"The Takedown Lawyer": Let's Help Marc Randazza Investigate A Scammer, Shall We?

Fun

I've been out of sorts of late, riven with the suburban fin de siècle, plagued with ennui, angst, weltschmertz. You know — moping.

There's only so many free speech cases I can write about in a week. Nobody pony-worthy is writing to me. I'm waiting for a couple of shoes to drop on the UST Development fraud investigation.

If only there were a nice juicy scam out there to chase . . .

Marc Randazza to the rescue!

The Background

Oh, but Marc found such a fine nest of cockroaches worthy of stomping. You may recall there was a website called "Is Anyone Up?, which featured nude pictures of women often submitted by angry ex-boyfriends or otherwise misappropriated, posted with their names and hometowns and other elements making it likely they'd pop up on searches. The site was part of the same sick subculture that feeds the Violentacrez of the internet.

Since that site's decline, there have been many imitators. Marc Randazza is documenting a scam involving such a site, and a purported lawyer who will take money to get your picture taken down from it.

The Bogus Lawyer, And The Con

The copycat site — which I will not link — is called "Is Anyone Down?". That is the peak of its creativity. The companion lawyer site is "The Takedown Lawyer," 1 run by "David Blade," who claims to be a public defender in New York who is doing this on the side. He offers a cut-rate price to get "personal information" down from sites like "Is Anybody Down?":

Our normal price is $250 – for that amount, we can make sure that your unwanted information is removed from these websites, so that you may have your freedom and your sanity back. We offer all of the same services that more expensive lawyers offer (DMCA takedown request, private investigation, takedown negotiation, filing request, subpoenas) at a fraction of the cost.

Funny thing, though: the advertisement on "David Blade's" own site "The Takedown Lawyer" is pretty brief. If you want to see more details of David's practice, you have to look at his longer advertisement and explanation of his practiceat the "Is Anyone Down?" website, reached by clicking the "Get Me Off This Site!" tab:

Hello! I’m the Takedown Lawyer and so far, I’ve had 42 clients come to me to have their pictures and information removed from Is Anybody Down, all of whom were a success! I have people’s pictures and information taken down from sites like these all the time; including over 38 removals from the original “Is Anyone Up” over the past 2 years.

My guarantee is that your pictures and information will be taken down within 48 hours for a lot less than what the average lawyer will charge you. If your pictures and info aren’t removed, I will refund your money.

Your costs with me will generally be $200-$300, which is far less than most lawyers will charge for a mere consultation of your case.

I’m so confident in my abilities as an attorney that I took out an ad on this page just to show you that I mean business. I understand that sites like these can cause many problems in your personal life and I want to help you get your peace of mind and privacy back!

"David Blade" goes on to explain that he's a college pal of the person who runs "Is Anybody Down?", explaining his success at getting content taken down. Read the whole thing in Marc's post; it's stunning.

But the relationship between the sites is even closer than the advertisement admits. This summer blogger Ipka pointed out that the same individual, Craig Brittain of Colorado Springs, Colorado, registered both "Takedown Lawyer" and "Is Anybody Down?" — Ipka caught the details before Mr. Brittain clumsily attempted to anonymize hosting.

So: you've got (purportedly) two sites working in harmony. One site puts up misappropriated nude pictures, the other site charges a fee to get them taken down, on the pretense that it is run by an independent lawyer representing the best interests of the wronged victims. But they are registered by the same person — Craig Brittain — and the second site advertises on the first. That, friends and neighbors, sure looks like wire fraud and interstate extortion. You've got a scheme to defraud using the interstate wires to tell people they need to pay a purportedly independent "lawyer" to get pictures down when the lawyer is actually a confederate, and you've got a scheme to use the interstate wires to demand money in exchange for taking down embarrassing pictures. Were I still a prosecutor I'd take the case in a heartbeat; as a defense lawyer I'd charge a hefty retainer, because that's going to be hard to defend.

Marc Talks To "Blade"

As Marc points out, there is no attorney "David Blade" registered with the New York bar. If this were an attorney, he'd be in a world of hurt with the state bar — he's violated conflict of interest rules, advertising restrictions, and any number of other prohibitions. But I don't think he is a lawyer. There is no "David Blade," and though someone pretending to be "David Blade" might have been pre-law or watched Matlock once, "David Blade's" material was not written by a real lawyer — and certainly not by a public defender. There are stupid lawyers, there are bullshit artist lawyers, and there are crazy lawyers, but even crazy stupid bullshit artist lawyers sound different than non-lawyers, as a result of being dehumanized by legal education and the practice of law.

How sure am I? Pretty sure, based on the evidence. Never a shrinking violet, Marc wrote "David Blade" to get his side of it, with hilarious results worth reading in full. "Blade" admitted that "Blade" is an alias, but blustered that he is a lawyer, he protects his identity to protect his family, and that what he does is completely legitimate. Faced with New York Rule of Professional Conduct 7.1(h) ("All advertisements shall include the name, principal law office address and telephone number of the lawyer or law firm whose services are being offered."), "Blade" offers this epic word salad:

Rule 7.1(h) is specifically pursuant to case law. I do not engage in case law, civil law, or trial law using TakedownLawyer.com. I solely engage in mitigated/mediated takedowns, which are not considered to be a legal service, on behalf of clients of TakedownLawyer.com. The reference to my legal credentials is solely for credibility. If, for example, you were to build a website called "MowingLawyer.com", Where you engaged in yard services for clients, you would be under the same rules. Trust that I have a much better understanding of the laws in New York State
than you ever will.

. . . which, by the way, he signs "David Blade III." The "III" is for "three times as hilarious."

There's more in that correspondence — the attempts to bribe Randazza with clients, and finishes with threats:

This is a notice that you will cease and desist what you are doing, pursuant to police contact and contact with the State Bar Association of Nevada. You are knowingly committing extortion.

