Menu
Feds go after operator of revenge porn site

Feds go after operator of revenge porn site

The FTC charged Craig Brittain with obtaining nude photos under false pretenses and then charging to remove them from the site

U.S. federal regulators are clamping down on revenge porn, taking aim at a website whose operator allegedly deceived women into sending intimate photos of themselves and then charged them to have the pictures removed.

Craig Brittain operated isanybodydown.com, which displayed the images, and offered a "content removal service" that charged women between US$200 and $500 to have their images and personal information deleted from the site, according to a complaint filed against him by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Now Brittain must permanently delete all the images and personal information he received while operating the site, under a settlement with the FTC announced Thursday. It's the FTC's first case against a revenge porn site.

"This behavior is not only illegal but reprehensible," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.

Brittain neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations in the draft complaint.

He obtained more than a thousand images for the site, and his actions violated Section 5 of the U.S. FTC Act, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce," according to an FTC spokesman. His actions were unfair because he posted the images and other information without people's permission and they were deceptive because he obtained the content by posing as someone else, the spokesman said.

Brittain obtained the images in a number of ways, the FTC said, such as by posing as a woman on Craigslist, and offering nude photos purportedly of himself in exchange for photos provided by women. He also required submissions to include personal information about the people in the photos, the agency said, like their full name, phone number, city of residence and Facebook profile.

Under the terms of the settlement, Brittain is also prohibited from misrepresenting how he will use any personal information he collects online. There is no financial component, but if Brittain does not honor the settlement he could face a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per day per violation.

Brittain generated about $12,000 from the site.

There is a 30-day public comment period before the settlement is finalized. The FTC spokesman declined to comment on whether revenge porn would become a growing area of regulatory action for the agency.

Brittain said last year he would be shutting down the "Is Anybody Down" site, but he had operated an additional site, obamanudes.com, that was similar. He did not respond to a request for comment sent via a Twitter account identified as his.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesFederal Trade Commissionlegalsocial mediainternetvideo

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments