The eternal fairy story of thousands of itinerate sex workers travelling the globe from sports competition to sports competition has got its first mention for the 2016 Tokyo Olympics.
The source of the first rumour is a totally unauthoritative figure
used by a tabloid sports editor, but no doubt there will be a few gender extremists who will use the quoted figure and the rumour will commence.
In fact the Tokyo Sports tabloid spoke to Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment
called Ore no Tabi (My Journey). He says that Korean prostitutes from around the world will arrive in Tokyo, especially the Uguisudani area, which is known for its delivery health out-call establishments.
It could be more than 100,000 women. They will be eyeing the economic possibilities that go with the event. There is no doubt about it.
The basis of the claims is that in 2004, the Korean government passed an anti-prostitution law and
shuttered a number of sex shops. As a result, the editor says, Korea has exported 100,000 prostitutes to worldwide, primarily to the United States, Japan and Australia. It is this band of travelling sex workers that will supposedly converge on
Tokyo for the Olympics.
UglyMugs.ie invited Irish indoor sex workers to take part in the research, which aimed to learn more about escorts in Ireland and particularly about their experiences of crime and abuse. This is the first ever survey of indoor sex workers in Ireland
and 195 female, male and trans* escorts took part. Although the survey cannot be considered representative of all persons selling sex in Ireland, 195 participants is a very significant proportion of the Irish sex worker population.
The escorts who took part in the survey were from 29 different countries. Most were aged in their 20s or 30s and highly educated. Just over half had worked in sex work in another country prior to becoming an escort in Ireland. 97.3%
were self-employed independent escorts, though 33.3% had experience of working for a third party, e.g. an escort agency, in Ireland or elsewhere in the past.
Despite it being popularly reported in the media that children are
involved in prostitution, there was no evidence of the involvement of any under 16s and only one participant was aged under 18.
Participants reported low alcohol and drug use, high condom use, and taking a number of security
measures whilst working as an escort, the top ones being not getting in cars with clients (65.3%), taking more precautions when it is a new client (58.1%) and not working alone (41.1%) despite the laws in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
that force escorts to work alone if they want to work legally.
Ireland's sex worker population overwhelmingly works indoors with access to phones and the Internet, which is safe conditions, in comparison to outdoor sex working.
However, many of the participants reported experiences of a wide range of crime and abuses. It is also clear that a wide range of persons commit crime against sex workers in Ireland, not only clients.
66.7% of participants who had
been a victim of crime whilst working as an escort in Ireland did not report to the police. The high level of stigma associated with being an escort being the primary barrier to engaging with police.
Participants said that other
escorts were the biggest source of help to them after experiencing crime. The research confirmed that currently there are no useful support services for escorts in Ireland, but escorts would welcome the establishment of a variety of sex worker support
Fear of media exposure amongst escorts in Ireland is very high, even higher than fear of crime, with 74.6% of participants worried or very worried about being exposed as an escort in the newspapers or other media.
Recommendations include further research, a review of laws and policies that put sex workers at risk, tackling media abuse of sex workers and the provision of police sex worker liaison services and general advice, legal advice, health
services and exiting services for sex workers.
The full report outlines that a number of factors put escort at risk of violence and abuse. The lack of support services and good relations with police, mean offenders specifically
target escorts, in the belief that they are people in society without any help, who offenders can abuse with a very low risk of facing any consequences as a result. The media portrayal of escorts as people with no rights, no choices, helpless victims who
can't say no to anything or anybody, is also sending a very dangerous message to offenders.
UglyMugs.ie is a scheme that aims to improve the safety of sex workers in Ireland and reduce crimes committed against them, by bringing
sex workers together to share information about potential dangers.
Commenting on the research, UglyMugs.ie said:
There has never been any independent research into indoor sex work in Ireland.
Instead of asking sex workers about their lives, we ask anti-prostitution campaigners. As our initial research here has shown, the Irish public are being grossly misled. Proper independent research must now be carried out now to establish the reality of
indoor sex work in Ireland, so sensible legislation can be put in place.
Paying for sex in France may soon become a criminal offence, according to a forthcoming bill whose details were made public this week.
