back to article South Carolina AG counterpunches Craigslist suit

South Carolina's top prosecutor is asking a federal judge to dismiss a complaint against him by Craigslist over his dangling threats to sue the website for hosting prostitution-related ads. Attorney General Henry McMaster claims in papers filed Tuesday that Craigslist is not protected under federal law that frees an …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Resulting destruction and chaos... absolutely fantastic. "Dang! I'd never have figured to hire a hit on my ex if I hadn't'a seen that section on Craigslist! But now that it's there, whoo boy! I've had... five, shucks, ten people ass-assinated! I can't wait to see what sections they all puttin' up next!"

    OK, yeah, no idea what's up with the accent, but it seemed appropriate.

  2. Niles


    Can't the police just see this as an opportunity? They can answer the "Murder for Hire" ad as easily as the next guy, and then they've caught a murderer.

    It's like they don't care about crime, only that it is driven respectably underground.

    I guess trawling Craigslist doesn't have the romance of driving the big car around busting heads.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "[Craigslist] will be free to develop categories such as 'Murder for Hire,' 'Preferred Prostitutes,' or 'Drug Supermarket,' with absolute impunity, and states will be helpless to stop the resulting destruction and chaos within their borders."

    What a LOAD of CRAP. Try going after big doggie, city-vibe, ter, eros-orlando etc - they are blatant hooker directories. As for murder for hire? Geeeez! It's the internet, anything is available anywhere! Leave CL alone, good God...

  4. Steven Hunter

    Hyperbole much?

    First of all, if Craigslist actually had categories for out-and-out illegal activities* like murder for hire, I imagine it would make finding criminals awfully easy.

    Second, what makes this jerk-off think that the Internet isn't *already* being used for this exact same thing in his state? 'Cause I got news for you: it already is. Hell, you can find prostitutes in the God-damned *phone book*!

    *yeah, prostitution is illegal too, but in the grand scale of things it seems pretty unimportant if some guy wants to pay some gal (or guy) for a little action.

  5. asdf

    Nothing good comes out SC

    Even if the judgement seems reasonable trust me nothing good can come out of the South Carolina courts. Remember this is the state that started the Civil War and still believes in Confederate flags and Confederate heritage. I guess fringe red necks who believe Darwin is Satan, all liquor should come out of mason jars, and your first cousin is fair game need a place to live to.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Another candidate enters the field

    So Henry McMaster is planning on running for State Governor then?


  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Yet another sociopath in upwards motion

    "If [Craigslist] prevails in this action..."

    Anyone who is AG and writes such stuff should be shifted to the front door forthwith as he has evidently lost touch with base reality.

    Should I write an assessment stating that "our competitor might penetrate our networks, rape our secretaries or kill the management's Golden Retriever if we don't succeed in the next project", I know what would happen.

  8. Eddy Ito


    Only a chief chimp like McMaster could have such clairvoyant clarity to decode future categories that might come up. Unfortunately, he seems unable to read... well, the terms of service, anyway.

  9. Orlando

    States helpless to stop destruction and chaos

    Let's say that Google came out with a tool for law enforcement that provided accurate contact information for people who were advertising their intent to commit burglaries, murders, and such, neatly categorized by location. It would probably be hailed as one of the most useful tools for law enforcement ever made. Especially if it were available in the form of an iPhone app! One cop at the station could do the work of many more in patrol cars, blindly driving around, hoping to run into something.

    Craigslist's adult services section could be used as exactly that kind of tool for locating prostitution... IF police and prosecutors had any intention of actually spending the time and energy on rounding up, processing and jailing the people who use it to advertise services of ill-repute. But of course, most police already have their hands full with burglaries, rapes, assaults, murders, drug dealing, identity theft, etc. *

    McMaster knows perfectly well that SC doesn't have doesn't have the time or jail cells to spare on hookers. But instead of admitting that and himself becoming a target of the religious right (albeit an honest one), he joins in on their finger pointing. Setting aside the absurdity of CL actually creating categories for hitmen and drug dealers, the only way that "destruction and chaos" were to result from craigslist ads would be if the cops were too unbelievably lazy to do anything about the information that's basically handed to them. Click on link. Dude, are you serious? I want my ex-girlfriend killed, how much for that? 5K? Hmm, well, I want this done right. Have you done this before? OK, great. Meet me at the doughnut shop, I'm the fat guy with the laptop.

    This sideshow is just a public relations feedback loop, and has nothing to do with enhancing the safety of the public, which, it seems to me, was supposed to be the AG's real job.

    * Not to mention dealing with an alarming rise in suspicious photographers, birthday raves, funny looks, and so forth.

  10. Dillon Pyron

    Not that I've ever ...

    ... actually looked at any of these ads, but wouldn't something saying "BBBJ - 200 hugs" kind of tell the cops that the lady was quite possibly a "professional woman"?

    Of course, the cops could also bust a bunch of johns running their own ads. Just have to be careful how they word it. Works for the blue collar guy looking for a "2 dollar hooker", why not the investment banker looking for a thousand buck escort? Oooops, that may be the answer to that question.

  11. karakalWitchOfTheWest


    What is it with Americans and Prositution. It is - so it seems for me continental European - legal to own guns to kill, to show horror movies and action movies to children, but God beware if even a nipple appears anywhere or anyone should have fun in bed (or anywhere else)....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an idiot

    Its like those fundies who claim without the fear of hell people would kill each other etc.

  13. lukewarmdog

    Ban stuff

    The Bible is way worse than CraigsList. Names are named, prices set out and God actually goes round killing and destroying. It should get banned next.

  14. The First Dave


    I think that state has bigger problems than a little love-for-hire if the AG can't tell the difference between defamation and ... actually, I don't think there is a word for it, because it simply isn't possible for a Judge to tell a cop that he cannot investigate a crime.

    What the Judge has been asked to do is force this idiot politician (he clearly isn't a REAL cop) to 'put up, or shut up'. Funny, but over here it is normal for policemen (and politicians) to say: 'I can't possibly comment on an ongoing investigation'.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Easy Fix

    Obviously, the solution here is to legalize prostitution in all 50 states.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bait and switch

    The guy tells 'em to stop, or he'll start a criminal investigation.

    They stop.

    He tells 'em he's starting the criminal investigation anyway. And this is when the lawyers start getting paid.

    This is the sort of untrustworthy political scum that it isn't worth buying.

  17. doctorevil3232

    Accountability lies with the person, not the service

    There should be no accountability for hosting classified ads by the medium that provides the forum, like craigslist,,, and other free sites. People are responsible for their actions; that's where the prosecutors should focus their energy. If you are a prostitute and you advertise for sexual services, then you are culpable for what you do. Period.

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