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California Man Arrested for Running 'Revenge Porn' Website

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the someone's-going-to-jail dept.

The Courts 252

cold fjord writes "Yahoo reports, 'A California man was arrested on Tuesday on accusations he ran a 'revenge porn' website, one that featured nude pictures of women often posted by jilted or angry ex-lovers ... The San Diego arrest, the latest action by the state to crack down on such websites, comes after California Governor Jerry Brown signed a first-in-the-nation law in October specifically targeting revenge porn. The law defines revenge porn as the posting of private, explicit photos of other people on the Internet to humiliate them. But authorities did not charge 27-year-old Kevin Bollaert under that law, because it is geared to those who post the incriminating pictures and not those who run websites that feature them .... Bollaert's site, which is no longer operational, had featured over 10,000 sexually explicit photos, and he charged women up to $350 each to remove their photos, officials said. ... Bollaert was charged under a California identity theft law that prohibits using identifying information of a person without their permission, and under anti-extortion legislation, according to court documents. Unlike many other revenge porn websites, Bollaert's site had required users post the photo subject's full name, location, age and a link to the person's Facebook profile, the Attorney General's Office said in a statement.'"

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252 comments

He could get out of the charge (5, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 4 months ago | (#45661285)

He should turn over all of his submission records, in essence handing over the information on hundreds of men who could be charged for posting the photos. They would probably offer him quite the plea deal if he were to do this.

Re:He could get out of the charge (3, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about 4 months ago | (#45661499)

If he's going to bargain, he should probably offer something the police doesn't already have.

Plus, unless those people are mostly in California, it's far better to go with the big fish you already have than a widely spread trove of hard to reach minnows.

Re:He could get out of the charge (5, Informative)

DiEx-15 (959602) | about 4 months ago | (#45661553)

No.

One of the charges he is being slapped with is extortion. Because, according to the article, he was charging women $350 to remove the images. That is the very definition of extortion as the women had to pay to remove the images.

It is a wonder he isn't being slapped with federal charges of extortion.

The other charge is identity theft. According to the CA laws: He was posting information about these women without their explicit consent. That breaks the ID Theft law there.

That is not to say he will not be forced to turn over the information of all the idiots who posted the nudes. They may still get that info with or without his help. However, he certainly won't get a plea deal out of it if he cooperates because he is being charged with more serious, unrelated issues that the CA Anti-Revenge Porn law doesn't cover.

Re:He could get out of the charge (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 months ago | (#45661931)

Also, if this is the person I'm thinking about, and if my memory is correct, at least one of his victims claims that he harassed and threatened her and her family, and that one of his associates cracked into women's personal computers/accounts and stole many of the photos that were posted.

So assuming this is the same person, it's a wonder he hasn't been charged with harassment, assault, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, too.

Re:He could get out of the charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661965)

> it's a wonder he hasn't been charged with ... violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Because not enough government secrets were revealed.

Re:He could get out of the charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45662039)

Because, according to the article, he was charging women $350 to remove the images. That is the very definition of extortion as the women had to pay to remove the images.

That's not the legal definition of extortion, unless displaying those images is a crime.

Re:He could get out of the charge (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 months ago | (#45662097)

It is a wonder he isn't being slapped with federal charges of extortion.

Not really. California has a long and inglorious history of trying to turn itself into its own country -- second only to Texas in it's zest for trying to co-opt, twist, and otherwise manipulate federal law. See also: "This product is known to cause cancer in the State of California." They also have the highly controversial three strikes law that results in infinite prison. As if you needed more proof California's justice system was completely off the rails than them creating laws inspired by sports games.

But, it's not a surprise the feds aren't getting involved -- they generally only become involved when the state penalty would be less than the federal penalty. In this case, it's very clearly more. The federal justice system would probably have him serving considerably less time than infinity for his crime.

As an aside, while I think what this man does was clearly anti-social and he should be punished... a prison sentence in excess of what I would get if I poured gasoline on this man and set him on fire for posting a naked picture of me on his website, I do not feel is fair. His crime was non-violent. Hate-motivated? Yes. Poor taste? Absolutely. Attempting to profit on the misery of others? Yes. But not violent. At least in my book, violence is worse than non-violence, pound for pound. And if we're going to say this guy should be punished for extortion like this, where's California when it comes to their business leaders? A lot of banks have headquarters over there...

