Why the revenge porn king got away with a wrist slap – The Verge

Ultimately, Hunter Moore was right. The man who built a name for himself by helping people use the internet to humiliate and ruin the reputations of former lovers, often laughed at predictions that he’d one day pay a big price for his actions.

Moore is one of the pioneers of revenge porn, the practice of posting nude or sexual photos of someone — typically a former lover — without their permission. His now defunct web site, IsAnyoneUp.com, hosted scores of these photos before he shut it down in April 2012. The motive of the people who posted on the site was simple: they wished to terrorize.

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Moore to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $2,000 fine. A punishment like this for a guy like Moore surprised and disappointed many revenge porn victims and advocates, according to Annmarie Chiarini, director of victims services at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a group dedicated to fighting revenge porn.

“Moore often laughed at predictions that he’d one day pay a big price”

“That’s a bullshit sentence,” said Chiarini, who in 2010 saw an ex-lover post intimate photos of her on eBay. “That’s just a ridiculously low number of years in jail. It is some satisfaction that he’s serving time but really his sentence is nothing. He’s not really paying for his crimes.”

The truth is Moore, 29, is paying for his crimes, only those crimes have little to do with revenge porn. Moore, who could not be reached for comment, admitted in February to paying a hacker to steal intimate photos from the email accounts of young women so he could post them to his site. He pleaded guilty to a single count each of computer hacking and identity theft. The law designed to outlaw revenge porn adopted in California, where Moore resided, was passed after he shuttered his site. Had it been around at the time, Moore might have received additional jail time. Last December, Noe Iniquez became the first person convicted under the law and was sent to prison for a year.

“That’s a bullshit sentence.”

It’s particularly galling because if revenge porn has a father, it’s Moore. He helped show the world the broadcast power of the web and how it could be weaponized. He reveled in being what he called a “professional liferuiner.”

“Somebody was gonna monetize this, and I was the person to do it,” Moore said during a 2011 interview with Anderson Cooper. When Moore later tried to shift the blame to the people posting the photos, Cooper noted this didn’t give him license to profit from their pics. Moore responded: “But I want to. Why wouldn’t I? I get to look at naked girls all day.”

In a 2012 interview with The Village Voice, Moore said: “I’m gonna sound like the most evil motherf*er — let’s be real for a second: If somebody killed themselves over that? Do you know how much money I’d make? At the end of the day, I do not want anybody to hurt themselves. But if they do? Thank you for the money.”

“If revenge porn has a father, it’s Moore”

Moore was prophetic. People have indeed killed themselves, maybe not as a result from photos being posted to his site, but from revenge porn — the practice he helped popularize. In September, a girl in Kenya killed herself after a man she knew threatened to post pictures of her online. The same year, a Brazilian teenage girl hanged herself after a sex tape she participated in was posted online.

Those are the extreme cases. Much more common is for revenge porn victims to lose jobs and find themselves ostracized by co-workers, friends, and family.

“[Putting Moore behind bars] is an accomplishment in so far that this is the first successful prosecution,” said Christina Gagnier, an attorney and member of the board for Without My Consent, a nonprofit privacy-protection group that works with revenge porn victims. “I think the downside is that the sentence is abominable. A two-year sentence doesn’t underscore the damage that was done.”

“People have indeed killed themselves”

Gagnier says, however, that progress is being made. In recent years, 25 US states have adopted laws that ban non-consensual pornography, and others are considering similar legislation. Some in Congress have been trying to make revenge porn a federal crime. Overseas, the number of countries that have outlawed it include Israel, the United Kingdom, and India.

Still, people who find revealing photos of themselves online continue to face plenty of obstacles to getting them removed. Maybe as many as 3,000 web sites host those types of pics, according to Chiarini. Then there is the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which protects web hosts from liability for material published by users, as long as they act fast by copyright owners when ordered to remove it. The law was created before revenge porn, but it offers those who traffic in that kind of material the same sort of protection as Comcast or AT&T.

“Law enforcement often doesn’t have the technical sophistication to enforce the laws”

One of the biggest problems for victims is that law enforcement often doesn’t have the technical sophistication to enforce the laws already on the books, according to Gagnier. Other times, she said they don’t have the will.

