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'Revenge porn' peddler banned from posting images without consent


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If your significant other sends you artful nudes, it'd be pretty nasty to share those pics in the event of your separation. It's a feeling that the Federal Trade Commission shares after handing down a judgment on Craig Brittain, the owner of a website that many believe traded in revenge porn. Is Anybody Down was a site catering for user-submitted smut that, perhaps obviously, was believed to be used by jilted lovers trying to get one over on their exes. The site itself shuttered a while ago, but the FTC has now ruled that Brittain cannot publicly share photos of people online without their permission, and destroy any archives that he still has. Failure to comply with this will be met with a $16,000 fine for each and every individual violation.

As far as the FTC is concerned, Brittain accepted and posted revenge porn images and then acquired more pictures of women by "deception" using Craigslist. If anyone objected to seeing their naked bodies appear on the service, they were redirected to a dummy takedown service that charged hundreds of dollars for a removal. The judgment also talks about a bounty system, where users could pay $100 for others to source naked pictures of named third parties.

Once the judgment had been made public, however, Brittain posted a response on his now-defunct website. He apologizes for his actions and asks for forgiveness, offering the domain over to any organization involved in the anti-revenge porn movement. He goes on to say that the mainstream media have willfully mischaracterized his actions and situation, denying that he ever used Craigslist to acquire images from women or running and promoting fake takedown services.

More generally, Brittain is less repentant, saying that Is Anybody Down was as legitimate an enterprise as Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook, and his role insulated him from the actions of individual users. He adds that he doesn't actually believe in the existence of revenge porn, and that figures like Brett Favre and Anthony Weiner were the real victims of an imagined cause. As much as you'd hope he'd stop there, he goes on to say that any laws against revenge porn (which he doesn't believe in) are unconstitutional and should be overturned. Brittain is hoping to turn over a new leaf, and has pledged to do something "positive in society," by... contributing to GamerGate.

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