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Old 12-18-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
Whispers
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Default Promoting Prostitution by writing a review?

Something that has been discounted as not possible over and over through the years these site have existed

http://reason.com/blog/2016/12/13/12...stitution-case


"Prior to this new wave of charges, the King County Sheriff's Office has already prosecuted more than a dozen men in 2016 for what amounts to little more than online speech related to prostitution"

Legal opinions on this in relation to Texas?
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:35 PM   #2
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There's already been a lot of discussion of this issue, such as in the following threads:

http://eccie.net/showthread.php?t=1910196

http://eccie.net/showthread.php?t=1908662

http://eccie.net/showthread.php?t=515506

http://eccie.net/showthread.php?t=1837284

You wrote: "Something that has been discounted as not possible over and over through the years these site[s] have existed." By "something" I assume you mean a hobbyist or provider being charged with a prostitution offense based ONLY on a review. I'm not sure anyone has ever asserted such a phenomenon is "not possible." I never have. Regarding criminal offenses generally, I've repeatedly written here that anyone can be charged with anything anywhere. In the stickied thread:

"Can a review be used as evidence in a prostitution case?"

...I concluded:

"The bottom line is: If you hobby, you're engaging in criminal activity. Engaging in criminal activity involves the risk of criminal prosecution therefor. If you want to lessen your risk, don't write reviews. But you'd have to be borderline paranoid to think that way. Instead, write reviews, but be discreet and use common sense when you do so."

See: http://eccie.net/showpost.php?p=3006929&postcount=1

I've also written that I've never heard of a provider or hobbyist being charged with a crime for ONLY writing a review. I'll modify my statement by saying I've read that hobbyists in Seattle were arrested for only writing a review, but I found the assertions not credible, as I explain, below.

Having read the Reason blog piece you cite from December 13, 2016, and a Reason blog piece from September 2016:

"The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year"

...and posts by the Seattle-based provider CompanionEstella, I am far from convinced that any hobbyist in Seattle has ever been charged for ONLY writing a review. My belief is based on the following reasons:

1. The two articles, despite their headlines and hyperbole, describe OTHER conduct ALL the charged hobbyists engaged in along with writing reviews.

2. As near as I can determine, other than the one blogger and CompanionEstella, no one has written arguing the charged hobbyists in Seattle ONLY wrote reviews. On the other hand, numerous REPUTABLE news agencies have written that the charged Seattle hobbyists engaged in other conduct besides writing reviews. Estella's response is that "LE lied to the press," but when weighing multiple news articles versus a provider's post on Eccie based on third-hand or even fourth-hand hearsay, I tend to believe the news articles.

3. CompanionEstella's factual assertions aren't credible to me. It appears that most of what she says is based on what she calls "inside information" from what a client told her. But what a hobbyist tells a provider can be far from the golden truth. For example, she has repeatedly asserted that her client wrote a review three years ago, never posted it, and yet was charged with felony promotion of prostitution. That assertion smells like steaming bullshit to me. Estella also asserted that "hundreds" of men would be charged with felonies in Seattle on December 14, 2016 for ONLY writing reviews, when, in reality, only 12 men were charged for writing reviews AND other conduct, as stated in the more recent Reason article.

4. Estella stated she's read criminal complaints in the Seattle cases and they stated the defendant only wrote a review. However, I searched and I found no such complaints.

5. Reading the "Ask a Provider Anything" thread, Estella repeatedly expresses a concern about hobbyists writing reviews being charged with crimes, based on the Seattle cases. Yet her website has links to reviews IN SEATTLE, where she claims "hundreds" of men are being busted for ONLY writing reviews, and her Eccie showcase has links to reviews. Estella can't be sincerely concerned about her customers being busted for writing reviews and use the reviews to promote her business, in my opinion.

Is it POSSIBLE a hobbyist in Seattle was arrested ONLY for writing a review? OF COURSE. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. But I know of no credible evidence to support it.

Finally, one of the four threads I posted above includes a discussion of the Washington state prostitution statute versus the Texas prostitution statute. I concluded that the Washington law was VERY vague regarding promoting prostitution. I think it's highly unlikely that a hobbyist or provider could be charged with promoting prostitution under the Texas statute for ONLY writing a review.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:13 AM   #3
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Default

Thank-you for the reply and summation. If this is a rehash of other material just merge it with the applicable thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShysterJon View Post
There's already been a lot of discussion of this issue, such as in the following threads:

I was aware of the earlier issues but these charges are less than a week old. The earlier charges seemed to involve more involvement than this current round as well.

You wrote: "Something that has been discounted as not possible over and over through the years these site[s] have existed." By "something" I assume you mean a hobbyist or provider being charged with a prostitution offense based ONLY on a review. I'm not sure anyone has ever asserted such a phenomenon is "not possible."


I am a social person. I've attended hundreds of meet and greets over the years held in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles area and Fort Lauderdale/Miami area.

Conversations with a lot of guys over that time that all seemed to believe they could never face such a situation.

Some guys believe they can write a disclaimer thinking they are protecting themselves.

I've seen the reality of overzealous LE activity being shut down later by the courts but along the way there is the reality the arrest, booking, public display of booking photos and the media coverage of sensational headlines.

