"Revenge porn" scammer boasts no-one will sue him

CBS has a story on "revenge porn" sleaze Craig Brittain, whose website solicits private photos, then funnels the victims' takedown requests to a non-existent "lawyer" who advertises outrageous fees.

The website was started about a year ago and is operated by Craig Brittain, a 28-year-old Colorado Springs resident. “I call it entertainment,” said Brittain. “We don’t want anyone shamed or hurt we just want the pictures there for entertainment purposes and business. I would say our business goal is to become big and profitable.” Brittain said he typically makes about $3,000 a month from advertising on the website. He solicits people to anonymously send in explicit photos along with the victims’ Facebook profiles.

This guy was recently exposed by Popehat and Marc Randazza, whose interactions with him are amazing: the idiocy and arrogance must be seen to be believed. But hey, he's making money!


  1. He may want to distribute a better photo.  At this point when he ends up getting murdered in his sleep, news outlets will have to resort to using the extra-douchey picture above…

    1. I am assuming that is the *least* douchey picture it is possible to take of him. You should see the others.

        1. Agreed. I guess typical journalists who handle interviewees with kid gloves would see Bob or Brooke’s style as “brutal.” I see it as the model that other journalists should follow.

          Edit: I listened to it again and would like to re-maximize my original wording. By “brutal” I mean the following exchange:
          Bob: Craig, I’m asking you this man to man. Do something else. You can’t rationalize it.
          Craig: I can’t rationalize starving either.
          Bob: You know what? Starve. … Stand on the median strip in the highway and beg. There’s more dignity in that than in what you’re doing now.

          I agree with the sentiment, but it goes beyond just “reasoning” with the guy.

  2. The ‘entertainment’ value of his site is nothing compared to the entertainment everyone else is going to get when this douchebag gets what’s coming to him.

    We’ll know when it happens because schadenfreude meters everywhere are going to be throwing ‘out of range: high’ errors.

    1. Some anons did such.  A former site of his called you are not anonymous was not well received.  He was doxxed and that site went away.  Sadly for him the dox dump of him was still accessible when this story went out.

  3. The proper response here is just to ignore it. Giving more free media attention just puts money in their pockets and encourages copycats. 

    I can already see the next step, congressional hearings and some feel good but horribly written law that will take years and millions of dollars to work its way to the Supreme Court while hundreds of new sites pop up sliding around the edges of the law.

    1. Actually, he gets basically no money beyond his apparent extortion scheme:  There are no other advertisements other than his colleague’s amazingly awful band and the supposedly  independent “Takedown Hammer”.  The more publicity the more likely it is he will get criminally prosecuted.

      Also, new laws aren’t necessary: the guys behind this are probably violating a whole host of criminal statutes involving extortion and impersonating a lawyer, not to mention civil copyright and other torts.

    2. The complaints aren’t so much that the site exists, but the methods used to extort cash via the fake lawyer.
      There have been admissions that he was getting pictures from people online by pretending to be someone else answering an ad, and then mocking them and demanding payment to take it down.

      There will always be websites used for revenge, and people need to understand these things will happen.  It is the demanding money to take down the images that crosses a line.  When you impersonate a lawyer you’ve broken the law.

    3.  No, the answer is not to ignore him. From what I’m reading, he’s an extortionist and fraudster. I see no reason to ignore him just because it’ll make someone feel self-righteous for ignoring him. Pay attention to him, get the law to pay attention to him, get the courts to pay attention to him. Pay attention to him ’til he’s spent his last goddamn dime paying restitution and is spending a decade or two behind bars.

      Christing fuck, the fetish some people have for ignoring noxious assholes is just out of control.

      1.  Yes, he’s a roach. Often roaches don’t like the light, but some like this guy probably like the attention. In this case I think a little light is good, it’s like handing him a little extra rope to hang himself with. Grab the popcorn..

      2. If news sites did not plaster his website all over the place, it would not be anywhere near as popular as it is now and there would be a lot less photographs on there. 
        If you can go after him with current laws, like the sex-torting case, sure. But this is a crowd-sourced endeavor, it lives and dies by how many people know about it and use it.

