The chief executive of Craigslist is suing South Carolina's attorney general, claiming the prosecutor's threat to file prostitution charges against the San Francisco company is unreasonable.
CEO Jim Buckmaster says on his blog Wednesday he wants a restraining order to keep Attorney General Henry McMaster from pursuing criminal charges he has threatened against Craigslist.
McMaster said last week he would prosecute Craigslist executives for aiding and abetting prostitution if an ad on the Web site leads to a prostitution case in South Carolina. McMaster has said his office is investigating, but no charges have been brought.
In a statement, McMaster says the lawsuit shows Craigslist is taking his investigation seriously and called it "a victory for law enforcement and for the people of South Carolina."
In a statement from Craiglist, the company claims McMaster "has persisted with his threats despite the fact that Craigslist":
Is operating in full compliance with all applicable laws.
Has earned a reputation for being unusually responsive to requests from law enforcement.
Has eliminated its "erotic services" category for all US cities 'B7 has adopted screening measures far stricter than those Mr McMaster himself personally endorsed with his signature just 6 months ago.
Has far fewer and far tamer adult service ads than many mainstream print and on line venues operating in South Carolina.
Has made its representatives available to hear Mr McMaster's concerns in person.
Has politely asked Mr McMaster to retract and apologize for his unreasonable threats.