Home > News > Backpage.com Sues U.S. Government Over SAVE Act • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Backpage.com Sues U.S. Government Over SAVE Act

Backpage.com Sues U.S. Government Over SAVE Act
Get XBIZ News
Dec 15, 2015 10:08 AM PST    Text size: 

WASHINGTON — Backpage.com, noting that “censorship is not a solution to human trafficking or child exploitation,” will now be taking on the federal government in an effort to keep on selling adult advertising with impunity on its site.

Fresh from a injunctive victory against Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart after he asked credit card companies to stop doing business with the site, Backpage.com on Friday filed a civil claim against U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, claiming that the recently passed Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act is unconstitutionally vague, overbroad and infringes on its First Amendment rights. 

The SAVE Act imposes a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and up to life imprisonment for anyone found in violation of the statute, which allows sex-trafficking charges against user-generated platforms that allow advertising involving a victim of sexual exploitation.

“Many experts and law enforcement officials agree that politically-motivated responses, including whack-a-mole censorship against one website after another, are ill-advised and will accomplish nothing,” Backpage.com said in its suit. “They advocate that a better approach is to use the Internet and to work with cooperative website providers such as Backpage.com to identify, investigate and prosecute illegal conduct and rescue victims.”

Backpage.com, led by attorney Robert Corn Revere, stated that contrary to statements of some of the SAVE Act’s Congressional supporters, criminal liability cannot constitutionally be imposed on a website merely for providing a forum for speech that some individuals misuse for sex trafficking.

“Given the enormous volume of third-party content they receive and disseminate every day, websites cannot possibly review every post to guarantee nothing is unlawful,” Backpage.com said.

As the law is written, Backpage.com said, the SAVE Act fails to give websites, publishers and others a “reasonable opportunity to know what conduct is prohibited and what is permitted.”  

“With all its vagaries, the act could allow ad hoc and subjective interpretations by prosecutors with attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application. And, given the severe penalties under the act — up to life imprisonment — the risks and likely speech-chilling effect of the law is also severe.”

With the suit, Backpage is seeking a declaratory judgment stating that the SAVE Act's language with regard to websites, publishers or other parties that distribute or disseminate speech are unconstitutional under the First and Fifth Amendments.

Filed in Washington, the federal suit also is seeking a permanent injunction enjoining prosecution, enforcement or criminal liability, as well as attorneys fees.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


WIA Profile: Nancy Moore

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »

WIA Profile: Janet Rini

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »

Rise of SFW Cams for Voyeurs

Since its inception, Chaturbate could be called many things from sexy to successful, but one thing it can’t really be called is safe for work. It’s no secret that the entire adult cam industry... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.


Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 27 - Jan 29
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!