The online classified advertising site Craigslist has been asked by a group of state attorneys general, including Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli, to remove its adult services listings category, which they say features ads for prostitution and "trafficking children."
A bipartisan assembly of prosecutors from 17 states this week sent a letter to Craigslist officials calling for "immediate action to end the misery for the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads."
According to Cuccinelli, the recent letter follows a 2008 agreement between state prosecuters and Craigslist owners who pledged to step up monitoring for illegal activity and to coordinate with local law enforcement.
Since then, Cuccinelli contends, there hasn't been much evidence to suggest that the number of "illegal advertisements on the Web site" has been reduced.
"The Adult Services section of Craigslist.com has become a forum for inviting illegal - and potentially very dangerous - activity throughout Virginia," Cuccinelli said in a statement about the joint letter. "Given the frequency that law enforcement finds these ads on the site, it seems clear that whatever monitoring Craigslist may be doing of posts is not sufficient."
Cuccinelli's office plans to contact Virginia sheriffs and police chiefs about potential illegal activity on Craigslist and has offered the investigative assistance of the attorney general's computer crimes sections.
In a statement, Craigslist said: "We strongly support the Attorneys General desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the Internet or by any other means. We hope to work closely with them, as we are with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement, to prevent misuse of our site in facilitation of trafficking, and to combat such crimes wherever they appear, online or offline."