Federal Authorities Seize Backpage.com

A notice placed over the website of backpage.com on April 6, 2018.

Federal authorities have seized the website backpage.com and affiliated websites, according to a notice posted by federal law enforcement agencies on the site on Friday.

The notice did not detail the reason for the seizure.

Backpage.com, an online classifieds site, advertises everything from cars to furniture.

However, critics have said that the bulk of its revenue comes from its adult-oriented section which advertises for “escorts” and “sensual massages”. While these services are technically legal, law enforcement and some members of Congress have said they are often a thinly veiled code for prostitution and underage sex trafficking.

Backpage has said such ads are constitutionally protected free speech.