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Old 12-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whispers View Post
I've seen the reality of overzealous LE activity being shut down later by the courts but along the way there is the reality the arrest, booking, public display of booking photos and the media coverage of sensational headlines.

Lawyers call that: "You may beat the rap, but you can't skip the ride."
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShysterJon View Post
Lawyers call that: "You may beat the rap, but you can't skip the ride."
Pardon me SJ but it actually goes like this "You might beat the rap but you can't beat the ride."
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:15 PM   #6
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That's just another way of saying the same thing, idjit.

Happy Thanksgiving, btw.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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SJ, I'm not going to engage you and derail this thread like you dId the SA WW thread of CE.

However, Happy Hanukkah SJ.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolyday View Post
SJ, I'm not going to engage you and derail this thread like you dId the SA WW thread of CE.
You must be on your meds again. Your Medicare must have come through.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:28 PM   #9
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I'm no attorney but wouldn't something like this have to happen?

I write a review using a screen name and a screen name only. There is no email address or phone number associated with my review.
LE would have to get a warrant or subpoena to get the records from the website where the review was written. This is assuming the website keeps logs showing IP info for the user accounts.
LE would then need another subpoena(s) or warrant(s) to take to the ISPs to get owner information.
LE would then have to obtain more warrants and visit the IP owners house and possibly confiscate cell phones, computers, etc.
LE would then have to somehow have to prove that a specific person at that residence wrote a review as it could be anyone at that residence.

Seems a tad far fetched this could happen for simply writing a review of an encounter on a website.
I could be very wrong but here but doesn't seem feasible to me.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:33 AM   #10
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I wonder the same, LA. If (and that's a big if) LE wanted to go this route, it would seem they'd only do it if it was easy, like guys who use their RL emails and phones to hobby, and cops acquired that information (perhaps if they got an agency's "little black book").
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:18 PM   #11
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Default What I find most disturbing

is that LE went 'undercover as hobbyists', made appointments, did or did not have sex, and wrote reviews.

"King County Detective Luke Hillman had been undercover as a hobbyist on TRB since 2013. Off and on for two years, Hillman would post lengthy and detailed descriptions of alleged sexual encounters with sex workers to TRB. These included the same sorts of statements defendants have been arrested for posting, such as pleas for others to visit a particular woman so she would stick around, info about the screening process for new clients, updates on when a new K-Girl arrived in town, and links to their ads on other websites, like Backpage. (Sample Hillman post: Yoco "is the freight train of sexual energy. ... Her last day is August 23rd, RUN, don't walk, to see her.")
For the better part of 2015, detectives interacted undercover with defendants in myriad ways, monitored alleged brothels, and went on more than a dozen "dates" with the women they believed to be forced into "sexual slavery." (Oddly, they felt no need to "rescue" these women at these times.)"

Fascinating reading, but disturbing.
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.A. View Post
I'm no attorney but wouldn't something like this have to happen?

I write a review using a screen name and a screen name only. There is no email address or phone number associated with my review.
LE would have to get a warrant or subpoena to get the records from the website where the review was written. This is assuming the website keeps logs showing IP info for the user accounts.
LE would then need another subpoena(s) or warrant(s) to take to the ISPs to get owner information.
LE would then have to obtain more warrants and visit the IP owners house and possibly confiscate cell phones, computers, etc.
LE would then have to somehow have to prove that a specific person at that residence wrote a review as it could be anyone at that residence.

Seems a tad far fetched this could happen for simply writing a review of an encounter on a website.
I could be very wrong but here but doesn't seem feasible to me.
Or an arrested hooker could print your review, hand it to Barney Fife, and tell Barney L.A. told her he wrote it. The next time you go see the girl, she may be working UC for Barney to work off her case, and she'd be happy to introduce you two.

The problems with proving up authenticity are discussed in this thread:

"Can a review be used as evidence in a prostitution case?"

The processes you describe are carried out every day by LE in other contexts, such as in child pornography and terrorism investigations. If a prosecutor is willing to devote the resources, time, and effort to prostitution busts, we'd have a Seattle-type situation. In Texas, there are strike forces and inter-agency cooperation, but only when there are concerns with minors working as prostitutes or "human trafficking." That's why I think it's highly unlikely a DA in Texas will put together a Seattle-like sting.

I don't think anyone should assume companies that aid electronic communications (email servers and phone companies, for example), hooker review boards, and providers themselves must be compelled with a search warrant or subpoena to turn over records. You might be surprised how often people turn over records to LE just to keep LE off their backs, or in exchange for lenient treatment. Also, with all the chest-beating about the First Amendment I've read in the threads about the Seattle TRB cases, it's expensive to litigate these issues.
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Old 12-26-2016, 12:54 AM   #13
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The process to connect real names and info to board handles might go something like this.

First you plant some undercovers on the board and get them interacting with the members and posting reviews. You do this long enough and well enough to start building up some trust for the undercovers in the community.

