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Forgot your password? The adult-services site Eros is still live for now, but federal agents seized servers, documents, and computers containing sensitive info on thousands of Americans in last Wednesday's raid of its North Carolina headquarters.
And the feds won't say why. People have the right to their privacy and they should not be convicted or set up for moral judgment for adult activity. But its reach is much, much broader: more than area-specific sites worldwide.
Agents of Homeland Security Investigations spent hours at the place on November 8, loading lots of boxes into their trucks, according to local news reports. The U. Attorney's Office said the raid was part of an "active investigation," but no charges have been filed nor arrests made.
Whatever is happening, the case remains sealed for now. And the fate of the popular ad-platform remains unclear. So it's possible the Eros raid is related to a specific criminal case involving one or more users, not an attempt on the site itself.
If so, however, the volume of stuff taken from the Eros operations center is troubling. Surely the government could have merely demanded information for those under investigation.
The size of this seizure suggests more than an interest in a few Eros users. That, or a stunning overreach. A third possibility is that the owners and companies behind Eros and there is a confusing web of them are under investigation for financial reasons. In any event, the DHS now may have access to millions of people's "images, financial information, sexual preferences, gender identity and more," the Sex Workers Outreach Project notes in a statement.
Adult services and entertainment
Department of Homeland Security is creating an environment where perpetrators of violence can run a muck and go on to their next victim undetected. Eros is one the few adult ad sites that takes extra measures like checking real IDs to ensure underage people aren't advertising or being advertised there—steps that now makes Eros users more vulnerable to government meddling and menace. More panic-inspiring in the immediate term for many sex workers, though, is the loss of another advertising venue that made their lives safer and their work more profitable.
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