Yeah. "Pursuant to police contact." Sure that's a public defender. More likely it's a person of modest abilities who may need a public defender soon in a state such as, oh, I don't know, just for the sake of argument, Colorado.

Ken Talks To Craig Brittain

I decided to see if I could get a comment from the proprietors of "Is Anybody Down?" so I wrote to Craig Brittain. I asked, among other things, who "David Blade" is. Brittain responded swiftly.

David Blade is an attorney who provides the same sort of services available on websites like dmca.com. Mediated/mitigated takedowns. We've already been thoroughly investigated numerous times and found to be free of any wrongdoing whatsoever. You can think what you want to. Extortion would be if I threatened to release photos of people unless they paid me. I do not engage in extortion. I post photos I receive from submitters, meaning that I am not responsible for their submissions to begin with, and I am simply posting on behalf of the submitters who hold the entirety of the responsibility for their submissions. I reserve the right to remove content for any reason, or no reason at all.

David Blade operates to remove content on behalf of clients via mediated/mitigated takedown as an independent third party. I have zero desire to remove the content – ideally, posts would never be removed from my website. However, some people go to drastic measures when their pictures are posted. David Blade's services are a safety measure – a provision for people who would hire lawyers or do more drastic things like crime or suicide. I make no profit from his legal services – he only pays me a flat, fixed fee for hosting and advertising on my website.

The reason for his condition of anonymity is the number of death threats that are associated with our website. He has multiple children and a primary vocation to handle. He doesn't have time to deal with lunatics who endanger his safety and the safety of his family or his business. I used to get tons of death threats and hatemail – which was the reason when Dave offered me a deal, I fully agreed.

One of the main concerns with IsAnyoneUp was the danger that it presented to the public. I do not run a dangerous website. I do not run an illegal website. I run an entertaining, but responsible website designed as entertainment. If worse comes to worse, David Blade is there so that people don't have to take drastic measures or spend thousands of dollars to have their content removed.

This results in a safer website, less overall complaints, and in general a positive experience for all users and those who are pictured on the website. Everyone wins. My website is the safest out of any of the sites in our niche.

I hope this has been educational for you.

- Craig Brittain
isanybodydown.com

There you have it. He's sticking with the "David Blade exists and is a lawyer" story. He's claiming that David Blade is paid by advertising on his site, which David Blade uses to solicit clients for which he is paid with more advertising on the site. As is common with sociopaths, he's quite confident and facile.

And he has no idea whatsoever what he's gotten himself into.

I probed further:

Mr. Brittain:

You say you've been "thoroughly investigated numerous times." By whom? Would you like to name any of the law enforcement or regulatory agencies or lawyers that have investigated you?

Are you represented by an attorney? Would you like to provide his or her contact information?

Also, if safety is such a concern — why have you — the one running the site — operated with no secrecy whatsoever, yet "David Blade," the one helping people take pictures down, is the one using a fake name?

Thank you.

He responded:

Numerous people claim to have filed reports with the FBI and Police. I have reason to believe that we have been investigated.

I have spoken directly with Marc Randazza via telephone. We'll be handling this from here. Thanks for your inquiry.

I will look forward to Marc's description of that call, if it took place. Meanwhile, the polite face that "Is Anybody Down?" is showing me is not at all the face it is showing to Marc Randazza, who is being sworn at incoherently.

So: time for some scam investigation funtime. If there is a "David Blade," I'm going to work with Marc to expose him; if there's not, I'm going to work with Marc to prove who is posing as him.

You know, when you chase internet scammers you often have to accept that even when they are exposed, nothing will happen to them. But in this case, I like the chances of someone here going to jail, or at least taking a felony hit. Plus, you can help make the internet just a little bit better by working as a team to stomp vermin like this.

Update:

They are already trying to cover their tracks:

Due to ethical concerns our business and the website will now be called ‘Takedown Hammer’.

Rest assured we will continue to provide the same great content removal request services.

Marc reports:

funny, i just spoke to someone involved… they say that David Blade’s site is going to be changed, with no “attorney” implication on it.

. . . and the "David Blade" ad on the "Is Anybody Down?" site has disappeared at the time of this writing.

Too little, too late, too late, too late.

Second Update:

The site that was "The Takedown Lawyer" — now called "The Takedown Hammer" — now includes this language:

At Takedown Hammer. our independent third party team can issue a successful content removal request on your behalf, guaranteeing that your content will be removed ASAP.

Sorry, guys, but that's still wire fraud. Face it — you're not independent. You're in a conspiracy with the site owner.

More to follow. Oh, believe me — more to follow.

Third update: In his post about nasty emails from "Is Anybody Up?" Marc has posted an additional exchange, which I also host here. The exchange is revealing. Note the continued sociopathic entitlement.

How does it feel to know that you're basically shitting on the people you're supposed to be defending? You are a fucking asshole. You didn't even have the balls to contact me, instead you went to pick on Dave. If you've got a beef with me, talk to me, but don't blame Dave. He helps people. You, on the other hand, you don't give a shit about free speech, that's all a fucking copout. You just smell money, like a shark smells blood, and jump into the fucking water don't you? And then when the fucking veins run dry you go looking for someone else to bite in the ass.

I thought I was a shitty person, until I saw what you're doing. Who's your client against me? Or are you just fucking with me for no apparent reason at all other than you have a hardon for my website or something? Got anything else you want to say, make up, falsify, etc.? I'm right here if you want to talk. You can talk to me all fucking day long, but you'll leave Dave the fuck alone. He's not responsible for the content of our website or the other websites on his takedown list.
Here's looking forward to whatever bullshit you write in response.

Why are they so angry about Marc going after "David"?

Fourth Update: The shit's hitting the fan for the scammers.

