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


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetlegalvideoInternet-based applications and servicesFederal Trade Commission

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments