Go to the Backpage web site as of Friday afternoon, and also you’ll see that the location is down. It incorporates a assertion displaying that it and its affiliated web sites have been seized by the federal authorities. This didn’t present a lot of a proof, however promised an announcement from the Division of Justice as of 6 p.m. EST. When Legislation&Crime reached out to the DOJ for affirmation, a spokesperson declined to remark, however did say information launch is scheduled to be scheduled at the moment.

An lawyer for Backpage didn’t instantly reply to a Legislation&Crime electronic mail request for remark. Authorities have been gunning for the web site over prostitution advertisements posted on the location.

This seizure comes after Congress overwhelmingly handed a brand new federal regulation making it unlawful for web sites to host prostitution provides. Each Homes of Congress voted for H.R. 1865, 388 – 25 within the Home, and 97 – 2 within the Senate, however there was some vocal opposition, saying that the regulation went too far.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California 48th District) mentioned in a assertion final month that he voted towards it as a result of “it goes after web sites which can be public boards and requires them to police hundreds or tens of millions of posts on their websites for content material that may contain any type of prostitution, no matter whether or not it includes consensual (and even authorized) grownup habits. This goes past present regulation, which already permits websites to be prosecuted or sued in the event that they knowingly enable posts that promote intercourse trafficking.”

The American Civil Liberties Union had backed a Senate modification designed to melt the invoice, and cease web sites from over-moderating customers over concern of legal responsibility, however that modification was withdrawn.

[Image via Backpage]