Sex Workers Call For Community Support During Porn Wikileaks Crisis

Posted on April 18, 2011

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Press Release: Last week it was discovered that the website Porn Wikileaks, in an egregious breach of privacy, published the full legal names and other personal information of over 13,000 people they claim to be performers in the porn industry. The information was taken at least partially from the database of the AIM Medical Associates P.C. This deplorable publication not only names current and former porn performers, but others who had been tested at AIM facilities as well.

The cruel shock to those who find themselves on Porn Wikileaks is intensified by the language used on the site. Each entry begins with: “[performer name] born Real Name [legal name] is a pornographic whore, and Hooker.” In the forums members encourage each other to add to the growing list of ID cards and to contact family members and employers to “give those cunts what they deserve.” The site is aggressively homophobic, sexist, transphobic, and offensive on many other levels. This is especially threatening in an environment where sex workers are already frequently targeted as victims of violence.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this story has been AIM’s response. While quick to defend their own organization, calling themselves victims of a security breach comparable to the hacking of the Pentagon and virulently noting that not all the information on the site came from them specifically, there has been no discernible effort made to notify the victims that their information has been made public. A current sex worker, who wishes to remain anonymous after having already been outed on the site, believes that “AIM has either lost sight of or is indifferent to the victimhood of the thousands who have been viciously outed and left vulnerable to the harsh consequences of anti-sex worker sentiments.”

The actions of those who manage and contribute to Porn Wikileaks are reprehensible, but this does not excuse AIM’s responsibility to protect the privacy of their patients.

“We’ve had to set up a quiet network of people personally informing anyone they know that could be affected” says Jessie Nicole, director of Sex Workers Outreach Project – Los Angeles. “We are extremely disappointed in AIM’s response, and feel they need to do more to address the needs of the community they serve.”

Sex workers want a medical center tailored to the specific needs of the sex industry, including protection of anonymity. When sex workers are outed, not only are any future jobs outside of the sex industry threatened, but so is their physical safety. SWOP-LA encourages anyone who has been affected by this atrocity to contact their local sex workers rights organization. Jessie Nicole emphasizes “we can address this crisis together as a community, and come up with a viable model for a medical center that could prevent this type of threat from reoccurring in the future.”

To contact SWOP-LA:

swopla@swoplosangeles.org

www.swoplosangeles.org