Hunter Moore, the self-styled king of “revenge porn”, has pleaded guilty to charges of hacking and identity theft in a federal court in Los Angeles.
Moore founded the website IsAnyoneUp.com, a site where jilted lovers could post sexually explicit pictures without the subjects’ consent. Often, such pictures would appear alongside full names, contact details and links to profiles on social networks.
Prosecutors say Moore paid a hacker, Charles Evens, to illegally access the email accounts of at least seven victims in order to get more pictures for the site –despite California’s new laws against revenge porn, it was the FBI investigation into the email hacking that brought Moore down.
On Wednesday, Moore agreed to plead guilty to all charges. He faces two years in prison and a $500,000 fine, according to Reuters.
After news of the FBI investigation began to surface in the media, Moore began making threats – including to the Village Voice, whose headquarters he threatened to “burn down” if it ran the story.
IsAnyoneUp.com was a large property. In a 2011 interview with The Awl – written around the time that the alleged hacking took place – Moore claimed that the site received 30 million unique users every month, and brought in $10,000.
In 2012, James McGibney, an entrepreneur and former marine who runs a network of anti-bullying sites, bought out IsAnyoneUp.com with the intention of shutting it down. Three days after the sale, Moore tweeted that McGibney was “a paedophile who possessed child pornography”, and threatened to rape his wife.
McGibney sued him for defamation and won, leaving Moore with a $250,000 bill for damages.
In an interview with the Guardian, McGibney said pleading guilty was “one of the smarter moves” Moore had made.
“We’re getting bombarded with emails from people very happy that he’s going to jail”, he said.
“I hope he turns his life around”.