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Accused 'revenge porn site' operator: Take down my private photos

Technically Incorrect: Craig Brittain, who allegedly ran a site where people post nude photos of former paramours, issues takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ordering Google to remove pictures of him.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Craig Brittain is down. Adam Steinbaugh/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Craig Brittain once asked the question: Is anybody down?

This, indeed, was the name of an alleged "revenge porn site" he once ran. Should you be unfamiliar with this thoroughly modern idea, revenge porn sites encourage the hurt or merely the hateful to post naked personal images sent to them (presumably as a gesture of love) by former paramours.

Now it seems that Brittain himself is down. He's low because personal images of, well, him are readily available via Google searches and he wants them removed.

Indeed, he's issued a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, relating to "unauthorized use of photos of me and other related information. Unauthorized use of statements and identity related information. Unauthorized copying of excerpts from isanybodydown.com. Using photos which are not 'fair use.'"

On reading this, there might be one or two people invoking pots, kettles and an especially terrifying dark humor.

Indeed, one of the links that Brittain objects to is this one, which happens to be from the Federal Trade Commission.

It announces that Brittain has been banned for allegedly posting nude images without due fairness. Indeed, the FTC mused that Brittain"used deception to acquire and post intimate images of women, then referred them to another website he controlled, where they were told they could have the pictures removed if they paid hundreds of dollars."

On receiving this order, Brittain posted to his own site a 49-paragraph apologia, among whose words were: "I made a series of poor decisions, then tried to rationalize them, and made it even worse. I am sorry for the damage that I caused to everyone that ended up on my website. I am making amends at every opportunity. I regularly volunteer for, and donate to charitable organizations (I encourage you to do the same!)."

So the man who claims to have turned over a new leaf is asking Google to remove any digital leaves that bear his imprint.

However, he also added in his apologia: "I strongly believe that any law against 'revenge porn' is unconstitutional, circa Arizona, and should be overturned. This does not mean I morally support 'revenge porn,' I do not. It simply means that I don't support spending millions (billions?) in taxpayer dollars to enforce a moral issue."

Perhaps he feels that having his own images and information taken down is also a moral issue.

I have contacted Google to ask how the company reacts to this notice and will update, should I hear. Attempts to contact Brittain have so far failed.