About the “Porn Wikileaks” and AIM’s Database “Leak”

by Violet Blue on April 2, 2011

If you have ever been AIM (Adult Industry Medical Foundation) tested for any reason, whether or not you are a sex worker, porn performer or “porn star” your personal and private information has been published publicly at so-called “Porn Wikileaks” (pornwikileaks.com). That website is, in fact, a copy of Wikileaks with the word “porn” added in its place. The database exploit contains information belonging to over 15,000 people.

The person or persons behind “Porn Wikileaks” has published stage names, real names associated with any stage names, addresses and other private information with the clear intent to do harm.

Their stated motivation is, “To get the gays out of straight porn and illegal gay pimps that have ruined porn and shut it down making condoms mandatory by the government now. The fag loving has got to stop. California is full of gay Mexicans and now they can even marry which is so wrong.”

As of this posting, there is a new section on the site called “Category:High Risk HIV: To get put in this section you are either gay or you fuck fags.” This section lists people in the database who are straight, gay male and especially queer or transsexual.

The news is being reported in mainstream media widely, with many factual errors, includes insulting language toward victims of the database exposure, and does not include information for those who have questions or might need help.

This post aims to provide accurate information and rational, non-judgmental discussion and resources. I am reaching out through my channels for legal resources that can be recommended.

Below is an email from my SFSI colleague, sex positive activist, sex educator and HIV prevention tester and counselor Miss Maggie Mayhem. I am publishing it in full with her express permission in the interest of urgency, as the website includes Google Maps that include home addresses.

I’m Maggie Mayhem. I am among the 12,000 (and counting) lucky porn performers to have had my full legal name published on the website PornWikiLeaks.

I am writing because throughout the course of the day I have been receiving many personal emails from people in our own local community who had an AIM blood draw only once in their life to attend a party at a porn studio and even went to the trouble of wearing a mask to protect their identity. Some of them are finding out that their names are among those listed. There are only roughly 1,200-1,500 performers actively working in the San Fernando Valley at this present moment but the leaked database contained 15,000 names.

Whether or not someone identifies as a porn performer is irrelevant to the leak. Anyone who has ever had an AIM panel may have been included in the list. The code on the PornWikiLeaks website automatically fills in this sentence: “STAGE NAME born FULL LEGAL NAME is a pornographic whore and Hooker.” It is possible that SFSI might receive calls from people looking for help or support with the fallout of having their name attached to phrase like that, especially when it was pulled from a confidential medical testing database. The media is also stirring up a frenzy about the situation and quite a bit of misinformation.

I wanted to pass this email along so that we SFSI volunteers are aware of the size and scope of this problem and can hone our sexuality resource skills to respond to the situation if people call asking for information. It’s a complicated situation and it may sound confusing on the phone from a caller without a bit of a background on what is happening. As always, it is not our role to provide counseling or advice on the hotline itself. What we can do is what we’re best at – connecting people to the right resource and only passing along accurate and up-to-date information to our callers.

Here is some additional information:

  • Individuals who have been tested by AIM at any draw station and at any point in time but who do not (yet) see their name posted should contact the AIM clinic directly and request that their name be removed from the database. AIM has not yet reported how this information was leaked and it may be helpful to have it be deleted from the database, especially if someone has retired from the business.
  • Home addresses are *NOT* kept in the AIM database. Many “Porn Wikileaks” entries contain not just names, but also addresses, family information, copies of state ID’s, and Google maps images of their homes. This information has been sought out separately and appears to be personally vindictive in nature.
  • The website has been getting immense traffic and has frequently been down or slow moving. At SFSI we may receive calls from someone worried about whether or not they are on the database but cannot actually access it to find out. The database is organized by stage name and many performers have noticed that the stage name listed for them is one that they have not used for years.
  • There are portions of the PornWikiLeaks website that hint at a potential release of HIV and STI status. At this point in time, no information about STI or HIV status has been released despite rumors in the media to the contrary. Nevertheless, it is patently obvious that the person behind this is not operating in a reasonable and rational manner and there are hints that the website is interested in releasing this kind of medical information.
  • AIM has publicly announced that they are investigating the leak and that they will press charges against the perpetrator to the fullest extent possible.
  • Despite the many rumors about how this database was accessed and how long AIM has known about a potential security breach, there is no confirmed and definitive information about how exactly this information about how this happened at this time. It is also important to note that hundreds of porn producers have had access to this database as well.
  • Many people will be looking for sex worker specific resources for support, advice, and counseling. AASECT is a wonderful resource but don’t forget to keep St. James, SWOP, and other sex worker support networks as well.