Re:He could get out of the charge (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 4 months ago | (#45662261)

Exactly.

Furthermore, how did he think this episode would end? I didnt RTFA (ofcourse, this is still Slashdot) but I wager he couldnt have made too much money extorting before the the Feds started tracking him. Stupid stupid stupid criminals.

Re:He could get out of the charge (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661651)

More than one person pointed out they already have all of this information, but...

Depending on when the pictures were posted in regards to the law being signed, there might not be a crime by the jilted lovers.

Re:He could get out of the charge (3, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#45661751)

Assuming its illegal.

There is a big difference between what they did and what he did. What they did is, generally, a huge breech of trust but.... that doesn't mean it is or even should be illegal. When it comes to personal relationships, sometimes the state really should say "My name is paul, this shit is between you all".

In the end, whether a particular upload would be an infringement or not would depend on context. I know women who have posted nude pictures of themselves or let others post pictures of them online. So you can't really just blanket assume its a violation.

How about situations where a man posts pictures online of his wife claiming they are swingers looking for more partners. We can't assume its with or without her knowledge out of hand, it could be either. she could easily turn around in a divorce and claim to have not known.

This isn't even academic, I KNOW people who have had problems like this where a divorce got messy and one side tried to use events out of context. Seriously I had a friend tell me his wife was really kinky and wanted him to have her sign a "slave contract" (not unusual in certain circles)....then a year later is telling me how she gave the contract to her lawyer to use as proof that he was really controlling.

If that was the worst of the things I have seen people in fights with their ex do, that would be one thing. One friend of mine had to go through all sorts of hell fighting his ex over custody; even having to deal with her making false abuse claims with DSS. (we are still waiting to see the hammer drop on her for that since DSS has closed the case saying there was no merit to the claims)

Relationships are messy business. Right or wrong, its usually best to stay out of them whenever possible. Unless there is "welfare of a child" involved (which admittedly can be the messiest) its best to just stay out and tell people do deal.

Yet it does seem like there should be some recourse here, maybe a civil offence for people to use after other means of dealing with it break down? I dunno, but it should be somewhat targeted to prevent abuse of the statute.

Re:He could get out of the charge (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45661877)

Assuming its illegal. There is a big difference between what they did and what he did. What they did is, generally, a huge breech of trust but.... that doesn't mean it is or even should be illegal. When it comes to personal relationships, sometimes the state really should say "My name is paul, this shit is between you all".

It's illegal. The summary even suggests which law was recently signed by the governor to make it illegal.

Re:He could get out of the charge (5, Informative)

McGruber (1417641) | about 4 months ago | (#45662263)

He should turn over all of his submission records, in essence handing over the information on hundreds of men who could be charged for posting the photos. They would probably offer him quite the plea deal if he were to do this.

Read the Arrest Warrant: http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press_releases/Arrest%20warrant_0.pdf [ca.gov]

There are 31 Felony Counts listed in it. He's not going to get much of a plea deal; the police seized his computers, so they already have "all of his submission records."

So... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661295)

So he wasn't arrested for running the website at all. He was arrested for blackmail. That headline isn't just misleading, it's factually incorrect. He was arrested because of it, but not for it.

Re:So... (1)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 4 months ago | (#45661415)

You would think so.

From TFA: " In all, Bollaert faces 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion"

Re:So... (2)

Valdrax (32670) | about 4 months ago | (#45661545)

He was arrested because of it, but not for it.

The title is "California Man Arrested for Running 'Revenge Porn' Website." What is the meaningful semantic distinction that makes the use of "for it" improper here? He was arrested for activities core to the running of the site: privacy violations (the images hosted on the site) and blackmail (a major revenue source for the site). Just because he wasn't arrested for using the site doesn't mean that we wasn't arrested for running the site.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661989)

As even the summary explains, just hosting the images isn't illegal. However he extorted people on the side which I believe wasn't advertised on the website itself.

If he just ran the website and took down images as people complained, that would have been a different story.

