The Sex Industry and the Internet Industry
The Internet industry exists today because of the prostitution industry. The pimps and buyers on the Internet are funding the development and expansion of the commercial Internet. In fact the pimps and buyers are also contributing heavily to the whole computer industry.
A male exhibitor at the Adultdex, a trade show for the online prostitution industry, who chose to remain anonymous, made this comment:
“The whole Internet is being driven by the adult industry. If all this [referring to products at an online prostitution industry trade show] were made illegal tomorrow, the Internet would go back to being a bunch of scientists discussing geek stuff in e-mail.”227
The sex industry is among the top five groups buying state of the art computer equipment.228 The high tech industries don’t like to admit or talk about how they are being supported by the pornography and prostitution industries. A high level technician for the film industry, another buyer of state-of-art computer technology, admits that many companies that brag about their capacities to create computer special effects for the film industry also do a good business with the pornographers and online pimps. It comes down to money,“if someone comes to us with a cheque for US$250,000…..”229
One of the largest Internet companies in the world, Digex, has Microsoft as its largest customer; its second largest customer is from the sex industry.230 The Internet industry will not admit to the pervasiveness of pornography on the Internet because it profits enormously from the pornography industry. Web page owners, owners of search engines, and Internet Service Providers make a lot of money selling advertising for the sex industry.
The sex industry has been setting the pace on many new enhancements to doing business on the Web. Entrepreneurs eyeing the Web as a site of future investment were told by mainstream computer industry advisors to use sex industry sites as their guide.
“If you haven’t visited a pornography Web shop in a while, you should. It will show you the future of online commerce…Web pornographers are the most innovative entrepreneurs on the Internet.”231
Pimps on the Internet are on the cutting edge of online payment schemes with credit cards. At the beginning of 1995, only a few sites were accepting credit card payments by email. In early 1996, Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), a leader of the Internet sex industry introduced “ecommerce software,” which provided buyers with fast, secure, online credit card transactions.232 Privacy is one of the main attractions that Internet pornography and prostitution sites have for many buyers. They can browse and buy whenever they want and usually in total privacy. Men also want assurances that their credit card numbers are secure. The sex industry has excelled in introducing secure payment schemes over the Web. The sex industry also needs to have payment transactions occur quickly, because sex industry sites depend on men’s impulse buying once they access the sites. So the easier and faster it is for buyers to supply credit details, the easier and faster it is for the sex industry to collect money. One Internet pimp has started a new company, Interfund Financial Services to facilitate “impulse friendly”