Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.198.103.13

Forum Moderators: webwork

Choose Your Business Model Carefully

Operators of Fee for Removal Site Mugshots.com Charged Criminally

     
2:20 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:8020
votes: 76


From the Office of the California Attorney General [oag.ca.gov ]

SACRAMENTO California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced charges of extortion, money laundering, and identity theft against four defendants who are allegedly behind the exploitative website Mugshots.com. The website mines data from police and sheriffs' department websites to collect individuals' names, booking photos and charges, then republishes the information online without the individuals' knowledge or consent. Once subjects request that their booking photos be removed, they are routed to a secondary website called Unpublisharrest.com and charged a "de-publishing" fee to have the content removed. Mugshots.com does not remove criminal record information until a subject pays the fee. This is the case even if the subject had charges dismissed or had been arrested due to mistaken identity or law enforcement error. Those subjects who cannot pay the fee may subsequently be denied housing, employment, or other opportunities because their booking photo is readily available on the internet.

"This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else's humiliation," said Attorney General Becerra. "Those who can't afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple."


I've been waiting for the hammer to be dropped on this and related business models - ones that profit by exploiting bad news or bad reviews, particularly bad news or reviews that turns out to be false, fake, trumped up. In the era of abundant fake news, rumor mongering, spin, etc. its predictable that people will eventually say "Enough!" Not everyone is subject to 1st Amendment rights . . to be an attacker of others ~political candidate attack ads.

All it takes is one smart attorney general to get the ball and chain rolling.
3:27 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5783
votes: 113


That is evil.
6:40 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:12535
votes: 829


I've considered a similar business model but instead of mug shots... Baby Photos.

I'll scrape the archives of hospitals and publish those embarrassing pics when you were Naked and Crying!
6:47 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 25, 2018
posts:500
votes: 101


No matter the domain, I think that no one should have to pay to be delisted, removed, erased, etc...

In fact, sites should pay to have the right to use YOU
8:45 pm on May 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:8608
votes: 679


One thing to share public information. Another thing to attach extortion to it. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
4:27 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:8020
votes: 76


This just keeps getting more interesting. Arrests are now being made along with extradition requests (to extradite those arrested to California for prosecution).

It's being reported that one of the Mugshots.com partners, who has now been arrested, was a very well know domainer, one who was the subject of a feature article in DNJournal.

That source: [dnjournal.com ]

Is it not the very definition of irony that the owners of Mugshots.com will now find their mugshots online?

Karma is another word that comes to mind, a/k/a "just desserts".
11:09 pm on May 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:8608
votes: 679


I suspect this 15 minutes of fame might turn into 5 to 10.
11:13 pm on June 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:8020
votes: 76


Latest reports relating to the prosecution of the Mugshots.com case indicate that the charges / case against the (one time?) domain holder of Mugshots.com may have been dismissed . . but . . reference to the official log of court proceedings in Florida [browardclerk.org ] are ambiguous, possibly indicating that a "fugitive warrant" was dismissed (bond was posted / attorney for defense entered appearance) AND NOT the underlying prosecution / claims.
11:47 pm on June 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:8608
votes: 679


This one will not be let go. This will appear in court as a message, if nothing else, to chill others from attempting similar activities. Recall that at least three "revenge p0rn" cases "almost" went to trial before one completed. Mugshots was so egregious I can't see any AG letting this one pass. Then again, I have been surprised so many times by the back room deals done in arguably criminal cases that should this one be "dismissed" or plead out it would be par for the course (and another black eye on the legal profession in the eyes of those who elect them).
12:01 am on June 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:12535
votes: 829


Latest reports relating to the prosecution of the Mugshots.com case indicate that the charges / case against the (one time?) domain holder of Mugshots.com may have been dismissed
Too bad... I was hoping to see *his* mug shot published online.
4:39 pm on June 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 10, 2005
posts:5776
votes: 136


It would be more interesting if they had someone from the EU in their system who asked to be removed...
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members