Re:So... (5, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45662309)

Just hosting a revenge porn site is legal. California even said as much. His actions toward the people in the images is what's gotten him in trouble. He blackmailed them, and improperly posted personal information about them, in some cases leading to them being identified and harrassed by others who saw the images. If he'd done nothing but host a site that held revenge porn images, and encouraged others to upload them, he wouldn't have been arrested (At least not for any of the charges he was charged with). So running a "revenge porn" site was irrelevant to the issue here.

Quick... (4, Funny)

JavaLord (680960) | about 4 months ago | (#45661299)

. Bollaert was charged under a California identity theft law that prohibits using identifying information of a person without their permission

Quick, sue the NSA.

Re:Quick... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45661375)

You know, back in the Bush administration, before Snowden released documents proving they were doing it, the ESA and ACLU did just that, and the Supreme court said "Fuck off, you can't prove anything, so we won't let you get evidence that would help."

I'm pretty sure there's another lawsuit now, but it hasn't gotten that high.

Re:Quick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661381)

That's not what the NSA did, and US legal code applies to US citizens, not foreign ones. Also, if the NSA is operating within boundaries set by other laws like the PATRIOT Act, which they were, then they're in the clear.

Blame the law and the politicians for poor oversight, the NSA is just a bureaucracy told to go do something without sufficient guidelines and oversight.

Re:Quick... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#45662379)

US legal code applies to US citizens, not foreign ones

You've got that backwards - protections from the government's actions apply to all people. Rules that the government makes within those boundaries only apply to citizens.

See the Declaration of Independence if you have a question about the conscience of the Constitution.

Re:Quick... (1)

celle (906675) | about 4 months ago | (#45661447)

" Bollaert was charged under a California identity theft law that prohibits using identifying information of a person without their permission "

      In other words, he's been charged with doing what every person, business, and the government itself does in the US/world. This is part of the lawmakers passing meaningless and opportunistic laws just to do so. Either enforce it on everybody and face the consequences or repeal it. Anything else is just government abuse and prosecutorial misconduct.

Re:Quick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661573)

Rather that assuming everyone else knows what you're refering to; care to suggest just how everyone in the world would be found guilty under this law?

Re:Quick... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45661647)

Interesting. So if I do a search on myself in google and find personal information does that mean I can sue?

Re:Quick... (1)

beatle42 (643102) | about 4 months ago | (#45662253)

You'd probably need to review the TOS and EULAs you agreed to along the way. It's fairly likely that we've all given permission to use our personal information in exchange for using services like Google or Yahoo etc. If we gave them permission then they haven't done anything without our permission and thus haven't broken then law, right?

Open Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661303)

That's your life in this day and age. Anyone who doesn't assume that everything s/he says or does will somehow end up online, especially if there is visual evidence of the deed, is just an idiot. Maybe sites like this serve a purpose in society by taxing the stupid into learning a life lesson or twelve.

Re:Open Book (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#45661473)

Anyone who doesn't assume that everything s/he says or does will somehow end up online, especially if there is visual evidence of the deed, is just an idiot.

You're an idiot.

Lots of things people do and/or say, even if there's visual evidence, does not ever end up online.

For example, I did something yesterday, and created visual evidence by making a video recording.Yet you don't know about it, and it never ended up online; won't, either, as I have the only recording in existence and no plans to share it with the world.

Maybe sites like this serve a purpose in society by taxing the stupid into learning a life lesson or twelve.

Right, and maybe all those people Saddam Hussein tortured to death really deserved it.

Idiot.

Re:Open Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661657)

You're an idiot.

You should probably attempt to read above a third-grade level before you start tossing around insults, poppet. Allow me to demonstrate:

Anyone who doesn't assume that everything s/he says or does will somehow end up online, especially if there is visual evidence of the deed, is just an idiot.

Lots of things people do and/or say, even if there's visual evidence, does not ever end up online.

I never implied that it would. The statement was that one should assume everything will end up online. There's a distinct difference. For example: you should assume that the currently green traffic light you're approaching with cross-traffic waiting will change before you cross the intersection, and take appropriate action; that doesn't mean it will change. Point being, if you assume the undesirable outcome, it may prevent you from doing something stupendously moronic -- like running a red-light or taking nude pictures of yourself and sending them to your boyfriend.

For example, I did something yesterday, and created visual evidence by making a video recording.Yet you don't know about it, and it never ended up online; won't, either, as I have the only recording in existence and no plans to share it with the world.

