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The Internet Government United States Your Rights Online

'Erotic Review' Blocks US Internet Users To Prepare For Government Crackdown (arstechnica.com) 154

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A website that hosts customer reviews of sex workers has started blocking Internet users in the United States because of forthcoming changes in U.S. law. Congress recently passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act bill (SESTA), and President Trump is expected to sign it into law. SESTA will make it easier to prosecute websites that host third-party content that promotes or facilitates prostitution, even in cases when the sex workers aren't victims of trafficking. After Congress approved the bill, Craigslist removed its "Personals" section and Reddit removed some sex-related subreddits. The Erotic Review (TER) has followed suit by blocking any user who appears to be visiting the website from the United States.

"As a result of this new law, TER has made the difficult decision to block access to the website from the United States until such time as the courts have enjoined enforcement of the law, the law has been repealed or amended, or TER has found a way to sufficiently address any legal concerns created by the new law," the website's home page says in a notice to anyone who accesses the site from a US location. The Erotic Review explained in an FAQ why it blocked US-based users even before SESTA takes effect. (The bill is also known as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, or FOSTA.) "TER has always operated within the law, and it takes SESTA seriously," the FAQ says. "Because we do not know when SESTA will be signed into law, TER wants to be certain that it is in compliance with the statute the moment it becomes effective."
TER can still be accessed outside the U.S., and U.S.-based users can still access the site via a VPN service. "Non-U.S. are asked to agree to a disclaimer, which requires users to agree to 'report suspected exploitation of minors and/or human trafficking' and that they 'will not access TER from a Prohibited Country,'" reports Ars.
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'Erotic Review' Blocks US Internet Users To Prepare For Government Crackdown

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  • by AlanObject ( 3603453 ) on Monday April 09, 2018 @06:06PM (#56408731)

    Donald Trump pushing morality laws. I can't say I didn't see it coming but it still boggles the mind how anyone can see that person as a leader in any positive cause whatsoever.

    But I will say one good thing Trump has done. He has exposed, once and for all and as completely as possible, the abject hypocrisy of the fundamentalist evangelical hustlers and the right wing politicians they are in bed with.

    • Trump is a known 'John', he was just rich enough to employ a 'pussy coordinator', so he could tell himself he was a player.

      The people you are thinking of are a strange group. Left and right dedicated to the axiom: 'Nobody can choose to peddle ass, they are _all_ slaves and victims.'

      Watch for a new section of craigslist to get lots more traffic. Perhaps the 'knitting' interest group will start to see lots of traffic. Strange interests though, never heard of a 'greek comforter'...good luck with their wha

      • a 'greek comforter'

        That's the soothing relief (from the previous night's "festivities") that you get by shoving some freshly-cut aloe vera up your ass.

      • Perhaps the 'knitting' interest group will start to see lots of traffic

        It will be the Seamstresses.

      • If you changed just one word of your post, and that being a name, it will not only be entirely accurate, it would unspeakably offend you .
        And it should. You are that clueless.

        • Trump/B. Clinton?

          No it wouldn't. I know it's true.

          • So which do you know is true, yet doesn't offend you?

            • That both of them are 'opportunistic whore baggers'?

              Duh, they're politicians and men. _Either_ is sufficient proof...I'm pretty comfortable with my 'inner dog', you may have seen me advocating for 'total darkness' (where she's beautiful and I'm handsome) in previous posts.

              I'm even going to go out on a limb and say that my candidate, Vermin Supreme, doesn't turn down much pussy either. Could be wrong.

              • No one even accused Bill of hiring whores
                Though one fool, so poor a witness she had to be immunized twice, said he refused to pay.
    • Your meter is broken (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday April 09, 2018 @06:33PM (#56408879)

      Donald Trump pushing morality laws.

      Hey retard - the bill was passed by a nearly unanimous vote of Democrats and Republicans.

      IT's not about what Trump wants, it's about what the state wants, which is not to have money flows they cannot easily trace nor workers they cannot control.

      Do you seriously doubt for a second if Hillary were president she would not be signing the same bill? Would you wax so eloquent about the utter hypocrisy of those that are supposed to support women when they have literally fucked over the entire sex working population in the U.S.?

      • More Republicans voted against it than Democrats so you should blame us rather than them.

        • I haven't checked for the house, but in the senate at least there were exactly two votes against it; Ron Wyden (D) and Rand Paul (R).

        • by Jack9 ( 11421 )

          How deluded are you that you think there is an "us" and "them", in regards to the public's role in political parties?

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            there is an "us" and "them"

            If you believe that Trump has spurred the job market, you're a Trumpette. If you think people should be fed even if they can't afford it, you're a libtard. There is no middle ground.

        • It was really this weird group of feminists, people trying to stop sex trafficking, and evangelicals.

          In the process it caught legitimate independent massage therapists and many independent adult sex workers. Both groups were essentially "fired" without notice. I guess LMT's will use web sites and business cards? Sex workers may go back to working in bodyrub parlors, street walking, and having pimps.

      • Endless Trump bashing is the internet thing now. Regardless if he's at fault or not. (The man is an idiot, but the stuff people claim he's planning, conspiring or doing, is ridiculously, week on week)

        Honestly it's become so bad, I'm embarrassed to admit I was a far lefty once.

        • Endless Trump bashing is the internet thing now. Regardless if he's at fault or not.

          Yeah, thanks Obama!

          Strat

        • It's whoever is president in general really. It's a thankless job and congratulating the president on a job well done isn't really that fun. On the other hand, bashing the president is very popular and more or less always has been. Even Lincoln was a topic of much debate and hostility for most of his career. It was believed that when he died, his wife was the only person who wouldn't line up to piss on his grave.

          I didn't like Reagan, because he was the ultimate puppet. He managed to sell anything the cabine
          • "Bill Clinton was the lovable and cuddly rubber faced democrat. He was a living, breathing, feel-good campaign. "

            My mom describes him as 'an 8 by 10 glossy of himself'.

            Damned close.

        • It does appear that being an idiot pays off. Smart is overrated.

          Oh, wait...

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Trump uses prostitutes. I expect many other politicians do too, but he is the only one we have proof for at the moment.

        Nothing wrong with that per-se of course. But it's hypocritical. He doesn't have to use backpage.com because he is rich, and can afford to avoid the risky world of low-end prostitution. Rather than extend that opportunity to the people who voted for him on a platform of de-regulation and restored freedoms, he criminalizes them and makes their lives less safe.

        Clinton, FWIW, was supported by [wikipedia.org]

        • It is the rare woman who doesn't calculate earnings power into the formula for picking a mate.

          Gold Digger is a real thing and is perfectly reasonable when you think about it. Would a woman prefer to raise their children in poverty or in a wealthy household? Statistic have indicated that the two major causes of Divorce are arguments over money and infidelity. I suspect that one drives the other.

          A woman who dispenses with the charade of love and simply charges the going rate (transparency) is looked down on b

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            That only works if the guy wants a trophy wife and kids though. If they want a genuine relationship, companionship, support etc and/or are not so bothered about kids then the whole thing falls apart.

            And of course many women don't want to be totally dependent and only valued for their looks/womb too. Why else would they go to university/college in greater numbers than men if their main goal in life was to be a kept woman and a mother? Surely vast student debts would be a financial disincentive to marry them,

            • by sycodon ( 149926 )

              Even Educated women prefer men of means. Why would they want to carry a guy who earns less than they do?

              What makes it even worse for the guy is that educated women who are making a good living have even less reasons to stick around. Vows these days are optional. When any argument ultimately ends up with the woman threatening to divorce (because she can financially, and the legal system will generally assure that she comes out on top) what is a guy supposed to?

              Statistics show that most of the time men get th

              • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                Even Educated women prefer men of means. Why would they want to carry a guy who earns less than they do?

                Because they like him? Because they think he would be a good father? Because they aren't obsessed with money and/or realize that it's more fun to spend with someone than alone?

                When any argument ultimately ends up with the woman threatening to divorce (because she can financially, and the legal system will generally assure that she comes out on top)

                The legal situation isn't like that around here, and even in the US it seems like being a single mother has many down sides, not least that it can be very difficult to get the father to actually contribute.

                But more importantly none of this explains why women marry guys who don't earn much and never will, or why they stay in abusive re

                • by sycodon ( 149926 )

                  Being a single mother seems to be a badge of honor in the US.

                  Spending time with someone, enjoying their company, isn't the same as being in a monogamous, committed relationship...marriage.

                  That's my whole point. Why put yourself in jeopardy when you can just as easily, and more safely, treat the relationship as the business transaction it actually is?

                  There will always be the minority who stay in abusive relationships and marry beneath them (financially). Who knows why? But the divorce rates and the outcomes

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Donald Trump pushing morality laws.

        Hey retard - the bill was passed by a nearly unanimous vote of Democrats and Republicans.

        IT's not about what Trump wants, it's about what the state wants, which is not to have money flows they cannot easily trace nor workers they cannot control.

        Do you seriously doubt for a second if Hillary were president she would not be signing the same bill? Would you wax so eloquent about the utter hypocrisy of those that are supposed to support women when they have literally fucked over the entire sex working population in the U.S.?

        Sigh, she lost. Get over it. You cant keep bringing here up to compensate for Trumps failures.