1. Analysis of email headers suggests that Craig Brittain is David Blade.

2. Adam Steinbaugh weighs in, showing evidence that Craig Brittain is getting content by conning people on Craigslist.

3. Techdirt picks it up.

4. Above the Law has it.

5. Sam Glover weighs in.

Fifth Update: After Adam's post above, the scammers began sending the "legal threats" posts he notes down the memory hole — just as if there wasn't Google cache, or screenshots. Maybe they're going for "we're too dim to form fraudulent intent."

By the way, as far as I can tell from correspondence, Craig Brittain's defense is (1) David Blade exists and legitimately helps people take down pictures from "Is Anybody Down?", AND (2) "Is Anybody Down?" only has pictures from people who consent to have their pictures there. OK Craig.

  1. : see update at end of post  

Last 5 posts by Ken White

125 Comments

116 Comments

  1. sorrykb  •  Oct 30, 2012 @11:27 pm

    Does this guy have any inkling that he's going up against the tag team from hell?
    Oh this is going to be good. I'll be watching and cheering you on, with popcorn.

  2. Jack B.  •  Oct 30, 2012 @11:34 pm

    re the "isanybodydown.com responds" link:

    I can only hope that when all is over and done with, "Is it because you found out I'm Irish?" becomes a meme.

  3. James Pollock  •  Oct 30, 2012 @11:54 pm

    Shouldn't tagging the "takedown lawyer" with UPL be a fairly simple task? Starting with the fact that the person who is IN a picture does not have a valid copyright claim against unauthorized distribution… it is the person who makes a photograph who has copyright. Thus, a DMCA takedown request would seem to be an inappropriate remedial action. Shouldn't a lawyer be expected to know the difference between a copyright claim and a privacy tort claim?

  4. Myk  •  Oct 31, 2012 @12:16 am

    I work as a Public Defender for the State of New York. I’m a real attorney – not an ‘internet lawyer’. So should we take that to mean he's a cut above Charlie Carreon, Internet Lawyer™?

  5. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @12:25 am

    Unless I'm missing something, he's claiming a total of 42 "clients", at $250 each, coming out to just over $10k… seems like a rather unimpressive amount of money for a guy to be willing to commit a felony over.

    I'm just saying – from a criminal competence standpoint, this seems like poor strategy.

  6. TJIC  •  Oct 31, 2012 @2:55 am

    Here Mark has a list of his other businesses:

    http://randazza.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/screen-shot-2012-10-30-at-8-51-25-pm.png

    I note that http://heygreatwebsite.com is now offline.

  7. Dintley Titmeaning  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:56 am

    "…he's a cut above Charlie Carreon…"

    There is a vast amount of slime and filth slithering around the world that is several cuts above CC, IMHO at least. That's really not a measure of quality.

  8. Dan  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:08 am

    Free entertainment! My knee jerk hunch is that this is knucklehead is/was a law student, but not a member of a bar. I have the day off… a little searching may be in order.

  9. Dan  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:10 am

    Wow. A nearly coherent sentence. That's why you don't comment from an iPhone. Sorry, all.

  10. Jonathan Kamens  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:13 am

    Looking forward to seeing this play out!
    One typo in the article… "I will look forward to Marc's description of that call, if it took place. Meanwhile, the polite face that 'Is Anybody Up?…'" I think you meant "Is Anybody Down?".

  11. tomblvd  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:01 am

    I'm just saying – from a criminal competence standpoint, this seems like poor strategy.

    He sees it as a growth industry.

    I hear he's big into real estate now also.

  12. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:10 am

    Trying to fuck with Randazza = very bad idea.

    Interesting note. Craig says he went to college with this phantom lawyer yet Craig does not appear to have either formally attended college nor does he have a college degree although he does state that he “networks” at Pikes Peak Community College. Whatever that means.

    His LinkedIn profile also states he is the admin for a dedicated server as well as the primary manager of hosting services for 5 clients – one of course being the fictional David Blade. He further states that his goals are

    To network and expand my business potential to become well-connected within my regional area. My long-term goal is to become one of the most well-connected and thus wealthy people in the world.

    I predict he may become very “well known” but not in the way he anticipated.

    I hope someone screenscraped the website before the “attorney” reference was taken down. Same for the masking of the ISP info.

    Will drop you and Marc a private note on what I’d need that is in your current possession to try to track this guy down. Consider me on the case.

  13. Bill  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:28 am

    Hmmm. Not that this has anything at all to do with MOST of the post, but since it may effect the mope, or possibly the lack of ponies, I'd be curious to hear your comments on the recent NY law requiring pro bono service for those going through law school. On the one hand pro bono is great, but to me at least, it seems like a bad thing to FORCE someone to do… feels like quality might plummet a bit from those less than interested in helping those who can't pay a premium.

  14. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:28 am

    Note second update.

  15. Grandy  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:19 am

    So, "pursuant to police contact and contact with the State Bar Association of Nevada," I hereby
    mock you.

    I heart Marc Randazza

  16. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:27 am

    Four offers of help so far by email. Lawyers, techies, and boots on the ground in relevant places.

  17. Scott  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:36 am

    Ken, You're the best. I too was craving some fraud investigation.

  18. En Passant  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:53 am

    Ken wrote:

    Ipka caught the details before Mr. Brittain clumsily attempted to anonymize hosting.

    Heh. Sometimes registration changes propagate slowly.

    See http://www.ewhois.com/takedownlawyer.com/

    Same guy appears to own about 18 domains. Among them:

    heygreatwebsite dot com

    719x dot com

    coloarts dot com

    iadx dot org

    For some schadenfreude: yourenotanon dot com

    Metalthief dot com ("Your Source For The Newest Metal Albums")

    bonespace dot com

    Gopenshockey dot com

    isanyoneup dot us

  19. David  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:01 am

    Sorry, guys, but that's still wire fraud. Face it — you're not independent. You're in a conspiracy with the site owner.

