Read the full article by Michael French at AVN.com
Sex workers who were forced off of the internet when the anti-“sex trafficking” law known as SESTA/FOSTA was passed by Congress and signed by Donald Trump in April have a potential home, according to a report by The Nation magazine this week. Red Umbrella Hosting was created by sex workers specifically to offer online safety sex workers, the magazine reported.
After the passage of the law, sites such as Craigslist began shutting down their “personal ads” section which had been friendly spaces for sex worker advertising, and even before the law took effect, the federal government seized the largest online outlet for sex worker ads, Backpage.com, and criminally indicted the site’s top executives.
As a result, sex worker Melissa Mariposa launched Red Umbrella “to offer anonymous and affordable offshore hosting to anyone in the adult industry,” according to the site’s Twitter account.
“Why should people lose their years of hard work, years of brand building, marketing?” Mariposa said. “Why should people lose the ability to open and run a business with a minimal start-up cost and truly live the American dream—something most people think is dead? I entered this industry on welfare. I completely turned my life around. That is not an atypical experience. Why should other people be denied the opportunities I had?”
What makes Red Umbrella specifically welcoming to sites promoting the adult industry? Mariposa created a terms of service agreement that allows for anonymous site set-up, an payment in cryptocurrency. She stores no significant information about her customers, meaning that at least in theory, if her site were seized or hacked, there would be no user information database to be breached or exposed.