The law forces online companies to verify ages of people who are advertised on their websites. It's aimed at cracking down on the sex trafficking of minors. That is, underage girls being sold by pimps on online classifieds sites — specifically, Backpage.com. And Backpage.com sued the state over that law two weeks ago. Now the San Francisco–based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining the lawsuit.

EFF's Matt Zimmerman: "The Internet exists today because states can't pass laws like this."

EFF's legal complaint — just like Backpage.com's — argues that Washington state Senate Bill 6251 uses language that is vague and overbroad — and — is squarely in conflict with federal law. The new state law makes a publisher responsible if it directly or indirectly helps display advertisements for underage girls being sold for sex. EFF argues the law is impossible to enforce.

Monday, June 18, 2012
KUOW.org