The proposed legislation would also overturn a 2003 law that penalises prostitutes overtly offering their
services, rules that were intended to reduce the presence of sex workers in the streets but instead led prostitutes to dress down while plying their trade.
We are going to turn the law on its head, said gender extremist MP, Maud
Olivier, who authored a report that will be the basis of the bill:
Prostitutes are victims and should not be treated like criminals. The law is intended to reduce violence towards prostitutes and to get it into the
general mindset that paying for sexual services is not acceptable. We need to destroy the idea that prostitution is a happy trade.
The bill, which is due to be debated by the National Assembly (lower house) and the Senate starting in
November, sets out progressive fines of up to 1,500 euros for a first offence, to 7,500 euros and six months' imprisonment for repeat offenders.
The proposal does not have universal support, however, and organisations representing sex workers
claim it would push prostitution further underground and subject women to increased risks. AIDS advocacy group Act Up and French NGO Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) were among around 100 organisations who signed a petition against the
proposition, arguing that it would make prostitutes more vulnerable .
Manon , a Paris sex worker who is spokeswoman for the STRASS sex workers union , told FRANCE 24 the bill would do exactly the opposite of what it is designed to
Prostitutes will have to work more clandestinely to protect their clients, putting them at greater danger of violence and further away from sexual health services, she said.
also means a drop in the number of clients, making it harder for us to make a living. This in turn means that punters will be in a stronger position to pressure prostitutes into doing things they don't want to do, including having unprotected sex.
Should women receive preferential treatment in the workplace? Newly published research suggests attitudes toward this issue may correlate in part to whether people are porn viewers.
Writing in the Psychology of Women Quarterly , Indiana
University researchers Paul Wright and Michelle Funk report people who admitted to watching pornography were less likely to support affirmative action for women in a subsequent interview.
That equation held true once a variety of factors that
could shape one's view of the issue (including political ideology and religiosity) were removed from the equation. Furthermore, it applied to women as well as men.
The researchers claim: these results suggest that pornography may be a social
influence that undermines support for affirmative action programs for women. ( But on the other hand it may just mean that if feminists were a little less strident in wanting to ban adult entertainment, they may get a little more support in more
In interviews in 2008, nearly 24% of the men and 13% of the women said they had watched a pornographic film during the previous year. Two years later, as part of a follow-up session, the same people were asked, Are you for
or against preferential hiring and promotion of women?
The results: Prior pornographic viewing predicted subsequent opposition to affirmative action for women. While women in the study (like those in previous research) were more
supportive of such programs than men, they, too, were less likely to express approval if they had watched porn.
According to the researchers, this suggests sexual media activate abstract social scripts, which may then be used to inform opinions
about social issues ---particularly issues dealing with gender equality. But really it just means that porn viewers aren't awfully keen on those who want to take their fun away.
The Swiss parliament has voted to raise the legal prostitution age from 16 to 18 bringing Swiss law into line with European neighbours.
The lower house of parliament voted to change the Swiss penal code to make it illegal to pay for sex with a minor,
following suit after the upper house adopted the bill.
With the law change, sex workers between the ages of 16 and 18 will not face penalties, but clients who pay for sex with minors will face up to three years behind bars. Anyone encouraging
prostitution by minors, including pimps, and people running brothels or escort services, will face up to 10 years in prison.
The law change also raises the legal age to participate in pornography, making it a crime punishable by up to five years
in jail to produce, import, promote, screen or possess pornography featuring minors.
Finland's Minister of 'Justice' Anna-Maja Henriksson is asking the government to consider revising laws on prostitution to completely ban the purchase of sex.
A report published by her ministry criticises the current legislation for being too
difficult to understand and claims not doing enough is being done to protect victims of human trafficking and procurement.
The anti-prostitution report says that the present ban on purchasing sex from victims of human trafficking is unworkable --
as it obliges authorities to prove after the fact that the customer should have known about human trafficking or pimping. The law has been on the books since 2006.
The Public Law and Order Act, meanwhile, forbids the offering or buying of sexual
services in public places. The report claims that this ban has basically only been applied to the sale of sex.
