Free Speech Coalition (FSC) today announced it is looking into legal options available for performers affected by the PornWikileaks.com website. The site has exposed the personal information of thousands of purported performers and gained international media attention after being exposed on industry gossip blogs and message boards.
“Free Speech Coalition stands in opposition to the violations of performer privacy by PornWikileaks,” said Diane Duke FSC Executive Director. “This is not an issue of free speech; it is about violating the privacy of performers. It’s about potential extortion and exposing performers to potential harassment, stalking and other criminal activities.”
To date, it is unclear where the data displayed on PornWikileaks originated but federal authorities are currently investigating breaches of federal law in the accumulation of data that has been exposed on the website. In addition to concerns regarding illegal access of medical databases, there are grave concerns about misuse of 2257 documents.
“Anonymity is an important part of controversial speech, as the courts have recognized for more than half a century. Publicly posting the sort of information involved here has an obvious chilling effect on performers and exposes them to known dangers which are extremely serious,” said attorney Reed Lee, FSC Board member and Government & Legal Committee Chair. “Would the website operators have published the NAACP’s membership list in the most difficult days of the civil rights struggle? Everyone involved with PornWikileaks is playing a most dangerous game. They target the performers and they target free expression itself.
“The Free Speech Coalition is actively exploring all viable legal responses to the situation and will do anything it can to protect adult performers,” Lee added.
Currently, industry attorney Corey Silverstein is representing client Paul Armstrong in a possible action against individuals using the PornWikileaks website for illegal activity. He is seeking performers that have had their personal information posted on PornWikileaks and have been threatened in any way by anyone connected to the site. Performers that would like more information on how to contact Silverstein can do so through FSC, by contacting PWL@freespeechcoalition.com.
“While I cannot discuss the specific nature of my clients’ allegations and any action that is being prepared, it is important to note that this is not a simple free speech issue,” Silverstein said. “The individuals running this website are allegedly intentionally and knowingly jeopardizing the safety and privacy of adult performers all over the world while purposely defaming them in the process. The website repeatedly refers to adult performers as ‘pornographic whores’ and ‘Hookers’ and even talks about specific adult performers ‘degrading the whole family.’ My clients cannot comprehend why the individuals running this website would want to intentionally cause so much potential harm.”
“Of course there is also the issue of how this website has acquired the information it publishes and what additional information website’s operators have obtained,” Silverstein added.
FSC stands in support of all industry members that are exploring possible legal response to PornWikileaks, and is encouraging individuals who have been affected by PornWikileaks and/or their attorneys to contact FSC, at PWL@freespeechcoalition.com.
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