murder of a woman half his size]…as self-defense…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1012) 

How is this surprising when TikTok is owned by the Chinese?

TikTok has quietly expanded how much information it will collect from its more than 100 million users in the U.S. to include “faceprints and voiceprints.”  In response, [US politicians want a piece of the action]…The U.S. does not have a federal law regulating the tracking of biometric data by technology companies, but…TikTok…is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese [company owned in part by the Chinese government, which also controls 1/3 of its board]…Earlier this year, TikTok paid $92 million to settle dozens of lawsuits [in response to] the app[‘s]…harvesting personal data…including…facial recognition…without user consent.  That data…was [shaed with Beijing] and sold to advertisers in violation of state and federal law.  In 2019, TikTok was fined nearly $6 million by the Federal Trade Commission for [violating] the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires apps to receive parental permission before collecting a minor’s data.  The Trump administration[‘s attempt]…to ban the app was abandoned by the Biden administration in June

Policing for Profit (#1096)

No matter how little their victims have, cops will steal it and fuck up their lives in the process:

The city of Longmont [Colorado] has [finally] paid the $1,592.72…toll bill [the state tried to stick] a [disabled] woman [with after]…a [city cop named Stephen Schulz stole her] license plate…and put [it] on his [disguised pigmobile]…Debra Romero…[was] left…without the use of a vehicle…[because] the [state]…refused to waive the toll charges even after Romero filed a report…declaring her license plate as stolen…the state of Colorado [also] barred her from renewing her registration until the toll bill was paid…the city [didn’t care about Romero’s plight until]…the…situation [made the news]…

The Prudish Giant (#1104)

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

A poster for Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers…was [censored by Facebook-owned] Instagram for depicting a lactating nipple…[after public outcry] Instagram…reverse[d] its censorship…[but] given Instagram’s exception for artistic context, the rationale for the poster’s initial removal remains unclear…

To Molest and Rape (#1165)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop] has been arrested on child pornography charges…Francis Hart…[was caught] upload[ing] a file with numerous images of child pornography…

I’m not sure what will happen here; Massachusetts cops who forcibly rape actual children get less than one year per victim, or no penalty at all plus being rewarded with a powerful cop gang position for repeatedly raping children of both sexes for decades.  But Massachusetts puritans are very uptight about porn, so who knows?

The Next Target (#1165)

Those who shift with the wind can be counted on to continue doing so:

OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers…the planned ban was “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators”…[however, an authoritarian circle-jerk made up] of over 100…[politicians are still howling for sex workers’ blood, cit]ing the[ir own disgusting fantasies about]…sex…with children

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Less than two years ago I broke up the “Pyrrhic Victory” tag by repurposing two existing tags and creating a new one, “Panopticon“.  But surveillance has become such an all-pervasive phenomenon in the 21st century, it even creeps into tags that originally had nothing to do with it.  One of these is “Between the Ears“, which originally grew from a column about how not to handle women’s sexual problems; once sex gadgets started connecting to the internet, though, it was inevitable they’d start spying on people, and that has expanded far beyond sex gadgets.  So I’m starting this new tag, under which items about internet-connected devices surreptitiously eavesdropping on people’s private conversations will be listed in the future; references back to “Between the Ears” #545, 674, 722, 791, 858, 959, 966, 984, 986, and 1152 will also be listed under this tag from now on, as will references back to I Spy (#1069) and #1144.  Items about other kinds of surveillance will continue to be filed under “Guinea Pigs“, “I Spy“, “Micromanagement“, “Panopticon“, “Pyrrhic Victory“, and “Welcome to the Future“, as before.

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Age restrictions [on adults]…are not rationally related to the state’s asserted interests [in protecting children].  –  Judge Robert Pitman

License to Rape

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

After [they] arrested [her after accusing her of] driving drunk, [cops took] a [woman]…to an Illinois jail, where [they]…held [her] down and forcibly stripped [her] naked in front of male [pigs and screws]…the[y justified their behavior by the rather bizarre excuse]…that they only [stripped] her…because she wouldn’t comply with their [demands she strip herself.  Ariel]…Harrison…hadn’t had any alcohol that day, despite [cops claiming to know via their magical powers of divination exactly how much liquor and of what type she supposedly consumed despite the fact that]…she was never tested and was tased multiple times before being [abducted, locked in a cage and sexually assaulted]…after more than a year of fighting for her freedom, Harrison is still facing five to seven years in prison for a variety of [bogus and evidence-free] charges…[such as] aggravated battery…resisting a peace officer, and improper lane usage.  [T]he s[tate]…also [abducted]…her kids.  She hasn’t seen them since the night she went to jail…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) wrote a letter to the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeking an extension of time for submitting comments on the Draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, [because] the government gave too little time for assessing the provisions…if the request for an extension is not met, they will oppose the Bill…while the ministry had taken over two years to draft the Bill, affected groups and communities were given less than two weeks to share their views and feedback…While most of the sex workers’ organisations have not yet been able to make an assessment of the draft Bill, some lawyers [have pointed out that] clause 23…says, “the consent of the victim shall be irrelevant and immaterial in the determination of the offence of trafficking in persons”…This could mean even the sex workers who are willingly in the profession end up in jail…Abhijit Datta, an advocate…who has started studying the draft Bill, said that it appeared to him that the government was trying to prohibit prostitution altogether…

Working From Home (#1052)

And how do you think such a “ban” would be enforced?

After a [snitch told clueless Houston-area politicians about OnlyFans they started bloviating]…about whether or not live-streaming adult, sexual content from a home in [Woodlands] township is legal…a web [muckrake by busybodies] turned up scores of OnlyFans accounts for keywords, “OnlyFans’’ and “in The Woodlands”…[bean-counters] regulate…all home businesses in the township…and…adult-oriented businesses have been shunned or banned…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1114)

Will Oregon be the first US state to recognize sex workers’ human rights?

On Thursday, July 15th, the first-ever Human Rights Commission Event for Oregon Sex Workers [wa]s…held in Portland.  Our commission is asking voters and the Oregon Legislature for full decriminalization…For three hours, academics, researchers, medical experts, disability advocates, labor union representatives, and sex workers from Oregon and around the world will testify to invitees about why decriminalization of sex work is harm reduction for all Oregonians…many [politicians]…support Nordic…type models of criminalization, which means…arresting non-violent adults for trying to consensually pay for touch with another adult…fear-mongers who want to abolish sex work have relied on false “statistics” and church funding to put us in jail, shame us out of our day jobs, and take our kids away…their stances and legislation has led to more deaths, more poverty, and more hardship for people working in the sex trades and impacted by them…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

The ex-wife of a [rapist-murderer cop in London]…described…how his [gang] protected him from prosecution after [she] suffer[ed] years of physical and sexual abuse at his hands….Wayne Couzens has…admitted murdering Sarah Everard…in March this year…[after] kidnapping and raping [her.  Couzens]… was n[ever even questioned about] three separate indecent exposure complaints dating back to 2015 and [ignored that] he hit h[is ex-wife] repeatedly [even]…after he threatened her with a knife…[cops] did little more than tell him to go for a long walk to calm down…When she filed for divorce he…raped her…and…[agai]n…nothing was done…[except for cops telling her she] shouldn’t [tell the truth about him]…because it would bring the [thug gang] into disrepute…[nothing was done when he] tried to strangle hi[s son, either]…

Politicians’ response to the rape/murder was to propose that other members of the rapist’s gang be given even MORE power over women.

I Spy (#1141) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

…postal inspectors have been monitoring social media platforms about U.S. protests…in April…Yahoo! News…obtained a March 16 “Situational Awareness Bulletin”…[which] mentioned that U.S. Postal Inspection Service…agents monitoring Facebook, Parler, Twitter, and Telegram had noticed “significant activity regarding planned protests”…USPIS agents “assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software”…includ[ing] Clearview AI…and Zignal Labs’ real-time keyword search software…

Still a Child (#1142) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

A U.S. District Court Judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the recent state law preventing sex workers aged 18-21 from being employed at strip clubs…Judge Robert Pitman…noted that the class-action plaintiffs “have a substantial likelihood of success on their claims that [the new law’s]…age restrictions…are unconstitutional…[and] that…“the challenged…law infringe[s] the…Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights”…

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The victim was conscious during at least a portion of the time.
–  Phil Esbenshade

One Size Fits All

It’s good to see a government hoist with its own “sex trafficking” petard:

The [UK] Home Office must compensate female victims of sex trafficking whose children had to hear details of their abuse* because no childcare was available during appointments, the high court has ruled…Justice Kerr found…that the system of support for victims of trafficking discriminates against asylum-seeking women.  The Home Office admitted it…di[scriminated against such women]…but told the court that…this [kind of discrimination should be OK because sex]…Two [sex workers branded] trafficking victims [by the same government] brought the case, both of them single mothers from Albania recently granted refugee status…The home secretary, Priti Patel, has indicated the ruling would require the government to pay additional sums totalling about £5m a year…

*IOW, “migrant sex workers whose kids were in the next room during sessions”.  Using the government’s own ugly propaganda that sex work is “trafficking” and “abuse” as a way to get a payout from it is nothing short of brilliant.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Just another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

