When Craigslist recently removed the section, it replaced it with the word "censored. In a prepared copy of his remarks, Powell only briefly mentioned the decision to remove the section. It is our sincere hope that law enfacement and advocacy groups will find helpful partners there.
Powell said chief executive Jim Buckmaster met with the White House and the Justice Department in July on its high-profile struggles to keep illegal off its site, looking at how "best practices" established by the Internet's biggest ad board could be used on other sites.
The company's action followed criticism from attorneys general and lawmakers that its site was abetting child prostitution. The choice was welcomed by human-rights groups, but they said the service should enact the same policy for its international boards. He also said Buckmaster and company founder Craig Newmark were invited to the hearing.
Buckmaster could not attend on short notice, and "Craig is focused primarily on his role as a member of my customer service team, and has not been involved in the day-to-day management of the company for nearly ten years. Elizabeth McDougall, a counsel for Craigslist, also testified at the hearing.
She said Craigslist diverges with some of the human-rights groups who spoke before the committee in its approach to eradicating child trafficking. The groups' approach, she said, is "idealistic. Craigslist's approach, she said, is "practical.
The site emphasizes technological solutions to the problem, she said, including flagging illegal. McDougall said the company can supply a computer's IP and the users' e-mail address, and the person could be tracked by law enforcement through their Internet service provider. He then asked a Justice Department witness if Craigslist could be found liable for the content on its site.
Ted Poe R-Texas said there is a social duty to make sure women are not arrested when prostitution occurs. For such people, "their photographs should be on the Internet. We ought to be thinking about how the Internet could be used to the advantage of the enforcement of the law.
Powell said removing the section could be viewed as a step backward for addressing the core problems around child prostitution. Still, he said, the site has no intention to reinstate the section, and added that a situation in which the company is offered money to do so would not affect the consideration.
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