    I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

  20. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:42 am

    Craig and his partner Chance Trahan are, at this point, now nicely identified, linked, and shown as the operators of this scam.

    Some more details in my comment on Marc's site.

  21. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:52 am

    Note new update.

  22. Davey  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:53 am

    Conspiracy indeed! Takedownlawyer.com is registered to Craig Brittain. I'm almost convinced that David Blade is nothing but a sock puppet.

  23. AlphaCentauri  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:00 am

    What are the penalties for practicing law without a license on the internet and how many states can he be charged in?

  24. Kinsey  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:00 am

    Ken, I think you need to add a lil red cape to the Popehat icon.

  25. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:05 am

    Ken: Why are they so angry? Because they see the weather forecast for a Hurricane Sandy level of fecal storm coming to flood them in a storm surge of sewage.

    They saw what happened to Michael Brutsch just on the public side. But thats mild, since they now also know they are facing a potential tidal wave of legal complaints filed by laywers who are happy to work for free to see them bankrupted-for-life as an example for any who would follow, and also criminal charges should anyone want to push the issue.

    Oh, and at least for Craig, mommy might kick the loser out of the house if she finds out her son's "business"… Thanks anon-doxers…

    David: No duh, "David Blade" is almost certainly a fiction, I would hardly assume otherwise. But importantly, the dynamic duo behind this, Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan, left too many ties to their real life identities. They are identified, cited, and outed.

    And lets not let Chance off the hook, its clear Chance, not Craig, is running the web site itself since its Chance's vanity sites (his band, his android business) that are hosted on the same server.

  26. Grandy  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:34 am

    This is almost as good as the time that Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair and Randy "Macho Man" Savage teamed up to defeat Kang the Conqueror and Darkseid in Mortal Kombat.

  27. David  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:48 am

    @Kinsey And tights? Check his twitter feed.

    Edit: Oh, you said the icon….

  28. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:53 am

    That pic is going to follow me for the rest of my life.

  29. Tali McPike  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:56 am

    With the outage this morning I had a feeling something was going on.
    *Grabs Popcorn* This is gonna be good.

  30. Jason Summers  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:13 am

    I was already eating popcorn when I saw this post – so clearly I must continue to eat popcorn every morning in order to get more scam-investigation goodness :)

  31. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:34 am

    Why are they so angry about Marc going after "David"?

    I'm guessing (and about to take bets) that it is because Dave is actually Chance or Craig and they are beginning to realize if that is exposed one or both of them are going to be in deep shit with the law.

  32. Michael K.  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:43 am

    Ken, you should advertise on Marc's site offering to ask "your buddy" to take down negative posts about scamming douchebags for $250 a pop.*

    * Success not guaranteed

  33. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:44 am

    So…. I couldn't help myself, I HAD to check out the site in question – i.e. the site-which-must-not-be-linked – just to see for myself and make sure the site's contents weren't being mischaracterized…..

    My god… it's WAY worse than Ken made it sound in the post. It's not just nude pics they post – many of them include the woman's PHONE NUMBER and encourage people to text (i.e. harass) them. And they have a FAQ kind of thing for "what to do if you're upset about your pics getting posted here" (paraphrasing), which actually suggests "getting back at" the person who posted your pics by posting THEIR pics! As a serious suggestion!

    Also, I didn't notice any DMCA contact info on the site, which means (caveat: IANL) that they don't even qualify for DMCA safe harbor, which would seem to put the lie to the cover story that the "lawyer" is just serving as a DMCA intermediary.

  34. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:45 am

    Looking at Chance's facebook page, his ninja attitude, etc, I suspect that the "David" correspondent is Chance, while the 'saneish' correspondent is Craig.

  35. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:50 am

    Which 5up suggested first, BTW. Credit where it is due.

  36. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:51 am

    I wonder how the critics of "doxxing" would react to this one.

  37. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @10:57 am

    Ken: Its not doxxing. Its called "Making life easier for the process servers". :)

  38. Waldo  •  Oct 31, 2012 @11:03 am

    I also took a look at the website. They've got an entire section devoted to mocking women who have sent them emails begging, pleading, threatening, etc. for them to take down their photos and personal info. Many inform the site that they're being threatened and harassed and it's ruining their lives to have this private info posted. The emails are posted, including the women's email addresses. Since these women seem particularly motivated, I've taken the trouble to contact them and make them aware of Randazza's offer of pro bono legal services. I can't wait to see these clowns get legally ass raped by Randazza.

  39. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @11:06 am

    Since these women seem particularly motivated, I've taken the trouble to contact them and make them aware of Randazza's offer of pro bono legal services.

    Genius!!! Can't believe I didn't think of that!

  40. Rob Crawford  •  Oct 31, 2012 @11:08 am

    Curious that both of them use the exact same wording: "mitigated/mediated". I wouldn't expect that; I'd expect some variance.

  41. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @12:52 pm

    @Ken

    I wonder how the critics of "doxxing" would react to this one.

    I don't really see any clear pro-doxxing/anti-doxxing angle on this story, since really both sides (meaning us included) are engaged in "doxxing" here…. the scumbags are doxxing innocent women, and we're doxxing the scumbags.

    Doxxing is a weapon, and like any weapon it can be used for good or used for evil.

  42. JLA Girl  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:34 pm

    @Grandy — I heart Marc AND Ken AND everyone else helping out for going after these guys. There's low, there's lower, then there's these bottom feeders.

    Question for my American lawyer colleagues: Are these jerkoffs under any criminal liability if any of the women have been assaulted as a result of their information being published on that site? Because it's probably bound to happen if it hasn't already.

    God, they're scum.

  43. Analee  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:34 pm

    You know that screencap from The Simpsons of Homer in a movie theater with popcorn, looking excitedly at the screen?

    That is so me right now. GET THE SONS OF BITCHES!

