It appears Backpage.com, the popular classified ads website that’s best known for selling sex & prostitution, was seized and shut down by the government on Friday. If you try and go to the site, you’ll be welcomed with a statement from the FBI instead, which reads… “Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.”
The notice did not detail the reason for the seizure but noted that Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, as well as the offices of the Texas attorney general and California attorney general, were involved.
This Backpage seizure comes just two weeks after Craigslist eliminated their personal ads following Congress’ passage of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which repealed a previous law that provided “legal protection to websites that unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims.”
All in all, it’s a good thing that sex trafficking won’t be so easily accessible, but sorry for anyone out of town trying to order some late night fun to their hotel room.
Check out the site’s notice (below) and we’ll continue to keep you posted moving forward.