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Backpage has been similarly plagued with accusations of unsavory operations. Last October, Ferrer was arrested in Dallas and charged with conspiracy and pimping a minor; the investigation by California and Texas authorities also led to felony charges against Lacey and Larkin. Senator proceeded to refile the criminal charges.
Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. The federal Communications Decency Act provides immunity to websites that publish third-party content.
However, multiple lawsuits have argued that the law does not protect Backpage because the site contributes to illegal activity — claims that Backpage has spent years denying. As evidence of this vigilante-style harassment, Shapiro cites Cook County Sherriff Thomas Dart, who aggressively pursued Backpage in The Chicago Sheriff wrote to Visa and MasterCard, implying that if the credit card companies continued to let Backpage use their services, he would have no choice but to prosecute them.
The Senate subcommittee released a report on Monday , charging that Backpage systematically edited its adult ads to remove words that indicate sex trafficking. Despite the indisputable horror of these testimonies, experts debate whether shutting down Backpage—and Craigslist before it—will actually reduce sex trafficking. On Backpage, criminals create a digital record that law enforcement officials can track.
Shuttering Backpage could push these traffickers and their victims further underground, to websites that are less widely known by officials and more difficult to monitor. Lois Lee, the founder and president of Children of the Night, a nonprofit that rescues trafficked children, released a statement claiming that ending Backpage will inevitably fail to end child sex trafficking.
Backpage has also published alleged testimonies of support from the law enforcement community, such as an August missive attributed to the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force: For Jinadasa and others with ties to the sex worker community, continuous attacks on Backpage ultimately feel misguided and disingenuous. A college student, Rebecca started posting on Backpage in search of supplemental income. But that added interview—conducted from the safety of her own home—could make all the difference.
This original version of this article did not properly cite source material from a Daily Beast story. We regret the error, which has now been corrected.
Cheat Sheet A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. One year-old is alleged to have been forced to do in-calls at hotels. A second teenager was allegedly told to "perform sexual acts at gunpoint and choked" until she had seizures, before being gang-raped.
A third victim, advertised under the pseudonym "Nadia" was stabbed to death, while a fourth victim was murdered in , and her corpse deliberately burned. The lawyer for Backpage operations manager Andrew Padilla stated that his client was "not legally responsible for any actions of third parties under U.
He is no more responsible than the owner of a community billboard when someone places an ad on it,"  . The State of Texas was also considering a money laundering charge pending its investigation. Lacey and Larkin were charged with conspiracy to commit pimping. Backpage general counsel Liz McDougall dismissed the raid as an "election year stunt" which wasn't "a good-faith action by law enforcement", and stated that the company would "take all steps necessary to end this frivolous prosecution and will pursue its full remedies under federal law against the state actors who chose to ignore the law, as it has done successfully in other cases.
He posited that AG Harris was more interested in the publicity from the arrests for political gain than in enforcing a law she had previously admitted was unenforceable by individual states as specified in section But the attorney general of California has managed the feat.
By charging Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of Backpage. Numerous previous court ruling and decisions were cited in the Demurrer supporting this position. The AG filed its response to the Demurrer on 4 November Backpage Attorneys filed their reply in support of the Demurrer on 10 November On 16 November Judge Michael Bowman of the Superior Court of the State of California issued a tentative ruling in this case supporting the position of Backpage and granting its request for dismissal of the case.
Bowman dismissed all the charges in the complaint, stating that:. Congress has precluded liability for online publishers for the action of publishing third party speech and thus provided for both a foreclosure from prosecution and an affirmative defense at trial.
Congress has spoken on this matter and it is for Congress, not this Court, to revisit. They were charged with pimping and money laundering. Lawyers for Backpage responded that the charges rehashed the earlier case that had been dismissed on December 9, Jim Grant, an attorney for Backpage said: Since April , the U. Over the ensuing months, Backpage raised and PSI rejected numerous objections to the subpoena, including that the subpoena was impermissibly burdensome both in the volume of documents PSI demanded and in its intrusion into constitutionally-protected editorial discretion.
PSI subsequently issued a shorter document subpoena with only eight requests but broader in scope and also targeting Backpage. PSI applied in March for a federal court order to enforce three of the eight categories of documents in the subpoena. In August , the U. District Court in D. Backpage immediately filed an appeal and sought a stay, which the district court denied, then filed emergency stay petitions with the U.
Court of Appeals for the D. Circuit, and Supreme Court. Each appellate court issued temporary stays to consider whether to grant a stay pending appeal,  but eventually denied the emergency stay requests,  However, the D. Circuit agreed to expedite the appeal, and one of its judges who considered the emergency stay said he would have granted it.
Backpage has continued to pursue its appeal despite producing thousands of documents to PSI pursuant to the District Court order. PSI scheduled a Subcommittee hearing regarding Backpage. S 1st Circuit Court of Appeals that a suit filed in Boston federal court in against Backpage by three women who claimed that Backpage was responsible for them being forced into illegal sex transactions. The Court of Appeals held that Backpage could not be held liable as the "publisher or speaker" for postings on its site by third parties in accordance with the protections provided to website operators under section of the CDA.
Also on 9 January , prior to its scheduled hearings on Backpage the next day, the PSI released a report that accused Backpage of knowingly facilitating child sex trafficking. Shortly thereafter, Backpage announced that it would remove its adult sections from all of its sites in the United States. In late-March and early-April , courts in Massachusetts and Florida affirmed that Backpage's facilitation of sex trafficking fell outside of the immunity granted by Section safe harbors.
The latter ruling argued that because Backpage "materially contributed to the content of the advertisement" by censoring specific keywords, it became a publisher of content and thus no longer protected.
On 6 April , Backpage was seized by the United States Department of Justice , and it was reported that Michael Lacey's home had been raided by authorities. On 12 April , Carl Ferrer, the chief executive officer CEO of Backpage pleaded guilty to both state and federal charges, including but not limited to conspiracy to facilitate prostitution and money laundering.
Also on 12 April , the company Backpage pleaded guilty to human trafficking , announced the Texas Attorney General. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Australian sports television series, see Back Page Live. This section may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding or removing subheadings. Retrieved 20 January Retrieved 27 May Retrieved 1 March The Ultimate Guide to Backpage Ads 1st ed.
Retrieved 16 September Last September, however, the Supreme Court in Washington state ruled that a suit against Backpage. Backpage was seized by the federal government on April 6th, Retrieved 21 January Aider of traffickers, or way to stop them? Retrieved 17 February Retrieved 10 November Retrieved 14 September What's Wrong with the War on Sex Trafficking".
Retrieved 30 May Retrieved 21 February It's the more marginalized and poorer workers who are hit hardest by this. Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 25 January