That's very nice for you. Why did you record it if you don't intend to display that recording to anyone? Where did you store this your-eyes-only recording? I hope it's not on a phone, which can be stolen, or a computer, which can be hacked.

Maybe sites like this serve a purpose in society by taxing the stupid into learning a life lesson or twelve.

Right, and maybe all those people Saddam Hussein tortured to death really deserved it.

Right... bilking a moron who believes that deleting a few kilobytes of data from one fraudster's server amounts to erasing that data from the internet out of a couple hundred bucks is tantamount to zealous dictator murdering several thousand political dissidents. Perhaps your issue is less about reading comprehension and more about being batshit fucking insane.

Idiot.

Indeed.

Re:Open Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661755)

For example, I did something yesterday, and created visual evidence by making a video recording.Yet you don't know about it, and it never ended up online; won't, either, as I have the only recording in existence and no plans to share it with the world.

I'm pretty sure the women didn't intend to share those pictures with the world either. It isn't even a given that they knowingly shared them with the person who posted them.

Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (5, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 4 months ago | (#45661541)

Mod me down as a troll, but I'm going to call your stupid and asinine statement out. I _want_ to live in a world where my girlfriend, or certain adventurous female friends of mine, feel safe in sending me nudie pics on my phone, and do so because they feel they can without fear of reprisal, revenge, blackmail, or hacking. Because a world like that means that YOU, and every other man out there can also reap that kind of benefit.

What's stupid, is asshats like Kevin Bollaert and others like him slut-shaming women for the lulz, and then profiting via blackmail. When that shit happens, then women don't feel safe in sending nudie pics to men they trust, and we don't get to see them. So I damn well hope they throw the book at him, and I damn well hope we can reverse this trend, because I'd personally like to receive more nudie pics from happy, well-adjusted women with roaring sex drives and a desire for a little exhibitionistic titillation.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661779)

Sure, I'd love to live in that world. We don't, though, and no amount of wishful thinking will change it. You can try to shut down assholes like this, but excepting a major societal upheaval that changes the very core of humanity, there will always be more of them than you.

The Greater Internet Fuckwad theory has yet to be successfully challenged, and I believe it will remain that way. The logical course of action, then, is to advise people that this kind of behavior is unwise, for their own well-being, despite what kind of world you or I would like to live in.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (3, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 4 months ago | (#45661907)

Very few things in life are worth challenging the weight of reality behind the GIFT theory... freely-given private pictures of boobies from happy female friends and lovers are one of those things. This is WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661897)

Here is an idea, don't want pics out there, don't send nudies. And no, the false sense of security you are trying to give girls isn't helping things.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45662069)

Those women are granting implicit temporary licenses for their copyrighted work. Let's get rid of literally ALL other copyright before going after this one.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661941)

That will never happen because it is not the website that is the problem but the people who received the photos. You are blaming the website owner for the wrong thing and by deflecting the blame you are moving further away from what perfect world you envision. It will never happen and it will always be a risk for both men and women to send those types of photos which is the whole point of intimacy.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661977)

You're a rather sad example of man that you prize nudie pics so much and so emotionally. Were you so traumatized when your mom destroy your prized playboy as a 13 year old and you never moved on ?

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (1, Insightful)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 4 months ago | (#45662057)

So you support establishing a new slut-protecting world order where you'll be too terrified to receive the pictures.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 4 months ago | (#45662207)

You DO realize, by stating that you have no fear of being hacked, that you just painted a target on your forehead.

ANYONE can be hacked. It may not be easy, or cheap, but you can be hacked, and even worse, may get hacked and NEVER KNOW IT.

Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 months ago | (#45662355)

Good luck with that, this [go.com] is all the respect that had the NSA workers for the US soldiers in afganistan and their wives/girlfriends in 2008, maybe thet will respect you instead. And it could get much [globalresearch.ca] worse [go.com]

Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (5, Informative)

Huntr (951770) | about 4 months ago | (#45661321)

Charging ppl $350 a pop to remove their photos for which they did not give permission to post? Yeah, go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661341)

Charging ppl $350 a pop to remove their photos for which they did not give permission to post? Yeah, go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

"Do not collect $350", surely?

