Archive for: September, 2017

Revenge porn site leaves trail of innocent victims

Lisa M. can’t walk around her hometown without wondering who has seen her naked.

The 28-year-old from Gardner, Mass., was only 17 when her then-boyfriend snapped a couple of topless photos of her when she wasn’t looking. She loved him, trusted him and had no idea he even owned a camera. Years later, the pictures would surface online and spread all over her tiny hometown.

“To see those online was just like a total betrayal of trust, and on top of that, there’s nothing you can do about it — it’s just there, and you can’t take it down, and you don’t know who’s seen it,” she said.

The pictures had been posted to the Web site “Anon-IB,” a k a Anonymous Image Board, one of the world’s main online promoters of revenge porn — intimate photos that are uploaded typically by a former sex partner and without the subject’s consent.

Anon-IB is where naked pictures of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence surfaced in 2014 and where dozens of male Marines posted illicit photos of female comrades earlier this year. And it’s the site where thousands of other women — including underage girls — are exploited daily for twisted reasons ranging from perversion to revenge to financial gain.

Nearly 40 US states have battled the odds to enact laws to combat revenge porn.

New York has yet to join them.

“There just simply isn’t the interest or passion about New Yorkers’ sexual privacy and dignity,’’ Brooklyn lawyer Carrie Goldberg lamented. “The majority of the country cares. New York doesn’t.”

Anon- IB at first appears to be a typical porn clearinghouse with the usual complement of categories: “lesbian,” “milf,” “ebony.” But a closer look reveals other headings, such as “drunk/passed out” and “peeping toms” — and features nude images of sleeping women and “upskirt” pictures of others taken in dressing rooms or bathrooms.

Some of the postings even appear to involve possible molestation and rape.

Recently, the top of the site boasted a collage of young women with their breasts exposed. They easily looked preteen, even though such a posting would be a crime.

There are links for each US state, as well as 22 countries, and site users can post requests for nude pictures of women — from specific towns, colleges and high schools.

They ask for certain graduating classes and often provide the names of women, even if it’s against the rules of the site.

Anon-IB has a special four-letter word for photos that are scored — “wins.’’

“Anyone got any wins of . . .” a typical post reads, followed by ellipses and then typically a high school and graduating class or a specific name from either.

The users often trade “wins,’’ offering photos they’ve found in exchange for the ones they’re seeking.

New York cybercrime expert Philip Rosenthal said such sites are able to operate in virtual anonymity because of the murky way they are set up.

“Think of it as a stage with 50 levels of curtains, and every time you draw back one curtain, you gotta go run around and search for the string to pull back the next curtain,” said Rosenthal, who has worked with everyone from the FBI to US Secret Service to root out cybercrime.

Kateri Gasper of the Queens District Attorney’s Computer Crimes Unit would tell The Post only that Anon-IB is owned by a company in Panama.

‘People I barely knew or people I thought were friends would come up to me and chat me up about my body and say things like, “I saw you naked.”‘

The warped Web site has proven to be a moneymaker. Anon-IB gets close to 50,000 unique visitors per day and nearly 170,000 page views daily, according to Alexa, an Amazon company that monitors Web traffic. That equates to an estimated $1,500 a day in advertising revenue, giving it an estimated site value of more than $700,000.

That revenue comes mostly from ExoClick — a Barcelona-based advertising company that hosts Anon-IB’s ads. They’ve been recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Europe by ­Inc. 5000 Europe and they won The Business of the Year award in 2016 from the European Business Awards.

But in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported they’re a frequent advertiser to illicit file-sharing Web sites that host pirated movies and TV shows. The Annenberg Innovation Lab at University of Southern California ranked it among the worst offenders of ad networks that display ads on illicit file-sharing sites. ExoClick did not respond to requests for comment.

Rosenthal believes Anon-IB is connected to high-level criminals with “deep pockets.” He said the law-enforcement agency that has the best chance at bringing down Anon-IB and other similar sites would be the FBI — but only “if they really wanted to,’’ and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“If the director of the FBI’s picture showed up [on one of the sites], you bet they’d get shut down tomorrow,’’ he said.

An FBI spokesman said the agency “will decline comment.”

The victims’ tales can be heart-wrenching.

Imogen R. from Sheffield, England, was 16 when she decided to send a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend, who was in a band and traveled often.

She sent the photos to her beau and never thought much about it until five years later, when an old friend from high school called her out the blue and said he needed to talk with her.

Screenshots of user comments from a revenge porn website talking about victim Imogen.

“He said he’d been on [Anon-IB] and seen some naked pictures of me, and I felt really sick, and I was just in shock,” said Imogen, who is now 24 and living in London. “I . . . went straight on the Web site and saw these pictures, and I knew exactly when I took them . . . Straight away, I knew it was my ex-boyfriend.”

Soon, the photos were being sent to her friends and former classmates.

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City council takes aim at revenge porn

The City Council is poised to criminalize “revenge porn” locally following years of inaction by state lawmakers — who have let a similar bill languish in Albany since 2014.

Under a proposal by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), anyone who posts someone’s “intimate image” without permission could be sent to jail for a year and slapped with a $1,000 fine.

The legislation would also expose offenders to civil penalties — including “compensatory and punitive damages” — even without a criminal conviction.

Lancman’s bill — which has the support of Mayor de Blasio — is being “primed” for a vote by the Public Safety Committee, his office said Friday.

Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) introduced similar legislation in Albany three years ago, but it has yet to win the support of the Codes Committee.

“There’s people who blame the victim for taking the pictures or allowing that significant other to take the pictures in the first place,” a statehouse source familiar with the matter said.

Codes Committee Chairman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) called Braunstein’s bill “so damaging to free speech that it’s unconstitutional.”

“It needs to be narrowly drawn enough to be limited to harassing or stalking or threatening or causing them serious harm . . . without burdening protected speech.”

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remove my pictures from anon-ib

Revenge Porn Site Anon-ib loses all revenue after exposé

The offshore Web site that hosts hoards of “revenge porn” — including illegal shots of underage girls — lost its sole source of revenue Friday following a Post expose of its sleazy operation.

A Spanish online-ad company said it was pulling its business from Anon-IB — also known as the “Best Anonymous Image Board” — and thanked The Post “for making us aware of this.”

Anon-IB was raking in $1,500 a day from Barcelona-based ExoClick in exchange for hosting ExoClick’s ads on its site, according to an estimate from the Web-monitoring firm Alexa.

“ExoClick has a zero tolerance policy to any forms of illegal content on publisher websites (as per our guidelines),” spokesman Giles Hirst said in an email statement.

“On discovery of such content we will always take swift action to remove ads and ban the publisher from our network.”

Several women told The Post that nude images taken when they were as young as 16 — and possessed by their ex-boyfriends — have appeared on Anon-IB.

Paige Rines of New Hampshire said she was “anonymously messaged hateful things” once her photos were posted, and had to abandon plans to work as a counselor to troubled teens.

“If anyone looked up my name, no one would let me work with children,” lamented Rines, now 23.

Anon-IB also recently featured a collage of what appeared to be obviously adolescent girls with their breasts exposed.

Under federal law, possessing or distributing naked and “sexually suggestive” images of anyone under 18 can be prosecuted under child-pornography laws that are punishable by up to life in prison.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office has told The Post that Anon-IB is based in Panama.

The site frequently changes its Web address, and currently has one that that’s assigned to the country of Laos.

Anon-IB didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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Her nude photos leaked online. Now she’s fighting back

fighting back

What is revenge porn? It’s “non-consensual pornography that is distributed online to shame, exploit or extort its victims.” Basically, it’s sharing other’s nude photos online for your own selfish reasons. It’s an epidemic that ruins lives; however, it is often overlooked by the general populous as well as the government. But that’s all about to change.

Leah Juliett, A student, is campaigning to end revenge porn after she fell victim to the cruel practice – which is illegal in some states – when she was just 14 years old.

Leah Juliett, now 20, was devastated when a boy she was communicating with shared naked pictures of her with their entire school and online.

The traumatic experience left the New York-based poet, actor and activist feeling alone, vulnerable and too scared to report it.

She sent 4 revealing photos to a male classmate who was unsatisfied with the photos as he wanted ones that “clearly showed her genitals.” Juliett declined to send more photos. As a form of revenge, her classmate uploaded the photos online without informing her.

She found out a couple months later when her lab partner pulled out his phone and showed her her nude photos; the same ones she sent to her male classmate months before. Her lab partner then proceeded to tell her that “every guy on the football team had them,” Juliett recalled in an interview with CNN.

“He told me that he was going to ruin my life and he proceeded to send my pictures around, although at the time I didn’t know. I didn’t find out until people started telling me they had seen the photos.”

The pictures also appeared on a website which kept being re-posted in different online locations.

Juliett was so frightened of the potential consequences of the images that she started to extricate herself from extra-curricular activities.

Juliett created a March Against Revenge Porn that was held in N.Y.C on April 1. The March’s goal was to “create a community for victims and allies, develop a platform for the voice of revenge porn victims, fight to criminalize revenge pornography at a national level, and educate young people about their cyber civil rights.”