The report inevitable argues that men should be criminalised just for the convenience of the authorities. And to confirm the man hating
basis for the proposal, the panel also recommends completely removing bans on the sale of sex and clarifying the definition of procurement or pimping.
As she announced the results of the study, Henriksson reiterated her previous stance that
the buying of sex should be made illegal in all circumstances. She said she plans to bring the matter before the cabinet soon.
The Palazzo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip is trying to evict a 10-month-old nightclub for shows it claims are so raunchy that they violate obscenity laws. It says actors, some nearly naked, toss condoms into the crowd and simulate sex acts and
bestiality on stage. The casino giant wants to terminate the club's 10-year lease.
The club is opposing the action and is seeking a restraining order to halt the closure, arguing that simulated sex acts don't constitute obscenity.
special events director at The Act said that representatives of the hotel-casino have frequently attended shows and did not complain.
The Act remains open for business while a district judge considers its fate.
The Nordic Choice hotel chain is in the process of converting to Bring Your Own Porn (BYOP). It is in the process of replacing in room porn channels with contemporary art.
The chain's owner, Petter Stordalen has made ludicrous and defamatory claims
that the porn industry contributes to trafficking. He said:
The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels
doesn't support or condone this.
Starting with his flagship hotel in Norway's capital, Stordalen has now replaced porn with interactive TVs in each room offering "art on demand" with a choice of nine works of contemporary
video art, including Sam Taylor-Wood's Still Life from 2001" -- a film showing a bowl of fruit slowly decomposing.
Stordalen plans to roll out video art to other hotels, with Copenhagen next on the list.
Times Square was full of bare-chested women today, as equality campaigners descended on the New York landmark to celebrate Go Topless Day.
The annual event, which takes place in a range of cities around the U.S., was established in 2007 by
Go Topless, an organization founded by a spiritual group called the Raelian Movement.
The day sees women walk together to challenge laws that allow only men to walk around shirtless.
In New York it is legal for women to go shirtless in
public, as it is in Ohio, Texas and Colorado to name a few. But others including Kansas, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia it is outlawed for women to go topless in public
Managers at Club Rouge in Edinburgh has said that efforts are under way to create an independent dance censor which would cooperate with licensing officers and police to ensure elf 'n' safety in strip clubs and adult entertainment venues across the
Capital and Scotland.
They said the body would issue certificates of good practice to businesses only after they introduced measures to clamp down on abusive customers, unhygienic working environments and unfair charges imposed on dancers when
clubs are busy or when they phone in sick.
Day-to-day monitoring and enforcement would still be carried out by police and licensing officers though.
Alex Smith, manager of Club Rouge, said:
This is an
opportunity for the clubs to say that from now on, they're going to work together for a better environment.
He said meetings would soon take place with senior councillors to move the process forward, with the new dance censor on a
voluntary basis and financed through a mixture of public money and contributions from the industry.
Licensing staff said they were receptive to the idea. A spokeswoman said:
The council would welcome any
initiative to encourage industry good practice, however we would need more information on this specific proposal to be able to comment further.
Lap dancers at a Bristol club have been giving customers more fun than the miserable council allowed.
One performer has been suspended and two have been reprimanded by bosses for kissing and other physical contact.
Magistrates fined the venue
around £16,500 for five licensing breaches. Temptations' manager Valerie Hoare was also ordered to pay £1,550 for two breaches.
Bristol Magistrates Court heard how CCTV from Temptations examined after an unannounced visit from
licensing staff in January showed three dancers getting closer than the council allowed in the private booths .
Bristol's Sexual Entertainment Venue licence states that customers and performers are not allowed to touch each other during a
performance. But the prosecution said: The footage from all three cameras showed extensive and repeated contact between customers and performers. The court heard this included one stripper holding a customer's face and giving him a kiss while he
had his hands on her buttocks. Other footage showed a dancer sitting on a customer's lap, while in another booth a performer touched a man's leg with hers.
Recommended by Nutters
A handful of Bristol miserablists have raised a
petition calling for the closure of Bristol's two table dancing clubs and its only lap dancing club at Temptations.
The petitioners are recommending:
Central Chambers 9 St Stephen's St, Bristol BS1 1EE
9 objections from the public were received about the renewal of a licence of Central Chambers. It has been reported that this was renewed
yesterday (16th Sept) with some fairly colourful language apparently used by a campaigner to describe the head of the three-strong licensing committee.
Feminist campaigner Bristol_Jane was live tweeting yesterday's hearing at City Hall,
during which she called Conservative group leader Peter Abraham a sexist, misogynistic fuckface . The offending tweet has now been removed.
Miserable Westminster Council is trying to hide Soho's colourful heritage after ordering a restaurant to remove neon signs harking back to its former glory as London's red light district.
The signs, which read peep show and adult video
, were installed outside the fashionable restaurant, La Bodega Negra, early last year as a homage to the area's history.
But after a nine-month fight with Westminster City Council, the restaurant, in Old Compton Street, has been issued
with a discontinuance notice to remove the signs, claiming they cause substantial injury to the area. The council noted that Soho is a conservation area.
Westminster council claims:
The continued display
of the neon advertisement is considered to constitute a substantial injury to the amenity of the area.
The restaurant argues that the signs, designed by Serge Becker, the creative director of La Esquina in New York and The Box in
London, are a work of art and have become a landmark in their own right. Restaurant owner Will Ricker vowed to fight council bosses by keeping the signs in place. He said:
They have completely failed to mention that it
was the centre of the capital's sex industry, which made Soho famous globally and a tourist attraction.
And now as it slowly changes away from that, we wanted to make a statement that paid homage to the cultural importance of that
epoch. Particularly as its remnants are being eradicated by landlords, the council and technology, the neons are a remnant of a vanishing, golden era that should be celebrated, not forgotten.
Street prostitution is to be banned in large areas of Vienna's Prater district from September.
It is thought that as a result many of the prostitutes will move to the industrial zone in Liesing.
Gerald Bischof from the SPO said:
I don't think 300 new prostitutes will come, there simply isn't enough space, but there will definitely be an increase.
He hopes to get prostitution banned in Liesing. Over the past few months there has been 150
fines given out in the area - mainly due to prostitutes not having the correct identification and control cards on them.
Goa, the once popular Indian holiday state, has announced a ban on dance bars, further repressing the party scene in a destination once famous as a dance paradise.
The state has progressively restricted nightclubs and outdoor parties over the last few
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has made sanitising Goa's palm tree-lined beaches a priority to make them more 'family-friendly'. He has now announced:
Dance bars will not be allowed in Goa. There has
been a lot of image-beating for the state due to the existence of drugs and prostitution on the beaches.
His administration has also ordered police to remain present on the beaches until midnight. Previously police would withdraw
Previous measures against nightclubs and parties, have forced many to close or finish early. Silent discos , in which party-goers wear headphones to listen to the music, have developed as a way to work around the restrictions
on outdoor noise.
The Swiss city of Zurich has unveiled a sex drive-in which local authorities say will enable them to keep closer tabs on prostitution.
The facility consisting of nine so-called sex boxes is located in a former industrial zone in the west of the
city. The site will be open daily from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate. They will follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed. Once they have
negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the nine car-wash style boxes to have sex.
The boxes will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger.
Zurich has spared no effort to
encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the area currently used in city centre and to use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible, with grassy areas and decorative lights. It will be marked clearly with signposts sporting a red
umbrella, a well-known symbol for the sex trade..
To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently. Social workers and security guards will be on hand,
Since January, sex workers have been required to obtain a permit to ply their trade. To receive one, they must have a Swiss work permit and health insurance. In addition, they must pay a tax of five Swiss francs per night of work.
Customers, meanwhile, can only seek sex in three designated areas of Zurich, the new sex-box site, a zone near a highway, and, for those on foot, in part of the old town district.
The owner of French firm Divinextases has seen sales triple after offering erotic products that appeal to the eco-conscious.
Frederic Donnat saw a gap in the market that was more interesting than the usual organic beauty products . He refocused
his online business to eco-erotic products.