Then you stake out the board's meet and greets. The undercovers go in as invited guests while the surveillance guys are posted outside. This is a discreet surveillance operation so they are hidden or somehow undercover. The surveillance guys start taking pictures of the guys going into and out of the location along with the vehicles they are driving and the license plates. The undercovers inside the meeting work to fit into the scene and while doing that they gather information such as physical descriptions of the guys they are meeting. A lot of guys introduce themselves and go by their board handles at these things so the undercovers know "BigDickEd" is the fat slob in the red shirt and white slacks, while "Gunfighter69" is the freckled nerdy looking lanky kid in the black suit, etc etc. If they have particular targets of interest they might even have guys detailed to follow the targets when they leave the meet and greet, especially if targets have female company with them. Later the surveillance guys and the undercovers plug their info in and start matching things up. "BigDickEd" is identified as the guy who drove up in the red convertible muscle car, the plates are run and now they know who he is and where he lives, "Gunfighter69" is matched up as driving up in the black Nissan Rogue, and his info is quickly pulled up, etc etc for everyone that they can match up.

Then when they have built up a decent enough promoting prostitution case against the website owners LE tries to seize the site. Subpoenas, search warrants, etc are requested and granted and if the LE are lucky the site is hosted in the US and they are able to get at least a copy of the whole database. Depending on the type of software running the site, LE might then have easy access to the member info such as screen names, email addresses of each member, private messages of each member, and other things.

Then, its a matter of piecing together and matching up the information available to them. By this time LE might have a target list made up though they probably open to following new info to new guys as well as things develop. They match the screen names to the email addresses and get warrants to get into those email accounts and Google, Yahoo, Microsoft are quite willing to comply. The targets may not even know their email accounts have been compromised at least not at first.

So now LE is pulling info from the site database and the compromised email accounts along with being able to physical connect certain screen names to certain known individuals. Think of all the information shared through private messages on hobby boards and all the info that can be shared through email between clients and providers, providers to providers, and even clients to clients.

Notice I've not even mentioned trying to match up IP addresses yet.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:39 AM   #14
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i would think one of the bigger risks someone could take is visiting asian massage parlors and writing reviews on them.

the simple fact is a lot of women working in the asian parlors arent exactly their of their own free will. If the police decided to bust up a trafficking ring I could see how they might use reviews as a way to help make cases against people.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jannisary View Post
The process to connect real names and info to board handles might go something like this.

First you plant some undercovers on the board and get them interacting with the members and posting reviews. You do this long enough and well enough to start building up some trust for the undercovers in the community.

Then you stake out the board's meet and greets. The undercovers go in as invited guests while the surveillance guys are posted outside. This is a discreet surveillance operation so they are hidden or somehow undercover. The surveillance guys start taking pictures of the guys going into and out of the location along with the vehicles they are driving and the license plates. The undercovers inside the meeting work to fit into the scene and while doing that they gather information such as physical descriptions of the guys they are meeting. A lot of guys introduce themselves and go by their board handles at these things so the undercovers know "BigDickEd" is the fat slob in the red shirt and white slacks, while "Gunfighter69" is the freckled nerdy looking lanky kid in the black suit, etc etc. If they have particular targets of interest they might even have guys detailed to follow the targets when they leave the meet and greet, especially if targets have female company with them. Later the surveillance guys and the undercovers plug their info in and start matching things up. "BigDickEd" is identified as the guy who drove up in the red convertible muscle car, the plates are run and now they know who he is and where he lives, "Gunfighter69" is matched up as driving up in the black Nissan Rogue, and his info is quickly pulled up, etc etc for everyone that they can match up.

Then when they have built up a decent enough promoting prostitution case against the website owners LE tries to seize the site. Subpoenas, search warrants, etc are requested and granted and if the LE are lucky the site is hosted in the US and they are able to get at least a copy of the whole database. Depending on the type of software running the site, LE might then have easy access to the member info such as screen names, email addresses of each member, private messages of each member, and other things.

Then, its a matter of piecing together and matching up the information available to them. By this time LE might have a target list made up though they probably open to following new info to new guys as well as things develop. They match the screen names to the email addresses and get warrants to get into those email accounts and Google, Yahoo, Microsoft are quite willing to comply. The targets may not even know their email accounts have been compromised at least not at first.

So now LE is pulling info from the site database and the compromised email accounts along with being able to physical connect certain screen names to certain known individuals. Think of all the information shared through private messages on hobby boards and all the info that can be shared through email between clients and providers, providers to providers, and even clients to clients.

Notice I've not even mentioned trying to match up IP addresses yet.
Sure is a good point, in another case, time stamps and matching those users/hobbyists with times posted on the Board, hence why people should never use the actual date they did the deed in their Review. People struggle so much trying to be honest, that they forget that in a place where honesty is never a hallmark, fitting in is its own injustice.

So look at this place then, how many folks are trying to fit in 'too much', makes them vulnerable if they are giving out valuable information about themselves. Often without realizing.
You could be a smart asshole and still fuck yourself over because of lazy pride.

Now, in a world where technology has expanded so much, and still rapidly expanding/advancing, L.E, even the poorest county's have pretty advanced equipment. Its also the phones that are most vulnerable, so many technologies to track calls, texts, e-mails, you leave you GPS functionality on overnight?
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