Classifieds marketplace Backpage.com has been seized by the federal government. The seizure occurred hours after the founder's Phoenix home was raided, according to the NY Daily News. Craigslist.com shut down its personals section after Congress approved legislation making it illegal to advertise sex trafficking online.
Backpage.com founder Michael Lacey's Sedona home was raided by the FBI Friday morning, the News reports.
Lacey's neighbors witnessed the raid conducted by agents with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Visitors to Backpage.com see a landing page notice from the federal government announcing the seizure.
“backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, with analytical assistance from the Joint Regional Intelligence Center,” the announcement read.
The seizure sent a strong message to other personals websites that the government is taking the new law seriously.
Usually when a website is seized by the federal government, it is gone forever.