Hunter Moore, creator of the revenge pornography website “Is Anyone Up?”, was indicted on 15 counts, seven of which consisted of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.
Moore published the website under the “revenge porn” genre, which acts as a way for scorned exes to post nude photos of their previous lovers. The photos were often posted without consent of those in the pictures and linked back to their personal social media profiles. The comments on the ill-gotten photos ranged from petty insults to downright threats upon the subjects’ lives.
However, many of the photos weren’t submitted by anyone. Moore paid a man named Charles Evans to break into the email accounts of soon-to-be victims and steal photos they might have on their computers.
After selling the Is Anyone Up? domain, Moore created another website, huntermoore.tv, which had a new option when submitting photos — the victim’s address. The door was open for the people who had left detrimental comments to stalk the person in the photos. This website and its new feature never got off the ground, but the harm had already been done to hundreds of victims.
Many of the victims went to the police after finding what they thought were private photos splashed all over the internet. But it didn’t help as most were turned away and told that since they had been 18 when the photos were taken, there was nothing they could do about it. It was technically legal.
Revenge pornography has just come to light in the justice system, and many petitions and movements have begun to criminalize the act.
Currently only New Jersey and California hold laws making it illegal to share explicit photos without consent or show videos if they had been filmed with the intention of staying private. Alabama is following suit and has begun drafting a proposed bill to make revenge porn illegal.
Until then, several non-profit organizations and women’s rights advocates such as End Revenge Porn are working to educate the public on how to protect themselves.
Charlotte Law, an advocate whose daughter, Kayla, was posted on Is Anyone Up?, warns people to think seriously about what would happen if the relationship soured. She also warns against putting any photos on a home computer as they are prone to hackers finding them through email, the exact way Kayla’s photos found their way to the internet.
If you or someone you know becomes a victim of “revenge porn,” you can find legal options and advice at WithoutMyConsent.org.