Federal Bureau of Investigation has been shut down Backpage.com, seized by feds

Federal Bureau of Investigation has been shut down Backpage.com, seized by feds

Federal Bureau of Investigation has been shut down Backpage.com, seized by feds

While these services are technically legal, law enforcement and some members of Congress have said they are often a thinly veiled code for prostitution and underage sex trafficking. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said that "websites like Backpage.com facilitate sex trafficking across Minnesota and our country".

Backpage.com provides a place for people to sell items, seek roommates, list upcoming events or advertise jobs openings.

They began Backpage as an alternative to Craigslist, and it became the second most popular online classified site in the USA behind Craigslist.

A notice on the website's homepage said the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and several other federal departments had seized the site. In the posting about the seizure, the department had originally said more information would be made public on Friday evening. It's a huge step.

In 2016, a Senate subcommittee launched an investigation into Backpage's role in child sex trafficking and found that it modified the wording of ads to delete references to children while still allowing the ads to stand.

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"Shutting down the largest online USA marketplace for sex trafficking will dramatically reduce the profitability of forcing people into the commercial sex trade, at least in the short term", said Bradley Myles, chief executive of Polaris, an worldwide anti-slavery group that runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

However, supporters of the site believe the government has struck a blow against freedom of speech, and Morgan M. Page, a writer on gender issues, says now, sex workers' lives are in danger.

There would be "a dramatic shift in the marketplace starting tonight", he added.

Three young women alleged the site facilitated their forced prostitution and filed a lawsuit.

The evidence that led to the backpage.com shutdown seemed pretty damning, with a report from the U.S. Senate subcommittee back in 2017 stating that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's data indicates a whopping 73 percent of the child trafficking reports they receive link in one way or another back to backpage.com. Most of its income is generated by ads for sex services.

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