Thanks for reading this. As I wrote at the beginning, my name was on that list as well as that of my partner and many of my closest friends. Consider this my thanks in advance for any information and support you offer to anyone affected by this criminal invasion of privacy, harassment, and exposure to danger.

Anyone who would like to suggest resources, please do in the comments or contact me privately and I’ll post them here. I do approve anonymous comments.

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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{ 36 comments }

1 hello September 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I have the same question as Tara .. how to I remove my name from the PWL and IMBD that state my real name? I’ve included Tara’s comment.

Thanks

Tara June 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm
Even though the PWL site is now gone, how does one get their entry to not appear on the google search? When I do it for me (and Violet, you’ll probably remember who this is..). my legal name and the accusation that I “shamed the family name” and “work as a whore” (!!!!) show up in the Google resuts, even though the site is gone, which is just as damaging.

Now I have IMDB listing my legal name on all the porn productions I’ve been in.. This is a nightmare, especially for someone of my gender…

Thanks,
-Tara

2 Tara June 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Even though the PWL site is now gone, how does one get their entry to not appear on the google search? When I do it for me (and Violet, you’ll probably remember who this is..). my legal name and the accusation that I “shamed the family name” and “work as a whore” (!!!!) show up in the Google resuts, even though the site is gone, which is just as damaging.

Now I have IMDB listing my legal name on all the porn productions I’ve been in.. This is a nightmare, especially for someone of my gender…

Thanks,
-Tara

3 The Eroticist July 1, 2011 at 9:51 am

My congratulations and condolences. I find this a criminally psychotic form of sexual paranoia. I wish you courage and success in your attempts. I good friend was attacked by a neighbor and stabbed repeatedly because she was involved in Porn. I see little difference between the motivation for either act. I wish you well.

4 Sarah May 11, 2011 at 8:28 am

In response to Lorelei and Anonymous Perv:

You’re right that we can’t take the info off WikiLeaks itself. The site is run by a nutjob, but he was a clever enough nutjob to host it in the Netherlands. There are several class actions in the works against it.

Although we may not be able to delete the Porn Wikileaks pages, we can delete a person’s personal information (e.g. name, address, phone number, etc.) from the many online databases that list it. If someone Googles an adult performer’s full legal name, for example, they’ll be able to find all of that information currently. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’d thwart any potential stalkers who figure out a performer’s real name from Porn Wikileaks and then want to find out where he or she lives (or, more creepily, pay a visit).

This service, called AlwaysOn, deletes your personal information from many of the largest people search websites that list it. These are sites like Intelius.com, Spokeo.com, Zabasearch.com, and MyLife.com. We monitor your personal information online to ensure that it doesn’t return to these sites. To see the updated list of sites we remove you from, visit https://www.abine.com/deleteme/peoplesearchlist.

-Sarah

5 Lorelei Mission May 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I too would like a follow-up comment from Raven about what steps they would take for a client to get the information removed from the site. Are they assembling a group of clients for a cumulative suit? Do they have a way to pursue this legally within the USA? Would they have some way of accomplishing this overseas where the server resides?

6 male view April 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

For all the information at hand, it is curious that pornwikileaks chose to only reveal the true names behind the stage names of the performers. Why not birth dates, phone numbers, home addresses. Surely the info is available in the source database.

The omission is a curious one……

7 Anonymous Perv April 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Twitter replied to the abuse report I filed and says they’ve investigated and suspended the PWL accounts. So there’s that.

Also, Raven, with all due respect, how exactly are you able to remove data from sites run by lone nuts, like PWL? Other than getting their sites shut down for terms-of-service violations, it seems all you can do is try to flood Google’s index and drive down the unwanted site’s ranking.

