The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Vietnamese Internet activist Nguyen Lan Thang looks at a Facebook page at a cafe in Hanoi November 27, 2013.  Vietnam will hand out fines of 100 million dong ($4,740) to anyone criticising the government on social media, under a new law announced this week, the latest measure in a widening crackdown on dissent by the country Vietnamese Internet activist Nguyen Lan Thang looks at a Facebook page at a cafe in Hanoi November 27, 2013. Vietnam will hand out fines of 100 million dong ($4,740) to anyone criticising the government on social media, under a new law announced this week, the latest measure in a widening crackdown on dissent by the country's communist rulers. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM - Tags: POLITICS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTX15UWP  

‘Revenge porn’ victims vindicated as website operator faces charges

Police arrested a “revenge porn” website operator on Tuesday and charged him with multiple counts of identity theft, conspiracy and extortion.

Ugotposted.com owner Kevin Bollaert, 27, of San Francisco is being held on $50,000 bail stemming from 31 charges for posting nude pictures of women without their permission, along with personal information like name, age, location and Facebook pages.

“This website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement on arstechnica. “Online predators that profit from the extortion of private photos will be investigated and prosecuted for this reprehensible and illegal internet activity.”

Bollaert created the site a year ago with partner Eric Chanson, who is no longer affiliated with the site, and encouraged anyone to post any picture, so long as it was accompanied by the required personal information.

When hundreds of victims per day found their pictures and requested they be taken down, Bollaert refused unless individuals paid him up to $350 or $250 in Amazon gift cards. Added to the $800 to $900 per month Bollaert said he collected from advertisers, court documents allege he made upwards of $10,000 from the site.

“At the beginning, it was fun and entertaining, but now it’s just like, ruining my life,” Bollaert said in a September interview with California lawyers. “I realize, like, this is not a good situation. I feel bad about the whole thing and like I just don’t want to do it anymore. I mean, I know a lot of people are getting screwed over on a site like this.”

Shortly afterward, Bollaert was served with warrants citing one victim’s testimony and had his computers confiscated.

Those warrants were made possible in part by a new two-month-old California law outlawing “revenge porn” — the practice of posting nude photos of unsuspecting victims, which are usually uploaded by former significant others.

The website was taken down after Bollaert was formally charged and imprisoned.

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