From balms for buttocks left sore by a spanking session to intimate perfumes, all Donnat's products are made in France with sustainable materials from reputable sources. They use beeswax and shea
butter rather than palm oil and all are wrapped in recyclable packaging.
Divinextases , whose pills are sold in pharmacies, organic stores and sex shops, now wants to diversify into aphrodisiac-laced tea and sugar, company director Fleur Phelipeau
Meanwhile British company French Letter sells carbon-neutral condoms made from natural latex produced in sustainably-run forests. A French website arbredesplaisirs.com (Forest of pleasure) promises to plant a tree in the Amazon
rainforest for every sex toy purchased.
But some are cynical about the rise of the organic sex shop. Easy Love, a network of lingerie and erotic accessory retailers, claimed eco-erotic products have sold very badly and dismissed the concept
as a publicity stunt .
Zoo, Nuts and Front have agreed to self censor their front covers as demanded by Tesco. The supermarket has been lobbied by anti-sex miserablists. The new censorship code will apply only to the magazines' covers.
Highly explicit front covers of lads' mags
may be a thing of the past, Tesco said. Zoo, Nuts and Front have agreed to make their covers more modest , the retailer said, meaning no more nudity, with less salacious coverlines and a more conservative feel.
Latest Issue of Nuts
In addition to demanding toned-down covers, the store said Nuts, Zoo, Front and Bizarre would now be sold only to customers over 18, to reassure parents who do not want their children to be able to purchase these titles , and the magazines will
be displayed at the back of sales racks, where their covers will be obscured by other magazines.
Of course the censorship campaigners dismissed the move as a half-measure that doesn't address the harm of these publications .
Banyard, founder of UK Feminista, one of two groups behind the Lose the Lad Mags campaign , said that lobbying to have the titles removed from shelves altogether would continue, because they are deeply harmful. They fuel sexist behaviours which
underpin violence against women.
Nuts, which is published by IPC Media, said it had introduced new covers ... which have a more conservative tone several weeks ago, adding: We are delighted with our readers' response and this week's
issue is our biggest selling since February. While previous issues have shown women fully topless with their nipples covered by headlines or their hands or hair, and promising the boobiest shoot ever or big-boobed brunettes , recent
editions of Nuts feature models in less highly sexualised poses, wearing slightly more modest lingerie.
Amsterdam's famous red-light district is under threat, from the economic crisis on one hand and on the other lawmakers are proposing restrictive changes to the sex-for-hire industry.
The economic crisis is forcing prostitutes to lower their prices
and to accept dubious sexual practices, according to the sex work advocacy group Geisha.
The trend is apparent in the main cities, with some prostitutes unable to pay the rent on their rooms , Ilonka Stakelborough from Geisha told Algemeen
Dagblad. Until recently, the minimum price was EUR50, but this has now dropped as low as EUR20 in cities such as Amsterdam and The Hague.
Geisha is to set up a project for sex workers so they can form a co-operative. Geisha will rent a room which
prostitutes only pay rent for when they are actually working.
Gender extremism has been taking hold in the Netherlands for some time . For example. Myrthe Hilkens, a Labor Party legislator who supports a series of moves to tighten the rules on
For something as simple as the lust for sex, we are tolerating modern-day slavery. I think that cannot be.
Anti sex work proposals are far-reaching. Most contested is a bill
to require all prostitutes be registered with the government---a measure that has already been approved by the lower house but is struggling in the Senate. Also in the works: raising the minimum age to 21 from 18, and a requirement that escort services
be licensed, just as brothels currently are. A vote is expected before the summer recess on July 9.
Under the proposed registry, Holland's roughly 20,000 prostitutes would have to meet with government officials and show they are not being coerced
in order to get a registration card.
Meanwhile, the city government in Amsterdam on Wednesday is expected to approve tougher rules, including ordering brothels to close in the early-morning hours and requiring that prostitutes speak Dutch,
English, German or Spanish.
City officials say they have managed to cut the number of prostitutes' windows in the red-light district from 500 to 409 in about five years, and want to ultimately bring it down to 300.
