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Breaking: Feds Seize Control of (UPDATE: Founder’s Home Raided by FBI)

Friday, April 6, 2018 19:50
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents., a site that has long been fighting with federal and state governments over online sex trafficking advertisements, was seized this afternoon by the Department of Justice.

Details are not available as yet. The Department of Justice is planning a press conference at 6 p.m. Eastern. Visitors to the site are greeted with this image:


Elizabeth Nolan Brown has been warning that the newly passed so-called “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA) that turned online sex trafficking adds a federal crime would destroy some of the legal liability protections sites had over the content posted by third parties.

It’s not clear yet that there’s any relationship between the passage of FOSTA and Backpage’s seizure. But it’s hard to ignore the timing. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, more on Backpage in Reason’s archives here.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m. Eastern): The FBI has raided the Sedona, Arizona, home of Backpage founder Michael Lacey.


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