tv Revenge Porn The Cyberwar on Women CNN August 16, 2015 12:30am-1:01am PDT
so, that's just my little evangelizing to you, for what it's worth. do you remember that dream you had where you showed up to school completely naked, you felt humiliated. but you woke up and thought thank god that was just a dream. what if i told you there were women living out that nightmare every day. it feels like their naked images are splashed on bill boards for anyone to see. now, take that mentality and apply it to the internet, where there's an underground movement devoted to exposing you in your most private moments. there's even a name for it, revenge porn. naked photos, usually of women, wind up on the web without their concept. the aim? to shame and humiliate. a bitter ex posts a private
photo on line, a picture you thought no one would see. then there are the hackers who can take control of your webcam. a private selfie can become a viral sensation. maybe you never even took a compromising photo. you can still wind up naked on line thanks to photo shop. your head on someone else's body. they are posted on websites devoted to revenge porn. then picked up by third party sites. it's not long until they're everywhere. i know what you're thinking, it couldn't happen to me. but what if i told you it's out of your control? the market for these images is getting bigger. so here's the naked truth, it could happen to anyone. >> it gave me a rush.
it just doesn't feel real. >> law enforcement straight up told me, how do you want us to help you? how do you think we can possibly help you? >> i describe it similar to the feeling of getting raped. >> you can just hang or do whatever. >> what if i busted out into the running man right now? >> this is nicky. she's young, she's beautiful. you would never know that she has this secret, that every time she 3450e9s you, every time she applies for a job, she wonder it is you know, if you've googled her. >> this is one of the sites. these are ones that where he recorded me. >> he tagged it naked, nude lingerie. >> that's not allowed on google. >> if i were to google your
name, what would come up? >> you would feel very close to me, like maybe we had even slept together. you would see me naked. >> it dates back to a guy she calls mr. wonderful. >> you had some problems doing some accounting homework. he said, i can help you with some of the basics. within 2 1/2 months of spending time with this gentleman, he had lost it. >> the strangest thing happened. nicky started seeing red lights around her room, one coming from a pen holder. >> i don't know what made me unscrew it, because i had never seen a pen cam, but something compelled me to unscrew it. as soon as it opened up, there was a memory card in there, my world started spinning. >> you are looking at moments that you don't even think could
be recorded. what goes through your head? >> i felt as if nowhere was private anymore. it never dawned on me that would be put on line in a campaign against me. it didn't occur to me that people did that. >> people do. and those images taken without consent were posted all over the web. her case is an extreme example of revenge porn. advocacy groups refer to it as nonconsen shall pornography. for the next few years, her most private images would flood websites, picked up by third party sites. >> so this is some sort of flash app that he utilized to make a spinning sphere of various pictures of me. dirty girl. loose whore. sucks a lot of -- you can imagine. i would stay up almost all night
every night finding more and more. law enforcement straight up told me, how do you think that we can possibly help you? >> that's the million dollar question when it comes to revenge porn. so what law is being broken? that's not always clear. that's why states are beginning to pass laws to criminalize this type of harassment. and the cases are pouring in. >> it's becoming an epidemic. we asked her what page is your information on? she had hundreds. >> you say it has affected your ability to get a job? >> it affected my ability to walk into any interview. the second i walked in, shook their hand and sat down and looked them in the face, i wanted to look away and crawl under a rock and die because i don't know what they've seen, if they've seen anything, and i didn't know how to bring it up. i wasn't present.
>> pull back the curtain and all around the country there are people dealing with this harassment. we went to chicago to meet a woman who lives in fear of retaliation for telling her story. pictures and videos she took with her ex-husband ended up on dozens of sites. a video from her honeymoon, now a viral sensation. >> one of the videos, there are a million views. i felt so exposed and i describe it similar to the feeling of getting raped. >> was law enforcement supportive of you? >> they told me there was nothing i could do, and that next time don't be identifiable. >> from him, i plan to launch the website. what do you think mom and dad will say when they see their little girl sucking and screaming? >> what is it like to have no control of what someone sees about you? >> have you ever heard of shame or dignity? i lost those and i didn't think
i would ever figure out how to regain respect for myself. >> if you could look at him right now, what would you say to him? >> thank you. i would tell him thank you. for absolutely forcing me to become the most amazing version of me that i never would have expected known existed or would exist. i have loved me for the first time in my entire existence, and it's because of the character building that i was forced to do because of this. >> but what if you didn't even know the person who got their hands on your naked photos? it's happened. 24 years old. she took a selfie. she didn't send it to anyone but herself. it was meant for no one, but somehow, it ended up all over the web. >> my daughter's topless picture
ended up on the most notorious website. she had no intention of showing it to anyone. >> until a hacker broke into her in box. he told her photo to hunter moore, a man dubbed king of revenge porn. moore built a career targeting women and posting their nudes on his site. and when he needed more pictures, he hired evans to hack into women's private accounts. the site became notorious. but those days would end when they took on charlotte's daughter. when you got the call as a mom, how did you react? >> just to see my daughter in tears over this, and i felt so helpless. i talked to nine attorneys in the beginning. they did not have a clue about what to do. >> you kind of take this to a new level as a mother. i mean, you became this private investigator. >> i had a huge box, like a 12-inch box of information i had found victims all over the
country who had been hacked by the same hacker. and so i was able to give this information to the fbi. here's some samples from his site. as if you sent a letter saying i'm going to kill myself, he would post the suicide letter next to your nude pictures, and then the followers would encourage you to kill yourself. >> taking on hunter moore means taking on his cult-like following. they go by #thefamily. >> i had a stalker at my house two separate evenings. >> for weeks, i tried to get in touch with charlie evans, the man who hacked charlotte's daughter and so many others. i tried him one last time after leaving charlotte's home. he answered. down the street from a woman whose life was turned upside down by hacking you did. when it comes down to it, just
why? >> gegeography, money. i was in a bad place. i got fired from my job for drinking. >> when you talk to some of these victims and see their lives are ruined, do you regret it? >> what i did is horrible and it's also doomed my life. i'm going to spend two to three years in prison. i'm okay with that. >> would you say you're addicted to hacking? >> yeah. my first rehab was for that. i know it sounds like a copout, but it was. >> what was it like the first time you hacked into a woman's facebook or twitter account or in box? what went through your head? >> that's a loaded question. it gave me a rush. >> you seem like a sociopath. >> it doesn't seem real. when i'm in my room, doors locked, drinking, i don't think
of the consequences. if i had to look at somebody in the face and do that, it would be a different story. >> dr. gale salt says it's that disconnect that breeds this harassment. >> the fact that you can't see the reaction in the moment really removes it from the kind of empathy and sensitivity that we are normally as humans would have for each other. >> i did it for the money. that makes me sound like a monster. >> how much money? >> it's scary how quickly i would drop my morals for like $500 a week, $1,000 a week. you have to do all these mental gymnastics to be able to live with yourself. coming up, imagine sending your nude photos to the government.
>> there were a lot in bed. >> revenge porn forced this woman to copyright pictures of her naked body. mom has always been one of those people who needs to keep busy. if she's not working in her garden, she's probably on one of her long walks with bailey. she was recently diagnosed with a heart condition. i know she's okay, but it concerned me she's alone so often. so i encouraged her to get a medical alert button.
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picture this, you're in a long-term relationship. you may have shared photos of yourself. welcome to the 21st century. it is the age of self east, but what if some of these pictures went public without your permission? after all, on the web nothing disappears. what protections do you have? would the law help you? meet hillary. >> hello? >> she is not going to show her face because she was exposed in a lot of other ways. >> there were all sorts of photos in the course of my relationship. it was long distance. i was continually asked to send photos. i was uncomfortable at first, but i figured you're in love, why not? >> to make a long story short, the relationship ended.
her ex posted those intimate photos all over the web. the only way to fight it was to send the actual images of her naked body here to the government. we asked a lawyer why. >> you have to get a registration that acknowledges that you are the owner of that copyright before you can go to court on it. it's a little ironic that people who are trying to protect their privacy have to go to the federal government to get a reg ration for the photographs for the copyright. >> can you describe just like the nature of the pictures that you had to upload? >> let's see, there were a lot of topless photos, a lot in bed, i guess simulating sexual acts. i mean, like every body part you can think of multiple times. >> what happened when you tried to copyright these pictures? >> you have to upload images as
part of the mandatory deposit so they know what your copyright is. when we got to that part, i thought this must be wrong. i don't have to send them as well, they're forcing me to expose them further when that's what i was trying to prevent. the feeling at the time was not only humiliating and dehumanizing but you also feel very vulnerable. >> revenge porn is on the rise with hackers that can break in your inbox and steal your photos and sites hungry for nude images. it can happen to anyone. here is where things get complicated. if you're a victim, there's no one size fits all solution to protect yourself. you can file a take down notice, it doesn't mean the site will take it down. the site will comply, you can sue. to do that, you have to register the copyright, which brings us to the cold, hard truth, and the most extreme case, you have to send pictures of your naked body to the copyright office, that's
in washington. if you're hacked or if the images were stolen, law enforcement can get involved. but take the case to court, there's a good chance the judge hasn't even heard of revenge porn. because it is all new territory, states are just now criminalizing it. 17 as of this month. an intellectual property lawyer handles these cases. >> it became so ubiquitous. we have traditional laws that have been around for hundreds of years. we're applying them to this new platform. every day a new platform shows up. so we mastered facebook and youtube. i don't have to tell a judge what facebook is anymore, which i had to do three years ago. >> but creating the new laws can be tricky. if they're too vague, there can be unintended consequences to free speech. so i decided to call the copyright office to understand the process a bit better.