…Rachael Myla Stagner…was sentenced to 21 months in prison…for falsely accusing a white man of sexually assaulting her on the Wind River Indian Reservation [in Wyoming]…Stagner was indicted in September 2020 but pleaded guilty in January to making false statements to police.  Her initial claims resulted in an investigation by the FBI due the alleged incident taking place on an Indian reservation.  Even as her story began to crumble, Stagner maintained that she had been sexually assaulted in an attempt to extort money from the man she falsely accused…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

If this doesn’t horrify you, you haven’t been paying attention:

A [man] whose fingerprints were analyzed by police when he shared a photo of his hand holding a block of cheese has been sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison.  Carl Stewart…from Liverpool…sent…an encrypted [pictur]e of a block of Stilton…the photograph was [rooted up] by [cops], who used it [as a pretext] to [wreck his life for] supply[ing recreational drugs to consenting adults]…Stewart sent the image on EncroChat, an encrypted messaging service [destroyed]…by…[cops after they branded every single user of the service a] criminal

It isn’t just fingerprints, either, and those aren’t as unique as people have been led to believe.

Above the Law (#866) 

They always make these cases sound like the bureaucrat was doing his victims a favor:

A former assistant district attorney [in Tennessee]…entered a guilty plea…[on charges of “]bribe[ry” because he]…dismiss[ed] and expung[ed] a woman’s criminal charges [after raping her]…William E. “Bill” McManus Jr….admitted that while acting in his capacity as a prosecutor, he [coerced a woman into submitting to rape under threat of pursuing]…shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine charges [against her.  He was reasonably sure she would comply because]…he had previously…[paid her fairly for] sex [on other occasions]…

A non-rapist would simply have dismissed the charges, then booked with her properly at a later time.

Still a Child (#897) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

The Texas legislature has passed a new law raising the minimum age for legal stripping in the state to 21…it…require[s adult businesses]…to participate in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program…and…creat[es] criminal offenses. [out of the ugly asturbatory fantasies of]…Operation Texas Shield, a [rescue industry]…profit[eer] that [labels]…all [sex work] “human trafficking”…and [was] one of the moving forces behind SESTA-FOSTA.  Language deployed in support of the bill…erased the distinction between adults 18-21 and actual minor children…many Texas strip clubs had recently started firing anyone under 21 — including survival sex workers — in preparation for the passing of this law…

To Molest and Rape (#1054)

Imagine how many others like this are still out there, raping and murdering:

A mass grave filled with dozens of female corpses — believed to be victims of a violent sex and murder ring — was found in a…[typical and representative] cop’s backyard in El Salvador…[other cops] made the grisly discovery…while investigating [[typical and representative cop] Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez for the double homicide of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter — a crime the [typical and representative] cop has apparently admitted to…When cops went into Chavez’s backyard…they noticed the ground appeared to be uneven and soft. Investigators soon discovered eight pits filled with what they believe could be at least a dozen bodies each…Chavez and ten others have been arrested in what cops believe was a sex and murder ring…

The Next Target (#1111)

Prohibitionists have realized the best way to accomplish their goals is to buy as many politicians as possible:

…The Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act…has been filed by a member of Canada’s Parliament.  SISEA is a near-mirror image of legislation proposed by a member of [US] Congress earlier this year.  The bills even share the same name…and…both…are written so broadly that they [reveal]…the [true]…inten[t]…of [the prohibitionists behind them:] shuttering sites like Pornhub and OnlyFans, and making it difficult to impossible for many sex workers to make a living…SISEA requires companies that host porn for commercial purposes to obtain written affirmation from the person uploading it that all participants were of legal age when the porn was made and consented to being filmed/pictured and have not withdrawn that consent.  Those making the porn are required to obtain proof of legal age from all participants, as well as their written consent to be depicted…this…would…reveal the identities of sex workers [and thereby make them vulnerable to harassment and possibly even]…criminal prosecution…the bill’s key proponent…in both countries is Exodus Cry, a U.S. based religious group…spokesperson Laila Mickelwait has made no secret of her goal to take down Pornhub specifically…and…get rid of all porn…Exodus Cry’s…website openly states that it seeks to “end the sex industry”…

Torture Chamber (#1123) 

Stop faking!