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661437)

I don't know what game you're playing but it ain't Monopoly.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45662009)

Interesting. Back before the Euro, in the German Monopoly you got 4000 DM, so it seemed strange to me that you would get only 200$. A quick web search reveals that apparently now it's only 200 EUR. Even Monopoly gets less lucrative with the Euro! (But it's still more than 200$ ;-))

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 4 months ago | (#45661413)

Which is slightly ironic, because there are folks who do exactly the same thing with photos from bookings when you are arrested. He may end up on the page of one of those blackmailers. Are the cops going after them as well?

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (2)

Gryle (933382) | about 4 months ago | (#45661621)

To my understanding, booking photos are technically public record except in cases where the records have been sealed by the courts. Private Citizen A posting a audio/visual recording of Private Citizen B without B's permission is a legally-distinct matter.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (3, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#45661975)

Actually I question if either is really blackmail, but if one is, then both seem to be to me.

Here is why: blackmail is generally about revealing information that is secret. As was pointed out in an objection to the concept by some libertarians: it is legal to gossip or to threaten to release secrets; it is only illegal to offer to not release them for some benefit.

The thing is, this is not about release of public info, this is about continued availability. The info was already made public, this is "pay me and I will hide it"; which isn't really blackmail is it? However the point is: Its blackmail even if the threatened action is otherwise legal (though this likely varies from place to place, wikipedia has some good examples of how it differs).

So.... it seems to me if "pay me and I hide this embarrassing info, which is already published now" is blackmail, then it is blackmail whether its nude photos or public court documents.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45662275)

Where that unfortunately seems to fall down is that public court records are otherwise public. They are not a secret.

Private photos are otherwise private and considered to be a secret. If said photos are published far and wide then perhaps there is a claim to be made that they are not secret, but the claim that they are not secret because one site published them is a bit of circular reasoning.

I.e. The argument that it is illegal to publish secret information, but once published the information is no longer secret by definition, so you can never be guilty of publishing secret information, does not quite follow.

Not a fan of mugshot sites, mainly because only an absolute douchebag would ever run something like that.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661691)

Except the bookings are public information. A person "gives consent" when arrested. I don't agree with this notion, nor with the what the sites do, but they don't operate in same area of shadiness as this case.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661703)

It's not exactly the same thing, since the mug shots are public information that can be obtained directly from the police department. Republishing information that is already public by law is doesn't seem as sleazy as publishing someone's private photos without their permission.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661467)

Not kinda sorta , it is extortion.

And that's all he should be charged with. This bullshit identity theft charge really erodes our freedom of speech. You can't extort someone but you should be able to write/say what you want within the bounds of libel and slander without a prosecutor twisting identity theft or terrorism laws to suit their political convenience.

Prosecutorial behavior like that has a chilling effect on speech.

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661469)

Yeah that's a pretty scummy practice.
There are similar sites that do this with mugshot photos. Since American law says mugshot photos and arrest records are essentially public domain, there are sites that siphon them up and post them online.. Then charge people to get the removed.

Pretty scummy, but technically legal. Your reputation can be harmed without being convicted or even charged for a crime. If a prospective employers googles your name and you show up on one of these sites guess where your application is going. (And yes, they do this even if it's technically illegal. There's zero repercussion so they do it anyway)

Re:Kinda, sorta extortion. Maybe... (5, Insightful)

edibobb (113989) | about 4 months ago | (#45661565)

and...
Charge people $5,000 a pop to avoid RIAA copyright lawsuits? Profit.
Charge people $3,000 a pop to avoid vague patent lawsuits? Profit.
This right and wrong stuff gets so confusing!

What was this guy thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661323)

What the hell was this guy thinking? His entire business model is based on extortion and it's all freely available to see on the web. At least when the mob tries to shake down a store or throws bricks through the window they don't tweet about it. I can't even begin to understand this guy's logic; he was just begging to get caught.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661371)

Someone how mugshot websites are able to get away with it.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#45661497)

Someone how mugshot websites are able to get away with it.

What mugshot website lets/makes people pay to remove their pictures?

The only one I know of is the one my county runs, and they don't accept bribes.