        1.  On the other hand, knowledge of his scheme/site might prevent a lot of would be victims from sending in pics.

  4. I see I wasn’t the only one who immediately thought “Douche”. I’m not for hurting, but this guy seems like someone who can only learn big lessons the hard way.

        1. You’ll also fuck up your knuckles.

          I’ve made it this far without having ever been in a physical fight (though I’ve been struck), but I’m told that using the base of the palm will deliver the same blow without fucking up one’s own knuckles.

          1. “I’m told that using the base of the palm will deliver the same blow without fucking up one’s own knuckles.”

            Good: Your knuckles will be safe!

            Bad: Your palm might get fucked up.

          2. Yes, open-hand strikes whether with the palm or edge of the hand will cause less damage to your hands (they’ll also hurt less because the knuckles cause a lot of pain to both sides).  Better yet, roll up a magazine a la Jason Bourne or use a flashlight, paperweight, or similarly small, blunt object.  The heavier it is the more momentum you can get in a swing and if you use a makeshift weapon you’re much less likely to do damage to your hands. 

  5. On a state criminal level, what’s the difference between this guy and that guy? Crowdsourcing? http://boingboing.net/2013/01/29/california-man-who-sextorted.html

    I don’t know. I’m asking.

    There might be federal purview here, re: porn record keeping, but you can count the number of 2257 cases the DOJ has pursued on one hand. IF there’s a records infraction, it seems like an apt pet case, though, because it would test the mettle of fallow – but increasingly important – Internet law. 

    For example, is Brittain a “producer”?

    If that’s the case, he’d need to have records confirming the age of every person pictured. That alone would probably shutter the site.  

    The relevant regulations also cover “secondary producers,” and SEEM to expand liability to just about every porn site on the Internet that depicts “actual humans,” so the implications could be pretty far-reaching if Brittain isn’t actually exempt from record keeping.  

    1. He has been trying to dance in the loopholes.

      He claims to not be the source of the images, but has made posts mocking people for having sent pictures to him when he answered CL ads.

      He is hoping that the babble on his website will protect him when it turns out someone he posts is underage.  As these are all supposedly sent to him, there could be a question of if he is trafficking in CP or not.  He likes to pretend he has no liability but at the end the day he is the one sitting in his parents basement running this.

      Given his inventive idea of playing lawyer to remove pictures from the site, I’m sure he convinced himself he is covered by some law and until someone decides to audit his records and submissions he’ll keep going.

      1. It shouldn’t matter whether CP ever actually appears on the site. It’s something like five years per violation, where a violation is just neglecting to keep proper age records (even if every image in question is of a consenting adult).  

        There’s a 2257 compliance statement linked to prominently on the front page (I regret that I even had to give him a hit to know that). But it’s just a recitation. In effect, it says, ‘I don’t keep records because I’m exempt.’ 

        I think he’s playing a dangerous game. For starters, you’re only ‘exempt’  if the porn is pre-’95 or simulated (e.g., hentai). You can argue that you’re not a “producer” per that word’s definition in the statute, but it’s not some magic wand. If the FBI thinks you’re a producer, you get to make that argument in front of a judge.  

        Brittain thinks what he’s doing is ‘transmission of a communication without selection.’ You know, like forwarding an e-mail without reading it. Apparently, if he’s ever cited for a 2257 violation, he plans to look a federal judge in the eye and explain all the ways in which he’s like an answering machine.  Just, you know, for hate porn. The judge, we expect, will stay up nights deliberating, racked by the tortuous genius of those simple words: ‘You. Are. Glue.’ 

        The balls on this guy.

      1. If one should come forward, wouldn’t he be guilty of providing file sharing service for child porn? That should shut him down. Of course, the women involved are understandably more concerned with anonymity than revenge.

        1. Considering he posts the naughty pictures with their name, phone number and FB details anonymity isn’t really an option any more.

  6. The word you folks are looking for is Backpfeifengesicht.
    He has a Backpfeifengesicht–that is, a face badly in need of a fist.