“A couple of years ago,” Gagnier said, “I went to a conference and this topic came up and there was a leading law enforcement official there who heard the term revenge porn and he started giggling. I sat in my seat and kind of went ‘Oh crap. If law enforcement is laughing about this then we’re in trouble.’ That’s when I knew we still had a long way to go on this issue.”

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Hunter Moore, once called the ‘Revenge Porn King’ out on bail – CNN

(CNN) — Hunter Moore, once dubbed the “most hated man on the Internet” and the “Revenge Porn King,” is free on bond after being indicted on felony charges including identity theft and conspiracy.

Moore, 27, the founder of a now-defunct “revenge porn” website is accused of hacking into people’s e-mail accounts to steal nude photos to post online, federal authorities said this week.

On Friday, a judge released him on bond set at $100,000 and took his passport as collateral, according to a court document. Moore is to appear in court again on February 7.

He was released into the custody of his parents, who signed the bond, CNN affiliate KCRA reported. His release came with some conditions.

Moore is not to use a computer or get anyone else to do it for him. He must take down his social media accounts and get tested for drug use, KCRA reported.

Moore, who the FBI says operated isanyoneup.com, was arrested in Woodland, California, Thursday. Also arrested was Charles Evens, a 25-year-old man in Southern California believed to be connected to the scheme.

‘You took the picture

In 2012, way before this arrest, Moore talked to HLN’s Dr. Drew about the website.

“The site was just born, actually,” Moore said. “It was just a couple of friends and, you know, we had our hearts broken by a couple of girls, and we thought we would make a site. And it became Is Anyone Up. That’s how it started. Of course. But when I did start the site, I was hurt, and so was my friends.”

But later in the show Moore was confronted by a woman who called in and said she regretted taking topless photos for a boyfriend and was devastated when the pictures appeared online.

“I don’t know how you can point your finger at me,” Moore responded.” You took the picture. I mean, I’ve been justifying this in my head for over a year and a half of the site. But at the end of the day, it started with you. You took these pictures.”

Site got out of hand

The FBI says Moore and Evens conspired to peddle “hundreds” of nude pictures, without getting permission in 2011 and 2012. But, according to an indictment Moore allegedly pushed Evens to hack into computers to get more sexually explicit photos.

Moore then would pay Evens for the photos and then post them on the site, according to the FBI.

Both suspects are named in a 15-count indictment with charges that include aggravated identity theft and conspiracy.
If convicted, they face up to five years in federal prison for each conspiracy and hacking-related charge.

Moore actually shutdown the website in 2012 and sold it to an anti-bullying group.

“Taking down the site has been something I`ve wanted to do for months,” Moore said. “It was just something I created that got out of hand. It was supposed to be for friends.”

CNN’s Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

Man once called the ‘Revenge Porn King’ out on bail – CNN
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Notorious revenge porn site operator Hunter Moore charged with hacking

A notorious “revenge porn” website operator and another California man have been charged with stealing nude photos from hundreds of hacked email accounts and posting the images online.

Hunter Moore, 27, who has been dubbed by some media outlets as “the most hated man on the Internet,” was arrested Thursday at his home in Woodland. FBI agents also arrested Charles Evens, 25, of the Studio City area of Los Angeles.

Evens pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court while Moore appeared in court in Sacramento but didn’t enter a plea, U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Both remained jailed.

A 15-count federal indictment issued this week in Los Angeles charges the men with conspiracy, computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting. They could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted.

From 2010 to 2012, Moore ran a website called isanyoneup.com that posted nude and explicit photos, including some submitted to the site by former lovers and spouses without the permission of the people in them. Alongside the photos, Moore included the name and other details of the people depicted.

The photos included an “American Idol” finalist, the daughter of a major Republican donor, and a woman in a wheelchair, according to a 2012 article on Moore in Rolling Stone magazine.

According to the indictment, Evens was paid for providing Moore with nude photos that he obtained by hacking or using other means to accessing hundreds of email accounts.

In an email to Moore, Evens said what he was doing was illegal, and in other emails, Moore offered to pay Evens $200 a week and asked him to use an anonymous PayPal account to avoid detection of the scheme, according to the indictment. Evens was paid as much as $900 at one time, prosecutors contend.

Moore told BBC that he made as much as $20,000 a month in advertising revenue. He ignored cease-and-desist orders and scoffed at challenges to the ethics of his site, although in 2012 he finally sold the website to an anti-cyberbullying organization, saying his notoriety had resulted in people sending him a flood of child pornography and other images.

But he defended the site as well, even though he acknowledged in the 2012 BBC interview that posting the photos could “definitely affect someone’s livelihood.”

“I just monetize people’s mistakes that they made, and it’s kind of a shady business. But if it wasn’t me, somebody else was going to do it,” he said.

In a 2012 interview on CNN’s “Dr. Drew” show, a woman who called in to the show chastised Moore for refusing requests to remove naked selfies of her daughter and alleged they came from a hacked account.

“I’m sure she sent the pictures to a million different guys and just ended up on my site just like everybody else,” Moore said, although he added that he didn’t want to hurt her daughter.

“I`m sorry that your daughter was cyber-raped. But, I mean, now she’s educated on technology,” he added.

Notorious ‘revenge’ porn site operator charged with hacking – Fox News
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It’s Still Easy to Get Away With Revenge Porn

“Nice tits, honey. Haven’t I seen you online?” The man says it casually, with a suggestive grin, as he walks past Hollie Toups down the [his] aisle. She’s bothered by the remark, of course, but it’s not the first time she’s heard it; for the better part of the past year, this treatment has become routine. She’s mainly just embarrassed her mother is standing next to her and had to hear the bawdy comment.Toups, a 33-year-old teacher’s aid and criminal justice student, discovered last summer that topless photos of her had been leaked online across dozens of websites. Some pictures included her email information and social media links — some even shared her [his].In her hometown of Nederland, Texas — a small community of 17,000, about 90 miles east of Houston — the chances of being recognized are high. Case in point: this afternoon.But she’s far from the only one. Over the past few years, hundreds of women and men across the world have fallen victim to this new form of cyber bullying, spawning harassment and costing jobs and relationships in the process.

“Revenge porn,” it’s called, is the act of online publishing intimate photos, videos and contact information of a person without his or her consent. Usually, it’s the work of a disgruntled ex-partner or random hacker (the latter in Toups’ case).

Two weeks ago, California become the second state in the U.S. behind New Jersey to [his]. Now, New York is considering similar action.

And while it may seem like a black-and-white issue, revenge porn has opened up debates about the First Amendment and the ethics of criminalization.

Toups is one of a handful of victims fighting to make it a criminal offense. But, like most things sex-related, it’s a highly sensitive subject — and still largely a work in progress.

Hunter Moore is often referred to as the “Internet’s most-hated” person; he helped launch the revenge porn empire.

In 2010, the 27-year-old set up the now-defunct site, IsAnyoneUp?. The rules were simple: Anyone could submit naked photos of another person (almost always an ex-lover) to the site’s database. As the site’s popularity grew, so too did the trendiness of posting nude photos as a form of vengeance. It didn’t take long for copycat sites to appear. Traffic was booming, which meant prime real estate for advertisers. Moore eventually shut the site down in 2012, after he claimed receiving an abundance of underage submissions, but by that point hundreds of sites like it had already launched.

Toups was at work just a few months later when she found out her photos had been posted on a site called Texxxan.com.

“I got a phone call from a friend who had overheard this group of girls talking about this website,” she tells me. “She said there were tons of nude photos of different girls, including me. Of course, I didn’t believe it.”

Toups hung up the phone and tried to get back to work, but the thought burned in her mind.

Since she couldn’t look at the pictures at work, Toups drove home and opened Texxxan.com from her personal laptop. The site’s homepage showed a map of Texas, where visitors could click on various regions to view that area’s victims. Toups clicked on the southeast portion, where Nederland is located, and saw a picture of her next to 12 other girls from the area. When she expanded the image, her full name, a map with her home address pinpointed, a link to her [revenge porn] page and a long list of photos appeared.

Hunter Moore in a 2011 interview with Anderson Cooper. Moore voluntarily shut down IsAnyoneUp? in April 2012.

“The first picture I saw was this one I had posted to Facebook — it was me at a pool party wearing a bikini. So that wasn’t a big deal,” she says.

“But then I scrolled down. There were these topless photos I had sent to a boyfriend back when I was 24 — and I was 32 at the time I was reading this.”

It must be him, she thought — he’s the only one who had access to the pictures. And then she saw something that threw her off: The very bottom picture was a selfie she had snapped just a year or so prior. She had been working out and taking self portraits every week to track the progress. One morning, when she was stepping out of the shower, she took a photo of herself on her [his]. She didn’t send it to anyone; it was just a picture, taken in the moment, which she intended to keep for herself. So how did it get on this website?

“I knew it couldn’t have been him then — he didn’t have access to that last photo. It was eight years after we broke up, and I didn’t send it to anyone.”

Toups emailed the website and explained that she wanted the photos down. After a few days, the site sent her a message back with a link asking for her credit card information for payment — extortion for removing the photos. She considered giving in for a second, if only out of desperation, but realized it wasn’t a guarantee the pictures wouldn’t just reappear a few days later. A site that posts naked photos without permission and asks for personal banking information, after all, doesn’t exactly scream “trustworthy.”

The next week, the harassment began.

“It wasn’t bad at first. Just people — a lot of random people — sending me messages on Facebook or tweeting at me, saying they wanted to meet up and ‘have a good time,'” she says. “Then there were people who would approach me in public” — like the man in the [his] — “and laugh about seeing my pictures up online. It was so humiliating.”

Then it turned aggressive.

“One of the tweets at me said something like, ‘I get the feeling you like to sleep around, don’t be surprised if you get raped one day.’ It pissed me off more than it terrified me, but I still couldn’t help feeling unsafe.”

Toups decided to hire an investigator.

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Millennials deal with consequences of revenge porn

As Millennials become increasingly tech-reliant in all facets of life — including relationships — some are facing unfortunate consequences.

Three out of four college students will be in a long-distance relationship at some point before graduation, according to a study in the Journal of Communication. Sending nude photos to a partner may be one way to maintain the passion.

In fact, a 2011 University of Rhode Island study found that 56% percent of students had received “sexually suggestive images.”

But what happens when a relationship dissolves and a heartbroken ex has a library of nude photos of their former partner?

For some, the answer is “revenge porn,” or posting someone’s sexually explicit image online without their consent.

The action is legal in 48 states — excluding New Jersey and recently, California — and protected under one’s First Amendment rights.

Holly Jacobs, a revenge-porn victim and founder of EndRevengePorn.com, says that this issue uniquely affects Gen Y.

“I would venture to say that most victims that contact me are of the college age,” says Jacobs, who found herself on a revenge porn site as a grad student at Florida International University in 2009. “It’s the Millennials who have grown up with technology and have integrated it into their lives.”

On Tuesday, the governor of California approved the criminalization of revenge porn. “Distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy” may be punished by up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine on a first offense.

However, the statute does not protect victims who took the photos themselves, a group that makes up 80% of revenge porn victims according to a survey by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. The law applies only to images that were captured by someone without knowledge or consent of the victim.

Former revenge porn mogul Hunter Moore told tech publication The Register that he doesn’t think the government can stand in the way of websites like the one he started in 2010 — the now-defunct IsAnyoneUp.com.

“This doesn’t stop anything. If you read the bill it is just for peeping toms, not for selfies, which is all revenge porn really is,” he told the Register. “These stupid old white people are even more stupid to think they can stop it … It will just make revenge porn bigger by driving traffic, because people are talking about it.”

Moore added that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is still in place, a law that protects owners of interactive websites from responsibility for content their users post.

As a victim, Jacobs points out that the California law also specifies a motive — emotional distress of the victim — that can be difficult to prove in court.

“Sometimes people post [revenge porn] to gain acceptance or notoriety on the internet, or even just to make money,” she says, explaining that a victim who initially consented to being photographed would have to prove she was emotionally distressed to win her case.

Gene Policinski, senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, says that civil lawsuits are one option for victims, although they can cause embarrassment and financial burdens.

He added that while California’s recent legislation indicates that the law is catching up with technological advances, lawmakers should be careful not to trample on First Amendment rights.

“Citizens have a right to be concerned anytime a government moves to restrain or punish speech, even if it’s repugnant,” he says. “What may be repugnant to one may not be to another.”

Meeghan Falls, a former Lamar University student, would not have been protected under a law like California’s.

