Federal authorities seize Backpage.com

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WASHINGTON ― The federal government on Friday seized Backpage.com as part of a law enforcement crackdown on the classifieds website that had come under fire because of its use as a marketplace for sex work.

"This builds on the historic effort in Congress to reform the law that for too long has protected websites like Backpage from being held liable for enabling the sale of young women and children", McCain said.

The posting said the U.S. Justice Department would provide more information at 6pm EDT.

The website Backpage.com has been under investigation for several years amid allegations it was used to facilitate prostitution and money laundering. However, a judge decided that the federal case should remain sealed on Friday night. Backpage's adult services listings carrying adverts from sex workers, which are purportedly the focus of criminal probes. Viewed narrowly, the bill allows victims of sex trafficking to sue websites that "enable" their abuse, but it raises a risky precedent for suing websites over user-generated content. The company shuttered its adult section previous year in response to government pressure.

In 2016, Texas and California authorities raided the company's Dallas headquarters and arrested chief executive Carl Ferrer and other former company executives on pimping-related charges.

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Bush sent in 2006 during another border security operation, though more than the 1,200 Guard members President Obama sent in 2010. Kay Ivey, a Republican, said Friday that she will consult with the head of the Alabama Guard to see what resources are available.

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

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said in a statement Friday that the apparent seizure of the website "marks an important step forward in the fight against human trafficking".

Michael Lacey, a founder of the website, was charged Friday in a 93-count indictment. Law enforcement officials had employed that law to proceed after operators of other websites facing similar accusations, including a 2012 instance involving Escorts.com, a 2014 instance involving MyRedbook.com plus a 2015 instance involving Rentboy.com.

"This goes beyond current law, which already allows sites to be prosecuted or sued if they knowingly allow posts that promote sex trafficking".

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