This time the answer could be maybe.
The San Francisco office of the FBI recently announced that they had shut down ‘escort’ site MyReddbook and arrested its proprietor Eric Omuro. He’s been charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. The FBI has also taken possession of the website and visitors to the site are greeted with an FBI takedown page.
Now of course this raises the question will the feds go after Backpage next? Well, that depends. I get the impression that they were able to close down MyRedbook more due to the money laundering than the facilitation of prostitution. While MyRedbbok was a major player in online sex trafficking it pales in comparison to the scope of Backpage. MyRedbook is a mom and pop store compared to Backpage’s corporate command of the internet. Backpage’s owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, maybe morally bankrupt as human beings but I doubt they’re stupid enough to get involved in something small time like money laundering. However I really hope this arrest makes them more than a little nervous.
UPDATE 7/5/2014: Omuro has pleaded not guilty to the prostitution and money laundering charges.