Revenge Porn & U.S. Government Computers Are Linked In This Chilling New Report

Are government employees looking at revenge porn while at work, or have a number of computers at top federal agencies simply been hacked? According to a new report from the Daily Beast, data shows users are connecting to a popular revenge porn website using U.S. government computers. This revelation comes less than a year after hundreds of U.S. Marines were investigated for sharing naked photographs of their female colleagues to both a private Facebook group and the popular revenge porn site Anon-IB.

As Anon-IB, an image-sharing message board mainly used to share non-consensual photographs of naked or half-naked women, allows its users to navigate and post on the site anonymously, it's nearly impossible to know who's using the site. A Norwegian security analyst, however, recently managed to obtain a cache of Anon-IB IP addresses and shared them with the Daily Beast. Those IP addresses showed government computers in the Senate, Navy, Department of Energy, and the Executive Office of the President were being used to access the site.

"Wow tig ol bitties. You have any nudes to share?" one user wrote underneath a photograph of a woman reported to work in Washington, D.C., according to the report. That user accessed the site through an IP address registered to a computer in the Senate, per the Daily Beast. Another user accessing the site via an IP address later traced to a computer in the Executive Office of the President, reportedly shared both the name and image of a woman on the message board. "I have wins if anyone is ready to post. First one is free," the user wrote, referencing nude photographs.

It's important to note that while some of the IP addresses in the cache of Anon-IB users were traced back to government computers, it's still unclear who is connecting to the revenge porn site through those computers. There's a chance the activity is coming not from government employees browsing nudes while at work, but hackers routing traffic to the revenge porn site through government computers. According to the Daily Beast, the computers in the Senate and the Executive Office of the President found to have accessed Anon-IB aren't known to have been previously compromised.

The report comes less than a year after the Department of Defense began investigating allegations that servicemen were posting explicit images of female colleagues — including some taken without the women's permission or knowledge — to a military message board on Anon-IB, as well as to a private Facebook group known as Marines United. Despite the investigation and a move to criminalize the act through a policy change, a number of service members appear to have continued to share explicit photos of their female colleagues online.

IP addresses linked to Navy computers were used to access Anon-IB up until as late as the end of 2017, according to the Daily Beast. Posts made from IP addresses registered to Navy computers included one teasing nude pictures of a female service member and several asking other users to share any explicit images they may have of specific women, the report said. According to the U.S. Navy, using Navy IT resources to access pornography constitutes a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

But revenge porn isn't just a problem within the U.S. military. It's everywhere, impacting men and women from all industries and backgrounds. In an effort to push back against the growing popularity of revenge porn, lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at criminalizing the nonconsensual sharing of private and explicit images in late November. Lawmakers were motivated to write the Ending Nonconsenual Online User Graphic Harassment (ENOUGH) Act of 2017 after a nude photograph of Republican Rep. Joe Barton was shared on Twitter without his consent.

It was unclear Thursday if any federal agencies had plans to begin investigating how IP addresses registered to their came to be used to access a revenge porn website.