>> may i help you? >> if i wanted to register the copyright of some images of myself, what does that entail? >> whoever took the images, owns the rights to them. >> i cut right to the chase. >> i know this is a weird question, but what if they were naked images? >> we have no issue with that. of course we don't have naked children. >> so i posed the question, what if the photos were posted online without my permission, is there any specific provisions for me, could i redact them? >> i don't know that you can redact a photograph. let me ask, because i'm not sure about that. >> all lines are currently busy. please hold and your call will be answered by the next available -- >> thanks for your patience in holding. i called someone from the visual arts section. they said they do not have a method for redacting photos. i was telling them your situation. they said, a bit of advice is to
send the photo as it appears. it would be a stronger case in an infringement. so it would be my best interest to upload the full naked photo. >> right. >> she was sensitive to the situation, but this is how copyrighting any image works, no exceptions. >> you'd imagine if the founding fathers were around today, it might be in the constitution, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and you would add on your online presence. because it's so important to people. >> coming up, naked photos everywhere. >> so there's a rich community of naked photos being bought and sold? >> most of time these guys are harvesting these and trading them like baseball cards. >> an underground trade and women have no idea they're being seen by thousands. >>mine hurt more..
a young girl, wearing glasses, she's nude, and crying in front of her webcam. according to this site, only accessible through the dark web, she's been hacked and blackmailed into stripping for a live audience. >> so it says this white girl is blackmailed to take off her clothes on webcam. and then she refuses in the beginning, but after a while, she has no choice. you don't want to imagine what they did, but they probably told her they were going to tell her family or somehow embarrass her and humiliate her, so she made the choice to go ahead with
their request. >> we don't know who she is or where she lives. she could be anywhere in the world. but her most private moments are exposed. an underground community is emerging, one devoted to humiliating women. she's one of thousands exploited on this particular site. their photos and videos available for sale or trade. >> drunken girl date-raped and left in a field. >> yeah. >> chris is what they call a good hacker. he looks for vulnerabilities on the web, like this particular site, where women are being exploited. for a mere $55, you get this download link to get all of these videos. >> so there's a rich community of naked photos being bought and sold? >> most of the time these guys are harvesting them and trading them like baseball cards. >> how vast is this? >> unfortunately, we've seen an increase in the sites that offer these things. >> so you don't have to take a
naked photo of yourself, you could still be a victim of revenge porn? >> yes, there's a trojan on the web. you could buy it for a few dollars. and if someone sent you an e-mail, it would install on your computer. and give them remote access to your webcam. >> this is like the next generation of the peeping tom. it's voyeurism. it's wanting to look at somebody particularly who doesn't know you're looking. it's a dangerous community and cracking down on it is difficult. the dark web was designed to be anonymous. >> one of the things you can find easily on the dark web is a site like this. so for about 200 euros, you can rent a hacker to do small jobs. if you read this, i'll do anything for money. if you want me to destroy
someone's business or personal life, i'll do it. >> so what do do you about the dark web? if i were a parent and that were my daughter -- >> there's not much you can do. a lot of times we see that men are the instigators of this. so it's teaching men respect. it's teaching your son's respect for women and what's acceptable and what's not. >> you've seen tonight how revenge porn can ruin lives. when private photos are made public, there's little the law or technology can do to repair the damage. it's part of a larger problem. behind the computer screen, you can become desensitized, lose your sense of empathy. that human element. that human element can stop revenge porn too. digital communities, major tech companies are taking a stand against revenge porn. twitter game out against it. reddit said we are banning revenge porn from our site. the internet can be a scary place, but we are all a part of
shaping it and that's the naked truth. i'm laurie segall, for cnn money. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com a rising death toll in tianjin, china. we have the latest in a live report. and donald trump thinks hillary clinton is in trouble over her email handling as the issue raises its head in a key state. and brazilians will take to the streets. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world, you are watching cnn "newsroom" live from cnn in atlanta. i'm natalie