  44. Jon  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:49 pm

    I don't see there being the typical doxxing moral qualms…they're not being doxxed because of their freedom of expression but because they have a business model of harass a "mark" then have them pay to end the harassment, essentially.

    …and maybe doxxing is like spades: they broke suit now everyone can play the dox card…?

  45. Jordan Rushie  •  Oct 31, 2012 @1:57 pm

    I was lazy and just hit the "re-blog" button last night.

  46. flip  •  Oct 31, 2012 @2:25 pm

    Is it me or do these guys seem like they're looking for their own Facebook to make them millions?

  47. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @2:44 pm

    flip: Oh yeah. Especially the "we want investors" pitches at gust.com and AngelList.

  48. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:24 pm

    Oh, takedown the legal threats page only after one or more good samaritans notify Craig and Chance's victims about the numerous pro-bono lawyers looknig to make an example of Craig et al.

  49. Adam Steinbaugh  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:26 pm

    Too late. I already emailed one and now I'm gonna see who I can get ahold of in the states Marc and Jordan are licensed in.

  50. Tali McPike  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:31 pm

    Awesome. @Adam, I'm a stay at home mom with a ton of time on my hands. You give me emails and I can help you contact them if you want.

  51. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:46 pm

    I'm really kind of hurt that we haven't made their "press" section yet.

  52. Sam A  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:49 pm

    First of all, this is great stuff and I can't wait to see this ("these") guy ("guys") get what's coming to him. Secondly, now I've got some new exciting law blogs to follow! It's a win-win for everyone but Craig.

  53. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:50 pm

    Hey, perhaps there CAN be bad press… :)

  54. Tali McPike  •  Oct 31, 2012 @3:57 pm

    @Ken why does it surprise me that a website such as this even has a "press" section? It seems to me in the porn, particularly the revenge porn, business "no news(/press) is good news(/press)"

  55. Waldo  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:00 pm

    Oh, takedown the legal threats page only after one or more good samaritans notify Craig and Chance's victims about the numerous pro-bono lawyers looknig to make an example of Craig et al.

    Haha. Too late for them. I'd already emailed everyone who was on it before I posted the first time. I also have the page saved in case anyone at Popehat or Randazza needs it. I've also attempted to contact all the women listed in Nevada, Randazza's home state, but don't have time to contact all the others. Those asshats are in for a world of hurt!

  56. Jess  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:07 pm

    @Waldo – crowdsource it.

  57. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:09 pm

    Tali: The press section is rather dissapointing, its things like pointing to takedown hammer, their bounty system, etc…

    The only real press is braging that they got mentioned by the idiot who did the original "is anyone up".

  58. Stephen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:27 pm

    You haven't even made the "Hatemail, Legal Threats, Other Stuff Archive" yet. Clearly they don't update very often.

    Have you checked out the other tabs on the site? There is a job posting for a Content Acquisition Specialist requiring no experience – they will train you. However – "If you are or have ever been a member of law enforcement, any federal agency, etc. you are ineligible for this position and cannot contact us." Yeah, I'm sure that will stop them.

  59. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:30 pm

    Stephen: The legal threats page has largely dissapeared down the memory hole, after all, they don't want the complainers to find out about the pro bono lawyers out looking for blood…

  60. flip  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:33 pm

    @Nicholas Weaver

    I'd love to see these guys get trounced on "Dragons' Den".

  61. efemmeral  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:36 pm

    @Waldo: I can help you.

  62. Adam Steinbaugh  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:40 pm

    I've got CA and AZ covered. Still need FL, MA, PA, NJ.

    If you contact people:
    1. Make sure it's them.
    2. Be discreet. Many have boyfriends, husbands, etc. The best ones to contact are the couples who posted together.
    3. Send them to Randazza's site.

  63. Waldo  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:43 pm

    Jess, if you're referring to the women who emailed him to complain, I've already contacted all of them, and since that page has now been deleted I don't think it's a good idea to publish their emails in connection with this mess. If you're referring to all the other women who have had their private info published on the site, then anyone who wants to contact those women can go to the site and find their contact info there. But, be warned, it's like stepping in a cesspool if you go there. This guy not only apparently duped women into sending him nude pics of themselves under the guise of responding to a craigslist personal ad, but he also did some investigation to get and/or conned them into giving him their real names, cell phone numbers, and facebook pages, which he proceeds to post in conjunction with their nude photos. By putting these together, he makes the pics searchable and thus effectively extorts the women into paying his fake lawyer persona to remove their info. If you go to the site and click on any of the victims, you'll find their contact info if you want to alert them and make them aware of Randazza's pro bono offer.

  64. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @4:53 pm

    flip: I'm more looking forward to watching these sleazebags get dragged into court by a bunch of pro-bono lawyers who's objective is a massive, eternally bankrupting judgement as a lesson to anyone else who would try this scheme.

  65. Jack B.  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:00 pm

    Are there any lawyers handling any Texas cases? I can help with contacting any victims in TX, even if it means I have to visit that toilet of a website.

    If there aren't any lawyers handling any Texas cases, let me know and I can make a phone call to someone who might be able to put me in touch with some attorneys in TX willing to do pro bono work.

    I can be reached at jlb_in_cc *at* throatpunch *dot* com

  66. Jess  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:09 pm

    @Waldo – great. Agreed – the last thing they need are their emails plastered everywhere.

  67. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:12 pm

    @Nicholas – I ran addresses for both of them – given what I found, I doubt either of them have any significant assets so it won't take much of a judgment to make the lesson stick.

  68. efemmeral  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:24 pm

    @joe pullen

    Capital needed to create a scam? $$$
    Permanent poverty as a result? Priceless.

  69. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:28 pm

    No question about it: Craig is living in mama's basement and Chance is not doing much better as his only jobs are either in joint with Craig or on his own.

    IMO, the point is not just to punish these two, but to make the lesson stick for all OTHERS who might try this scam. Which means getting a HUGE judgement, even if its never collectable.

