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Singel-Minded: Craigslist Took One for the Open Internet

Despite having the law on its side Craigslist took down its Adult Services section at the end of August, replacing it with the word Censored. It did so without fanfare — and still no explanation. But the small change marked a big capitulation to a gaggle of state attorneys general and anti–child-trafficking groups who have been hounding the free classifieds listing service for years, casting Craigslist as an online pimp.

Craigslist’s complete retreat was from a compromise position it agreed to, two years ago with same said attorneys general — a few with political ambitions. Despite — or perhaps because of — Craigslist’s unconditional surrender, this group is amping up its assault on the 12-year old law that has allowed the net to flourish. And now Congress is getting into the righteousness with a hearing during which two representatives from Craigslist will face public flogging from politicians in the midst of an election season.

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