  7. Regardless of the verminitude of the presumed vermin pictured, I was appalled when I read

    Caitlin, of Lakewood, had a similar reaction when she found her private photos on the site, “I threw up. I was pretty disgusted by the whole thing. I’m not sure how they were obtained.

    Our culture is pretty damned warped when a woman has a literally visceral reaction of nausea to pictures of her own nudity.  I don’t think she’d throw up if some douche stole pictures of her cat or her fingernails.

    1. You don’t think it’s the personal violation that’s more sickening than the nudity? It’s one thing to share willingly (as so many people do), another to have your privacy violated and to be threatened with exposure.

      1.  I think most people would be shocked and angry about having things they thought were private copied and displayed to the world, but I don’t think most people would throw up – except when the pictures triggered our horribly screwed up cultural attitudes towards women’s bodies.

        But maybe I’m wrong; I often think I’m pretty far out of touch with popular culture and attitudes.

          1. My guess is that he’s the sort of dude who doesn’t see any problem with Rapiscanners because “it’s their problem if they want to see my dick” and finds these violations okay.

        1. Yeah, and one of those horrible attitudes is that women don’t own theirs, or representations thereof. THAT’S the kind of sensation that makes you puke when it hits you, fwiw.

          1. I hadn’t made the connection to ownership, but I think you’re right, there’s a strong link there with our cultural attitudes towards women.  Our marriage ceremonies still often feature things like fathers giving away daughters to son-in-laws, and other ownership symbols and language.  In the USA a woman usually gives up her father’s name and takes her husband’s – there’s no Mary Marthasdottir in my phone book.

            I wonder if our historically recent cultural obsession with “intellectual property” might make it worse – by more strongly linking images with the concept of property.  At various times in history people have been completely OK with nude images of famous people, although granted such images weren’t so accurate or widely distributed.  But we’re making ever stronger links between representations and the people associated with them… perhaps paving the way for more shame, fear and nausea.

        2. “I don’t think most people would throw up – except when the pictures triggered our horribly screwed up cultural attitudes towards women’s bodies.”

          You are sincerely stupid if you believe this has anything to do with womens’ bodies.

          I do not want a google search of my name (friends, potential interviewers) to come up with pictures of my genitals. Seriously, victim-shaming makes you a much less good person than you perceive yourself as.

          1. You make so many assumptions (not least of which is that I think I’m a “good person”) that it’s very difficult to communicate with you.  You add stuff out of your head to what other people say.

        3. I’m guessing it wasn’t her own naked body. I’m guessing it was the context. If I were in her shoes, I might throw up, too. To have such an intimate thing end up on a website as porn without my knowledge or consent would not be like seeing a picture of my cat. It would make me feel vulnerable, and exposed, and violated, and even worse in someways, helpless, scared, and threatened.That would be enough for me to lose my lunch.

          1.  I’m glad somebody saw my point.  Thank you.

            I would feel the same way, because I’ve been conditioned to respond that way by my culture.   Although, personally, I wouldn’t throw up, I’d certainly feel violated and nauseated.

        4. There are people who claim that wearing ‘revealing clothing’ lessens your right to complain about sexual abuse. How would someone feel in this climate if they saw themselves naked on a porn site? How about if that porn site listed personal information that would make it easy to find out where you live and work, threaten you or embarrass you in front of everyone you care about? As a white guy I know that would make me feel sick.

          1. Interesting point; there’s more levels of violation than just posting a picture, that are made possible by modern communications and transport which crosses cultural and social boundaries.  I’m strongly reminded of Minami Minegishi’s public shaming.

    2. I wouldn’t be upset by pictures of my naked body.

      I would be upset by pictures of my naked body on some extortionist’s website.

      It’s the difference between not being violated and being violated and having to deal with that violation and the trigger reaction for the rest of your life. It’s rape.

      1. I find rape repugnant, so I’m not going to indulge in comparisons or equations of it with other things that also offend me, for fear of trivializing brutal physical assaults that are far too common.

        But I get your point, anyway; you’re right that there’s more to it than just pictures being posted on the Internet, there’s lots of context.

      1. Yes.  I was pointing out that she almost certainly would not react that way to pictures of her ankles or hair, which are and have been considered extremely sexual in other cultures and times.

        In a culture where everyone was naked all the time, the news programs would routinely show pictures of naked people without permission, and nobody would throw up.  Right?

        The website is abusive because it manipulates our cultural attitudes about women’s bodies to victimize women – not because there is something wrong with a woman’s naked body.  Bodies are not evil and shameful, this website is the problem and not the women’s bodies.

        1.  Um, I don’t know about that. Even if we lived in a nudist utopia, there would likely still be a huge difference from just a picture of a naked person and a photo of an intimate nature. Even if it was just pose or facial expression. It’s the context that makes it so bad.

          1. I don’t think nudism would really be a utopia, of course (sunburn!  Mosquitoes!) but I still see what you mean.  On the other hand, there have been plenty of cultures that were OK with public intimacy – up to and including public sex.  So I think the context is still driven by culture and by what we are conditioned to accept as “evil”.  We still blame Eve for the apple thing.

            None of this excuses the behavior of the website or its proprietor in any way, but I still wish we could evolve culturally to make it harder to inflict this kind of damage.  And I don’t think we can do that unless we acknowledge that our culture is not perfect in the way that we act towards women’s bodies.

          2. What I mean is, even in the nudist, free-love utopia, it is still possible to imagine personal items of an intimate nature- and I don’t mean that as a euphemism, I mean that literally, photos and letters and whatever else that were meant for one person’s eyes only – shared in such a fashion, with such malicious intent, would still be an appalling violation that might make someone feel very vulnerable, exposed, and sick.

    3. “I’m not sure how they were obtained.”
      side note –
      This is the one thing that drives me batty and will continue to do so.
      With is anybody up, that was the refrain… I don’t know HOW they got my pictures, they must of hacked my computer/account/etc.
      I understand the whole betrayal of trust and the sick feeling of that, but the automatic denial response that follows is disturbing.

      Let me explain something to the people who have the misfortune to end up on those kinds of sites…
      Someone you “trusted” screwed you over. 
      I would feel worse for you if you could admit this 1 single thing.
      But the stock response is I don’t know where the pictures came from, I don’t know how they got them, blah blah blah.  Someone must have stolen them.
      It would be refreshing to see honesty.  I shared these pictures with someone who turned out to be untrustworthy.  The fact your not blaming someone other than the site does lead some people to wonder did you give these out to so many people you dunno who burned you?
      Pretending that people aren’t sharing naked pictures with each other is so confusing. 
      Its rare to see someone try to make something good happen from something like this.  No one leaps to mind as having just owned up to “I took these pictures, I shared them with someone I trusted and I got burned.  This should be a warning to everyone to consider once you share a picture you lose control over where it ends up.”

      1. Oh if pictures of me get out there I know who, how, and why. I have the screenshots of the death threats too. It’s sad really; when you make the mistake of trusting a person who turns out to be an abusive, stalking, death threat sending, psycho… isn’t it? But what stings is that no matter how bad the abuse was… some one some where will still be sure *I asked for it* and that makes me hate this world so much I’ll be glad to leave it.

        1. I’m sorry you find yourself in that situation.
          I do not think you asked for it, you put your trust into someone who turned out to be untrustworthy and dangerous.  One would hope that the law could catch up with reality in these situations, and let you get back some piece of mind.

          My commentary was driven more by the media circus that followed the coverage of Is anybody up.  People claiming to know nothing about how the pictures were taken, and that they had to have been hacked by Hunter, firmly in denial that they had anything to do with it happening.

          You were very upfront about your situation, and its a crappy situation I wish could be repaired.  I hope that you can find some help to deal with those feelings.  I think your experience should be shared, to educate those who would be stupid enough to think you asked for it and for those that might not consider what might happen if they put those pictures out there.

        2. “if pictures of me get out there I know who, how, and why”

          She didn’t. Sometimes people take control over others’ computers. Are you really that ignorant about how others might get similarly robbed?

          1. Did you take the time to read my post before writing that? Are you really that ignorant, illiterate, and insensitive?

            Because… trifecta with a side of ironic empathy fail for failing to empathize with some one while they were empathizing with some one else.

            Oh and bite me.

          2. LMAO! Nah… but if any other women want to learn from *my* mistakes they’ll have plenty of educational material.

            No what I meant to imply is this: I may *know* but it doesn’t make it any better. Knowing, not knowing, the reality of the threat is the same. It’s just another hoop to say you jumped through so that some one can say you should have jumped through another hoop after that.

            Then, at the end of it all, surely…

            yeah, no.

        3. Please stay; I enjoy reading your comments!

          Edit: I guess that’s a selfish way to put it, sorry. But it was honest.

      1. Yes, which is an extremely normal reaction in our culture.  She almost certainly would not feel terribly violated if there was a picture of her ankles or hair.

        Our culture’s insistence on the Xian nudity schizophrenia empowers dirtbags to harm women with nude pictures.

        1. Which is an entirely different suggestion to “a literally visceral reaction of nausea to pictures of her own nudity”, a claim that excludes the obvious context that invests the nudity with destructive power: the “involuntary porn” site on which it was being published and the exploitation that occured for it to get there.

          Sure, it’s a shame we have hangups about nudity and sex. But here there are actual suffering people, so that amounts to saying “isn’t it a shame that you can be victimized by something that shouldn’t be a problem for you?”

          1. I was reacting to a direct quote from the article linked.  It makes me sad and angry that any woman should feel that way – and without having the benefit of choosing how to feel about it – under those circumstances.

            I stand by what I said, and how I said it.  I think it’s the first step towards doing something about it – stop pretending it’s OK to condition our daughters to be uncontrollably physically weakened by this sort of behavior.  It’s not OK, it’s a clear sign of our warped culture assisting victimization and we should be trying to do something about it.

            I mentioned hair because to a middle eastern woman of Islamic culture, hair is extremely private, and would excite the same reaction.

    4. Acute stress causes nasty physical reactions in many people. Nausea is a fairly common one. She wasn’t ill from ‘seeing her own nudity’ she was ill from the stress of being suddenly, utterly exposed and victimized.

      Considering that heavy stress can make me drop nearly 10 pounds in a week (NOT in a good way), I absolutely can sympathize with her.

      1. I also sympathize with her, very strongly.  I have a daughter, you know?  But I’m not willing to say that her distress has nothing to do with our culture, or that it’s something that we shouldn’t try to alleviate.

        I prefer to believe that cultures can improve, and that we can find ways to make it harder for dirtbags to harm people with mere images.

    5. “Our culture is pretty damned warped when a woman has a literally visceral reaction of nausea to pictures of her own nudity”

      I’m nauseated by literacy standards in this country.

      1. While the sentence reads a little awkwardly it is 100% grammatically correct from what I can tell.

        I assume you’re complaining about the subordinate clause under “when”.  “A woman” is the subject, “has” is the verb, “reaction” is the object.  “Literally” adverb modifying visceral, “visceral” adjective modifying reaction, “of nausea” adjective phrase modifying reaction, “to pictures” adjective phrase modifying reaction, “of her own nudity” adjective phrase modifying “pictures”.

        1. 100% grammatically correct statements that read awkwardly and fail to convey any nuance of my meaning seem to be my specialty, unfortunately.

    6. Our culture is pretty damned warped when a woman has a literally visceral reaction of nausea to pictures of her own nudity.

      Nice victim blaming.  You completely missed the point and apparently have a fistula between your empathy gland and your colon.

      1. Oh come on.   You and I have sincere and legitimate disagreements revolving around child-rearing, Antinous, but you know damn well that I don’t blame people for being warped by their culture or upbringing.

        It feels to me like everyone here is OK with the idea that women should be ashamed of their bodies, that nudity is wholly evil, and that we should all agree to abide entirely by the Book of Genesis’s interpretation as women being the physical source of all evil. Nobody is willing to even suggest that maybe a stronger culture, that did not predispose us to shaming women, would prevent dirtbags from being able to victimize people so easily; it feels like everyone here is totally OK with this sick misogyny and is leaping to defend it.