Well, not for taking your picture off the website, anyway.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45662383)

There are lots of them out there. I had a speeding ticket once. So there is a site that lists me as a criminal. It shows up near the top of the list in Google (despite nobody on the planet linking to that page, and no hits on it as far as I can tell). So they SEO the hell out of it to try to smear people's name. But I "could" pay them to take down the page. I'd link to it, but it identifies me more that I like. The "charge" was dismissed, but the ticket still shows up as being given, my two court dates, and the discharge, identifying me as a criminal. I'm not paying them to take down information on a 20 year old speeding ticket (from Texas, where speeding tickets at the time were crimes, misdemeanors, no points, but an actual you-get-a-jury-if-you-want crime). But they are out there.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

kroby (1391819) | about 4 months ago | (#45661397)

How is this any different than a mugshot site? IANAL, but I believe the license of the photograph is owned by the photographer and the subject has very little rights to the photo.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 months ago | (#45661525)

He's probably in the clear over copyright.

The problem is that it becomes a clear case of blackmail when he demands money to remove the information.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (2, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 months ago | (#45661557)

If TFS is correct, then the "identity theft" and anti-blackmail statutes would apply to a mugshot site as well -- if anyone wanted to prosecute them. But, increasingly, criminal law is applied selectively and rather capriciously. I would not expect the legislature or law enforcement to take action that could be construed as affirming the presumption of innocence or the rights of the accused.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661895)

That's not true, or at least it's not legally clear. The photo itself is made by a government agency which automatically makes it public domain, however the subject is a private citizen so it runs afoul of privacy laws which can vary from state to state.

This is a bit different though, as it appears the pictures are made by a private person, not a government agency, so the ownership of the photo is retained by the individual who took the shot. Which begs an interesting IP question; if it's a nude shot of a woman taken by her boyfriend, does he own the copyright of the picture, and is therefore legally allowed to publish it if he chooses to do so?

Regardless though, that's not this guy's deal. The photos were posted and he charged women money to have them taken down; that's extortion laws, not public domain or IP laws. Mug shot websites can post in the public domain and likely the subject would have to go to court to get it removed and challenge the whole privacy/public domain law conflict.

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 4 months ago | (#45661593)

I am also NAL, but ownership of pictures is a little more involved than that, I'm pretty sure. Mugshots are already public, hence the mugshot photo sites remaining up. Ownership of pictures depends on the history of the picture. If you take, say, a dick shot of yourself, and send it to your girlfriend, she now legally owns the picture. At least in many states. Which is why the revenge porn laws, aimed at the people posting the photos, were passed, because otherwise posting pictures of your ex that you have legal ownership of is not against the law.

If, for instance, you take a topless photo of yourself, store it on your own computer, which is then hacked into, that's already illegal because of the hacking.

And apparently a lot of the pictures on these sites have been obtained through email hacking, and are therefore not revenge porn as such.

(On the Media covered this all in last week's show, and has an update on their site: http://www.onthemedia.org/ [onthemedia.org]

Oh, and as a side issue, on the media has decided to become a civil liberties clearing house, and currently has a little war on with DHS. Worth following.)

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45662393)

Oh, so then why do I get my nude subjects to bother signing a "model release"?

Re:What was this guy thinking? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 months ago | (#45661509)

It does seem extremely naive. I'd have thought he'd have the sense to consider that this sounds legally dubious so perhaps it would make sense to get a legal opinion.

For a good time (1)

fermento (2710917) | about 4 months ago | (#45661333)

Does this mean that I write on the bathroom stall "For a good time call Jenny, 867-5309", along with crudely drawn genitalia, that I now can be prosecuted for identity theft?

Re:For a good time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661417)

As long as you include her last name and then promptly go to turn yourself in or attach your drivers license to said graffiti. Sure.

Mostly I imagine you would get prosecuted for vandalism which isn't legal to begin with.

Re:For a good time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661459)

Depends where you are. Here a phone number is not considered to be personal information - however that might not be the case if it's an unlisted number. If Jennny is actually called or sees what you drew, sexual harassment, bullying and defamation legislation may apply.

Re:For a good time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661603)

Nah, the RIAA will come down on you for copyright infringement over the lyrics. Much worse than being prosecuted for identity theft.