The Czech caretaker government has taken a negative stance on a deputies' bill to tolerate prostitution, Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok told reporters.
The bill, proposed by MP Viktor Paggio (LIDEM), is to give municipalities the right to designate
public areas where prostitutes could offer their services. Paggio says the main aim of his bill was to openly legalise prostitution, including accompanying activities.
Now parliament will decide on the bill. The capital of Prague has submitted a
similar proposal for regulating prostitution in Prague to the Chamber of Deputies. This bill will be debated too.
Paggio's bill looked to introduce a fine of up to 20,000 crowns ($1000) for the provision and use of sexual services for payment
without condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Amsterdam is set to move ahead with plans to close 40% of the prostitution windows in its famous De Wallen red-light district.
26 owners of a total of 100 window brothels, in which sex workers can be seen by prospective clients from the street,
had appeared before the Dutch Council of State, the highest administrative body in the Netherlands, to argue against the closures.
But the body said that a reduction in these sex establishments and their concentration in a smaller area would allow
better control and monitoring of window prostitution.
The ruling means Amsterdam can now fully implement its gentrification Project 1012 initiated by then-mayor Job Cohen in 2008. The city hopes to replace the windows with more
boutiques and art galleries in the picturesque old canal houses.
A novel vibrating bike saddle cover that should get female cyclists' hearts beating faster is being sold in the UK. Since the toy, dubbed the Happy Ride, aroused world wide interest following a Daily Mail story earlier this week, the online retailers
selling it have seen a huge spike in web traffic.
The Happy Ride, which costs £28, uses a hard-wearing nylon outer layer that houses the vibration mechanism. It's controlled by a small operating panel.
Paul Waudby, from SexShop365,
It's just something we wanted to get out there. We've been seeing the Tour de France happening, and just generally in London Boris Johnson is trying to push the whole cycling thing, so we just thought
it'd be really funny and a good opportunity to get the product out there. We've sold loads of them; we can't really believe it to be honest -- we weren't expecting this kind of response at all.
The is a new measure being discussing in the US Senate to replace dollar bills with coins.
Advocates for the measure contend that this would save the government billions of dollars.
But a 2011 ITK investigation found that at least one
esteemed gentleman's club in Washington was opposed to similar legislation introduced at the time.
Daniel Harris, owner of Archibald's Gentleman's Club in downtown D.C. told us back then, I think it would be very awkward for everyone involved.
How much more would a coin weigh than a dollar bill? It would be very hard.
The manager also astutely pointed out, You can't put a coin in a garter belt.
When pressed about the predicament facing scores of strippers, Senator John
McCain responded without missing a beat, Then I hope that they could obtain larger denominations , Fives, tens, one hundreds!
A new muesli called Sexcereal is about to be unleashed on Britain. The maker claims that Just three tablespoonfuls will increase your libido.
Ann Widdecome writes:
It is almost certainly nonsense as in the words
of one nutritionist: There is no scientific evidence that any food or nutritional substance can have an impact on your sex drive. But that is not the issue. It is yet another example of the sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our
Whether this cereal lives up to its claims or not, it is yet another example of the sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our lives, of the use of sex in advertising even the most basic products and of the
underlying assumption that sex is everybody's preoccupation every minute of the day even when flying out of the door to catch the bus for work or dropping the children off at the school gates.
Let it languish on the shelves. It is
reported to have been a big hit in the United States so let Brits smile incredulously and pityingly and reach for the Weetabix.
A U.S. man who runs a travel company specializing in trips to Thailand and the Philippines has been convicted of promoting adult prostitution.
The Westchester County district attorney announced the conviction of Douglas Allen, the owner of Big
Apple Oriental Tours.
In 2010, an online investigator pretended that he wanted to use the company to go overseas and have sex for money. Prosecutors say he paid Allen $2,500. Allen told the investigator he would be taken to Angeles City in the
Philippines, where he could negotiate at bars for sexual acts.
It seems that Allen has fallen victim to a particularly vengeful persecution by anti-prostitution campaigners and a state attorney general who supports them.
Oriental Tours is a travel agency based in New York that is at the center of a campaign against adult sex tourism operators in the United States.
The company was founded in 1993 and offers all-inclusive trips to Thailand, the
Philippines and Cambodia for the single male. Their advertising brochures highlight the erotic atmosphere and easy availability of women in these regions. Tour guides would meet the men upon arrival, explain everything, and transport them to the
local bars and brothels.
Since 1996, the New York based human rights and feminist group Equality Now has lobbied the local District Attorney to take action against the company, complaining about promotion of prostitution and
possible exploitation of minors. The District Attorney declined to prosecute in 2000, stating that the alleged acts did not occur in New York and were thus beyond the reach of state law. Supported by Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney,
Equality Now then contacted State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2002.
In response to lobbying by these groups, the first legal action in the U.S. against a business of this type was initiated: Spitzer filed a civil suit
against Big Apple Oriental Tours and obtained a restraining order in July 2003, in effect preventing the company from advertising.
Spitzer then made two unsuccessful attempts to charge owners Norman Barabash and Douglas Allen with
promoting prostitution. The Attorney General's office obtained the first indictment of Barabash and Allen in February 2004. The case was dismissed in August 2004, because the grand jury had been presented with hearsay evidence and because the judge did
not find the law applicable. The dismissal was upheld on appeal based on the hearsay argument. The case was returned to the grand jury and Barabash and Allen were indicted for the same crime again in October 2005. These charges were dismissed in January,
2006. The court held that according to the evidence, What the tour customer did when he arrived at the location is not part of the Big Apple Oriental Tours enterprise.
Back on May, following up the conviction of Stuart Hazell for the murder of 12 year old Tia Sharp, Amanda Platell of the Daily Mail wrote a
piece claiming that child porn could be readily
found using Google search terms that were noted in the trial.
Of course it was all bollox and the 'child porn' noted by Platell was
found to be a commercial adult video. The supposed 'child' was either 18 or 19 depending on which month
her birthday fell. Her age was properly recorded and is available for checking as required by US law.
But the damage was already done and Daily Mail readers and campaigners were easily convinced by Platell's bollox piece. And so a new evil was
born, easy to find child porn just waiting to be revealed by a few search terms in Google.
And now it appears that David Cameron was one of those who believes everything he reads in the Daily Mail.
In a press release David Cameron announced
a series of censorship measures to placate the Daily Mail and its readers.
All internet users will be contacted by their service providers and given an unavoidable choice on whether to use website blocking. The changes will be introduced by the end of next year. As a first step, the system will be mandated for new
customers by the end of 2013. The subscriber making the choices will be subject to age verification and further updates to the blocking options may only be made by the account holder.
Website blocking to be applied to all new mobile
Prohibited possession of extreme pornography will be extended to scenes of simulated rape.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is to draw up a blacklist of 'abhorrent' internet
search terms to supposedly prevent paedophiles searching for illegal material.
All police forces will work with a single secure database of illegal images of children.
Videos streamed online are to be subject to
the same R18 censorship rules as those sold in shops.
There will be stronger powers for watchdogs to investigate the hidden internet -- heavily encrypted forums and pages that allow abusers to cover their tracks
Adult content will be banned on public WiFi
Ofcom to oversee this implementation of these measures.
In a separate move, Twitter is to use Microsoft's PhotoDNA system to check all uploaded pictures against a database of known child abuse images.
Cameron will say:
There are certain types of pornography that
can only be described as 'extreme' ... that is violent, and that depicts simulated rape. These images normalise sexual violence against women -- and they are quite simply poisonous to the young people who see them.
today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimise and strategise their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls.
I have a
very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this -- and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don't just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to
help overcome them.
You're the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on
this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it.
We are already looking at the legislative options we have. This is quite simply about obliterating this
disgusting material from the net -- and we will do whatever it takes.'
Offsite Comment: Cameron becomes a bit of an embarrassment on the world stage
Cameron's Bizarre Warning To Google, Bing and Yahoo Over Child Pornography
There are times when I'm not sure that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually understands this technology stuff. An example is this
threat in a TV interview in England today. He's huffing and puffing that if the search engine companies don't do what they're told then they'll be forced to by law.
