People of Northwest Public Radio
Backpage Sues Wash.
Tue June 5, 2012
Backpage.com Sues Washington State
The online classifieds website Backpage.com filed a lawsuit against the state of Washington Monday. It’s over a bill passed by the legislature this year, which aims to reduce sex trafficking.
Village Voice Media owns the national online classifieds site Backpage.com. The company also owns the Seattle Weekly, and they run their online classifieds through Backpage. Seattle police say they have caught pimps selling underage girls…at Backpage.com.
Now, the company is suing Washington state.
Their attorney, Liz McDougall, says the sex trafficking bill is invalid.
Liz McDougall: "…the law is drafted so broadly that there is no feasible way for an internet service to comply with it."
Attorney General Rob McKenna says he can’t give specifics yet about his response to Backpage’s claims against the new law. But he says he’ll definitely continue to fight them.
Rob McKenna: "They claim to be allies in this fight but they’re not."
Backpage has been vocal about saying they work with police to try to stop the problem.
Rob McKenna: "They’re making 20 to 30 million dollars a year off of ads for prostitution, many of which involve children."
Backpage is also trying to get an injunction to make sure the bill can’t take effect when it’s supposed to: Thursday.
Copyright 2012 KUOW