Hunter Moore, the owner of the notorious “revenge porn” site, isanyoneup.com, recently got arrested and indicted on 15 federal cybercrime charges.
Moore operates his site in California, which recently enacted a law designed to punish owners of so-called “revenge porn” sites. These are websites built for angry exes to upload and post pornographic images of scorned lovers. For instance, during a divorce, a jilted husband might upload racy pictures of his ex-wife in her lingerie (or even naked) to a site like “isanyoneup.com” as a way of humiliating her.
Believe it or not, most states lack laws against revenge porn. So victims instead go after transgressors for copyright infringement, cyber stalking and violating privacy laws. In Texas in 2013, victims of the revenge porn site, www.texxan.com, sued that website as well as Go Daddy (the site’s host) for mental anguish and privacy violations.
Most revenge porn operators seek protection in the Communications Decency Act’s Sec. 230, which prevents site operators from getting in trouble as a result of user submitted and uploaded content. That same law protects major news organizations, like Newsweek and the New York Times, from getting in trouble when random crazy users post wild comments in the submitted content sections.
Congress passed the Communications Decency Act nearly 20 years ago – in 1996 – just as the internet entered its nascence. This law provides very important, powerful protection for people who conduct business and surf online. But it also does allow people like Moore -- a self-described “professional life ruiner” -- to set up upsettingly-themed websites, which many people find objectionable or even immoral. [Some in the media have labeled Moore “the most hated person on the Internet.”]
So why DID Moore get in trouble?
Allegedly, he paid a hacker to break into people’s email accounts to collect stolen pictures to post on the website. In other words, he stands accused of violating hacking laws.
His counts include seven counts of unauthorized access of protected computers to get information, conspiracy, and seven counts of aggravated identify theft. Moore paid a $100,000 bail to get released. Ironically, Moore himself tried desperately to avoid having his picture taken after he left the police station: he hid his head in his jacket as paparazzi snapped photos.
If you or someone you care about stands accused of committing a computer crime in Florida, the team here at David Seltzer, P.A., can help you understand your charges and come up with an appropriate, strategic approach. Call us now at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or get in touch with us via email. We are available for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to put your mind at ease.