Reuters was unable to reach representatives of Backpage for comment. The law, however, does not, protect sites from federal liability against criminal law, like child-pornography laws. But some internet and free speech advocates warned the action could lead to harsh federal limits on expression and the press. Last Friday, the Department of Justice seized Backpage, and it can no longer be used by criminals to promote and facilitate human trafficking.
Last Friday, the Department of Justice seized Backpage, and it can no longer be used by criminals to promote and facilitate human trafficking. Backpage and advocacy groups say the ads are free speech protected by the U. The Supreme Court in January refused to consider reviving a lawsuit against Backpage that was filed by three young women, who accused it of facilitating their forced prostitution. Watch Now Backpage creators indicted on prostitution and money laundering charges The Justice Department announced Monday that seven people associated with Backpage. The website posting said U. Once again, although Backpage has sought to create the perception that it diligently attempts to prevent the publication of such ads, the reality is that Backpage has allowed such ads to be published while declining -- for financial reasons -- to take necessary steps to address the problem. After the investigation was published in January , Backpage. The lawsuit represents a major takedown of a "gigantic marketplace of online prostitution" by directly targeting those who facilitate the crime, a Justice Department official said. The legislation would create an exception to Section , which would pave the way for victims of sex trafficking to hold websites accountable for facilitating abuse. In the posting about the seizure, the department had originally said more information would be made public on Friday evening. Reuters was unable to reach representatives of Backpage for comment. The company has been targeted with several lawsuits over the years but has been largely protected by Section of the Communications Decency Act, a legal protection that gives a broad layer of immunity to online companies from being held liable for user-generated content. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has told Congress that nearly three quarters of the cases submitted to the center relate to ads posted on the site. The individuals are not being directly charged with commercial sex exploitation, but Backpage's involvement in facilitating prostitution was "no mistake" the official said, adding that the site turned a "blind eye" to sex trafficking that resulted from ads on the web pages. The law, however, does not, protect sites from federal liability against criminal law, like child-pornography laws. The department announced the news Monday afternoon after a federal judge in Arizona unsealed a count indictment against Backpage creators Michael Lacey and James Larkin, and five others. Two days after the Senate approval, Backpage competitor Craigslist removed its personal ads section. Companies are supposed to act in good faith to protect users but critics argue it can be used as a shield. A two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking found that found that Backpage. But some internet and free speech advocates warned the action could lead to harsh federal limits on expression and the press. The judge in the case ruled the website was protected by the First Amendment, and it was not liable for the speech of third parties. The Justice Department said late on Friday that a court in Arizona ruled the case remains sealed, which puts any legal information under wraps. An image of the current home page of the website backpage. President Donald Trump will sign the bill into law next week, said Heitkamp. Heitkamp helped draft legislation passed by the Senate last month that makes it easier for state prosecutors and sex-trafficking victims to sue social media networks, advertisers and others that fail to keep sex trafficking and exploitative materials off their platforms.. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and advocacy groups have long called for an investigation into Backpage.
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