…on the morning of March 9, 2019…Jaime Osuna…decapitated and dissected the body of his cellmate, Luis Romero…with a makeshift knife…[screws who pretended to have] made their rounds…reported that both men were alive [hours later]…Osuna, a self-styled satanist with a history of attacking his cellmates…[i]s serving a life sentence for the killing and torture of Yvette Pena…at a Bakersfield motel in 2011…during the 2017 trial…[he] mock[ed] the victim’s family and bragg[ed] to a television news reporter of his love of torturing people…Using a razor-style blade attached to a handle, Osuna disfigured Romero, cutting out one of his eyes, chopping off one of his fingers and removing part of his ribs and slicing out part of his lung.  He ultimately cut off his head.  He also posed the body, slicing Romero’s face open on either side of his mouth to resemble an extended smile…Guards found Osuna wearing a necklace made of Romero’s body parts…

To Molest and Rape (#1141)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate kids:

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office announced…that a [typical and representative cop that the state had paid for years to lurk in]…school[s to stalk, harass, and spy on students was]…convicted of [rape and] aggravated criminal sodomy of a child younger than 14 and…sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 50 years…Mark Scheetz…was convicted…of two counts of criminal aggravated sodomy, two counts of rape, and other crimes…

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The…state may not obstruct those who wish to participate in lawful transactions nor…those who wish to help them.  –  Justice Hayden

Droit du Seigneur

If a non-cop did this, do you think the court would simply ask his employers to demote him?

A New Jersey police chief…[who] offer[ed a cop] a promotion in exchange for sex with his wife and [underage] daughter, should [merely] be demoted, a…judge [declared]…Rudy Beu…was [found] guilty of…[a few status] charges…Beu…has been [on paid vacation]…since Feb. 26, 2020…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops often target sex workers for exactly this reason:

…on May 24, 2020…[sex worker and activist Jay St. James] was stalked and raped by Christopher Drumm, a [typical and representative Eugene, Oregon cop]…after the attack, she and her family were harassed by other [cop gang] members…No charges have been brought against Drumm—but St. James is now facing charges of her own after protesting her assault…three days before the a[ggravat]ed rape…Drumm responded to a domestic violence call at St. James’s house…St. James requested a mental health professional, but [of course they sent the pigs]…instead…the [cops refused] to make a report…about the abuse…[but instead reported her to] Child Protective Services…because [she had not magically teleported] her children [away the instant the] …domestic violence [started]…Drumm and his colleagues [also] sexually harassed her…For the next three days…Drumm continued to show up at her house unannounced…[then] on May 24…[he] returned…and raped her twice…

The Proper Study (#897)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

Our research provides new causal evidence on the impact that criminalizing sex work in a lower‐​income country has on the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by exploiting a natural experiment in which commercial sex work was unexpectedly criminalized in one district in East Java, Indonesia, while it remained noncriminalized in neighboring districts…criminalizing sex work increases STI rates among sex workers…by 27.3 percentage points, or 58 percent, from baseline…the main mechanisms driving the increase…are a decrease in access to condoms, an increase in condom prices, and an increase in sex without condoms…women who…leave sex work because of criminalization have lower earnings than those who leave by choice…children of [these] women…are more likely to work to supplement household income…criminalization [also] results in substantial increases in the probability of STI transmission to the general population…Understanding the impacts of criminalization…in lower‐​income countries is arguably even more important than in higher‐​income countries…

Skin To Skin (#980)

Wise judge refuses to allow prudish paternalism to trump human needs:

A senior judge has ruled it is lawful for carers [of people with mental disabilities] to help clients find and pay for sex…[but entitled busybodies plan] to appeal the judgment because of its implications for policies on [sending violent thugs to attack people for desiring consensual adult sex]…The young man…known only as C, is fit and healthy but…needs daily help with many parts of his life. He has autism and a genetic disorder – but [the judge]…found that he was happy and well-supported…C knew he would probably never find a girlfriend but he nevertheless wanted to experience sex – and so he had asked his carers if they could find him a sex worker…[but] C’s carers w[orried] they would [be]…legally [classified as “pimps”] if they agreed to help…Justice Hayden ruled that…If the law banned the carers from helping C, that would be discrimination because anyone else without his condition could lawfully pay for sex…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1052)

To the state, facial recognition systems’ false positives are a feature, not a bug:

In February 2019, Nijeer Parks walked into the Woodbridge…New Jersey…[cop shop after] receiv[ing] a frantic phone call from his grandmother telling him that p[igs]…had come [root]ing for him…Parks had trouble with the law…on drug-related charges, [but]…was now working a steady job as a carpenter…Parks [unwisely walked into the cop shop without a lawyer in an attempt] to clear his name…[but was instead arrested on bogus charges of] aggravated assault, unlawful possession of weapons, using a fake ID, possession of marijuana, shoplifting, leaving the scene of a crime, [and] resisting arrest…he spent 11 days in jail…[before] learn[ing t]hat the evidence against him was…a facial recognition scan of…[the] fake ID…What followed was a year-long legal nightmare for Parks, who faced years in prison and the potential of additional time due to his prior convictions…

Disaster (#1115)

Canada is following Australia and the US in trying to destroy the internet:

Canadian Senate Bill S-203…is another woefully misguided proposal aimed at regulating sexual content online.  To say the least, this bill fails to understand how the internet functions and would be seriously damaging to online expression and privacy…S-203 would make any person or company criminally liable for any time an underage user engages with sexual content through its service…unless the person or company “implemented a prescribed age-verification method”…[it] would criminalize the acts of independent performers, artists, blogs, social media, message boards, email providers, and any other intermediary or service…that is in some way “for commercial purposes”…The only meaningful defense…would be to verify the legal adult age of every user and then store that data…The sheer amount of technical infrastructure…would be costly and overwhelmingly complicated….[and] introduce many security concerns that weren’t previously there…the financial burden would only advantage the largest players online…the bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content instead of carrying the huge risk that an underage user will access it…

You Were Warned (#1131)

Puritans never quite admit they want to destroy the internet, but this comes close:

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty…has unveiled a [scheme] to repeal Section 230…and replace it with something he calls “Section 232.”  His [Orwellian-named] “21st Century FREE Speech Act“…would change the nature of online communication as we know it…the…bill…attempts to establish as U.S. federal policy the act of “facilitat[ing] the…blocking…[of] objectionable or inappropriate online material”…[and to] redefine “the major internet communications platforms” as “common carriers”…In quite explicit terms, Hagerty’s bill establishes a protection from censorship of “religious and political speech” while at the same time encouraging the censorship of “objectionable and inappropriate online material”…the…bill…would essentially enshrine a peculiarly vague notion of sexual content (i.e. “signifies the form of immorality which has relation to sexual impurity”)…an[d] active[ly] call for state and corporate censorship…

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A lot of…urban legends [are] old wine in new bottles. – Benjamin Radford

A Broker in Pillage (#863)

Go on, keep giving governments more excuses and powers to literally rob people.  I’m sure you’ll never regret it:

South Korean prosecutors have sold bitcoin…[stolen from people they branded] criminals…turn[ing] a profit of around 12.3 billion won (around US$10.9 million)…the [excuse used for the robbery was that the victim was]…”the operator of [an] illegal pornography site”…While the U.S. government has been auctioning [stolen] bitcoin since 2014, Korean prosecutors have held on to the [stolen] bitcoin for the past four years…[until] March 25, the exact day when the country’s [politicians]…classifie[d] crypto as “virtual assets”…

The Notorious Badge (#976)

Twitter’s connection to movies exploiting sex workers isn’t usually so direct:

After receiving rave reviews at last year’s Sundance festival, the full trailer for Janicza Bravo’s Twitter-storm dramedy Zola is finally here…the film follows Zola (Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress who strikes up a friendship with a customer named Stefani (Riley Keough). Together, they head to Florida to earn some money stripping at a club where Stefani has heard dancer tips are excellent.  As the trip progresses, Stefani puts Zola and herself in more insane and dangerous situations, including run-ins with a nameless pimp and some Tampa gangsters…Zola is based on a viral Twitter thread posted in October 2015 by Detroit-based stripper A’ziah “Zola” King…detail[ing] a weekend of debauchery that quickly descends into a hellish whirlwind of sex, murder, and near-suicide…

The Last Shall Be First (#977) 

Since their “bathroom bills” kept getting struck down, transphobes are now trying to accomplish their goals by controlling doctors:

Arkansas [politician]s passed a bill…that would flatly prohibit medical professionals from providing any sort of gender transition treatments to minors…the…act…forbids the prescribing of puberty blockers to suppress hormones, bans genital reassignment surgeries, and bars any medical treatment that would “alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features for the individual’s biological sex” or “instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s biological sex”…[it] further forbids medical professionals from referring minors to any doctor who could provide the forbidden treatments…says that public funds may not be granted to any entity that provides trans treatments to minors, declares that medical transition treatment procedures are not tax-deductible forms of health care coverage (regardless of age), and prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from providing coverage for these treatments for minors.  Medical professionals who defy the law could lose their licenses to practice in the state…

It’s impossible to miss the resemblance of this strategy to that of imposing arbitrary restrictions on abortion providers.

Dangerous Speech (#1097)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

…a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a defense petition that the court order federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s recusal from the Lacey/Larkin case…due to an “appearance of partiality” created by prejudicial statements made by the judge’s husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning…Backpage…The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 23

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” scarelore invaded TikTok:

“OK, so I saw this TikTok that Target is the new sex trafficking hub”…Makenzie Jade says in her video.  She then tells a story about being followed by a man…in…her local Target, then being circled by two additional men with nothing in their shopping carts…Over the past week…there have been dozens of [similar] videos, some with millions of views, in which young women from all over the country describe being followed by strange men or women in Target in what they [fantasize is] an attempted trafficking operation…what[ever] that…means…experts are highly skeptical of these reports.  “I have never heard a case of anyone being abducted from Target in my 20 years in this field,” says Jean Bruggeman…of Freedom Network USA, [the largest coalition of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…the TikTok rumors…adhere to a familiar pattern of…urban legends intended to spread hysteria…Dubious rumors purporting to raise awareness about the “realities” of sex trafficking are nothing new…

In a sign that the hysteria is dying, note that even the perennially-clueless Rolling Stone bluntly calls this what it is (“hoax”) rather than deferentially referring to it as a “mistake” or the like.

Predictable Consequences

Oh look, somebody at Washington Post realized how tone-deaf their initial coverage was:

[When cops raided] three massage businesses…they [branded with the moralistic epithet “]illicit[“, they vomited out a lot of filth about]…“human trafficking and child exploitation” [to]…cover [up the fact that the disguised cops raped sex]…workers, then arrested them…local media outlets…[then abetted the outrage by outing the cops’ victims, complete with names and] photos of their mug shots on the evening news…[barfing up the magic word “]illicit[” has for decades given disguised, lying thugs a court-approved pretext for raping]…spa workers…[none of whom were inter]viewed by The Post…[but after decades of these repeated atrocities, a few politicians] are [finally] beginning to propose new limits on [rape] by police, which [any person with a functional moral compass should understand] serves to dehumanize — and [deepl]ly traumatize — the very women the raids are [claimed by psychopaths] to help.  The…[rapists in] law enforcement, experts said, [nearly always] go unpunished…

As you can see, the article is still replete with copsucking, but some editor appears to have at least some inkling that maybe they’re on the wrong side.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1124)

Still think this djinni can be crammed back into its bottle?

A…facial recognition tool designed [to give government even more power over individual lives] has been quietly deployed across the [US] with little to no public oversight…more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 [government] agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for p[otential victims]…BuzzFeed News has developed a searchable table of 1,803 publicly funded agencies whose employees…used…the [surveillance] tool before February 2020.  These include local and state police, [ICE], the Air Force, state healthcare [bureaucracies], [politicians’] offices…and even public schools.  In many cases, [bureaucrats] at these agencies [claimed to be] unaware that employees were using the tool; five [lied]…in response to questions about it…210 organizations denied any use…1,161 [others ignored] questions about whether they had used it…Hoan Ton-That, the company’s cofounder and CEO, [expressed glee that his invention has done so much to undermine privacy and empower cop shops]…

What makes it worse is, cops just keep blatantly lying about it:

Despite statements from the NYPD in early 2020 stating that it had no relationship with…Clearview AI, documents…reveal that the company was an acknowledged vendor to the department from as early as 2018, and that it continue[s] to enjoy a congenial relationship…that [has] included in-person meetings and customer support from Ton-That [himself]…

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Sex workers are a gift to people who stir up fake outrage for a living.  –  Mistress Matisse

Caring Professionals (#138)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this topic addressed so well:

Both…my stylist…and…microblade artist…are care workers.  Their bodies—their hands—are necessary to their labor.  Massage parlors…exist in a similar realm of personal care, like hair salons and permanent-makeup studios.  These are all places where clients can pay for the intimacy of touch, the pleasure that touch affords.  The difference, of course, is that what we call sex work—a kind of care work that is criminalized and socially opprobrious—happens here.  And because it is labor that carries the threat of penalization, the burden of stigma and illegitimacy, the women who do this work become simultaneously more vulnerable, while their essential contributions to society remain invisible, devalued…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

There’s a reason I’ve repeatedly called this cult “dangerous”:

I had been leading an independent lab for nearly 10 years studying various aspects of genital responsiveness, but the death threats first came when I published a study that did not support [the notion of] pornography addiction.  The death threats were thick with misogyny and anti-semitism, which seemed bizarre as they simultaneously bragged that they were liberal bastions for equality.  I went quickly to being physically stalked, moving my home multiple times, and now living in address protection…the Atlanta murder[s]…seemed to manifest the incredible vitriol I have watched grow.  All of this occurred through “pornography addiction” forums on the Internet.  Scientists have started studying these communities…as a part of a new anti-sexuality movement, which includes (1) anti-pornography feminists, (2) Internet porn addiction activists, and (3) religious morality groups…

Welcome to the Future (#1092)

I hope Pasco County, Florida is bankrupted by this lawsuit:

…a group of [Pasco] county residents, represented by the Institute for Justice, is suing the county over…years of harass[ment]…by cops…because [a “predictive policing”] system identified them as potential offenders.  When the residents lost patience with the continued police presence in their lives…the red tape of the endless regulatory state [was used] against them to encourage compliance or to simply cause pain…In [one] case, deputies cited [their victim] for tall grass, but failed to notify him of the citation.  Then, when he failed to appear for a hearing that he was never told was happening, they arrested him for failure to appear…The slow torture of tickets, arrests, and disrupted lives drove some to pick up and move out of Pasco County to avoid harassment…

