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Startup launches service to protect revenge porn victims

A new startup called Leakserv is out to tap into a very niche business sector – revenge porn. The service will fight unexpected online nudity and “reduce trauma for the victims”.
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While the internet has made the world far more connected than ever before, it’s not always been for positive purposes. A quick glance at Twitter and you’ll find trolls galore taking part in online bullying.

And then there are the hacks. So many hacks. Communications firm TalkTalk was caught in the middle of a data leaking scandal in October, while dating site for cheaters Ashley Madison found itself threatened by cyber criminals who promised to expose its clientele for their shady activities.

Elsewhere, there’s online pornography – people globally can access free content featuring their favourite adult stars in seconds. Shockingly, some insatiable Brits even choose to do so while at the office.

But with shocking ethics in mind, revenge porn is a problem that plagues the industry. The term refers to explicit content being uploaded to the internet without the permission of the person or people found in the material in order to demean them.

Operating as a new and independent division within larger anti-piracy business Onsist, Leakserv’s tech team banded together after realising the significant volume of people being victimised by revenge porn with a view to “help reduce trauma for the victims”.

Realising the sensitive nature of getting caught up in such a video, the service can track the illicit content and remove it from the internet as quickly as possible, so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to spread or go viral.

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Jennifer Lawrence, for example, was among many celebrities in the middle of an iCloud hack in 2014, which resulted in intimate photos getting shared.

“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change,” said The Hunger Games star.

“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.”

The digital attack resulted in iCloud creator Apple and the FBI working together to solve the crime.

Leakserv said: “Anyone in such distress can email Leakserv with details of the content. The team will get to work immediately and get such content off the internet as quickly as possible.

“Victims are urged not to panic or be scared and to contact Leakserv as soon as they find such content online. The earlier the team gets a request to find and remove such content, the easier it is to limit it from spreading across the internet.”

Image: Shutterstock

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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