  70. Jack B.  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:38 pm

    I'm curious:

    Even if these guys don't have deep pockets, aren't there ways to get a settlement that hurts them in other ways?

    For example, I recall some dude made a bogus DMCA takedown request several years ago and as part of the settlement agreement (The EFF handled the case against him) he had to make a YouTube video stating — in essence — that he knew all along that bogus DMCA takedown requests were a no-no, but did it anyway, so therefore, he was obviously an enormous douche.

    It would be nice if these douches would have to make a domain — for example — whyconsentmatters.com or extortionisbad.com — and have the isanybodydown.com domain redirect to it. The site will basically be a confession and apology for their douchey behavior.

    Incidentally, I find the comments at the site to be far worse than the photos. From the few that I've read, they're pretty straight up about admitting that they get the photos by trolling the W4W section of Craigslist.

  71. Narad  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:43 pm

    Analysis of email headers suggests that Craig Brittain is David Blade.

    Ooh, Romanian hosting. That's got "legit" written all over it.

  72. Alexander L  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:47 pm

    Haha he just published a press release.
    I put it on pastebin incase you don't wanna generate the d-bag more views.

    http://pastebin.com/TL239S5v

  73. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:53 pm

    Narad: I know. At first I worried that it would dead end when I was working on this last night. It was only the realization that Chance's band site was on the same server that gave me the insight into these two clowns and that they are based in the US and identifiable.

    I must admit I love that I was able to get both their linkedin profiles. I love linkedin… :)

  74. Ricolat  •  Oct 31, 2012 @5:54 pm

    Holy wow.

    Uh, they replied. Here's a copy/paste to avoid giving him any more traffic: http://pastebin.com/TL239S5v

  75. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:04 pm

    Is it just me or has "Is Anyone Down" gone down? It's redirecting to a site called PunkBreak – unless I'm typing something in wrong.

    Agreed – LinkedIn is awesome. The CEO of PacificTel – the scam company behind the CardServices Telemarketing scams has his profile here http://www.linkedin.com/in/4stevehamilton

  76. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:06 pm

    @JackB:

    Even if these guys don't have deep pockets, aren't there ways to get a settlement that hurts them in other ways?

    Well, I'm hoping that if there are any victims in the Central District of California, they'll ask for help, so I can pitch the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

  77. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:07 pm

    "If you are or have ever been a member of law enforcement, any federal agency, etc. you are ineligible for this position and cannot contact us."

    Ahhh, the good old "are you a cop? You have to tell me if you're a cop because if you don't that's entrapment" routine! The favorite fictional legal doctrine of the world's oldest profession. What an odd coincidence these guys are fans of it as well.

  78. Narad  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:16 pm

    @Nicholas Weaver

    Yah, I see that I'm quite late to the party. I just read your last comment on the hosting at Randazza's blog. I'm surprised this ding-a-ling didn't try testing out whether he was going to successfully conceal the zeroth mail hop. Has anyone ascertained how the funds from the putatively "satisfied" extortionees were supposed to be delivered?

  79. Alexander L  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:18 pm

    I found a victim in California that has been requesting to be put off the site.

    Google cache from the hatemail, legal section
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PPIcc34wRWQJ:isanybodydown.com/2012/06/01/lalawallaby-yahoo-com-aka-myria-kellawan-writes-us/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

  80. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:19 pm

    @Alexander -went to the link you posted – holy crap. This guy is digging so furiously he's about to find China. Is reminding me of Carreon. He is so deluded he thinks his talent (what that is I cannot understand) is somehow worthy of a 7 figure salary – facepalm. And then he trots out the Cox thing = instant loss of any credibility.

  81. Joe Pullen  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:20 pm

    @Narad – a paypal account that is now no longer active.

  82. Jack B.  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:22 pm

    Well, I'm hoping that if there are any victims in the Central District of California, they'll ask for help, so I can pitch the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Heh. That works, too. I'm guessing any settlements in that department won't be pony-related.

    @ Ricolat: Damn! Love how they make Crystal Cox out to be some sort of victim.

    Has anyone started a betting pool as to when Craig and Chance issue an "OMG!!! Will someone please make it stop?!?" post? I think will see it before Friday, for sure.

  83. Narad  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:29 pm

    Is it just me or has "Is Anyone Down" gone down? It's redirecting to a site called PunkBreak – unless I'm typing something in wrong.

    Administrative Contact:
    Seminoff, Aaron isanyonedown@gmail.com

  84. Narad  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:30 pm

    Sorry, didn't realize that would auto-link.

  85. Kevin  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:41 pm

    OH….MY….GOD…. This latest response from him is just…… priceless. He actually manages to find a way to blame Barack Obama for this situation. Seriously.

    slowclap.jpg

    I'm gonna need more popcorn.

  86. Myk  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:43 pm

    @Narad – try 'anyBODY' rather than 'anyONE'.

  87. Nicholas Weaver  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:46 pm

    The site is still very live, just remember its "is anybody down" not "anyone".

  88. flip  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:49 pm

    @Nicholas Weaver

    Oh I entirely agree. I was just enjoying the image of these wannabe entrepeneurs getting told that actually they don't know WTF they're doing and that no angel would go near them. The press release kind of proves my point.

    Seeing as how I am impatient, I made myself a nice little visual of the oncoming storm.

    The press release from them says:

    They transmitted them via Fair Use

    Yeah, I don't think they know copyright law either.

    I earn a modest living. I give all of my earnings to my family and to Chance, except for maintenance expenses for this website. Furthermore, I really hate this job and I do not do it for revenge, to hurt people, etc., I do it because Barack Obama is the second worst President in US history (second only to Jimmy Carter). The job market is really screwed up. A talented guy like me is easily worth seven figures or more in a good economy (if Randazza’s worth $2.5 million, I’m worth at least $8 million).