8 Sarah April 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

I’m commenting to offer some help to those affected by this whole disaster. I’m an attorney and a “professional deleter” of unwanted online content, including people’s names and contact information. The startup I work for has a service that does a clean sweep of a person’s online identity, removing legal names, stage names, phone numbers, addresses, emails, and more from the many sites that publicly list it (for example, MyLife.com, Spokeo.com, Intelius.com, Classmates.com, etc). Now that adult performers’ stage names are publicly linked to their birth names, anyone with internet access can find where they live, who they’re related to, and even find satellite images of their homes. It’s scary, to say the least.

If you feel that this kind of deletion service would be helpful to you, those affected by Porn Wikileaks, or anyone dealing with cyberstalking, (which is unfortunately common for sex positive activists), feel free to refer people to https://www.abine.com/deleteme/alwayson.

It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with this, but there *is* help out there.

Regards,

-Raven

9 frooeywitch April 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

At the very least this is an outright HIPPA violation and the FBI or whoever has the power to do so should be shutting down this horribly damaging website, finding the persons responsible and suing them for invasion of privacy. This is not free speech. This should be considered terroristic.

10 violet April 3, 2011 at 1:26 am

@JoeMama – the only things I’ve heard about that are the Beast article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-04-01/porn-wikileaks-the-person-behind-the-website-scaring-porn-stars/

Which is incomplete, so who knows. This is the first (and only) time I’ve heard of “Long” but he seems like a ‘mope’ turned producer who reminds me of the so-called ‘porn machete murderer’ -

http://www.laweekly.com/2011-02-24/news/porn-machete-murder/

His “Porn Wikileaks” entry is vastly different than the others – no photo, no “real name”no anything. Especially not his criminal record, or the site about that record which includes his real, legal name and pops up #1 in a Google search: http://www.donnylongisaconvictedfelon.com/

FYI the entry reads:

“Donny Long is the last hetero man willing to stand up [sic] the Gay Mafia destroying porn. He is retired in the porn business in California because he sold his business but still tells the truth about the fag crossovers destroying straight porn as we know it.”

11 Anonymous Perv April 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

PWL has also been spewing on Twitter — complaining at
http://support.twitter.com/forms/general about the accounts pornwikiagain pornwikifeed
pornwikigaygent pornwikigod pornwikihere pornwikiking pornwikinews pornwikiw might be of some use.

12 JoeMama April 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm

and what are your thoughts/opinions on everyone thinking Donny Long did this? It is written in his “fag-hating” small minded language.

13 violet April 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I just want to call out CNET for their coverage on “Porn Wikileaks” by Chris Matyszczyk.

In his (correctly named) “Technically Incorrect” column, he suggests that the people harmed by “Porn Wkilleaks” deserved what has happened here. Matyszczyk also describes “Porn Wikileaks” as endeavoring to show the people in its database as they “really are.”

Shame on CNET for supporting these statements. Matyszczyk is sick.

He begins,

For some reason, I am reminded of Eric Schmidt’s dictum.

You know, the one that went something like: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

It comes to mind because someone whose motivations seem slightly troubling has taken it upon himself to be the Julian Assange of porn.

For there now exists a site called PornWikiLeaks, on which, as you might be able to imagine, certain intimate details of porn stars are displayed for all to see.

The site doesn’t display diplomatic messages from one porn star to another. Instead, it attempts to offer a comprehensive revelation of who these stars really are.

Some of you might be familiar with many of the more famous brands in porn: stars like Sacha Grey, who has stretched her abilities beyond matters of the skin into fine mainstream works of art such as “The Girlfriend Experience” and “Entourage.”

He concludes,

Will the existence of PornWikiLeaks make some think twice about their chosen means of making money?

Or is the expectation now entirely reasonable that anything you do, anywhere, at any time could–at any moment–be revealed online for all the world to see, know, and, of course, judge?

This is how CNET is reporting the story.

My friends and family are in that database – and likely, same goes for people who work at CNET. Human beings – who Matyszczyk has undoubtedly jacked off to.

Fuck you, CNET.

14 CherriesJubalie April 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Violet,
Since I am one of the 12000 or so affected, I am working with the NCSF and SWOP and some other resources in the community. I plan on pursuing legal means and will be forming a class action filing. I know there are some other things currently happening regarding this violation of privacy and libelous actions. If anyone is interested in joining the suit [s] feel free to contact me: cherry@cherriesjubalie.com.

Hugs to all my friends and family in the industry & those affected by this horrific stupidity.