The Norwegian 'Justice' Ministry is preparing to ban all forms of advertising of sexual services on websites. The ministry is working on the censorship law with the aim to promote a bill to the Parliament in the autumn.
Vegard Munthe Ommdal claimed on TV2:
We primarily want to prevent human trafficking and pimping. And online advertising is a very important part of the business,
Ommdal thinks advertising on the
internet must be seen as promoting someone else's prostitution.
Sex workers in Utrecht have made a last ditch appeal to the city council ahead of plans to close the last of the city's licenced brothels - most of which operate on boats.
The rental contract for the only remaining brothel owner in the city
expires next week and is not being renewed because the mayor has concerns about a supposed link with human trafficking.
That means some 300 sex workers will be without a place to work from July 25.
According to news agency ANP, a
spokeswoman for the prostitutes says that many of them will now disappear into the illegal sector. Instead, they suggest forming a collective which will rent the boats directly from the council. However, Wolfson has halready told RTV Utrecht that there
is no question of the council running prostitution boats .
If no solution is found by Friday, the women are threatening to put up a tent in front of the town hall. They may also take some form of legal action, RTV Utrecht said.
Sex workers have allegedly been operating more openly since the country shut down its prison camps, but experts are quick to note that poverty is the root cause of the problem.
Tran Thien Thu was delighted when Vietnam authorities scrapped the
policy of sending prostitutes to prison camps a year ago, as the oldest profession represents her sole means to eke out a living in Ho Chi Minh City. She explained:
It's easier to breathe now. I can't earn
enough doing anything else. It is difficult to get a good job because I quit school at fifth grade.
On the street I can earn VND400,000 (US$19) a night serving two customers. I can't get a legal job that pays VND2-3 million a
Meanwhile government officials and experts are still divided as to how to respond to the issue. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc singled out leaders from HCMC, Nam Dinh and Hai Phong to report on their prostitution
situations, because there have been many emerging problems in those localities.
Last week, HCMC police raided several karaoke lounges in HCMC's Binh Thanh District and found dozens of female employees clad in bikinis seated beside guests. Police
believed that several rooms were being used for sex, but failed to catch anyone red-handed.
A recent report by the HCMC People's Committee claims that many criminals have 'abused' the open regulations -- meaning the elimination of
compulsory prison and the lack of punitive measures against sex acts other than intercourse -- to offer sex services at their places of business.
A popular strip club in the Edinburgh is to remove silhouettes of women from its windows amid ludicrous criticisms they are dragging the city down.
PC extremist, Councillor Karen Doran, Labour group member for the city centre, said:
I am delighted the club has listened to what residents are saying on this, the others should follow suit.
I think that anyone wishing to attend one of these clubs will be well aware of where they
are and do not require vulgar windows to show them the way.
You have an area that is highly populated with families. Lothian Road is a very special street and you have all these images of women -- it's just not acceptable.
Cllr Doran claimed she had been approached repeatedly by people living in her ward who said they did not feel comfortable walking past the silhouettes on strip bars in the city centre. She spouted:
silhouettes of women in various poses prominently displayed on the windows of these clubs have been of great concern to my constituents.
Council member Chris Wigglesworth added:
particularly, the silhouettes are offensive. It's just the feeling of being slightly intimidated by them -- I know people find them quite unpleasant. It's also the fact they are so prominently placed -- it just creates the wrong impression.
Two Philadelphia strip clubs are appealing huge taxes levied against them by the city based on a so-called amusement tax that usually is applied to admission fees but in this case someone dreamed up the wheeze that it should also apply to lap dance
revenue. The taxes are not slight, Club Risque was charged $320,538, and Cheerleaders was charged $486,482.
Club attorney, George Bochetto, called foul, accusing the city of auditing lap dance revenue and then going back five years and tacking on
fines. It's over the top. Unbelievable, he told Philly.com:
The clubs, of course, pay business taxes in addition to the amusement tax, and dancers are supposed to pay income and wage taxes. An informed City Hall source says the
city feels it can run an amusement tax up the pole because the lap dance is a separate experience.