    Ok then. This is getting sillier and sillier.

  89. Narad  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:51 pm

    The site is still very live, just remember its "is anybody down" not "anyone".

    The two seem to have had an exchange.

  90. somebody  •  Oct 31, 2012 @6:51 pm

    Oh no, he knows Ken's last name! Ken Popehat has been outed! This blog is doooooooomed!

  91. Ken  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:07 pm

    Actually, as far as I can tell, despite the fact that I have posted it multiple times on this site, and that people link here all the time using it, and that easy Google searches find it, and even people writing about this event linking here today use it, he hasn't figured it out yet.

    Craig didn't come to being a scamming, extorting douchebag via rocket science.

  92. Myk  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:10 pm

    What would the status of non-US residents be in any legal action? I haven't viewed the site but I imagine there are victims from many countries posted, not just American.

  93. somebody  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:19 pm

    Yeah, he literally thinks that your last name is "Popehat." I'm still giggling about that.

  94. Jess  •  Oct 31, 2012 @7:57 pm

    This post he has up on his website and copied on http://pastebin.com/TL239S5v is so not good for him I don’t have the words.

    1. Marco Randazza’s claims are false. He has a history of lying, contradicting himself and attempting to extort money via copyright trolling. Visit DieTrollDie.com for information about his ‘legacy’. He has also in the past attempted to extort Crystal Cox, a self-identified lesbian blogger as well as numerous others. I am in the process of adding people to my legal team who can hardly wait for a rematch with Mr. Randazza. This includes numerous attorneys and co-claimants.

    I can hardly wait to see the spiffy legal team from lawyers-R-us because there is no way a decent attorney would touch this. Carreon anyone? Meanwhile, perhaps Craig should go back and re-read the definition for the word extortion. An offer to “pay off” an attorney who is representing someone else is extortion. Craig is not only thick, but he clearly has NOT obtained legal council because if he had, they would have told him to STFU.

    3. He offered us $2,500 for this website. I told him that his offer was way too low, especially in the wake of all of the attention we’re getting courtesy of the lies of Mr. Randazza. In the event that we were offered a fair deal, I would take it – but not a bad deal, sorry. P.S. Mr. Randazza makes upwards of $550/hour and his retainer fee is $25,000. That would make his annual income for 100 clients at least 2.5 million. $$$$$$$$$. I threw in the $$$$$$’s for fun.

    7. I earn a modest living. I give all of my earnings to my family and to Chance, except for maintenance expenses for this website.

    Yet this is the very same moron who claimed in his email to Randazza that he could “pay” Randazza “a lot more than whoever is paying you to chase a Red Herring, snowball-in-hell case.” So apparently the $25,000 retainer isn’t such an issue after all? What is it Craig – are you rich or poor?

    4. Everyone pictured on this website consented to appear on here. Anything else is total nonsense. They took the pictures themselves. They transmitted them via Fair Use. The submitters agreed to the terms of submission prior to sending them.

    While some of the women may have taken the pictures AND sent them in themselves, it is also clear several took pictures meant to be private that SOMEONE ELSE sent in. That does not imply either consent or fair use. I also highly doubt ANY woman consented to having her picture posted under the “herpes verified” tab.

    This cochroach deserves to get stepped on.

  95. Tali McPike  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:01 pm

    I'm really surprised he hasn't been creeping around here Carreon style (then again he might be and has just enough sense not to, although I highly doubt it, since it would appear that he thinks Adam Steinbaugh is a real lawyer…its probably more likely that he has no idea this blog exists)

  96. John David Galt  •  Oct 31, 2012 @8:41 pm

    I'd rather go to fightcopyrighttrolls.com and investigate Marc Randazza.

  97. AlphaCentauri  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:55 pm

    The site inexplicably had a good rating from mywot.com, with an extremely low confidence level. I've added my rating, and that should bring it down low enough that anyone with the browser add-on to get a prompt to look at the scorecard, where I've put a link to this thread.

  98. Jack B.  •  Oct 31, 2012 @9:59 pm

    Actually, as far as I can tell, despite the fact that I have posted it multiple times on this site, and that people link here all the time using it, and that easy Google searches find it, and even people writing about this event linking here today use it, he hasn't figured it out yet.

    Kevin Loweringthebar has already blogged about this. I can't wait to see Scott Simplejustice's take on the story.

  99. Jess  •  Nov 1, 2012 @2:58 am

    @myself – An offer to “pay off” an attorney who is representing someone else is extortion.

    Geez my kingdom for an edit – actually bribe not extortion would be the better description.

    @Tali – My understanding is that Adam actually is a lawyer – new to the profession having recently passed the bar.

  100. Stephen  •  Nov 1, 2012 @8:25 am

    @Ken

    Actually, as far as I can tell, despite the fact that I have posted it multiple times on this site, and that people link here all the time using it, and that easy Google searches find it, and even people writing about this event linking here today use it, he hasn't figured it out yet.

    Attach the Ex Parte pic as the sig of you next correspondence so he knows what he's up against. ;)

  101. Grandy  •  Nov 1, 2012 @8:55 am

    I'd rather go to fightcopyrighttrolls.com and investigate Marc Randazza.

    Well, it beats having to think for yourself.

  102. Dan Weber  •  Nov 1, 2012 @8:57 am

    "I run this site — that generates many death threats — under my own name. But a completely independent lawyer who gets things removed from our website against our will is afraid for his well-being because of our web site."

    Would a 5 year old believe this?

    PS I know I disagreed with you a lot over on the reddit thread. This post is giving me lots to think about. Craig is certainly trying to do maximum damage via doxxing. He needs people to want their stuff taken down so he posts as much personal info as possible.

