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Tor Project sued for $1 million in revenge porn case

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The Tor Project, the nonprofit organization that develops and maintains Tor anonymity software, is being sued for $1 million by a woman who appeared on Pink Meth, a revenge-porn website that is hosted anonymously on the Tor network, among other places.

Shelby Conklin, who has been launching lawsuits for over $1 million over her pictures being on Pink Meth for over two years now, claims that Tor is responsible for Pink Meth’s website because it “provides services that permit users” to anonymously publish websites without revealing the location or identity of the publisher.

The $1 million is meant to compensate for mental anguish and loss of earning capacity, according to the lawsuit.

Pink Meth, which still exists, does more than host nude pictures of women without their consent. The website also links to their Facebook profile and other social media in order to connect the photos to real identities.

The lawyer launching the suit, Jason L. Van Dyke, describes himself as “quite possibly the meanest and most right-wing lawyer in Texas.”

The lawsuit includes a seven-part prayer that Conklin will be awarded $1,000,000.

“It is clear from the TOR website that TOR is knowingly assisting websites such as Pinkmeth in committing torts against Texas residents,” the lawsuit alleges, “and that that sole cause of of action alleged against TOR herein (conspiracy) arises from its conduct in Texas against Texas residents.”

The lawsuit is aimed at completely eliminating Pink Meth’s entire Internet presence:

“A failure by this court to enter an all-encompassing order designed specifically to cripple PinkMeth will accomplish nothing other than to require the Plantiff to file a new lawsuit once PinkMeth finds a new company willing to host their illegal activities.”

Conklin and Van Dyke have sued companies like Verisign for administering a .com domain to PinkMeth, and launched take-down complaints against Google for linking to the photographs Conklin claims are her copyrighted material.

The lawsuit demands that Tor be “restricted from providing, or continuing to provide any Internet-related services to Pinkmeth.”

By design, the Tor Project has no control over who uses its services. Anyone can launch an hidden service—the name for anonymous websites on the Tor network—and Tor cannot and likely would not take action against any website

Pink Meth’s Twitter profile, which the lawsuit also seeks to take down, has been retweeting several messages from Van Dyke.

Photo via e-magic/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)