Backpage Charges Could Lead to Liability for Other Tech Firms

The CEO and owners of are accused of heinous crimes, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ indictment of the three men could lead to a major upheaval for some Silicon Valley tech companies, experts said. Backpage is an online marketplace that has been fighting authorities for years because it carries ads featuring escorts who pose provocatively and, authorities say, offer sex for sale. Now, Harris is arguing that selling those ads makes Backpage executives guilty of illegal acts, charging CEO Carl Ferrer, 55, and controlling shareholders Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67, with pimping children under 16 and other felony offenses.