‘Revenge Porn’ Kingpin Shut Down by FTC

‘Revenge Porn’ Kingpin Shut Down by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on “revenge porn,” banning a website operator from posting nude photos or videos of people without individuals’ explicit consent.

According to the FTC, Colorado’s Craig Brittain, owner and operator of the website isanybodydown.com, allegedly deceived women into sending him nude photos through the online advertising site Craigslist.

Brittain then posted the pictures, as well as personal information about the women, on his website without their consent and told the women he would only remove the intimate images if they paid a “takedown” fee, which amounted to hundreds of dollars.

As part of the settlement, Brittain has been ordered to remove and destroy all the images and personal information he collected while operating the alleged “revenge porn” website.

“This behavior is not only illegal but reprehensible,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “I am pleased that as a result of this settlement, the illegally collected images and information will be deleted, and this individual can never return to the so-called ‘revenge porn’ business.”

The FTC’s complaint said that in addition to acquiring nude pictures of women himself, Brittain also encouraged viewers of his site to anonymously submit nude photos to him to post on the site.

“[Brittain] required submissions to include sensitive personal information about the people in the photos, including their full name, town and state, phone number and Facebook profile,” the FTC said.

Brittain also allegedly offered a reward for site users who could collect photos and information about certain individuals.

The complaint said Brittain’s website included photos of more than 1,000 individuals. The FTC said:

Women whose photographs and information were posted on the site contacted Brittain to have the information removed, citing the potential harms to their careers and reputations. In addition, women cited unwelcome contact from strangers who had discovered their information on Brittain’s site. The complaint notes that in many cases Brittain did not respond to the women’s requests to remove the information.

The complaint said that “content removal services” were offered on his site for $200 to $500. “Despite presenting these as third-party services, the complaint alleges that the sites for these services were owned and operated by Brittain,” the FTC said.

Kudos to the FTC.

What do you think of someone who acquires someone else’s nude photos and personal information and posts all of it online without the individual’s consent? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

If nothing else, stories like this serve as reminders that the convenience of the Internet comes with perils. Watch this video for a cautionary tale about online dating:

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‘Revenge Porn’ Kingpin Shut Down by FTC

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