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.
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 IsAnyoneUp.com, which allowed visitors to upload pictures of ex-partners or people who have participated in ‘sexting’ and sent nude pictures of themselves.
In an interview with the BBC, Moore said he made as much as $20,000 a month in advertising revenue. Moore sold IsAnyoneUp in 2012 to an anti-bullying organisation.
“I just monetise people’s mistakes that they made, and it’s kind of a shady business, ” he said at the time.” But if it wasn’t me, somebody else was going to do it.”
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.