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FTC Goes After Notorious Revenge Porn Site MyEx.com

The FTC did a press release on January 9, 2018 announcing that in unison with the State of Nevada they have charged the parties responsible for the myex.com website with violating federal and state laws. Of course, we are extremely happy about this news. MyEx hit the internet in 2013 and quickly became a popular revenge porn site where visitors of the site could upload private images of victims along with their name and sometimes even their address. At any given time, the site had at least 15,000 victims posted to their site without permission. To make matters worse, the site owners were extorting money from victims who requested that their images be removed from the website. Over the years they changed the payment information in an effort to elude law enforcement. They definitely knew what they were doing was illegal. The following is the press release announcing the charges against those involved.

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/01/ftc-nevada-seek-halt-revenge-porn-site

The Federal Trade Commission and the state of Nevada have charged the parties responsible for a revenge porn site with violating federal and state law by posting intimate images of people, together with their personal information, without their consent. One of the defendants has agreed to a permanent ban on posting intimate images without consent.

In a complaint filed in federal court, the FTC and Nevada charged that the website, MyEx.com, is dedicated solely to revenge porn and has solicited intimate pictures and videos of victims, together with their personal information such as their name, address, employer, and social media account information. The site urged visitors to “Add Your Ex,” and to “Submit Pics and Stories of Your Ex.” In numerous instances, the defendants allegedly charged victims fees from $499 to $2,800 to remove their images and information from the site.

“MyEx.com uses reprehensible tactics to profit off of the intimate details of individuals’ private lives,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “People who were featured on this site suffered real harm, including the loss of money they paid to remove intimate images and personal information, loss of jobs, and being subject to threats and harassment.”

According to the complaint, visitors to MyEx.com can rate the videos and pictures they see and post comments about the victims. At various times, the site included victims’ full date of birth, personal email address, telephone number, and links to social media profiles, along with the intimate images.

The FTC alleges that the defendants were aware that many of the individuals did not agree to having their intimate images and personal information posted to MyEx.com. As of December 2017, there were approximately 12,620 entries on the site, according to the complaint.

Many individuals suffered serious harm because of the defendants’ conduct. In addition to experiencing direct financial loss by paying fees to the defendants, the complaint asserts, among other things, that individuals lost their jobs and received threatening and harassing emails and social media messages.

The complaint names EMP Media, Inc., Aniello “Neil” Infante, Shad “John” Applegate, also known as Shad Cottelli, and one or more unknown parties doing business as Yeicox Ltd. The FTC alleges that the defendants’ practices constitute unfair acts or deceptive practices in violation of the FTC Act. In addition, Nevada alleged that the defendants’ conduct constitutes a deceptive trade practice under Nevada law.

The Commission, together with Nevada, has approved a proposed settlement with one of the defendants, Neil Infante. Infante served in various corporate roles, including President of EMP Media Inc. Under the settlement, Infante is banned from posting intimate images and personal information of others on a website without notice and consent; required to destroy all such intimate images and personal information in his possession; and banned from charging individuals fees for removing such content from a website. He is also permanently restrained from serving as an officer or director of any business unless he has knowledge of the ordinary operations of that entity. Finally, he has agreed to a $205,000 judgment, which the order will suspend upon payment of $15,000 in light of his inability to pay more. The payment received will be used to provide redress to individuals who paid him take-down fees.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint against EMP Media (doing business as MyEx.com, T&A Media and Internet Secrets) and its officers Infante and Applegate, and one or more unknown parties (doing business as Yeicox Ltd.) and the proposed settlement with Infante was 2-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court. Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

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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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.”

Forget being a victim. What to do when revenge porn strikes – CNET

The Internet is a terrible place sometimes, but thankfully there are now organizations that can help people who become victims.

When illicit photos of Anisha Vora began showing up online, she didn’t know what to do. She contacted Facebook, Twitter and other companies hoping they’d do the right thing and take the photos down. But soon, there were too many places for her to deal with on her own.

What happened to Vora happens to all sorts of people. Students, college graduates and professionals. People have lost their jobs because photos were published online without their consent. Most of the victims are women, though not all.

As the threat of revenge porn has grown, companies, organizations and even lawyers have sprung up to help victims.

Figure out the size and scope of the problem

The moment your photos begin circulating online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’ve been violated, and suddenly your name, phone number, address and naked images are being published on sites around the Web.

If someone posted these images to Facebook, Twitter or another reputable site, it’s relatively easy to report the images and begin the process of asking the sites to take them down. Read More…

http://www.cnet.com/news/forget-being-a-victim-what-to-do-when-revenge-porn-strikes/

 

What happens when you report a post to Facebook. Mark Hobbs / CNET Read the rest

Attorney Mark Keaton Who Posted Revenge Porn Gets Disbarred

Attorney Mark Keaton, a nightmare human being, was disbarred from practicing law in Indiana last week because he systematically harassed, threatened, stalked, and distributed naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend over the course of six long years.

Keaton’s disbarment papers tell a very grim story that serve as a good reminder: ladies, get a restraining order the moment you start to feel threatened!

In 2005, Keaton, then married and 41, started an affair with his teenage daughter’s 19-year old roommate, “JD.” When they broke up in 2008, Keaton started calling JD obsessively and leaving voicemails, which sounded like this:

“Call me the fuck back! I don’t know who the fuck you think you are. But I’ll tell you what, you better fucking call me fucking back now! You fuck with me one more time and this time you’ll really fucking pay for it! And you need to think about it! Now you fucking quit fucking with me! I fucking deal with your fucking illness so fucking long, don’t fuck with me another fucking day! Not another fucking day! You return my call right now!”

And:

“You make the decision to ignore me for the next hour, and I will make a decision that allows me to express my fury…Call me! . . . This is the last opportunity you have to avoid a catastrophe.”

JD presented the court with 90 other similar voicemails left by Keaton. During the couple’s relationship, Keaton borrowed $8,000 from JD, then a teenaged law student. When JD asked for the money back to cover her college expenses, Keaton said he we would only pay her back if she continued to communicate with and meet him.

Read the rest of the story rest of the story on Jezebel.comRead the rest