Within a two-year relationship, Falls says she sent countless sexually explicit photos to her boyfriend at the time, a fellow Lamar student.

“After a year and half, you think, ‘I’m going to be with this guy forever,'” says Falls, now 21. “I didn’t have any problems sending these kinds of photos to him.”

The couple eventually split, and about two months later, Falls says she received a Facebook message from a stranger informing her that her photos and other identifying information were on a revenge porn site.

“My stomach dropped. I started shaking. I started crying immediately,” she says. “I felt like the whole world had seen me naked.”

Falls says she is currently in a civil lawsuit against her ex that includes three other women whose images he distributed on revenge porn sites.

Jacobs says that in a world where technology and sexuality overlap so heavily, she rejects the notion that preventing revenge porn means abstaining from taking sexual images.

“When people say that, it’s absolutely another version of blaming the victim. It’s the same thing as someone telling someone who’s been physically raped that they shouldn’t have been wearing that skirt,” she says, adding that she hopes to see further state and federal legislation.

Falls says telling her story is difficult, but she hopes it can prevent her experience from happening to someone else.

“I trusted this man … foolishly, but I trusted this man to keep [the photos] private, confidential,” she says. “As long as we can stop other girls from doing this and having this done to them, as long as something positive can come out of this, it would be just wonderful.”

Falls, who is now engaged to be married, says the betrayal she experienced hasn’t made her cynical.

“I don’t want people to think that they shouldn’t trust anyone, but just be careful who you do trust,” she says. “Make sure they’re worthy of it.”

Millennials deal with consequences of ‘revenge porn’ – USA TODAY
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‘Storage Wars’ Star Brandi Passante Wins “Revenge Porn” Lawsuit…$750

After suing a porn provocateur because he posted her nude video on his revenge porn site, the A&E reality star was granted just $750.

brandi passanteStorage Wars star Brandi Passante has received damages after suing porn distributor Hunter Moore. The sum? A mere $750.

Passante sued last fall when Moore posted a nude video on his website, IsAnyoneUp.com, claiming the woman featured was Passante.

In the lawsuit, $2.5 million was demanded, but a federal judge says that amount can’t be justified. However, Moore will likely have to pick up Passante’s legal bill. A $2.5 million lawsuit and she was only granted $750?? That is insulting to say the least…

Moore and IsAnyoneUp became known for revenge porn or “stalker porn,” in which pornographic images and videos, usually submitted without the subjects’ permission, are posted alongside subjects’ Facebook pictures. In addition, he posted a link to the subjects’ Facebook profile. Moore received a cease and desist order from Facebook in 2011 and shut down the site in April 2012.

He then took IsAnyoneUp to Tumblr and Twitter. In October, he posted a video on Tumblr captioned “brandie [sic] from storage wars.”

Passante learned of the video via Twitter, where she received messages such as “Can’t wait to see more of the video,” and “Love the pics.”

The video was “fabricated,” Passante claimed. Fearing her family would see it, the reality TV star said she suffered anxiety, lost sleep and physical illness. She sued for Lanham Act violations, defamation, invasion of privacy, consumer fraud and more, and filed a motion for a default judgment when Moore didn’t put up much of a defense.

In a ruling earlier this month, U.S. District Judge James Selna notes that in a default motion, the factual allegations in the complaint are taken as true, with the exception of those regarding damages. Judge Seina finds Moore liable, but adds that Passante has not provided enough evidentiary support to justify $2.5 million in claimed damages. Passante did get the judge to prohibit Moore from distributing the video or pictures after weighing the reputational damage she will face. And the defendant’s behavior will mean he’ll be paying Passante’s lawyers.

As the judge says, “Defendant’s conduct prior to and following the entry of the preliminary injunction renders this case exceptional. He discontinued his scofflaw ways only after the Court issued a bench warrant to compel his compliance with the preliminary injunction. The Court agrees that Plaintiff is entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs under the Lanham Act based on Defendant’s trademark infringement.”

Moore, in response to the decision, tweeted, “what should I write on the check in the memo line for that bitch who sued me.”


Have you been a victim of revenge porn? If so, please contact us by using our contact form HERE. We can help you! Also, check out our friends over at EndRevengePorn.com and sign the petition to make revenge porn a crime.

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