In the past few days we have witnessed coordinated law enforcement activities among various law enforcement agencies of the world. For instance, the Karnataka CID is investigating possible involvement of Enstage Software’s staff in international ATM heist. Similarly, an international hacking syndicate has been busted by Indian CBI with the help of FBI.
Now it has been reported by TOI that the founder of a so-called ‘revenge porn website’ has been arrested and charged by the FBI for allegedly hacking into email accounts and stealing nude photographs to post them online without consent. The concept of revenge porn itself is flawed one and in many cases a ransom is demanded to remove the objectionable photographs from such a website.
Besides violation of privacy rights, this concept also violates the laws pertaining to pornography in many jurisdictions. In fact, as per the Information Technology Act, 2000 of India publication of online obscene material is a serious offence.
Hunter Moore, 27, often described as ‘the most hated man on the internet’, was arrested at his home in Woodland, California. A second man, Charles Evens, 25, was also arrested in the Studio City area of Los Angeles. They face charges including conspiracy, computer hacking and aggravated identity theft as part of a 15-count federal grand jury indictment issued this week. Evens pleaded not guilty before a federal judge. Moore did not enter a plea and remains in custody in Northern California. If found guilty, they could spend decades behind bars.
According to the 13-page indictment, Moore allegedly conspired with Evens to illegally gain access to victims’ computers to obtain explicit photographs for the purpose of revenge. Moore instructed Evens to hack e-mail accounts in exchange for money. From 2010 to 2012, Moore ran a revenge porn website, which allowed visitors to upload pictures of ex-partners or people who have participated in ‘sexting’ and sent nude pictures of themselves.
His arrest comes shortly after a new California law banned revenge porn websites, making it illegal to post identifiable nude pictures online without consent or with the intent of causing emotional distress. The penalty carries a $1,000 (£617) fine and up to six months in prison.