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Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns 533

An anonymous reader writes "An interesting case touching on privacy in the Internet age has erupted in Kennebunk, Maine, the coastal town where the Bush family has a vacation home. When a fitness instructor who maintained a private studio was arrested for prostitution, she turned out to have maintained meticulous billing records on some 150 clients, and had secretly recorded the proceedings on video files stored in her computer. Local police have begun issuing summons to her alleged johns, and have announced intentions to publish the list, as is customary in such cases. Police believe such publication has a deterrent effect on future incidents of the kind. However, the notoriety of the case has some, including newspaper editors, wondering whether the lives of the accused johns may be disproportionately scarred (obtaining or keeping a job, treatment of members of their families within the community) for a the mere accusation of having committed a misdemeanor. Also, the list of names will be permanently archived and indexed by search engines essentially forever."
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Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @04:34PM (#41651615)

    wouldn't it be pornography and be legal?

  • Tough (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @04:35PM (#41651619)

    No sympathy for the johns. The prostitute was arrested and her name is in the public domain, why not the johns who also broke the law? Could be pretty funny, too, if the Bush family turns up on that list...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @04:52PM (#41651737)

    if it were really the case then why hide the name at all?

  • Re:Publish them all (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @05:32PM (#41652027)

    Maybe then someone will actually decide that prosecuting consensual crimes like this isn't generally worth the risk.

    That's not what would happen. What would happen is that other "important" people who happen to be political or otherwise enemies of those on the list would attack them for their own advantage while secretly thanking God that their own favorite prostitute wasn't the one raided.

  • Re:ban it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by r1348 ( 2567295 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @06:04PM (#41652277)

    Then make it a strictly state-controlled business, where legal authority releases prostitution authorizations, regularly check on the health of the operators, etc.

    As you clearly state, prostitution needs some sort of authority to prevent abuses on the operators, so make it some legitimate authority, not some improvised pimp.
    Prostitution is not going to disappear in any way, at least try to control it.

  • Re:I recall... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @06:32PM (#41652441)

    Having sex is legal, and so is being in public. Is that a good argument that sex in public should be legal? No, because society has decided that when you put those two things together, you get something that is fundamentally different from either in isolation.

    I don't know about the rest of Europe, but Amsterdam at least disagrees: []

    In Europe, sex is ok and violence is looked down upon. In the US, violence is ok and sex is looked down upon. I leave the morality of each general consensus as an exercise for the reader.

    Disclaimer: I've had sex in public in Amsterdam, but that was in my early 20s before it was legal.

  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <> on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:17PM (#41653129) Homepage Journal

    This is only a problem because powerful men have their names on that list. If it were blue-collar workers, teh list woudl already have been released.

    These guys want to pay to fark some hotties who likes to make videos of her masturbating with a popsicle? The law says that their names will be published since she was arrested for prostitution?

    Let the law be the same for everybody here. Perhaps the powerful men will learn a valuable lesson.

  • The prostitutes. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @08:36PM (#41653249) Journal

    The act of prostitution deprives prostitutes of their freedom and of the control over their bodies.
    No matter how "high class" things get it is still closer to slavery than to a job of an entertainer.
    If you find slavery to be a bit over the top, try thinking about what you'd rather admit to your friends and family - that you're working in a sweatshop or that you're getting paid to be fucked up the ass?

    On the other hand...
    Clearly, making it illegal does nothing but keep some people on their high horses and others in the office.
    So, it should be made legal. BUT... heavily regulated and the regulation should be there to protect both the sex workers and their customers.
    Unionization, health benefits, vacation time etc. should naturally be a given.

  • by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @09:05PM (#41653417) Journal

    So how would regulating prostitution prevent economic exploitation? If someone is in desperate enough economic circumstances to be vulnerable to exploitation, they don't become any less vulnerable if you make prostitution illegal or regulated. If anything, their situation gets even worse since they presumably were taking the best option available to them, and now either resort to worse ones, put up with the criminal types who flock to illegal fields, or starve.

    You don't eliminate the economic exploitation.
    You eliminate one particular venue for it by eliminating the market for illegal (unregulated) prostitution.
    Kinda the way you eliminate illegal trade of alcohol of questionable quality that might make you go blind, by providing a legal option of certified quality.

    You create a legal, clean and safe alternative, and there will be no market for the illegal, unclean and dangerous kind on the street.
    You know... The kind where you're lucky if you only get the clap and not a knife between your kidneys in an alley somewhere.

    As for prostitutes and vulnerability...
    Besides all the benefits of regular health checkups, safer working environment, health insurance and whatnot - they too don't have to worry about having their heads bashed in by a customer in an alley somewhere, or by their pimp.
    And both sides don't have to worry about their money being stolen.
    Cause should things get to that or worse - either side can now call the cops.

  • Re:I recall... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kenj0418 ( 230916 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:23PM (#41653845)

    (Assuming it's a state where 18 is the legal age, I know it varies)

    The laws start being even more inconsistent in states with lower legal ages. Here the age of consent is 17. So that 22 is fine having sex with that 17 year old. If they start sexing each other instead/also - then it's child pornography.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:18PM (#41654169) Journal

    I live in Holland where prostitution is legal, to the extend politicians had to decide on how to treat jobs in the sex industry in regards to job centers and people on benefits having to take any suitable job or loose their benefits. (Decision was that they are allowed to advertise but it can't be mandated as a suitable job or suggested by a consultant helping you to find a job.

    The problem is that the happy hooker is a lie, pretty woman is not reality-TV. No mentally stable, non-self-loathing woman with options will choose to be come a prostitute. There is the idea of female students putting themselves through school by selling their body but lets face it, no woman who really has a future would do it, since having a history of being a prostitute will hurt your career and social future.

    Be honest, would you date a hooker? Marry her? No? Well there you go.

    There are women who want to be a prostitute but they do it for money/laughs. Problem with that is, they want to make a decent living with it and charge through the nose. High class escort really just means "you expect WHAT per hour", they don't come cheap. I know, I made websites for them. Think 2000 euro per night and then extra for extra's. These are NOT the women who walk the streets. Hell, some escorts even are picky as to who they take as clients. Do you think a street walker or a woman working behind the glass in Amsterdam has such options?

    The reality of most prostitution is that the women has to do anything that any john asks and lets face it, nice guys don't use street hookers. And you might think a slut as being a woman who has men in the high double digits. For a hooker? Closing in on 4 digits. Think about it. Say it is 100 per fuck (a very high price). A developer might charge the same but can do it for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, all your long. That is 2016 johns in a year, just to get the same income as a crappy web developer. Remember, if prostitution is legal, you have to pay the same taxes as any other self employed person. You can do web development in a cheap t-shirt and jeans. An expensive hooker needs more expensive clothes.

    And all the time, she risks some insane person coming along and killing her off. Really want the most dangerous job in the world? Prostitution, the favorite target of serial killers.

    The simple fact is that in Holland, with legal prostition, human trafficking for the sex trade hasn't dropped at all. That is because the amount of Dutch women who have decent social protection who choose prostitution to make their living is far to low and isn't serving the low end of the market. You don't think a college girl putting herself through school who has any reason to want that diploma is going to work several johns a day for what amounts to minimum wage after they payed their pimp for protection and all the other costs?

    The porn industry is probably better known on Slashdot, check income. (and remember, this is income of a self-employed person so the prices are pre-taxes with no benefits) of actresses, the majority not the statistically insignificant few who made it to the top. A picture shoot earns as little as a few hundred, maybe 500 if she does all the site asks. A VHS tape might earn 1-2 thousand back in the day. If you are self-employed in IT, would you even bother answering the phone for such amounts? Especially knowing that the porn industry is always looking for fresh faces, so it is not as if you can do 5 shoots per day, every working day of the year.

    Yes, I know, cases such as this show rather decent amounts of money being made. They are the exception, same as some programmers on Wall Street make 1 million dollars or more. Do you make 1 million dollars or more? No? Well, then you are the street walker, no the high class pretty woman escort.

    I am not saying making prostitution illegal is the answer but making it legal in Holland has not magically fixed everything. In fact, in some ways it has become worse. It used to be possible for the police to liberate women who were

  • Re:I recall... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:28PM (#41654233)

    The funny thing is, if both participants are paid and it is filmed, then it is entirely legal again.

    This is just a historic artifact that the US due to its backwards morales cannot fix.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:47PM (#41654327)

    Hey, here is a business model that could make this legal:

    1. Have a third party pay both prostitute and client.
    2. Have the act videotaped
    3. Have the client buy the tape as the sum or the original fees.

    Of course, there must not be any coercion on 3. But this could be solved by the client buying another tape before (of professionals) and only getting re-hired if he buys his own tapes afterwards. Maximum amount of trust needed on the client-side: 1 act.

  • Re:I recall... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @12:57AM (#41654591) Homepage Journal

    The same is said of consensual sex with a minor: anyone under legal age is incapable of consenting. A 22 that has sex with a girl 17 years old, 364 days at 10PM is a felon who must register for the rest of his life as sex offender, but if they go to a movie first and then get it on at 12:01AM he's in the clear. (I'll leave it to other commenters to come up with a snarky comment)

    Girl: If I'm gonna do that, the least you can do is take me to a movie first.
    Guy: At your age, I'd be crazy not to.

    But seriously, the problem with the boundary conditions is that you have a choice: set boundary conditions that are too lax and some people will get away with being dirtbags; set boundary conditions that are too loose and some people will get jailed for no good reason; set boundary conditions in the middle, and both of the above will happen.

    The better solution is to have different laws depending on the situation. For example, incest, abuse of a minor in your care, etc. are separately crimes when they involve someone under 18, period. This means that for those situations, you don't need the statutory rape laws; they're redundant. So if you beef up the law by making other always-abusive situations illegal when it involves anyone 18-and-under, the statutory rape laws become less important, and it won't hurt to weaken them so that the only absolute bans are on sex that is way over the line of acceptable behavior, i.e. lowering the minimum age and allowing moderately wide age gaps.

    Alternatively, change the law to ban prosecution without the consent of the aggrieved minor, and make evidence of any pressure on said minor by the authorities be grounds for dismissal of the charges. And give the aggrieved minor the right to accept or reject any proposed sentencing. In other words, change it to a "no harm, no foul" law—de minimis non curat lex and all that.

  • Re:I recall... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @03:12PM (#41661633)

    That threat is present in virtually all prostitution

    You know what's really a threat of bodily harm? A bunch of cops pointing their guns at a prostitute and forcefully arresting her in order to throw her in a cage.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"