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The Dark side of the Internet

cyberharassment

cyberharassed

In recent years there has been an increase in extortion websites. The  biggest single group in this newer business model have been the mugshot websites. They list the mugshots of everyone who has been arrested, regardless of the disposition of the case. It doesn’t matter what the Judge said, your mugshot is listed on the first page of a google search, even if you were exonerated, your charges dismissed and expunged. The only way to get rid of the incomplete and incorrect information is to pay the website $399.00 per image, who then lists the image on another website 60 days later.

Complaints websites that allow the anonymous posting of complaints have been used to get money from business owners who see their reputations tarnished without any proof at all, only the word of an anonymous poster. The only way to rid themselves of the negative listing is through a complex legal battle or to pay up, both are expensive options.

Another variant that came into being recently is a website that lists women as prostitutes. A photo can be submitted anonymously, and if you are that lucky individual you get to pay $99.00 to take down the image. I verified that the first page listings are indeed of women that were arrested for prostitution, but when you look further it looks like an advertising agency for prostitutes complete with phone numbers. Ladies, your ex now has a nasty way to get revenge, his cost: $0.00.

The potential for extortion is huge, since most employers and rental agencies now use Google instead of a proper background check, it will be impossible for people listed on these websites to find employment and difficult to find housing. The website owners and operators hide behind attorney/client privilege and use sham sales through foreign agencies to further hide their involvement, and according to their own count are now extorting some 7,744,236 people. This last figure will be updated regularly and I have deliberately omitted the names of the websites since I do not want to contribute to their revenue through advertisements.

All this is made possible because lawmakers can’t make anti-extortion laws, that fit the definition of the word “extortion”.

My count started in late 2011 with 4,000,000 listings, draw your own conclusions! If you are in the U.S.A., there is a +/- 20% chance that you are next! If you are an individual who is being extorted on-line I recommend a visit to the blog at http://www.normanhaga.nl for more information.

UPDATE:The count has risen to 16.8 Million mugshots, but the tide may be turning. The following is a link to a NY Times article outlining some of the things Google and on line Banking services are doing to curb the activities of the mugshot racket: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/business/mugged-by-a-mug-shot-online.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
I have the distinct feeling that this will not be the end of the story, extortion has been around for a long time and merely changes form when attacked.

Let’s hope I’m wrong!

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15 responses

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I have not heard of this and I think it’s foul. It is atrocious. And I wouldn’t pay. Fuck them.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:32 am

    • They will eventually get paid,…in kind, not $. Thank you for your time, and comment.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  2. I can’t believe the amount of bloggers and SEO professionals who don’t know anything
    The Dark side of the Internet | onnovocks – The latest addition to my RSS feed!

    October 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    • Thanks for the visit Efren. Now that there is some help against the mugshot racket I can soon start work on countering revenge porn. So far none of the people that I associate with have been paid a single penny for helping people deal with on line defamation, the amount of time invested in finding methods that are effective is huge.

      November 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

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    January 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

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