Traffic Jam (#1107)

Mistress Matisse on why even not-quite-prohibitionist sex work documentaries are not quite good:

There are some hard-working sex workers in Hulu and ABC News’ new documentary, Only Fans: Selling Sexy, and I respect them…being in a documentary about doing sex work is a gigantic leap of faith.  We’re rarely treated with respect, and sometimes not even with much humanity…such filmmakers favour drama and controversy, and choose to sensationalise the lived experiences of myself and my sex work peers…Hulu/ABC News did better than most with their documentary – it’s smoothly made, and it only made me wince a few times.  But…in media, anyone who does sex work is deemed not to be a credible witness to their own life, so there are always non-sex workers in these documentaries who serve to confirm (or more often deny) what we say is real.  Irony in 2021 is watching a glossy TV show inspired by a sex work website, which features non-sex working actors saying to the camera, in serious tones, that giving sex workers “all this attention” might make us “go too far”.  Ask yourself: why does that sound a little hypocritical to me?…

You Were Warned (#1112)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

Senator Mark Warner[‘s]…SAFE TECH Act…is one of the worst 230 bills I’ve seen and would effectively end the open internet…Warner doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.  At all…He…doesn’t…understand how 230 works…or how…websites actually handle content moderation …[he keeps] claiming that Section 230 has “turned into a get out of jail free card for large online providers”…Yet…this bill would help Facebook and Google by basically making it close to impossible for new competitors to exist, while leaving the market to those two…many critics have noted that smaller platforms would inevitably be harmed by Warner’s bill…Warner…[claims] he’s open to talking to smaller platforms, which is kind of laughable, considering that his staffers have been going around…lying about people…that have pointed out the problems with his bill…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1114)

The NY Times pretends to be critical of mass surveillance, yet opens this article with copsucking:

Clearview…deploy[ed its software by stealing]…billions of photos from the…internet…After Clearview’s activities came to light, [politicians bloviated for the cameras and passed do-nothing local laws easily circumvented by cops]…It seemed entirely possible [to the hopelessly-naive] that Clearview AI would be sued, legislated or shamed out of existence.  But [of course] that didn’t happen.  With no federal law prohibiting or even regulating the use of facial recognition, Clearview did not…change its practices…it [has] continued to acquire government customers…[and] is valued at nearly $109 million…it [has over]…3,100 [cop shops and other purveyors of organized violence as]…customers [including the military and]…ICE…The legal threats to Clearview have [only just] begun to move through the courts…civil-liberties advocates fear the company will prevail, and they are aghast at the potential consequences…

Predictable Consequences

Two more of my friends have thoughts on this tragedy. Kaytlin Bailey:

There are a over a hundred years of propaganda and policy behind the idea that sex workers and immigrants “infect” communities.  Asian women in particular have been fetishized and demonized, becoming the first targets of anti-prostitution and anti-immigration laws in the United States…In 1875, the Page Act barred Asian women from entering the country, for presumed “lewd and immoral purposes,” and police…began arresting droves of Asian women for prostitution.  US officials openly hoped that by driving out Asian women, they could prevent Asian people from settling and starting families here…

And Liz Brown:

…Blaming women for male lust is an old and all-too-common trope among those who commit or excuse violence against women.  And it’s a trope thoroughly rooted in common cultural messages about sexuality…we may have come a long way from the assumption that all sexy women are “asking for it,” but holding women responsible for men’s sexual urges and actions is still far from a fringe attitude.  And again and again, we see the milder version of this distorted by the minds of self-loathing psychopaths to hold that women deserve to pay for the desire men feel toward them.  Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to this type of misogyny.  Which is why it’s especially clueless and crass for certain media to be blaming sex work in the wake of the Atlanta massage parlor shootings…

But the big news this week is Polaris’ tacit admission of blood on its hands:

…following the attacks…anti-sex work organization Polaris Project deleted multiple pages that made claims about massage parlors as dens of sex trafficking…Polaris removed its page for “human trafficking in illicit massage businesses”…According to an archived snapshot of the site, the…page was up as of March 18, two days after the attacks…by the next day…the page returned a “not found” error.  The [memory-holed] page…featured a series of grainy images of massage parlors overlaid with titles like “Massage parlor trafficking networks and organized crime,” and “Your role in ending massage parlor trafficking”…

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It’s complete and utter bullshit.  –  former member of OUR

Choke Point (#593) 

Prohibitionists love victim-blaming sex workers:

On March 3rd…Scott Stedman and Aaron Parnas published a hit piece on Forensic News lobbing accusations of fraud, theft, and money laundering at several adult sites…Stedman is rehashing old, baseless accusations for attention…it’s the banks, not the adult sites, which are responsible for sex workers losing access to their funds…Sex workers certainly have their gripes with adult sites…But accusations that [they] are particularly rife with fraud, theft, and money laundering seem to be entirely without merit…the only evidence Stedman and Parnas can point to are Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)…[which] anyone can file…without any proof or evidence.  Banks have claimed that certain adult sites “may be operating in areas where underage children…might be forced to provide services.”  Yet not only did no bank report a single instance of underage activity, their only evidence was the fact that MyFreeCams serves users in “high-risk” areas such as Colombia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Philippines, and Russia…In fact, all evidence points to all of these “suspicious” transactions being from adult platforms to content creators abroad…

To Molest and Rape (#869)

The “sex offender” registration is the only serious consequence:

A third Louisville [cop]…has [received a slap on the wrist]…for sexually a[ssault]ing a minor [he groomed via]…the department’s youth Explorer program.  A U.S. District Court judge…[let typical and representative cop] Brad Schuhmann [walk with a mere] six months of home incarceration and two years on probation.  In addition, Schuhmann will have to pay a $2,000 fine and register as a sex offender…The [lenient treatment was in spite of the] victim…calling Schuhmann a “monster” and a “predator” who has ruined her life…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Far too little, far too late:

…four individual civil liberties activists and the groups Mijente and NorCal Resist [have filed suit against] Clearview AI [because it] “engages in the widespread collection of California residents’ images and biometric information without notice or consent”…The plaintiffs argue Clearview AI enhances [cop shops’] efforts to monitor…activists…and [marginalized people]…

Lack of Evidence (#1052) 

Removing excuses cops use to persecute people is always a good thing:

[New York’s] “walking while trans” law…was repealed…in [Februar]y…It could prompt other states and cities that have similar laws on the books to follow suit.  California could introduce a bill to repeal a prostitution loitering law this year, and activists in Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans have organized to reverse similar ordinances.  Last summer, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to repeal drug trafficking and prostitution loitering laws…

Working From Home (#1052)

Another step toward a fully-independent demimonde:

…for many sex workers, corporate platforms aren’t revolutionary at all.  Censorship, technology failures and heavy-handed fees are just a few of the drawbacks of using social platforms for sex work.  Rather than rely solely on mainstream services such as OnlyFans, which keeps 20 percent of performers’ earnings, some sex workers use corporate networks only for advertising and conduct their real business on their own websites, which they build and control…

Served Cold (#1100) 

It took almost seven years, but the press has finally caught up with me:

…Operation Underground Railroad…had arrived in a remote village seeking a missing child, acting on what founder Tim Ballard had promised was a solid tip from a source…But the missing child was nowhere to be found. And then…Ballard produced his source: a psychic medium from Utah…Soon after…the villagers became suspicious and increasingly upset as he began circulating through the village with a camera crew…The villagers began to gather, some of them armed with old shotguns, and…elders soon asked the[m]…to leave.  Several cars followed them out of the village to make sure they’d gone…The day was…indicative of a larger pattern for OUR…People who participated in and witnessed OUR operations overseas recounted blundering missions…that seemed aimed mainly at generating exciting video footage…Experts and advocates for sex workers and trafficking survivors also questioned whether OUR’s ties to a corrupt Thai police agency could lead to repression of pro-democracy activists…one person with extensive experience working overseas with OUR…said…nothing OUR did seemed recognizably informed by professional military or intelligence practice…no meaningful surveillance or identification of targets; no development of assets; no validating that people they sought to rescue had in fact been trafficked, or that people they were targeting were indeed traffickers…“They’d go and just push for pimps to show up with girls.”  If presented with sex workers of legal age, OUR would insist on younger girls…“He was creating demand…They conflate sex work and trafficking…They’re making it worse”…

Safe Position (#1110)

Even columns like this one by Steve Chapman are no longer rare:

Eliza Orlins…could be remembered for…moving the nation toward decriminalizing sex work…If elected, she says, she will “advocate for the full decriminalization of consensual sex work. This will begin with declining to prosecute all cases of consensual sex work.”  She is finding plenty of allies.  Five other candidates in the eight-person field have taken the same position…Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez is not in favor of full decriminalization, but he has stopped prosecuting sex workers on prostitution charges and recently vacated more than 1,000 warrants…A poll last year found that 52% of Americans think we should “remove criminal penalties for adults to sell and pay for consensual sex”…Among Democrats and voters aged 18 to 44, 2 out of 3 take th[at] view…

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