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Attorney General's News Release

May 3, 2010

AG Koster seeks information from craigslist

--joins states asking craigslist to show compliance with promises--

Jefferson City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster has joined Connecticut and other states in issuing a subpoena to craigslist, Inc., seeking evidence that the company is fulfilling its public promise to block advertisements for prostitution and other illegal activity, and whether the company is profiting from such advertisements.

Koster met with representatives for craigslist last May, demanding the company take action to eliminate advertisements for prostitution and other illegal activities on its site. Nine days after the meeting craigslist announced major changes to its site, including eliminating the “erotic services” section and manually screening for nude photos and illegal activities such as prostitution. In addition, the company promised to donate proceeds from advertisements in its “adult services” section to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other similar organizations.

Koster said the Missouri Attorney General’s office, as well as Attorneys General offices from 38 other states, has monitored craigslist’s site and has found that prostitution ads persist. In addition, Koster said he is concerned that craigslist may still be profiting from the ads, rather than donating the money as promised.

“Despite craigslist’s promises, advertisements for illegal activities like prostitution appear to be as prominent as ever,” Koster said. “It is time for craigslist to provide evidence to us that they have put procedures in place to prevent the selling of illegal activities through their site. Attorneys General from around the nation demanded changes in how craigslist does business, and we intend to hold them accountable.”

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