15 Gert April 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Ugh. I am sickened by the vile hatred on that site. My heart goes out to everyone who is affected by these assholes. Great to see just from the comments on your article alone that the power of the Internet can be used for Good, by spreading useful and unbiased information, mobilising support and organising ways to stop this mass harassment.

16 Mariah April 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Thought she provided some good tips, like using only your Passport for identification purposes.
http://www.feminisnt.com/2011/2257-laws-privacy-and-the-mass-outing-of-porn-performers-where-do-we-go-from-here/

17 violet April 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Summed up by one of my closest friends:

“I saw this. Eventually the person who did this will get caught and exposed and it will be epic.”

18 Thomas April 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Holy crap. I can’t even imagine what hell it must be to live in this idiot’s mind. What kind of “human” exhibits that kind of malice?

19 Kat Troy April 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

HORRIFIC is exactly the word I would use. I had to quit “modeling” because my legal name was leaked out and, as a teacher, I would have lost my job if I didn’t sift through every internet link to my stage name and delete the pictures. I would have lost insurance for myself and my disabled Husband… BUT THAT IS NOTHING compared to this. As an optimist, I believe in sex workers and advocates. I believe there will be a fierce backlash to this monstrosity of an offense.

20 V April 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm

This is terrible! I advocate Internet freedom, but this isn’t about freedom, this is harrassment and hate crime at its worse. It’s just awful when people take something great and missuse it like this. All my love and support to the victims and let’s hope the asshole who did this gets what he deserves!
V.

21 Iamcuriousblue April 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

This is some terrible news, and hitting at a time when not just “the industry” but performers and anybody connected with the industry are under siege, both from the usual group of self-appointed moral guardians (both on the political right and left) and misguided public health activists and officials. I have no idea who is behind this site, but its pretty clear that it is somebody carrying a heavy load of homophobia, misogyny, and whore-hate, and at the same time, convinced that they’re furthering some kind of righteous mission about STDs in porn.

However, on looking at the site, I have to wonder whether they really got information from the AIM database, and how much information is on that site in general. Most of the pages are boilerplate with very little information. In the case of one performer who’s actual legal name I do know, the name on Porn Wikileaks is (thankfully) wrong. Then again, there might be a subset of pages with more extensive doc dropping that I may have missed.

22 usagizero April 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Although i don’t actually work in the adult industry, i’m a photographer, this is what i was fearing with the whole 2257 mess. Bringing in the government with more spots for it to come into the hands (no pun intended) of busy bodies. I’d place odds actually that is where this comes from. Not sure how it works, but i’d look into who is requesting the info more often from the record keepers.

23 bairdduvessa April 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

disgusting. those are medical records.

24 Loveofmystery April 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

Isn’t this illegal behavior under the right to privacy everyone signs when they go to a doctor/clinic? And so the web site should be shut down by the authorities?

Is their precedent for this?

25 Dr. Whitecoat April 2, 2011 at 8:31 am

There are ads on this site. ADS! What is wrong with the porn industry?! Who knowingly put their ads on a site that’s doing so much harm to their own industry?

26 D.L.. April 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

I am so fucking pissed that a bunch of homophobic assclowns took it upon themselves to endanger the lives of so many of my friends. Just recently, someone very close to me was outed on VERY well known website. Her personal info was released, as well as her address, along with a threat to rape her. Luckily, the asshole only had her old address. However, this does not ease my mind and now I have to take extra steps to assure her safety, by any means necessary. I think it’s time to expose these fuckers and fight fire with fire.
We do not forgive, we do not forget.

27 Darkmane April 2, 2011 at 7:34 am

Man, this is likely to lead to AIM being shutdown again, possibly permanently for HIPPA (Health Privacy Protection Act) violations.

28 Kate April 2, 2011 at 7:29 am

This looks like its wingnut political. This is horrible to do to anyone. Wrong and sick. I enjoy your blog Blue…good work.

29 William April 2, 2011 at 6:51 am

* Luckily I’m not affected by this and my heart goes out to those that may have their lives altered by this, but it’s pretty puzzling to me how this happened. I thought there were strict controls in place for medical databases of any kind?

