XXX in Tech

Victims of Revenge Porn Speak Out Against Craig Brittain, Founder of Is Anybody Down

“I would suggest overall I’m one of the good guys." Right.
Mr. Brittain

Mr. Brittain

When Hunter Moore shut down Is Anyone Up, the web’s most notorious revenge porn site, a host of copycat sites quickly cropped up to fill the void, though none have come close to generating as much traffic as Mr. Moore’s.

One called Is Anybody Down, however, goes a step beyond humiliating people by posting their naked photos without consent. The site claims to hold an “independent” partnership with another site that charges a $250 fee for the removal of photos. Now several women in Colorado are speaking out against its founder, Craig Brittain, and these extortionist policies.

CBS News reports that two women have agreed to come forward and speak about Is Anybody Down with the hopes that other women will begin to talk about their experiences with similar sites. Their statement comes two weeks after Hollie Toups and 23 other women filed a class action lawsuit in Texas against Texxxan.com and its host GoDaddy in an attempt to break the stigma for victims of revenge porn.

“I call it entertainment,” Colorado-based Mr. Brittain, the site’s proprietor, told CBS News. “We don’t want anyone shamed or hurt we just want the pictures there for entertainment purposes and business. I would say our business goal is to become big and profitable.” So far, he said he makes about $3,000 a month off of ads hosted on the site.

Marc Randazza, a Nevada-based lawyer who has made it his mission to defend victims of revenge porn, claims that in addition to posting non-consensual intimate photos of women, Is Anybody Down also flirts with a form of thinly-masked digital extortion.The site offers a partnership with an “independent” organization called Takedown Hammer, which purports to scrub your photos from Is Anybody Down—but only if you pay them $250.

Is Anybody Down features ads for Takedown Hammer across its site, and a link called “Get Me Off This Site!” takes you to a post about Takedown Hammer’s success in removing its clients’ photos from Is Anybody Down. Takedown Hammer claims to be operated by a New York-based lawyer named David Blade, III, but no such name appears in the New York State Unified Court System’s attorney database.

Mr. Randazza told Betabeat in December that he has conversed extensively with the profiteers of Is Anybody Down. After studying the IP addresses associated with the computers of Is Anybody Down’s owner Mr. Brittain and the owner of Takedown Hammer, he said that the two sites are definitely both run by Mr. Brittain.

“I have clear and convincing evidence that the exact same IP address is being used by both emails from the Takedown Hammer and Is Anybody Down,” Mr. Randazza told Betabeat. “Unless Craig and David Blade were sitting in the same room at the same computer and then they just switched places at the keyboard within seconds of each other, these guys are the same person.”

CBS News employed a computer security investigator who also determined that the emails from Mr. Brittain and Mr. Blade came from the same IP address. Mr. Brittain denies the allegation, though said he could not produce contact information for Mr. Blade.

Though posting private, naked photos of people and then asking for $250 to have them removed sounds an awful lot like digital extortion, because courts have never dealt with revenge porn sites before, there isn’t a legal precedent set for how to navigate such a situation. But with more and more women speaking out and taking site profiteers to court, that may soon change.

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