When it comes to battling prostitution and child exploitation, the sheriff for the nation’s second-largest county is walking tall and carrying a big stick.
That’s why Illinois, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and the operators of online classified portal Backpage.com are in a legal duel of sorts—and the First Amendment and federal law protecting website operators are squarely in the crosshairs.
The latest public battle between them commenced July 1, when Dart announced that Visa and MasterCard, at his urging, agreed to stop processing ad payments for what the sheriff described as “sex trafficking industry profiteer Backpage.com.”
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