A man who ran an alleged 'revenge porn' website says he's now 'a different person'

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Craig BrittainYouTube/CBS4A screenshot of Craig Brittain from CBS4.

A man who ran a website that posted hundreds of nude photos of women has apologised on his blog for "a series of poor decisions" and says he's "a different person now."

Craig Brittain, from Colorado, ran alleged "revenge porn" website IsAnybodyDown.com. On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that website was "banned from publically sharing any more nude videos or photos of people without their affirmative express consent."

Under this settlement, the FTC says Brittain was ordered to permanently delete all the images and other personal information.

Brittain allegedly used deception to acquire and post intimate images of women, then referred other websites he controlled that told those involved they could have the images taken down for a fee, sometimes hundreds of dollars. Brittain posted personal information, such as Facebook profiles, alongside photographs, the FTC notes.

"This behavior is not only illegal but reprehensible," Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement. "I am pleased that as a result of this settlement, the illegally collected images and information will be deleted, and this individual can never return to the so-called 'revenge porn' business."

According to the FTC, Brittain used platforms such as Craigslist to obtain the photos. Brittain reportedly posed as women and exchanged pictures with others, then uploaded them to Is Anybody Down without knowledge or permission to do so. The FTC says his site featured images of more than 1,000 people.

In a post published to the Is Anybody Down domain, Brittain explains that Is Anybody Down was shut down in April 2013 and the FTC agreement was not to reopen the site. As part of the agreement, Brittain can keep the domain.

"The statements made by media of 'closing down' in 2015 ARE intentionally misleading and should be corrected immediately," Brittain says.

Brittain denies all the FTC's allegations and says "there's zero evidence of Craigslist posing" and that he "had nothing to do with any 'takedown' services."

However, Brittain is apologetic for his actions: "I'm sorry for the damage that I caused to everyone that ended up on my website. I am making amends at every opportunity. I ask for your forgiveness. What I did was wrong."

He adds:

Again, I express my regret to, and support for, anyone who was/is affected by "Revenge Porn" and I would like to help in preventing the further spread of "Revenge Porn", "Shame Porn, "Revenge Media", and "Shame Media". If you have been affected by these things, you are not alone. I love you all and wish only the best for everyone. I do not want to be the person I was in 2013. I am a different person now. Please, help me to choose the right path.

According to Gigaom, Brittain hasn't incurred any penalties or fines as a result of his scamming. And he won't, unless he disobeys the FTC order. That's because the organisation lacks the criminal power to fine first-time offenders, the site explains. This may change in the future as the conversation about revenge porn continues, the site says. For example, in the UK, a law has been passed to make it illegal.

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