Craigslist Suing South Carolina Attorney General
Craigslist has filed a lawsuit against South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster in that state's federal court, seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order. Despite Craiglist's promise to remove its Erotic Services category, McMaster has threatened to criminally prosecute the site, leading to an escalating war of words between him and Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster.
On May 20, two days after demanding an apology from South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster for the latter's threats of prosecution, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster announced in corporate blog posting that the popular community-posting site would be filing a lawsuit against McMaster in South Carolina federal court.
"Mr McMaster's repeated threats of criminal prosecution should we refuse to shut down craigslist for South Carolina have left us little choice but to seek declaratory relief before the court," Buckmaster added. Craigslist has already promised to remove the 'Erotic Services' category from its site this week, in response to protests. In its place, the site plans to introduce an Adult Services section, whose postings will be individually reviewed.
In previous blog postings, Buckmaster has repeatedly claimed that Craigslist's South Carolina adult postings are tame, especially when compared to the adult content available through newspapers and other online sites.
In the letter announcing the suit, Buckmaster claims that Craigslist is operating in full compliance with all applicable laws, has been "unusually responsive" to past requests from law enforcement, and has adopted screening measures far more stringent than those applied by McMaster to potentially criminal material.
The letter also states that usage of Craigslist in South Carolina has experienced explosive growth over the last two years, including community growth approaching 2000 percent in certain cities.