Federal Government Seizes Backpage.com

Backpage.com Seized by US Federal Government

Backpage.com Seized by US Federal Government

Controversial classified ads site Backpage was seized by the United States Federal Government on April 6th, 2018. For those that haven’t been following the SESTA/FOSTA drama, the passing of these laws was very much due to Backpage and the government wanting to make them able to be prosecuted. Backpage was used by many prostitutes for marketing, and there’s been multiple convictions of sex traffickers that have used the platform. This latest news is probably to no surprise to anyone.


Message Displaying On Backpage.com

Backpage.com and affiliate 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, with analytical assistance from the Join Regional Intelligence Center.

Other agencies participating in and supporting the enforcement action include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the office of the California Attorney General, and the office of the Texas Attorney General.

Additional information will be provided at around 6:00 pm EST on Friday, April 6th by the U.S. Department of Justice, and all media inquiries should be directed to the U.S. Department’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-514-2007 and press@usdoj.gov.


Other Impacts Of FOSTA/SESTA

Backpage isn’t the only service that has been disrupted as a result of the passing of SESTA. Many services (including mainstream platforms) have updated their TOS and restricted their services as a result of the passing of this law and the slashing of Safe Harbor provisions. Here’s some other services that have been disrupted by SESTA/FOSTA:

Craigslist Personal Ads – Craigslist has taken down their personals section. Although many people did use that for legit purposes, it has the potential to be exploited in similar ways that Backpage was exploited.

Escort Sites Shut Down – There have been multiple escort sites that have shut down entirely.

Escort Sites Blocking USA – Other escort sites have started restricting the United States. Either USA services altogether, or they’ve quit serving and accepting ads from the United States.

Camming Sites Update TOS – Camming sites have updated TOS, banning things such as in-person meet-ups facilitated on the site.

FetLife Updates TOS – FetLife updated their TOS and banned consensual blackmail and financial domination.

Microsoft Skype – Microsoft updated the Skype TOS to quit allowing obscene and adult content.

Xbox Live – Microsoft also updated the Xbox Live TOS, banning cussing and obscene content.

Microsoft Office – Yes, obscene content has been banned from Microsoft Office as well.

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