EPA Honors Winners of the 2013 Presidential Green (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661349)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that are contributing to the use of chemicals and products that are safer for people’s health and the environment.
During the 18 years of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge program, EPA has received about 1500 nominations and presented awards to 93 technologies. Winning technologies over the lifetime of the program are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air.
“Today, EPA is recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems that improve the bottom line for America’s manufacturing sector. These revolutionary technologies have great potential to make consumer products from adhesives to paints safer for us to use, as well as safer and less costly to manufacture by reducing hazardous wastes, energy, and water wastes, “ said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA congratulates the 2013 winners and looks forward to continuing to work with them as their technologies are adopted in the marketplace.”
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are presented in five categories: academic, small business, greener synthetic pathways, greener reaction conditions and designing greener chemicals. The awardees will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
In the academic category, Professor Richard Wool, University of Delaware, Newark, Del. was recognized for creating several materials from less toxic and renewable biobased feedstocks such as vegetable oils, chicken feathers and flax that can be used as adhesives, composites, foams, and even circuit boards and as a leather substitute.
In the small business category, Faraday Technology Inc., Clayton, Ohio was recognized for developing a plating process that allows chrome coatings to be made from less toxic trivalent chrome. This reduces millions of pounds of hexavalent chromium without comprising performance for uses such as aircraft parts.
Winners in the “greener reaction conditions, designing greener chemicals, and greener synthetic pathways,” categories are:
- Life Technologies, Austin, Texas — for developing a more efficient, much less wasteful way to manufacture the key chemicals used to perform genetic testing. The new process prevents about 1.5 million pounds of hazardous waste a year.
- The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. — for improving TiO2-based paints. Dow’s EVOQUE technology uses a polymer coating that, when applied to TiO2, improves dispersion of the pigment, decreasing the amount of the chemical needed and allowing it to work better. This technology will significantly reduce energy usage, water consumption, NOx and SOx emissions, and algae bloom.
- Cargill, Inc., Brookfield, Wis..— for developing a vegetable oil-based transformer fluid that is much less flammable, less toxic, provides superior performance compared to mineral oil-based fluids and has a lower carbon footprint.
EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program award winners have significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing, and using chemicals. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2013 winners from among scores of nominated technologies.
More information: http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry [epa.gov]

Again, CA comes-out against the 1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661357)

Is there any amendment that the liberals that run that state won't trash?

Re:Again, CA comes-out against the 1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661451)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:Again, CA comes-out against the 1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661795)

How is that trolling? You don't have a damn clue as to what that word means. CA is again shitting all over our rights, and you anti-Constitutionalists are loving it. Calling people childish names doesn't change the facts. You can't even ride a bicycle in that state without a helmet without getting attacked by a LEO. The last time I rode one, a cop gave me a worse head injury than I've ever had from riding. The people in CA get so angry and hateful towards people that want freedom.

Extortion then? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#45661367)

Bollaert's site, which is no longer operational, had featured over 10,000 sexually explicit photos, and he charged women up to $350 each to remove their photos, officials said

So basically he was running an extortion racket?

At the end of the day, you're posting intimate pictures of someone without their permission and without a model release, so I don't have a lot of sympathy for this guy. If the rest of the porn industry needs to keep model releases and the like on file, why wouldn't he?

YRO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661379)

This is textbook blackmail and extortion, and has nothing to do with technology whatsoever.

In dayes of olde. . . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 4 months ago | (#45661435)

. . . .the older brothers and fathers of the young ladies "exposed" on the website would stop by and have a "chat" with the guy. The site would then go offline very soon thereafter. . . either because he was sufficiently scared, or he was laid up in the hospital, and couldn't pay the hosting bill. . .

Re:In dayes of olde. . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661479)

Those are the same days during which the father and/or brother would beat the woman with a stick no larger than the size of his thumb for having taken or allowed such unwholesome pictures of herself. Progress is grand: it's no longer acceptable to beat your wife, daughter, or sister to keep her in line, nor is it okay to cripple or kill strangers on a whim. Join us here in the future, wouldn't you?

Re:In dayes of olde. . . . (1)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45662043)

Yeah... the reason behind that is back in those days such things were considered a crime against the fathers/brothers, not the young lady.

2257 Compliance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661441)

Dont see how he could possibly be in compliance. 2257 might end up biting him harder than the california charges.

Let me guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661453)

So guesshermuff is no more?

Certainly falls under Indentify Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661463)

My mother and her present boyfriend had been getting trouble from her boyfriends brother, including a smashed front window to name one.

