Computers across U.S. government agencies are being used for revenge porn

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BTW

Nearly a year after the U.S. Navy first responded to and criminalized rampant sharing of revenge porn, or nonconsensual pornography used to humiliate or extort subjects, new data obtained and analyzed by the Daily Beast shows that the Navy, as well as the U.S. Senate and other top government entities, are using government computers to post and solicit nude photos on image board Anon-IB.

According to the data, Anon-IB users are connecting from government computers in the U.S. Senate, Navy, Executive Office of the President, and the Department of Energy. This was determined from IP data pulled by Einar Otto Stangvik, a security analyst at Norwegian newspaper VG, from the Anon-IB site; site users are otherwise anonymous, all posting with the username “Anonymous” followed by a string of numbers.

“Looking for wins [photos] of [redacted]. She used to send nudes to my friend all of the time. Would love to see some more,” someone wrote connecting from the U.S. Senate IP address.

“Anyone have [redacted]? She left her husband for another dude while he was deployed. Heard there is win and she is a sex crazed freak,” someone writing from a Navy computer posted.

While IP addresses show where these connections are coming from, they don’t immediately allow the detection of who exactly is connecting to Anon-IB, as IP addresses don’t necessarily reference specific people, and these connections could have been made by a visitor, or a hacker routing traffic through government computers. More specifically, data suggests that the connection made through the Executive Office of the President came from the Office of Administration or Office of Management and Budget.

Last year, the Navy and Marines criminalized the sharing of revenge porn by service members after at least two online spaces—a photo drive and a Facebook account called “Marines United“—were found to be used by thousands of men to share nonconsensual nude photos of servicewomen.

Ironically enough, senators introduced a bipartisan bill in November to federally criminalize the distribution of revenge porn after several years of similar bills stalling in Congress. So far, 38 states criminalize revenge porn.

“Stolen, revenge-motivated and otherwise abusive imagery posted online has become a very real issue over the last years,” Stangvik told the Daily Beast. “I fear that failure to deal with the problem will normalize online abusive behavior and sexual harassment, and that this will further nourish victim blaming and dismissal of the abuse as ‘to be expected.'”

Read the entire Daily Beast report here.

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.