But many of the adult listings were simply rerouted to sections of the site dedicated to dating. More than 90 percent of the earnings came from adultthe California Department of Justice found.
The federal seizure notice appeared on the website Friday afternoon. Earlier that day, according to news reports in Arizonathe F. While the notice on the Back site said the Justice Department would provide more information at 6 p. Lacey and Jim Larkin, have said that Back notifies law enforcement authorities whenever it becomes aware of illegal activity.
They have also maintained that the site is protected from criminal charges by a federal statute, the Communications Decency Act. That law protects internet platform providers from being held legally liable for what others post on their websites.
It makes it easier for states to prosecute, or for victims to sue, internet companies they accuse of hosting content that facilitated sex trafficking. Law enforcement officials had used that law to go after operators of other websites facing similar accusations, including a case involving Escorts.
Internet firms and advocates for free speech online had opposed Fosta, arguing that it would lead to censorship and was not necessary because the federal government already had the ability to prosecute people who used the internet to facilitate prostitution.
Last year, a coalition of state and territorial attorneys general asked Congress to make it easier for state and local law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute online facilitators of child sex trafficking. They singled out Back, citing dozens of instances in which minors had been trafficked via the site.
Also last year, Senators Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, oversaw an investigative report that accused Back of knowingly facilitating online sex trafficking. On Friday, Ms. She said Fosta would allow state and local officials to take similar steps in the future, rather than relying on the federal government to do so. Politics U. Seizes Back.