Long story short, he's been reported many times for various offences they told me about, most recent being he was using said information for financial-related websites, including reselling websites for 2nd-hand goods. So he ended up getting loads of messages about goods he never had.

By the sounds of the other things he has done, he has to be nominated to appear on those TV Shows, you know the ones, the worlds dumbest criminals, those kinds, he is seriously thick, so god damn thick.
While I would love to mention other things, obviously can't.
He is so determined to get put in prison.

Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 4 months ago | (#45661475)

I am making the assumption the photos were taken legality and not by trespassing or some illegal means. If this is the case why is this illegal?

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (2)

Shados (741919) | about 4 months ago | (#45661517)

Being allowed to take a picture and redistributing it is two totally different things....

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661953)

But this is "information wants to be freeeeeeeee" slashdot, is it not?

Oh, i forgot: slashdot: home of hypocrites.

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45662063)

Well, slashdot, home of more then a single person and thus opinions on any particular topic vary by poster and thus a single thread or issue can have multiple mutually exclusive views since they were posted by different people.

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661727)

Without even going into why you are an ass...

Not only does the article state this, the blog post states it explicitly.

The parts that were illegal for this case are the extortion and the ID theft.

The slimy part has just been made illegal, explicitly, because asses like you don't see how this should be illegal. See Xaedalus' explanation above about why it should be illegal and what should travel through your brain first, if you weren't a natural born ass.

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#45662325)

You are looking at this as a man and not as a woman.

It is very psychologically damaging for a woman to go through this and is as bad as a rape or someone ruining your name and a reputation complete with PST. Women have a hard time as it is and something like this showing up in a employer background check or a guy you want a date and male friends can ruin your life.

Or in other words how would you like if you went to the john at work and I snapped a photo next to you with my phone and posted it everywhere? Not illegal kind of extortion maybe?! ... or would you kick my ass in?

I would hope the later if you had self respect. Yes it is illegal as this is not public by any sense of the means and did harm.

This guy deserves what he gets.

Re:Slimy yes but how is it illegal? (1)

jandrese (485) | about 4 months ago | (#45662391)

I don't know where you live, but in my country extortion is a crime.

No reference yet to Monty Python!?!? (4, Funny)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#45661563)

It's Blackmail!

Hello, good evening, and welcome to 'Blackmail'! And to start tonight's program, we go to Preston in Lancashire, and Mrs Betty Teal!
Hello, Mrs Teal!
Now this is for £15 and it's to stop us revealing the name of your lover in Bolton.
So Mrs Teal...if you send us £15 by return post, please, and your husband Trevor, and your lovely children, Diane, Janice and Juliet need never know the name of your lover in Bolton.

I'll let you debate this (1)

ExFCER (1001188) | about 4 months ago | (#45661675)

But my immediate thought was...good. We have freedom beyond belief but some things are not allowed. CP Someone else's PI.

Cocci bollaerti (slime of the times) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661687)

"Bollaert was charged under a California identity theft law that prohibits using identifying information of a person without their permission, and under anti-extortion legislation, according to court documents."

What is this Identifying Information? I understand the extortion charge but not this. This charge (and probably the law cited) doesn't make sense to me unless it means that I can charge my phone company, bank and any credit rating agency for use of my "identifying information" as well. And what does that say about the NSA, are they co-conspiritorial voyeurs?

Bollaert a "slime of the times."

This was on OTM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45661813)

For deeper comentary, this was on On The Media last week (http://www.onthemedia.org/2013/dec/). My favorite part is when Bollaert said he wouldn't post pics of his Mom or sister because that was gross....

Re:This was on OTM (2)

McGruber (1417641) | about 4 months ago | (#45662215)

For deeper comentary, this was on On The Media last week (http://www.onthemedia.org/2013/dec/). My favorite part is when Bollaert said he wouldn't post pics of his Mom or sister because that was gross....

On the Media interviewed Hunter Moore, a different douchebag. Like Bollaert, Hunter Moore ran a revenge porn site, but Moore (apparently) honored removal requests.... then he took down his entire site.

Your ex is a bitch... (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#45661833)

Your ex is a bitch, but Karma is a bigger bitch. Multiply that by all the users on the web site. He's lucky the law got to him first.

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