Feds seize controversial classified ad site Backpage.com amid scrutiny

Feds seize controversial classified ad site Backpage.com amid scrutiny
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Federal law enforcement on Friday seized the classified ads site Backpage.com, which has been under scrutiny from lawmakers for allegedly enabling sex trafficking.

“Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized,” reads a banner message on the site.

The Justice Department confirmed the website had been seized and said it would release more information later on Friday.

A number of agencies are participating in the law enforcement push, including the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.


The FBI's field office in Phoenix, where the site's founders reside, told The Hill that "law enforcement activity is occurring" but provided no other details. 

The Arizona Republic had reported that the FBI raided the home of one of the founders, Michael Lacey.

A Senate panel last year accused the site of enabling sex trafficking after a lengthy investigation.

Their findings led to a controversial piece of legislation that would make it easier to target websites with legal action for content posted by third parties. The bill passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly this year and is awaiting President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE’s signature.

Updated at 5:10 p.m.