DOJ Seizes Weeks After Congress Passes Sex Trafficking Law

The Justice Department today took the website of and changed it with a banner suggesting that it has actually been taken by the federal government. Backpage, for several years, has actually been implicated of accepting categorized advertisements promoting prostitution which presumably led to sex trafficking of both grownups and minors. The federal government, according to CBS News, released indictments versus 7 people who run the website. “The indictment charges 93 counts of a number of different criminal offenses consisting of money laundering and running a website to assist in prostitution,”according to CBS News I’m on the board of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) which, for many years, has actually been active in aiming to bring pressure versus Backpage. To name a few things, the company submitted an amicus short versus Backpage in 2012. NCMEC CEO John F. Clark called the DOJ takeover of “a triumph for victims worldwide. “.

The website reported that the FBI robbed the houses of 2 of the creators of Backpage. In a declaration, Arizona senator John McCAin, stated “the seizure of the harmful sex market marks a crucial advance in the battle versus human trafficking. This develops on the historical effort in Congress to reform the law that for too long has actually secured sites like Backpage from being held accountable for making it possible for the sale of girls and kids. Today’s action sends out a strong message to Backpage and other company assisting in online sex trafficking that they will be held responsible for these dreadful criminal activities.”. In March, Congress passed the questionable Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which modifies area 231 of the Communications Decency Act to hold online services accountable for the unlawful activity of their users. That law has actually not yet been signed by President Trump (he is anticipated to do so) so obviously had absolutely nothing to do with this action. Backpage was the primary target of this law, though it impacts any online service whose users may publish product causing such unlawful activity. Some civil liberties groups, consisting of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, opposed the expense, arguing that it might result in censorship. The bi-partisan expense’s fans included the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Consumer Watchdog, Enough suffices and other advocacy groups. It was passed extremely in both homes of Congress.

That new law, according to the group TechFreedom, had absolutely nothing to do with today’s seizure. “The costs’s sponsors firmly insisted that Congress needed to pass new legislation so that Backpage might be taken to court, stated Berin Szóka, President of TechFreedom in a declaration. “First, they declared they required a new criminal law. But today’s domain seizure explains that law enforcement companies didn’t need a new law to close down Backpage; they had a lot of legal tools and just had to make it a top priority.” Some have actually revealed concern that obstructing Backpage will drive sex traffic underground into the “dark web,”but there is currently dark web activity going on in this regard. While the shuttling of Backpage will not remove sex trafficking, it will make a damage and send out a strong message to any above ground website that believes it can make a dollar at the expenditure of innocent lives.