MasterCard will no longer allow its cards to be used in ad purchases on Backpage.com, following pressure from Illinois law enforcement, according to multiple reports.
Backpage.com, a classifieds site similar to Craigslist, runs ads for a variety of things and includes an “adult” section with ads for escorts, “back rubs” and strippers, among other things. The site has been criticized by many for allegedly allowing pimps and sex traffickers to solicit sex anonymously.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart sent a letter to both Visa and MasterCard Monday asking them to disallow use of their cards by patrons of the site. Cook County is the second most-populous county in the U.S. and Dart has been tracking solicitations for prostitution on the site for some time.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in Dart’s letter to the two companies, he wrote that “we have objectively found [Web sites like Backpage] promote prostitution and facilitate online sex trafficking.”
Apparently backpage.com has been linked to quite a few vice crimes and even human trafficking. I’m sure the cops use the website themselves to conduct stings. For the banks to merely prohibit transactions because a governmental organization feels that those transactions are inappropriate sets a dangerous precedence for liberty. What’s next, hollow point ammunition?
Full Story @ [Washington Post]