Numlock Sunday: February 24, 2019
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition. Each week, I'll sit down with a writer behind one of the stories covered in a previous weekday edition for a casual conversation about the story they wrote.
This week, I spoke to Elizabeth Nolan Brown who a few weeks ago wrote “Are You a Woman Traveling Alone? Marriott Might Be Watching You.” Here's what I wrote about it:
From 2014 to 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency spent $67 million to build a database of ads for escorts. I’m sure there was originally a point to all that, but now whenever I meet someone who obliquely mentions they work for the federal government, I’m just going to assume they maintain the Pentagon backpage ad server. Originally the goal was to use the ads to cut back on sex trafficking, but a 2018 study found it’s only ever led to three prosecutions. That’s one of many systems with an anti-trafficking bent that straight up doesn’t work, like how hoteliers are trained to identify trafficked people…