        Now as for Trump... Wasn't he supposed to be "different" and be fighting for the little guy. Seems the best thing you can say about Trump is that he is only as corrupt as you imagine the other guy is (where as in reality, he makes Hillary look like a saint int he corruption stakes).

        Also, am I the only one that finds it hypocritical that Trump pays for sex, but then reinforces laws that are designed to punish

        • by sycodon ( 149926 )

          Regardless of what you think about Trump, the target of the law is human traffickers.

          Selling 12 year old girls is not OK.

          The law may be imperfect, but it isn't about anyone pushing morals.

      • You should not have forgotten that all legislation is someone's morality.

    • by dirc ( 254647 )

      27 Democratic senators have co-sponsored the bill, along with 43 Republicans. (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1693/cosponsors?pageSort=alphaByParty) It passed the House by a vote of 388-25. (14 Republican no votes and 11 Democratic no votes). Even if President Trump vetoes the bill, the margins in the House and Senate are sufficient to override his veto and pass the bill into law.

      This seems like a bipartisan effort to me. Isn't that what we always say we want from our politicians?

    • ...the abject hypocrisy of the fundamentalist evangelical hustlers

      Said hypocrisy has always been so obvious that only those who need to see it can't - or won't.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I dislike Trump, but you're misunderstand why people support SESTA.
      There are bad people on the internet. Really bad. The kind that kidnap children (think around 6 years old) and offer them up for pedophiles as sex slaves. We're largely ignorant of these dark corners of humanity, but they're real. They advertised their sex slaves quite openly on places like backpage.com. There were code words like "new in town" for underage. The "people" at backpage knew these code words, and did things like edit ads t

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Can anyone provide any legitimate references for the this problem of child sex trafficking in the US? It all seems like another fake moral panic.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          start by checking out the sites of the places that rescue them.
          http://ourrescue.org/

    • right now the Evangelicals are paying, in the form of votes. There's no hypocrisy here on Trump. He's just a businessman. As for the Evangelicals... well, they've got an agenda and an "End Justifies the Means" belief system & religion so I don't see any hypocrisy there either.

      Call a spade a spade. These are not good people. Sad thing is they're leading a surprising amount of good people by the nose since they control those people's social circles.
      • Call a spade a spade. These are not good people. Sad thing is they're leading a surprising amount of good people by the nose since they control those people's social circles.

        That's your reasons for why the republicans support this. Okay. What's your reasons for why the democrats are supporting this?

    • He also has exposed the fact that they can get away with it. The next prez the US elects will be worse.

    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      I didn't noticed the Democrats objecting to this law in the House and Senate.

  • Irony or Hypocracy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So the law is being signed into law by a guy who utilises the skills of sex workers.

    Can one of you americans use your many many guns for something useful and please shoot him in the head? Ajit Pai too while your at it.

    Be a goddamn hero, save the world, gain the adoring love of internet users and sex workers globally.

  • misnomer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2018 @06:14PM (#56408779)

    The evidence is piling up that this SESTA law doesn't have anything to do with sex trafficking. Anyone got a list of who all voted for it? They all need to be replaced in the upcoming election. (Why? Because if they didn't read this bill, then what other bills are they voting Yes for, that they didn't read?)

    I think we ought to make it a crime to vote for a bill that you didn't read. (Voting against a bill that you didn't read, or even because you didn't read it, is ok. Failure by Congress to act isn't nearly as threatening to America as their acts.) Each bill could have a password embedded somewhere in it, and have occasional pop quizzes after every vote, where everyone who doesn't know the password gets punished.

    The punishment doesn't even need to be harsh. Maybe just make them issue a statement that they vote yes for bills that they don't read, let at least one opponent add an addendum, and make them run the statement as an ad, paid by their own campaign. e.g. "Hi, Irving Washington and I voted yes on a bill I didn't read!" [Then opponent Washington Irving's satirical voice cuts in with "Whoa, hope I didn't just make it mandatory to feed children into shredders!"]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, but you have to pass the bill to see what's in it. That's according to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a noted gargantuan of Democratic party Progressive philosophy.

      Anyways, you gonna make congresscritters like Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX sigh) read bills. Okay then. The next 3000 page Obamacare bill is going to take a while since she reads at the 3rd grade level. And people like Hank Johnson (D-GA) who thought the island of Guam would tip over because too many Marines were there can't even read at all. Your propo

      • Sorry, but you have to pass the bill to see what's in it. That's according to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a noted gargantuan of Democratic party Progressive philosophy.

        Anyways, you gonna make congresscritters like Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX sigh) read bills. Okay then. The next 3000 page Obamacare bill is going to take a while since she reads at the 3rd grade level. And people like Hank Johnson (D-GA) who thought the island of Guam would tip over because too many Marines were there can't even read at all. Your proposed law will never make it out of committee.