* I understand that there are free speech implications, but as a society I think we need to do more to be cautious about the hurtful effects that this type of thing has on other people. It’s one thing to attack governments on sites like Wikileaks because those are our tax dollars at work. But its another thing to go after people like this and http://www.dirtyphonebook.com is doing and other sites of this ilk going after normal people.

* LJ brings up a good point. I hope this doesn’t dissuade anybody from getting tested because this incident might lead to some unnecessary health problems for people, which would be really tragic. :(

30 Mr. AB April 2, 2011 at 6:11 am

Hiya Ms. Blue,
I’ve spoken with the personel over at domainsbyproxy, which happens to be a subsidiary of godaddy, to inform their abuse department and they’ll begin an investigation.

The address you’ll be wanting is abuse@secureserver.net
If you wish to continue moving forward with more proactive measures, the legal team at Godaddy is willing to help, as they don’t want another black eye on their reputation.
Legal Dept. :
legal@godaddy.com
Subpoena Dept. :
http://www.godaddy.com/Agreements/ShowDoc.aspx?pageid=CIVIL_SUBPOENA&ci=1534
Public Relations Dept. :
http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/news/contact.asp?ci=9366

31 Laughing Vergil April 2, 2011 at 6:06 am

I visited the site… It felt like viewing the worst sort of abusive porn – like I imagine seeing a real snuff porn

Whoever is responsible for pornWikiLeaks is potentially in a world of Federal legal trouble. That was a medical database, so HIPAA law kicks in, and penalties in that law are per violation. With 12,000+ violations, that’s a heck of a penalty. There are also the copyright violations of the wikileaks site. But ignore those violations. The fastest way to get this site nukes would be for some folk, especially the non-industry people, to file a quick suit on defamation of character and libel, and ask for a temporary Injunction and a subpoena to the anonymizer company for the actual information about the site owner so the suit could be filed.

Personally, I hope that I see multiple defamation suits filed soon. Hopefully, at least one of the people in the data is a lawyer….

32 LJ April 2, 2011 at 5:24 am

This site is going to make people hesitant about getting tested or treated for STIs. Even without sites like this one people are worried that their test results will be found out. With this site, people are going to be downright terrified.

33 Deborah J Pflanz April 2, 2011 at 3:41 am

I do not, nor will I ever, understand the need that provokes such out & out awful behavior in people. This is a clear HIPAA violation. As such it is due full federal investigation & prosecution. Perhaps that is one way to approach it because if this, as personal health information, isn’t protected then what is?

I have included a link to the official US Department of Health & Human Services page regarding HIPAA
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html

34 Theresa Ikard April 2, 2011 at 2:22 am

I am very grateful to Maggie Mayhem for this letter and to you Violet for getting this news out quickly, clearly and calmly. I know there are many other people out there working hard right now to help stop this hatred. Thank you.

This breaks my heart on so many levels. My thoughts are with the individuals whose names and personal information have been released. That is a serious breach of personal privacy and safety that no one should have to endure. My thoughts are also with AIM which has been put through hell and back over the years due to attacks from AHF. AIM is a good organization. It is an ethical organization that cares about the physical and emotional well being of the people it serves. Their system has helped keep many people safe over the years. I fear that after everything they have been through, they may not recover from this. I really hope that is not the case.

35 violet April 2, 2011 at 1:32 am

It is beyond my scope of understanding – thank you for your comment, I’ve had to look at the site to report on it. It’s sickening. I see people I love and care about being harmed.

I can partly see why mainstream media isn’t covering it very well – there is so much hate speech and vileness that there is no way media outlets can cover it accurately with their “obscenity” limitations.

Additionally, this is from a Twitter reader:

There is some WHOIS info on that despicable site. Using DomainsByProxy.com in Arizona. This is sick.
DomainsByProxy.com: Phone: (480) 624-2599 / Fax: (480) 624-2598. Domain purchased for 1 year only. Using GoDaddy for hosting.
Address: 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
DNS servers NS1.PORNWIKILEAKS.COM: 178.239.57.2, NS2.PORNWIKILEAKS.COM: 178.239.57.4

Comment update April 2: The above info is now out of date. “Porn Wikileaks” is now on a different server, and still in the EU.

36 Jamie April 2, 2011 at 1:18 am

That is horrific. I don’t understand people. I just don’t. Can we abdicate the world to a more responsible species? :(

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