Hit With 'History-Sniffing' Lawsuit

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Two men have filed a class action lawsuit against Netherlands-based Midstream Media N.V., owners of YouPorn claiming the company’s sites use “history-sniffing” technology to hijack users’ personal information.

David Pitner and Jared Reagan have filed the suit that says the technique allowed the defendants to tap users’ browsers to see what porn sites they visit by exploiting a Javascript security flaw.

The breach works through a user's browser by checking if previously visited links change to the color purple.

Reports last week exposed the security flaw citing a UC San Diego academic paper published a few months back that cited YouPorn, and YouPornCocks as the top history-sniffing sites.

The court papers filed in the Central District of California accuse the YouPorn sites of “impermissibly accessing [users'] browsing history” and seeks class-action status. The lawsuit alleges that the site broke California computer and consumer protection laws, as well as “violat[ed] Plaintiffs’ privacy interests.”

The suit further states that YouPorn employed deceptive practices by hiding its “history-sniffing” or “history-hijacking” in its source code with simple cryptography.

“The YouPorn sites promote themselves as vehicles to obtain and share free pornographic media and make content generated by third-parties available to their viewers… Visitors to the website can also ‘rate’ the content they view on a scale of 1 through 5,” the complaint says. “The YouPorn sites do not mention this [history-sniffing] process at all in their terms and conditions.”

YouPorn has reportedly removed the history-sniffing code from its website after stories broke last week revealing the practice.