Monday, 23 September, 2019


Federal Bureau of Investigation seizes classified site Backpage.com

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Bennie Garza | 07 April, 2018, 00:51

Sleazy classified site Backpage.com was shut down Friday after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the home of its co-founder, according to new reports.

Supporters hailed the passage of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) as a major victory, but the measure is not without its critics: some say it would undermine a basic underpinning of the internet, which enables websites to host information from third parties without liability.

Earlier this year, government pressure forced Backpage to shut down adult ads.

The announcement also listed other agencies involved in the apparent seizure, including the U.S. Attorney's Offices for California, Texas and Arizona. This didn't provide much of an explanation, but promised a statement from the Department of Justice as of 6 p.m. EST. In 2015, major credit card companies stopped processing payments for the site amid allegations from authorities that it was facilitating sex trafficking and prostitution. It is awaiting President Trump's signature. Lacey was a one executive of the New Times, but sold off the newspapers to exclusively operate Backpage.

Agents raided ex-owner Michael Lacey's home, according to a local CBS affiliate - while users are sharing screenshots of a message saying it has been "seized" by the feds. The FBI confirmed that "law enforcement activity is occurring" and referred further questions to the Justice Department.

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