FOSTA Won't Fight Trafficking

FOSTA Is Useless

A private screening of “I Am Jane Doe” initiated the awareness of The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), and it would later pass the Senate with 97 votes to two.

Instantly, a ripple effect was felt worldwide.

For the very first time, the oldest profession in the world has transparency, record keeping and safeguards.
— Michael Lacey, quoted in the infamous Backpage indictment

SILENCED VICTIMS

Sex workers scattered around clinging on to any leftover platforms as pimps easily recruited fresh faces from the sudden influx of streetwalkers; however, the actual trafficked victims became nearly invisible.

 Dude, can’t really  do more  as the gov censors more of my web. Just sayin’ but thx

Dude, can’t really do more as the gov censors more of my web. Just sayin’ but thx

internet & Technology vs. censorship

More than two dozen Indian girls are safe from human traffickers after a man alerted authorities with just a couple tweets.
— One Train Passenger’s Tweet

FOSTA was implemented to eradicate online human trafficking; however, during its first few months of enactment, it’s mainly eradicated adult sex ads & trafficked victims themselves.

With technology, there are already numerous ways to fight trafficking, and they have been proven to work more efficiently than FOSTA’s senseless censorship.

Read More
Fight the New Drug — One Train Passenger’s Tweet Saved 25 Girls From Human Trafficking

So, if we already have the tools, then why create FOSTA?

 Facial recognition.

Facial recognition.

Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam is a facial recognition software that helped save an underage victim by analyzing photos from their ads & social media. She was soon rescued from a malicious pimp who demanded a $1,500 daily quota from his victims:

Julian recruited his victims in person and on social media apps like Instagram. He broke down one victim by recruiting her to work as a stripper, and then repeatedly raping her over a number of days. When she still refused to sell sex for him, he withheld food until she agreed. When she tried to escape, he used a location tracking app on her phone to chase her down. He found her, assaulted her, and put her back to work.

Together with the new technology, victim interviews, evidence gathered with search warrants, and a history of money transfers, Detective Patterson discovered Julian’s victims were working across the U.S. and wiring their earnings to him. It was estimated Julian was making $15,000 a month from two girls, but over the course of the investigation, it was discovered he had a total of 21 victims. He is currently in jail without bail.

This tragedy but eventual success of Detective Patterson to rescue victims and arrest a trafficker was shared by Marinus Analytics as one of the many examples of how technology is bringing down sex traffickers.
— Follow The Money: How Banks And Screening Software Fight Sex Trafficking

Ultimately, Detective Patterson found that Julian had exploited 21 victims throughout numerous years. Victim interviews and other evidence helped too, but Traffic Jam was the key to rescuing Julian’s victims and ending his vicious cycle.

Read More
Traffic Jam Success Story

Artificial Intelligence

 Artificial stock photo intelligence. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Artificial stock photo intelligence. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Science & technology have developed programs to decipher specific typing patterns and other signs of low-key sex trafficking online.

Spotlight is a web-based program used by law enforcement to analyze escort ads on the internet suspicious of advertising trafficked individuals. It uses both computer vision & text analytics to determine escort ads depicting victims.

To date, Spotlight has assisted in more than 8,300 investigations conducted by 780 law enforcement agencies in all 50 US states. It has contributed to the identification of 6,625 victims and, by revealing hidden relationships in the data, has also help officers unmask 2,255 pimps. By bringing a human-like acuity to big data analytics, Spotlight has accelerated investigation times by 60%.
— Digital Reasoning, Using AI to Combat Modern Slavery

ARTIFICIAL INSIGHTFUL Intelligence

Machines & software such as Spotlight have the power to recognize details not visible to the human eye. Digital Reasoning, company dedicated to creating machines that help initiate solutions for humans to learn, proved that AIs could filter important details of human communication without the help of lexicons. Soon after this discovery, AIs were further developed to decipher the importance of lengthy communication data.

This advancement of AIs would enable them to notice patterns deemed invisible to the human perspective.

NEW ALGORITHMS

 Neo-urban laptop. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Neo-urban laptop. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

This idea of being able to group together ads by their true owner — the underlying issue is that we would like to help law enforcement prioritize their focus. They want to focus on people who do not choose and who are being forcibly trafficked.
— Rebecca Portnoff, UC Berkeley graduate

Rebecca Portnoff, graduate student discovered two different types of algorithms upon researching numerous sex ads. She states the difference between consensual sex ads and algorithm.

ALGORITHM OF STYLE

Stylometry was the first algorithm. It is the study of people’s writing styles, and relates to advertisements written by a single individual.

 Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Portnoff noted that just by analyzing the style of text, her and her team still could identify the difference. Every person has their own unique forte of writing, so if certain ads are written in the same style, it’s a high chance that these ads are connected.


Backpage bitcoin algorithm

Backpage ads & bitcoin transactions were the second algorithm linked by Portnoff’s research team. Multiple ads that were purchased by the same account could be identified via the second algorithm.

 Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

The team ran the algorithms over a small set of Backpage advertisements and found a large collection of advertisements, that look “suspicious” according to McCoy. He said they found one bitcoin wallet that spent a little over $150,000 for over 5,000 sex advertisements posted on Backpage, most of which were in the Bay Area and advertised young Asian women.
— Malini Ramaiyer, UC Berkeley graduate student fights human trafficking

Read More
The Daily Californian — UC Berkeley Graduate Student Fights Human Trafficking Through Algorithms

Backpage Itself

Let’s not forget that the so-called Village Voice Pimps also helped alleviate trafficking. Backpage in general, was a beneficial tool that helped law enforcement track & catch pimps and other suspected individuals of trafficking.

 #facts

#facts

The Domino Effect

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. government had seized Backpage.

The unfortunate thing about that is Backpage has worked really well with law enforcement. I did a search warrant a couple weeks ago and the response from Backpage was very rapid.
— Billy Renfro, Bremerton Police Detective

Hysteria ensued as The Erotic Review, a forum where clients can review escorts on a scale from 1 to 10; (TER was notorious for purposely lowering a provider’s rating if they didn’t provide certain acts that basically depicted a makeshift hardcore porn scene), banned visitors from the USA on same day.

Another review forum, ECCIE, would later go dark that weekend as well.

A domino effect would ensue as NightShift, My Provider Guide, CityVibe, BestGFE, Escort Design, etc. would close due to the fear of this new insidious bill.

Shutting Down the ‘adult’

FOSTA is not fighting online sex trafficking. Technology such as Traffic Jam, Spotlight, algorithms, etc. already fight sex trafficking!

 Fight trafficking sign in Las Vegas. Image courtesy of Fight the New Drug.

Fight trafficking sign in Las Vegas. Image courtesy of Fight the New Drug.

Fight Online Sexy Trysting Adults (FOSTA’s new acronym by me)

FOSTA is essentially fighting sex workers across the spectrum. Why? There’s no literal definition of ‘sex trafficking’ in a country where sex work is illegal. Unfortunately, the two can be hard to differentiate despite one being consensual and the other— coerced.

BEATING ON A DEAD HORSE

Ultimately, it’s pretty damn difficult to ‘fight’ sex trafficking when consensual sex work is forbidden. Law enforcement will now be focused on workers as well instead of putting their
full focus on trafficked victims that urgently need help.

So, instead of adding a new variable (decriminalization) to actually produce different results, the government continues their non-stop hardcore full blown moves of 360 degrees!

Seriously though. No horse too dead to beat…

 #TheMoreYouKnow (!)

#TheMoreYouKnow (!)