Put your pants back on: Chatroulette logging IP addresses, screengrabbing users

Pantsless videocreeps (and anyone who puts a premium on privacy), beware: Chatroulette founder Andrey Ternovskiy recently announced on the official Chatroulette company blog that they've been logging data about users:

Recently I decided to seriously look into issue again, and I've had a breakthrough.

Luckily we all live in a real world, and we can easily apply the laws of a real world even on an internet application. With the help of a few good developers we've started collecting information, such as IP addresses, logs and screen captures of offenders who actually break US/UN laws by broadcasting inappropriate content in a specific situations. We've captured and saved thousands of IP addresses of alleged offenders, along with logs and screenshots which prove wrong behavior. We are initiating a conversation with enforcement agencies and we are willing to provide all the information we have. I hope that with help of a Criminal law we can finally get the problem out of our shoulders and get existing organizations which usually solve these kind of problems to help us.

What's now?

We've blocked thousands of IP addresses, reported offenders and service seems to be much cleaner than before. That is cool. Now give us some time to put new features in place.

(via IT News)


  1. THEY are breaking the laws making screenshots of minors.

    Also is wiretapping legal, even when mentioned in some terms of service?

    They are treading on thin ice.

    1. screenshots of minors breaking the law? Are you kidding me? The whole point is to enforce the law. Another cop isn’t gonna pull over another cop over for speeding to a dispatch call… Only a chatroulette wanker would try to turn the tables with a comment like yours.

  2. Why not try Johnson Logging, same outcome. It’s like keeping tabs on manatee, you can identify by the scars.

  3. Imagine the hiring conversation between the ChatRoulette team and the developers:

    “You know how iPhoto and Picasa have face detection? We want the same thing, except for dinks. Can you start synergizing with that tomorrow?”

  4. Great, now ChatRoulette will now have the world’s largest collection of penis photos. Sounds like such a collection could be highly illegal if they don’t have a way of verifying the age of ChatRoulette users, so that is an archive I wouldn’t want to touch with a–well, never mind.

  5. I got bored with Chatroulette like three days after it was posted here. The penises for some reason didn’t bother me. I didn’t know so many guys had such a deep desire to show off their penises though. It’s like you could get on a bus and say “I’d like to photograph 20 penises” and guys would be lining up to show off.

    Went back at some time but it was way more boring than the first time.

    Now that I think of it it was probably interesting that one night because it was full of people from boingboing and the like that had clicked links and probably never went back either.

  6. what if i paid a 5 year old boy to sneak onto my enemy’s computer and show his penis on chatroulette?

    i smell hilarity!

    1. then, according to the precedent set by prosecuting sexters, the five year old kid becomes a felon for pornograhizing himself.

  7. There are already alternatives that don’t have censorship. I think a lot of people will ditch chatroullete because censorship, logs, screen captures, etc. make them uneasy, even if they prefer to keep their own clothes on.

  8. I’m not much of a fan of Penisroulette, but where do we draw the line of “if you don’t want to see it, don’t look through my window/webcam”?

  9. Ah, pity the young- such optimism and idealism running smack into the fact that many members of our species are devious, perverted weasels who cannot be trusted as far as one could throw a Buick.

    Still, it’s fun to read.

  10. Someone needs to tip off the FBI that Chatroulette is taking pictures of nude minors, and possibly distributing those across state lines (depending on their datacenter setup)

    Think of the children! ™

  11. I can’t help but think Chatroulette owes some of its success to the freewheeling, consequence-free nature of anonymous interaction that also fostered so many dickpics. To suddenly fire a broadside into it now that they’re popular seems a bit of an ambush. Perhaps they’re responding to legal threats of their own.

  12. They should hire Jessi Slaughter’s dad. He can backtrace and report to cyber police like nobody’s business.

  13. If you are broadcasting your dingleberries to dozens of people you hardly have an expectation of privacy. And if a kid is pointing a cam at his block and tackle, he is his own child pornographer. Chatroulette isn’t in any more trouble that YouTube for hosting an illegally copied video.

  14. We are initiating a conversation with enforcement agencies…”

    how very, umm, proactive of you.

  15. I guess there should be some website with random webcams that has no penises. But I loved the juicy anarchy of completely unmoderated and totally random content.

  16. Chatroulette without penises, I don’t think that has much of a future. Maybe just add a check box that says “I am over 18” before being able to use it, so that nobody seeing or being seen is underage? Seems pretty negligent of them for not having that in the first place.

  17. And thusly did the governments of the world find justification to bust and confiscate the machines of people running TOR worldwide.


  18. “..US/UN laws by broadcasting inappropriate content in a specific situations.”

    That’s pretty generic..

    So, if I post a picture of Michelangelo’s “David” will I get in trouble? How about reading some “Catcher in he Rye” (without the copyright infringement argument, just the obscenity).

  19. But,,, most of the fun of Chatroulette was asking the perverts if their mothers knew what they were doing…

  20. OK. At this point, I think every article needs a cat expression. Cory going on vacation? Grumpy cat. Sniper Jesus? You Make Kitty Scared. Maker Faire in Detroit? Happy Cat.

  21. WHAT!?! I hadn’t actually got around to masturbating on Chatroulette yet, now I’ve missed my chance? I’m feeling a little behind the times.

  22. Now, I’m posting anonymously here. Maybe I have a Boing-Boing login, maybe I don’t (cue mysterious Scottish fife.)

    I occasionally dink around CR, but only when I’m wearing one of these:


    Kidding aside.

    I’m in my 30’s – a straight male who was waaay too prudish to ‘play doctor’ as a prepubescent, or ‘horse around’ with other guys as a pubescent or teen guy. Although there was the time in college but that doesn’t count because we were drunk and a hot girl asked us to. That’s not gay, right?

    Anyway, The only erect kid-weenie I’ve seen was my own, and I barely remember it from then. Never even glanced on the net which is supposedly choc-full-o-kid wieners. Until I tried Chat-Roulette.

    Man – WTF? Obviously one can ask ‘where are the parents?’, but we know where they are – out of the kids rooms. But what I want to know, are a lot of today’s kids, even the preteens, a bunch of exhibitionists?

    When I was a kid, the most anyone would see of me were the guys in the P.E. class locker room, and not for long. The most I saw was other guys in the locker room, and not for longer than necessary (I’m American.) I would have died if anyone saw my erect weenie at that age. But what I’ve seen on CR, and read about what kids are doing with ‘sexting’ –

  23. so what will happen to the people who flashed their penis?
    what i f they were underage?
    what law enforcement agency would take on all these casses?
    what if the ip adress changed?

  24. I am not a lawyer, but I imagine that there are issues of international law and trying to figure out which country/state/county has jurisdiction to prosecute each case. Also, I am about 99% certain that under US law it is not illegal to distribute pornographic images UNLESS those images are distributed to minors, or the subjects of the images are underage. To make matters worse, the age of consent varies from country to country, and even from state to state within the U.S.

    How do you prove that the penis captured in the photograph belongs to the person to whom the IP address was registered? Are you going to make everyone in the household, or dorm floor, drop their pants and compare their junk to the junk in the photo?

  25. Internet is free and, in one hand, Chatroulette has not a previous filter in order to define wether the person logged is a minor or not. So that we could think that CR is a free Video Chat Community with all that this means.
    If a person is in a chat with another one and they agree to have a “virtual sex” encounter at that time, Has CR the empowerment to Censored or Banned that video-conversation? What about the private right of those persons?
    If Chatroulette is free and without any previous filter…so, IS FREE, in all the meanings.
    If not, Chatroulette should have a member cost.

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