The Federal Government Wages an Investigation Into Backpage.com, the Largest Remaining Platform of Internet Advertisements for Sexual Services
Instead of Undergoing Investigation, Backpage Shutters Its Adult Services Page After Years of Resistance
The final report, published on January 8, 2017, was entitled “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.” The findings of this investigation have been referenced as the primary impetus for the passage of SESTA/FOSTA.
The investigation led to the arrests of Backpage founders James Larkin and Michael Lacey, as well as Carl Ferrer, who had purchased the website during the inquiry. The federal government has since seized Lacey and Larkin’s publishing assets. Read the full story, as featured in Wired.
A legal brief that challenges the federal government's claims in the case can be accessed here.