From Uber to Magic Leap, numerous firms and individuals within the tech industry have come under fire this year for their treatment of women. Now, a Newsweek report is shining a light on another part of the issue: the increased hiring of sex workers by employees from companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, T-Mobile, Oracle, and local Seattle firms.Workers from Microsoft and Amazon caught buying sex services from trafficked women.
A cache of tech-sector emails sent to brothels and pimps, obtained by Newsweek via a public records request to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, reveal that “67 emails were sent from Microsoft employee email accounts, 63 from Amazon accounts and dozens more from companies like Boeing, T-Mobile, Oracle and local Seattle tech firms.”
Authorities have been collecting email messages from sex-traffickers’ computers over the last few years. In 2015, a sting operation against prostitution rings ensnared high-level Amazon and Microsoft directors.The information became public after a public records request to the King County Prosecutor’s Office was made, which revealed that the men were caught because they were using company email. Apparently, Seattle sex-traffickers require an employee email or badge to make sure no police are involved.
Despite the tech companies statements of their company policy against sexism, sex-trafficking, etc., it is undeniable that sex-trafficking is a huge part of the technology industry, especially in silicon valley.According to Alex Trouteaud, a director at the national anti-trafficking organization, Demand Abolition, the tech industry has created a “culture that has readily embraced trafficking.” According to another anti-human trafficking organization, Polaris, there are more than 700 Asian brothels based in silicon valley.