Vulnerabilities / Threats
11/15/2013
08:00 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Online Extortion: The Ethics Of Unpublishing

What are the ethical limits on the Internet, the land where anything goes? What happens when people invent new schemes for making money and then take them too far?

The Internet is a land of freedom and entrepreneurship. But what happens when people take new monetization schemes too far? What are the ethical limits on the Internet?

Back in February I wrote about the mugshot extortion racket and how mug shot website operators were asking high fees to remove mug shot pages that had been optimized to rank for the subjects’ names. Recently, Google acted to suppress mugshot pages because they used scraped content. While I agree with Google’s action and am glad the problem has been partially solved, there is still work to be done. Bing, for example, has not yet done anything. Its search results remain polluted with mug shot scraper pages.

The mug shot racket is just one instance of a larger problem: paid unpublishing. In a paid unpublishing scam a website operator gets hold of embarrassing information, publicizes it, and then offers to take away the pain if a subject pays the fee. Whether or not this is criminal extortion, I’m quite sure the practice is unethical and should be condemned. Another example of an unpublishing scam would be revenge porn sites such as MyEx.com, which has links titled “Remove my name” that offer to delete records for $499. This is the digital equivalent of blackmail. Many types of information have the potential to embarrass. Unless steps are taken now to confront paid unpublishing, we may increasingly find our secrets or mistakes for sale.

Read the rest of this story on Internet Evolution.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
kheisenberg
50%
50%
kheisenberg,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2013 | 10:10:40 PM
Florida-mugshot.com / bustedmugshots.com
I am having an issue with another mugshot site, which I believe is affiliated with bustedmugshots.com, and was hoping you could help me determine what person or company owns it: florida-mugshot.com. And here is my post: http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/florida-mugshot-dot-com-and-bustedmugshots-dot-com/florida-mugshot-com-bustedmugshots-com-extortion-20131202461028.html Their hosting company is OVH Hosting, a firm based in Montreal/QC (Canada) with a resolving IP of 192.99.0.14. Thanks in advance for any help.
kheisenberg
50%
50%
kheisenberg,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/9/2013 | 4:20:18 AM
kyle prall checkmated by inside edition
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0103
Published: 2014-07-29
WebAccess in Zarafa before 7.1.10 and WebApp before 1.6 stores credentials in cleartext, which allows local Apache users to obtain sensitive information by reading the PHP session files.

CVE-2014-0475
Published: 2014-07-29
Multiple directory traversal vulnerabilities in GNU C Library (aka glibc or libc6) before 2.20 allow context-dependent attackers to bypass ForceCommand restrictions and possibly have other unspecified impact via a .. (dot dot) in a (1) LC_*, (2) LANG, or other locale environment variable.

CVE-2014-2226
Published: 2014-07-29
Ubiquiti UniFi Controller before 3.2.1 logs the administrative password hash in syslog messages, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to obtains sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-3541
Published: 2014-07-29
The Repositories component in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote attackers to conduct PHP object injection attacks and execute arbitrary code via serialized data associated with an add-on.

CVE-2014-3542
Published: 2014-07-29
mod/lti/service.php in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via an XML external entity declaration in conjunction with an entity reference, related to an XML External Entity (XXE) is...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio