Backpage.com fires back with lawsuit aimed at blocking Missouri AG investigation

July 12, 2017 - 12:17 pm
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Backpage.com has filed a federal lawsuit aiming to block an investigation by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley who says the classifieds website promotes human trafficking via adult-oriented ads.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the company's lawsuit claims that Hawley's investigation violates federal law and the First Amendment.

Backpage also accuses the attorney general of using an "enormously broad" demand seeking seven years worth of documents in an attempt to shut them down.

The company says it takes efforts to prevent illegal activity with warnings and filters that block and remove improper ads.

The suit calls the investigation "enormously broad," saying it requires "seven years' worth of documents encompassing essentially all business operations of the company."

Hawley described the lawsuit as "frivolous" in a statement released Wednesday, saying "there is no First Amendment right to engage in human trafficking."

 

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