        1. You’re making the Toughen Up argument. It’s a bully’s argument. It’s victim blaming. It’s sexist.

          1. No I am not.  I am making the community support / cultural change /social evolution argument.

            And while it certainly is sexist to say that we should change our culture to strengthen women, I am totally OK with that.  I am OK with working to strengthen the position of  gay black men, too, and I don’t care that it’s racist to single out people of African descent that way.  If somebody’s being preferentially victimized by the system, I want to change the system.

            As long as you insist that it’s acceptable for women to be conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to have uncontrollable physical nausea (instead of rage, which might be more useful, or some sort of serenity, which at least is not physically overpowering) in the face of such violations, you help empower the violators.  That’s not OK with me, and I suspect you all have leaped at the opportunity to castigate me because you know we are all guilty of helping perpetuate the system.

            On the other claw, I do sometimes bully people, because I can and because our culture accepts that as a reasonable way to move forward.  So I’ll cop to that in general and agree that I would be a better person if I found less cruel means of achieving my goals.

  8. The thing about his attitude that bothered me the most was the “capitalism = morality” attitude. All he wants to do is run a business. An *entertainment* business. What can be wrong with that?

    That may be another route to take him down. Person X sues him for the profits he made from displaying X’s picture, especially any profits he made after he was notified that the picture should be removed. Plus damages, of course. And throw in some lawyer fees, just to round things out.

    1. It horrifies me that we have built a system where children can hound other children to death.  But in my home state, the response is to take aggressive action against the bullies after the fact.  I don’t see that as an effective response, it just makes more victims who are not at all improved by their time in the “special school”.

      I have less sympathy for adults who do this kind of harm, though.

  9.  Why can’t these victims send a DMCA take-down notice as the copyright holder of the pictures?  I am talking specifically about the ones that were self-shots.  But if it isn’t a self-shot, at least the takedown notice would work until the “true” copyright holder tried to dispute who owns the picture.  Once that happens, the victim knows who submitted the pics (the guy saying he has copyright, the exboyfriend, etc.) and she can sue them individually for intentional infliction of emotional distress by submitting the pics.

    1. “Why can’t these victims send a DMCA take-down notice”

      Because they offer no avenue to send these notices and they would be ignored.

      1.  Doesn’t the take-down notice get sent to the website’s Internet Service Provider rather than the actual douchbag?  (I’m not arguing, I’m just asking. I have never had to deal with DMCA stuff before — My forte is fighting on behalf of yoots wrongfully accused of murder in funny movies)

        1. “Doesn’t the take-down notice get sent to the website’s Internet Service Provider”

          I would imagine that these people choose a hosting that is similarly unconcerned.

      2. Hurm, I thought not offering a way to send a DMCA takedown notice helped remove the protections offered by the DMCA for websites and providers.

  10. There’s one legal avenue that I’m surprised nobody’s pursued regarding this dipshit.

    I’m a photographer… if I take somebody’s picture I have copyright over the photo. But, without a signed model release, what I’m allowed to do with that photos is very limited, specifically in regards to the photo’s use in a commercial context.

    In the case of self-shot pics that were then handed to a boyfriend or whatever, it’s even worse for him, as the copyright there is entirely and unmistakably with the person in the photo.

    He’s very clearly using these photos for a commercial purpose (namely wracking up advertising costs), without having any reasonable expectation that the photos are being provided legally – and as he’s directly involved in soliciting and posting them, he can’t claim safe harbour.

    I’m not a laywer, of course, but from my understanding of the system as it applies to my field, I’d say that a copyright case would have a very good chance of ruining his day.

    1. How does it work with paparazzi then? Presumably in many cases there was no release or permission, and the subject would very much like to avoid them being used in a commercial context. Of course, this is another level, but seems to be similar in many ways.

      1. You have no expectation of privacy in public, so they can descend on you like a pack of wolves with flashbulbs.
        The photographer owns the rights to the image and then for a fee licenses them to “news” outlets.

      1.  Reminds me of the time I put Halo1 in the cd drive and the power grid blew out for about half the city.. I took it as an omen.

  11. There’s an old saying… never blackmail someone for more money than it costs to hire a hitman. I’m sure there are hitmen that charge less than $250.

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