City

Prostitutes and porn still
available online

Amid government efforts to fight online prostitution and pornography, Internet forums that provide such services continue to operate, some even masquerading as legitimate forums for teenagers.

Some forums require members to register to access their “adults only” section, which consists mostly of links to pornography downloads or, in some cases, information about prostitutes who are available for
services.

Discussions in adults only Internet forums are popularly known as “free reports” or simply FRs. FRs are usually started by a senior member of the forum. In the “reports”, users discuss their experiences with available prostitutes.

The members usually conclude the report by granting the sex worker points on a scale of one to 10.

Other members frequently request the contact information of certain prostitutes, which can be obtained by sending a private message to the user who started the discussion.

Private messaging is usually limited to members who have a certain amount of posts on the forum. This is to ensure that members are active in the forums, as trust is usually measured by activity rates.

“We want to make sure that the member we are giving the prostitute’s contact number to is trustworthy, not a policeman conducting an undercover operation.

“So, members are often required to demonstrate they are active in these kinds of forums before they are allowed to use the private messaging feature,” a senior forum member, who only wanted to be known as Dodo, told The Jakarta Post.

Some forums only allow their adult content to be seen by members who are not only registered, but pay a monthly subscription fee.

Jakarta Police cyber crimes directorate chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hermawan said that his unit was aware of the existence of such forums and had been continuously patrolling Indonesia’s cyberspace.

“They often meet in the real world to complete their transactions,” he said.

“We will arrest [the forum’s owners] if we can find solid proof that their website’s servers are in Indonesia and that illegal prostitution is taking place,” he said.

Hermawan said some of his officers had registered as members in several forums in order to investigate possible pornography trading and prostitution.

“They have also become active members to avoid any suspicions from others,” he said.

Recently, the police uncovered a prostitution ring that was set up on Facebook, and arrested the madam for the network of prostitutes. The alleged madam, a resident of Manggarai, South Jakarta, reportedly convinced her own neighbors to join the prostitution ring.

The suspect allegedly used a Facebook account to offer the girls, between 13 and 16 years of age, as escorts. The cost was Rp 2 million (US$222).

After receiving requests for the escorts, the suspect sent the girls to a rendezvous point to meet their customers, Central Jakarta Police chief detective Adj. Sr. Comr. Yoyon Toni Saputra said.

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