        You're making great points for why such a bill would pass. All the congresstards who can't/don't read will vote Yes for it if it has a positive name.

        Call it the United States Congressional Literacy Act.

        All members of the Congress of the United States of America must fully read any and all legislation they vote in favor of. A vote in favor of proposed legislation shall serve as binding certification that the member has read the proposed legislation in its entirety. Should it at any time be admitted or dem

        • You forgot: 'run out of town on a rail'. Being in the middle of nowhere, naked, covered in tar and feathers is a key part of the punishment.

    • They all voted for it. 388-25 in the House and 97-2 in the Senate. Despite opposition from every stakeholder on both the internet and sex trafficking advocacy side. Good luck tearing down the anti-freedom supermajority.
    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      Just a reminder: the word "trafficking" just means trade in illegal goods [oxfordlear...naries.com]. "Sex trafficking" is prostitution. Many people confuse it for sexual slavery, in other words: human trafficking for the purpose of sex.

      It's that confusion which lets them get away with anti-prostitution laws like this one, with very little push-back from the public.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Here are the lists of the people who voted for it:

      http://clerk.house.gov/evs/201... [house.gov]
      https://www.senate.gov/legisla... [senate.gov]

    • Anyone got a list of who all voted for it?

      Yeah, here's a list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • They didn't need it to take down Backpage.com for what appears to be at least a "wink and nod" attitude toward child prostitution. I never believed the activists had good intentions because S230 has never protected sites that are either willfully allowing or in open conspiracy with these sorts of criminals.

  • I am really scared, I feel like this is how dystopias are born. This is similar to increasing govt surveillance and saying a normal "upright" citizen need not worry about it since it only targets money launderers and terrorists...
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The digital Berlin Wall is up.
      Everything that was fun before is now a memory.
      Every CC use, ip, vpn use, ISP log, site visit, search term, file uploaded, the cloud, social media is now going to US law enforcement to sort.
      The US internet is now a trap.
  • These websites will soon find out that it isn't enough to just ban US users. Since US users can simply use VPN/proxies their legal requirements (if there are any) are not met. US users can still visit the websites.
    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      Since US users can simply use VPN/proxies their legal requirements (if there are any) are not met. US users can still visit the websites.

      Untrue. You have to have sufficient mens rea with respect to US users in order to even fit within the defined crime. Banning US users, prohibiting US users, and terminating any VPN users found to be US users pretty much ensures that that requirement won't be met. That's before you get into the "how do we extradite foreign nationals and foreign corporations" issue.

      If yo

      • I'm not advocating for anything. My point is that it is pointless. US users can still (easily) use the website. So what is the difference if you are "banning" US users? You aren't.
        • Then you wrote poorly, because it is enough. Websites do not car about "secret US users." They care about known US users who kthe guy subject them to liability. Lose the known US users and there's no problem with US law.

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Monday April 09, 2018 @06:24PM (#56408829) Homepage
    This will mean no more ratings for Stormy Daniels.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I've love to know if sleeping with Trump has increased or decreased her business. On the one hand, celebrity sells. On the other, hotels with "Trump" in the name have been renaming themselves because of the negative connotations.

      In any case the book deal should be pretty lucrative.

  • Where will all of our politicians go for reviews on escorts? Trolling the corner for hookers? No, Never. Right? https://www.ranker.com/list/po... [ranker.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everywhere else you have right or left wing nut jobs who think the answer is government, but in New Hampshire there is at least a migration of people from all over the world who believe in freedom and have gotten together to say no more. We've been quite successful in various areas from guns to crypto to freedom of speech.

    I hate to break it to the majority of you but the government is *why* we have these problems. The government isn't the solution to poverty, war, security, morals, racism, or whatever the l

  • This is the sort of behavior one expects of a Democrat controlled government. Not the Repedocans. Oh yes, ever since Roy Moore, your party is forever attached to pedos. Sorry about that.

    Insults and jabs aside... stupid... about the only word in my vocabulary that describes this situation. Stupid. Like there isn't going to be 324082103 .onion sites to fill the void. Face it, you can't police or regulate the internet, it's designed to route around such stupidity.

    The harder you try, the more ugly it gets

    • You really expect this more from Democrats than the party that wants big government in your bedroom (and basically anywhere but the boardroom)?

  • I have to wonder if some eager prosecutor will go after sugar baby sites like Seeking Arrangement.
  • First, it was the left's move to slowly shift from "illegal alien" to "undocumented immigrant" so that if someone is against illegal aliens, people on the left say he is against immigration, which is both a useful lie and a useful false conflation.

    Then, someone who is 19 is "a teenager" who should be coddled and treated like a 13 year old if he commits a crime. Unless he commits an horrific crime, then he is an adult.

    Now, people who are against sex work, mostly people on the right and the religious, have m

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