Revenge porn's Craig Brittain drops involuntary nudes site to become...an investigator?

Earlier this year, we told you about Craig Brittain, a Colorado Spring entrepreneur behind a website that published nude photos typically submitted by the subjects' ex-lovers -- a phenomenon known as revenge porn.

Brittain said he was proud of the site, despite the humiliation it caused those featured on it. But mere months later, he says he's closed down the site -- not that the sleaze associated with it has gone away -- and is becoming an investigator. Really.

CBS4's Brian Maass dragged Brittain's operation out of the shadows. The station's reports have studiously avoided naming the site, but the Colorado Springs Independent, among other news agencies, has identified it as Is Anybody Down?

The site not only included a slew of photos as described above, but also a link to a service called Takedown Hammer, which offered to facilitate removal of said images for a mere $250. While Brittain tried to distance himself from the Hammer, it appears that he was on the receiving end of at least some, if not most or all, of these funds -- a way to make money from online victims as they were coming and going.

Unfortunately for him, federal investigators and a private attorney representing women whose pics were plastered onto the site were energetically looking for ways to shut it down. That could be why Brittain announced the death of IAD in this April tweet:

He also shared this message, presumably by way of explaining his action:

The sincerity of these tweeta-culpas was immediately questioned by BetaBeat's Jessica Roy, who reported that Brittain had registered the domain names ObamaNudes.com and ObamaNudes.net and transferred the IAD content to them.

Brittain doesn't seem to be an Obama fan. His Facebook page features anti-administration memes like this quasi-racist attack....

...along with classy images like this one: At this writing, neither of the Obama-related addresses above is functional, but Google "Is Anybody Down?" and you'll soon get an eyeful of ultra-slimy stuff -- girl parts and boy parts in enormous closeups. That doesn't mean Brittain's necessarily involved with the site; perhaps another morally flexible web tycoon simply saw an opportunity and purchased the domains. But search for those three words at your peril.

Weeks later, Brittain came up with a new moneymaking concept -- one that would encourage others to pay for his reform.

Continue for more about onetime revenge porn kingpin Craig Brittain, including photos, videos and tweets. Here's a tweet about his fundraising notion:

Too bad for him it doesn't appear to have worked:

As you may have guessed, the links in these tweets are currently dead, too.

Now, in a text to CBS4, Brittain maintains that "the websites are over, no further statements will be released." But he keeps tweeting, sometimes ambiguously. Take this message, which talks about a website closure that he'd previously ballyhooed more than a month earlier:

Be that as it may, here's a series of three tweets in which Brittain attempts to frame the website's demise and announces his plans for the future:

Oh yeah: Brittain is also supposedly writing his autobiography, with excerpts appearing on CraigBrittain.com. The most recent entry is entitled "Into the darkness. Teenage life begins."


Continue to see our previous coverage of onetime revenge-porn kingpin Craig Brittain, including photos and videos. Posted 6:21 a.m. February 6: Earlier this week, we told you about a Colorado Springs website that specializes in so-called revenge porn -- explicit photos shared by ex-lovers and the like, apparently in an effort to humiliate their former partners; see our previous coverage below. Now, we've got video of the man behind the site -- and when he's asked if he's proud of what he's doing, he answers, "Absolutely."

Craig Brittain hasn't denied his involvement in the website, Is Anybody Down? Indeed, he took part in an interview on the subject when the Colorado Springs Independent first wrote about it in January. And in some ways, he deserves credit for sitting down with CBS4's Brian Maass for an on-camera interview about a business that many would argue gives even Internet porn a bad name.

There's also a certain honesty about his responses to questions -- at least some of them. On some occasions, he engages in buck-passing and responsibility shifting, as when he responds to Maass' statement that what he's doing strikes some people as "remarkably sleazy" by replying, "I think we live in a remarkably sleazy society." His claim that "we're not out for revenge or any sort of malicious...thing" also has a disingenuous taint. But he seems in earnest when he says, "We just want entertainment. We want the money. So yeah, if it comes down to it, that is what we're after...to make a buck."

Brittain is considerably less convincing when it comes time to address another aspect of his site -- the services of Takedown Hammer, a business that offers to remove content from Is Anybody Down? for a mere $250. In the Colorado Springs Independent article, Brittain insists that he's not behind Takedown Hammer, although he concedes that he makes some cash when people use it.

In the CBS4 package, this issue is addressed a bit differently, with Maass arguing that David Blade, the attorney said to be behind Takedown Hammer, is actually Brittain -- an assertion the latter denies despite suggestions from a computer expert that his IP address and Blade's are identical.

Whatever the case, Brittain shows not the slightest susceptibility to shame -- meaning that Is Anybody Down? won't be taken down until it stops generating revenue. And right now, Brittain claims it's making him between $3,000 and $4,000 per month.

Here's the second part of CBS4's coverage. That's followed by our previous coverage, supplemented by Maass' complete interview with Brittain.

Continue for Maass' unedited interview with Brittain, as well as our earlier coverage of the Colorado Springs revenge-porn website. Here's part one of Maass' interview with Brittain:

Original post, 8:56 a.m. February 4: It's not exactly a news flash that the Internet is littered with nude photos, not all of which have been posted with the subjects' permission. However, the man behind a Colorado Springs website appears to have come up with a new and startlingly sleazy way to make bank from this phenomenon -- coaxing people to post explicit shots, perhaps as a way of humiliating an ex, then earning money from a service that orders that the images be removed.

CBS4's report about the phenomenon -- see the first package in an ongoing series below -- doesn't mention the name of the site. But the Colorado Springs Independent's January feature article on the subject identifies it as Is Anybody Down? (No, we're not including a link.) The site's home page advertises its alleged attributes like so: "Unstoppable Nudes -- Give Us Your Nudes -- Submit Nudes Anonymously."

The site is easily searchable by name as well as by location. What pops up are photos, many of them extremely hardcore, depicting lots of women and some men from across the country in sexual poses and situations. Predictably, the comments seen below them are not of the high-brow variety. Here are several examples from the item devoted to just one Colorado woman:

I am in Denver. If you ever need some spoonin lol

wow! verry hot! send me some pics if you don't mind

Hey, cool, we both go to CSU! Want to hook up?

Dam your hot we would love to fuck you we live in Fort Collins as well.

The existence of this material on Is Anybody Down? would be repulsive enough for most victims. But also included on numerous occasions are Facebook pages and sometimes even phone numbers that allow posters like those above to directly contact the objects of their creepy cyber-lust.

Craig Brittain's reportedly the man behind Is Anybody Down? -- but surfers searching for his name on the website doesn't give them access to pics of him showing off his naughty parts. Instead, the curious are directed to a link entitled "Takedown Hammer: Professional Content Removal Request Services." The listing reads:

Hello. Do you need an experienced team that can help remove content from this website or other websites?

Choose Takedown Hammer.

We have issued over 90 successful removal requests for this website so far and a total of over 500 removals from various internet websites. We are professionals. If you want content removed, Takedown Hammer is the way to go.

Also included is a link to the Takedown Hammer website, which reveals how much this service costs: $250.

Continue for more about the Colorado Springs revenge-porn website. Here's part two of Maass' unedited interview with Brittain:

In the Colorado Springs Independent article, Brittain insists that Takedown Hammer is run by a third-party -- a buddy, not him personally. However, he concedes that he makes "some of the money" from people who decide to use Takedown Hammer's services.

Presumably, then, he's enriched by the clicks generated by people looking at the photos -- he tells CBS4 he makes about $3,000 a month from advertising on the website -- and enriched again when the men and women in the images want to make them disappear.

As first noted last October on a site called Photography Is Not a Crime, Brittain has an enemy beyond those he's exploiting: Marc Randazza, who's described as a "First Amendment attorney and avid porn defender." Randazza is said to have no problem with so-called pornography featuring consenting adults who are okay with the images being shared. But the idea of porn as revenge so upsets him that he's made it his personal mission to make Is Anybody Down? go down for the count.

In other words, he thinks Brittain is giving porn a bad name.

The text portion of the CBS4 report quotes Brittain defending the site as being for "entertainment" purposes, and he insists his purposes aren't malicious. But several women who speak on camera about having their photos on the site clearly feel much differently.

See the CBS4 report here.

More from our Mug Shots archive: "Photos: Twenty faces of accused child-porn fans."

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