Federal authorities have seized the Backpage.com network of classified websites on Friday and the sites are no longer operating. Backpage has been criticized for years over sex trafficking on its personals and classified sections.
The seizure is a result of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865) that was passed on February 27 by Congress. The bill allows states to seize websites that promote prostitution and sex trafficking.
This bill was the reason that Craigslist, a popular classfied network based in San Francisco, shut down its personals section at the end of March.
Backpage.com was founded in 2004 by New Times Media, which ran a network of alternative weekly newspapers.
Here is the notice found on the Backpage website as of Friday.