Alleged revenge porn Web site operator arrested in California

December 10, 2013
California’s attorney general Kamala Harris (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
California’s attorney general Kamala Harris (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Recent years have seen the rise of "revenge porn" sites, in which explicit images of people are posted online without their consent. Today, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that the state has arrested a man authorities say is the operator of a such a revenge porn Web site.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, of San Diego is accused of being the owner and operator of a revenge porn site that "facilitated the posting of more than 10,000 sexually explicit photos and extorted victims for as much as $350 each to remove the illicit content," authorities said in a statement. Bollaert has been charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion.

Court documents allege that Bollaert created the Web site "ugotposted.com" in December 2012, and the site "changemyreputation.com" in October. Court documents say that when an individual contacted ugotposted.com to request a private picture be removed, he would reply with a changemyreputation.com e-mail address and offer to remove the content for a fee ranging between $299.99 to $350 -- collecting in excess of $10,000 between Dec. 2, 2012 and September 17, 2013 from people trying to get images and personally identifiable information off of ugotposted.com

The charges against Bollaert stem from sections 530.5 and 653m (b) of the California Penal Code which "make it illegal to willfully obtain someone’s personal identifying information, including name, age and address, for any unlawful purpose, including with the intent to annoy or harass." California also passed a law specifically making revenge porn a misdemeanor earlier this year, although it only applies if the person spreading a compromising photo was also the photographer.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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