  103. Tali McPike  •  Nov 1, 2012 @10:35 am

    @jess, he did recently take the Bar (and I would assume pass) but his blog still has the disclaimer on it. And also this is what he had to say to me on twitter earlier yesterday https://twitter.com/goodreverend/status/263786492873289729

  104. Ken  •  Nov 1, 2012 @10:47 am

    @Dan Weber:

    I appreciated you voicing dissent on that issue, Dan.

    As far as I can tell Reddit hasn't found this story yet, which surprises me. I'd be interested to know how it goes over there, in light of the strong anti-doxxing sentiment.

  105. TexasAndroid  •  Nov 1, 2012 @12:10 pm

    It's on Reddit now. I posted a link to this side of things, and someone else beat me by a whole 8 seconds with a post to Randazza's side of the saga. :) They are both now in the Technology subreddit.

  106. SA  •  Nov 1, 2012 @12:31 pm

    What, exactly, has been doxxed? The only thing I can think of that was not self-announced, in a public venue, was the Blake/Brittain connection. Or are we talking about the address and related info that might not show up on page 1 of a websearch?

    Craig's LinkedIn profile – which IMO certainly qualifies as a "public declaration" – lists:

    "Is Anybody Down" and "Hey, Great Website" as current employers/activities.
    His "wildoutwildout@" email address
    Company Website #1 – heygreatwebsite
    Company Website #2 – gonzojournal (previous employer through June 2012)
    Personal Website – facebook "craigpresents"

    He is an open-Connector/LION so doesn't control who Connects with him, but he does control the content for employment history, specialties, etc.

    IMO it's bragging, not doxxing, when they post this kind of thing under their real name, as part of a professional resume, in a professional forum. Now if he were posting under a pseudonym, and never mentioning the associations, things might be different.

  107. Dan Weber  •  Nov 1, 2012 @12:38 pm

    Craig was doxxing the women he had the naked pictures of (because his business model depended on causing them personal distress). Randazza then doxxed the fuck out of the fake lawyer who was asking for money to remove the pictures.

    That seems like a well-functioning universe for once.

  108. SA  •  Nov 1, 2012 @1:19 pm

    @Dan Weber: Ah OK. I thought it was a reference to doxxing of Craig himself. Thanks.

    For anyone: Lawyer jokes aside, here's a question from this Not-A-Lawyer: What makes what he has done illegal extortion, vs what the arrest mugshot sites do non-chargeable? Or put another why, why can he be charged with extortion, but the arrest shots aren't?

    My initial thought is that it's because the mugshots and arrest data are public information that anyone can obtain from government sources, vs the naked-photographs coming from private sources. But I'd like to hear from someone who does know what makes one merely scum and the other illegal scum.

  109. TexasAndroid  •  Nov 1, 2012 @2:14 pm

    Ok. There are now four threads on Reddit on this that I've found, including the one that I posted.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/JusticePorn/comments/12h5u1/marc_randazza_is_a_certified_badass/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/law/comments/12dsy9/have_you_been_scammed_by_wwwisanybodydowncom_or/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/12gzp3/believe_it_or_not_there_is_a_website_doing_both/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/12gzpf/popehat_and_randazza_declare_war_on_a_scam_website/

    The last one is the one I posted. The one in /Law was actually posted yesterday. And the next to the last one above, the one that beat me by 8 seconds in /Technology, is the one that appears to me to have the most likelihood to gain traction. It's already climbing well up the front page of /technology, and /tech is one of the default front-page subreddits.

  110. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 1, 2012 @2:35 pm

    I don't know that posting nude photos and identifying information submitted by people's exes is illegal in the US, so long as the subject knew she was being photographed and consented to being photographed at the time. But someone who is a lawyer has to follow more stringent laws of ethics. Like using his real name in advertisements and only practicing in states where he is licensed and putting the interests of his client above her supposed adversary.

  111. Dan Weber  •  Nov 1, 2012 @2:47 pm

    SA, it feels as weird as the definition of blackmail. Blackmail is definitely illegal. If I ask you for $500 to not reveal embarrassing information, I'm guilty. However, I am otherwise free to publish the information, and you are otherwise free to offer me money to not publish.

    Obviously blackmailers try to hide in that loophole, where they suggest to you that they have information to publish, and hope you offer the money. It's a question for the courts just where the line is.

    I wonder if this guy ever sent out "solicitations" that their nude photographs were up on line and that they could get the pix taken down. This guy could be facing jail time for that.

  112. TexasAndroid  •  Nov 1, 2012 @2:49 pm

    Here's one more Reddit thread from yesterday. This one actually has a bit of discussion already going:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/law/comments/12eucz/revenge_porn_website_run_by_idiots/

  113. Ancel De Lambert  •  Nov 1, 2012 @4:01 pm

    Now now, Ken. Even if you were still a defense lawyer, and even if he were capable of paying the retainer, I'm sure you would still think twice about taking him. Seeing as he fails your first rule of law (vis "Shut the hell up,") and your second rule as well ("Shut the fuck up.")

  114. SJD  •  Nov 1, 2012 @4:57 pm

    >> I'd rather go to fightcopyrighttrolls.com and investigate Marc Randazza.

    >Well, it beats having to think for yourself.

    Cannot agree more (and I'm not being sarcastic).

  115. SJD  •  Nov 1, 2012 @9:51 pm

    We've already been thoroughly investigated numerous times and found to be free of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

    Haven't I heard the same kind of BS recently? Oh yeah:

    Steele says he’s unconcerned. Eight state attorney generals have called him about extortion claims. “Once I explain, they’re reassured,” he says.

    Different caliber – same scam.

  116. SA  •  Nov 2, 2012 @12:28 am

    @Dan Weber – Thanks for the information.

    I don't know if he sent out "solicitations". I did find where "is_anybody_down" was tweeting new picture announcements with the photo URL, name, city, and sometimes a thumbnail of the photo itself. Twitter has suspended the is_anybody_down account, but the archive is still available on scraper and archival 3rd party sites.

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