US Seizes Backpage.com, a Site Accused of Enabling Prostitution

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A notice that appeared Friday afternoon at Backpage.com says the websites are being seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Current anti-trafficking laws can not be applied to websites such as Backpage.

More information is expected Friday afternoon.

Also last calendar year, Senators Rob Portman, Republican of OH, and Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, oversaw a investigative record that accused Backpage of knowingly facilitating on the web sex trafficking. However, a judge decided that the federal case should remain sealed on Friday night.

Members of Congress have also investigated the site for its alleged role in sex trafficking. Backpage's adult services listings carrying adverts from sex workers, which are purportedly the focus of criminal probes.

The FBI referred further questions to the U.S. Department of Justice, which later confirmed the Backpage website had been seized.

CoStar, a US company that runs Apartments.com, accidentally uncovered in July of a year ago that Backpage had used a Philippines-based company named Avion to grow business in overseas sex trade.

Last year, the creators of the website were charged with money laundering in California.

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Backpage had already shut down its adult section as of January 2017, but internal emails allegedly show the site's operators were more interested in masking illegal activity than in reporting it to authorities.

Two days after the Senate approval, Backpage competitor Craigslist removed its personal ads section.

Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona Sen.

Federal agents raided the Sedona home of Backpage co-founder Michael Lacey on Friday. When Law&Crime reached out to the DOJ for confirmation, a spokesperson declined to comment, but did say that a news release is scheduled to be scheduled at that time.

"The seizure of the malicious sex marketplace Backpage.com marks an important step forward in the fight against human trafficking".

"It is obvious to anyone who bothers to listen to sex workers that the seizing of backpage will not end the sex trade, but only serve to make it more risky", Page tweeted.

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