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He used a Gmail account that Rep. Christopher Lee has since confirmed to be his own. By email, Lee identified himself as a year-old lobbyist and sent a PG picture to the woman from the ad:.

He replied with a PG muscle picture. By modern day standards, the conversation was relatively banal: No prostitutes, escorts, or madams were involved. Then she forwarded us the correspondence. Yesterday, we reached out to Rep. So did the married Republican prowl Craiglist looking for hook ups? That could, theoretically, be true.

But the evidence suggests otherwise. The emails were sent more than a week before the alleged hack. The shirtless photo—which, according to metadata contained in the picture, was taken in Washington, D. And funny it is. This post was reprinted with permission from Gawker. Facebook and Twitter are promising to make much more information about advertising public. Sex workers don't have to worry about being punished for posting their own ads, but they could run afoul of the law if working in pairs or helping a colleague place an ad.

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. The primary target are websites, apps, messageboards, and other digital publishers, which have deeper pockets.

To reach them, Congress had to carve a hole in Section , which has governed the internet for 22 years. It protects web platforms from being sued in civil court or criminally charged by state prosecutors for third-party i. It doesn't apply for federal crimes. Section says that unless they create the content in whole or part, these platforms shall not be treated as the speaker of such content, and good-faith efforts at content moderation like banning ads that explicitly mention illegal acts or auto-filtering out content that contains prohibited words do not change this.

That's why sites are scrambling right now to prohibit any content that could get them held liable. It's probably too late, or at least would be if legislators get their way. FOSTA "shall apply regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred… before, on, or after such date of enactment. No less than the U. Department of Justice has urged against passing FOSTA, calling it unconstitutional and saying that it would make prosecuting sex traffickers harder.

Ron Wyden Wednesday from the Senate floor. Wyden—who co-authored Section —was the only Democrat to vote against the bill, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul the only Republican. An amendment to FOSTA proposed by Wyden would have clarified that websites can try to filter out illegal content without increasing their liability, but it was overwhelmingly defeated. Wyden stressed that FOSTA is not a matter of substituting some free-speech rights for a better ability to stop sex trafficking.

Rather, it's imposing serious burdens while at best doing nothing for trafficking victims and quite likely making their lives worse. For one thing, it incentivizes law enforcement to go after third parties rather than stop traffickers or rescue victims.

It also takes away an important tool for finding trafficking victims—the open internet. Online ads have allowed an untold number of victims to be identified and found.

What's more, the digital trail of ads, emails, and texts can provide evidence that makes catching and prosecuting the perpetrators easier. Law enforcement loses this when traffickers switch to private, encrypted, or dark web forums. Many sex-trafficking survivors and victims groups vocally opposed FOSTA, saying it fails to address the things they really need like housing and job assistance and will make saving future victims harder.

Plus, even those being forced or coerced into prostitution benefit from things like screening out violent clients and not having to walk the streets. The bottom line is that FOSTA "is not going to prevent sex trafficking [and] it's not going to stop young people from becoming victims," Wyden said. What it will do is create "an enormous chilling effect on speech in America," as sites move to squelch anything remotely related to a liability and "powerful political" forces weaponize it against minority voices.

And it goes beyond speech related to sex. For instance, Reddit's sex-work subreddit bans were accompanied by bans of forums for gun talk and trading gaming logins, among others. While Reddit would still have Section protection should any illegal conduct arise from these forums, it's hard to say how long that will last now that's Congress has decided to start making exceptions.

After all, how can we say that Craigslist should be prosecuted if its ads broker prostitution but not a gun sale that leads to the next school shooting?

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