On Friday, federal law enforcement authorities seized Backpage domain names, including Backpage.com and Backpage.ca.
In addition, the reported that on Friday morning, law enforcement raided the Sedona-area home of Michael Lacey, a co-founder of the site.
For years, Backpage has acted with impunity as a place that offered thinly veiled online prostitution ads.
At the time, a Sacramento County judge found that they were not liable due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which acts as a federal shield for websites that post user-generated material, including, apparently, ads for prostitution.
A month later, the site shuttered its “adult” section.
However, with the recent passage of FOSTA and SESTA by both houses of Congress, that shield is about to be removed for sites that allow sex work ads once President Donald Trump signs the bill into law. That new bill is aimed squarely at Backpage.
Neither the Department of Justice nor the California Attorney General’s Office immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment.