Interesting Email I Recieved today.

As many of you know, I’ve been fighting against the Mugshit industry for over 2 years now. Like any fight, you gain allies, and you gain enemies.

Norman Haga, a man I’ve been working with over the past year or two, Is probably one of the best allies a man could ask for. He came across some astonishing information regarding the major players in the mugshot industry and asked me to pass it along.

Norman Haga began a website to examine and expose Mugshot.com as the extortion operators and scam artists that they are. In retaliation, Mugshots.com through a former affiliate of theirs, Kelly Joe Ellis of Joplin Missouri, began posting incorrect and libelous material on every consumer complaint board they knew of, including this one. As Norman Haga clearly shows on his website, the intent of posting that material was to extort Norman Haga into not investigating the online mugshot industry, and to extort Norman Haga into paying fees for online reputation management.

The actions of Mugshots.com, and their affiliates, and other websites like Salt Lake City Mugshots and Busted Mugshots only stiffened Norman’s resolve to do something to end the extortion like activities of the mugshot and negative content industries conduct. To date, through associates, Norman Haga has managed to have legislation introduced in three states limiting the conduct of the mugshot industry and limiting the abilities of the mugshot industry to obtain new booking photographs of men and women with which to continue their extortion like activities. Norman Haga, and his website, has also played a role in bringing two civil actions in different states suing mugshot agencies for violations of the ‘right to publicity.’

Norman Haga has always maintained that Mugshots.com and like sites are engaging in criminal activity and extorting people. In the pursuit of proving this claim, Norman Haga has sought Freedom of Information requests from the Florida Attorney Generals Office (FLAGO), The Federal Trade Commission, and the Internet Crime Commission. While the material is far too voluminous to post here and will have to be posted and viewed on Norman Haga’s website, Norman is including the return Cover letter here, as attachments, to support his claim that Mugshots.com is engaging in criminal conduct and being investigated for that conduct.

Specifically the FTC asserts:
“I am withholding 84 responsive pages which are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 3, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3), because they are exempt from disclosure by another statute.
Specifically, Section 21(f) of the FTC Act provides that information obtained by the Commission in a law enforcement investigation, whether through compulsory process, or voluntarily in lieu of such process, is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. 15 U.S.C.§ 57b-2(f)”

The FTC and the Internet Crime Commission are investigating Mugshots.com and other mugshot like websites for criminal activities. These activities, in a brief look into the material provided by the FOIA request, clearly show collusion between mugshots.com, several internet host providers such as Network Solutions, and ThePlanet.com, and at least one bank. The material also shows a chain of attorneys and people that may be involved. We know that Marc Gary Epstein, Esq., of Florida is one such attorney that has direct involvement with Mugshots.com, there are several other attorneys that are suggested as being involved.

Norman Haga has also made two Youtube videos that show a walk through of just how Mugshots.com, Kelly Joe Ellis, Kyle Prall of BustedMugshots and others attempted to intimidate and extort Norman Haga.

It is interesting that the investigation of the mugshot industry has revealed that many of the operators of those websites have criminal record for sex crimes. This alone raises questions about the credibility of mugshot websites. However, The FTC cover letter shows that Mugshots.com and other mugshot websites are being investigated for criminal conduct. This investigation shows that mugshots.com and other mugshot websites lack credibility in their operations and slander campaign.

Norman Haga, and the others he works with in investigating the online mugshot industry, encourage all to boycott any company, such as Netflix, that advertises on any mugshot website.

Online mugshots, though they may possess and entertainment value, after resolution of any criminal allegation serve no legitimate public interest according to three Federal Court holdings: Detroit Free Press v. DOJ (6th US Dist.), Karantsalis v. DOJ (11th US Dist), and Tulsa World Publishing v. DOJ (10th US Dist). The United State Supreme court refused to hear Karantsalis when he appealed to them.

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13 thoughts on “Interesting Email I Recieved today.

  1. pcabibi says:

    Update: This is good. Already provoking a response from Mugshots.com – this date Mugshots.com has reposted Norman’s mugshots. At this point, though questionable, they could be breaking Utah law even though they did not purchase the images after the HB-408 passed.

    • is says:

      They didn’t purchase the images at all. Not in the beginning; not now. A woman inside Utah government was convicted of improperly accessing criminal records and doing something with them. I wonder what she was doing…
      The court case file can be read at the courthouse, by request. Email me if you’d like the name.

      Some of them are obviously hacked. One of these days, some smart lawyer is going to get a criminal off, by making an issue of compromised law enforcement electronic records.
      Public record policy and procedure requires that all public records requests are logged. You can see who made a request, what public record, and when. Salt Lake County Jail has such a log.
      If they didn’t go through public records published process and there are no requests logged, then they obtained public records illegally. Period. It’s simply the fact of the matter.
      I don’t care what journalist or academic scholarly article or lawyer pompously argues otherwise, or justifies because law enforcement puts arrest records on its own websites.
      No one gets government records about anything, any other way.

      • pcabibi says:

        Exactly. Possibly the best comment I’ve ever read regarding this topic. I highly doubt logging the IP of the server(s) scraping the images constitutes a legal, documented, public records request.

      • is says:

        Yeah, no.
        Scraping is hacking – illicit data capture without permission. Unauthorized entry into a website or database is unequivocally illegal. Electronic data loss is theft. A major felony.
        Cybercrimes are defined as: “Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet and mobile phones. Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health. Issues surrounding this type of crime have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding cracking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is lost or intercepted, lawfully or otherwise. Halder and Jaishankar (2011).
        Cyber terrorism is defined as: “an act of terrorism committed through the use of cyberspace or computer resources (Parker 1983). As such, a simple propaganda in the Internet, that there will be bomb attacks during the holidays can be considered cyberterrorism. As well there are also hacking activities directed towards individuals, families, organized by groups within networks, tending to cause fear among people, demonstrate power, collecting information relevant for ruining peoples’ lives, robberies, blackmailing etc.”

        I love how this game of profiting from criminal records is casually described as “monetization.” So I guess fencing stolen goods is merely “monetization” too. Realizing financial opportunity.
        Profiteering: “Profiteering is a pejorative term for the act of making a profit by methods considered unethical.” It’s against the law, too, in the U.S. Just saying.

        Law enforcement and attorney general offices, even the FBI and trade oversight authorities are clearly guilty of misfeasance.
        Misfeasance – management of a business, public office or other responsibility in which there are errors and an unfortunate result through mistake or carelessness, but without evil intent and/or violation of law.
        When are they going to hear that wake-up call? How far is this going to be indulged?

        Here’s what it says on SLC police website:
        GRAMA is a comprehensive law dealing with management of government records. GRAMA states who has access to records and how the law is enforced. It is an attempt to balance the public’s constitutional right of access to information concerning public business, the individual’s constitutional right of privacy when the government gathers personal data, and the public policy interest in allowing a government to restrict access to certain records for the public good.

        A public records request fee is $5 per record. Mugshots.com has 626,000 arrest records. That’s $3,130,000.00 in fees that Salt Lake County government did not collect.
        Does anyone else think Salt Lake County should invoice mugshots.com for public records requests? I know for a fact that no one else would be to avoid paying that fee. Why should commercial operators be exempt?
        That number is nearly 3½ times the population of Salt Lake City, 60% of the county and 22% of the entire state. Interesting when compared to the numbers of arrest records, there’s about 23,400 in prison and parole/probation.

        ARREST REPORTS (Item 16-2)
        These are forms used to report arrests made by the sheriff’s
        office. They usually include complete information and description
        of person arrested, date, arrest time, charges, description of
        offense, witnesses, and name of officer(s) making arrest.
        Sometimes arrest and booking reports are one form.
        RETENTION
        5 years if not part of case file, and then destroy.
        SUGGESTED PRIMARY DESIGNATION
        Private.
        SUGGESTED SECONDARY DESIGNATION
        Public: Initial Contact Report (UCA 63G-2-301 (2012))

        SCHEDULE 16
        COUNTY SHERIFF RECORDS
        CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS (Item 16-12)
        These are complete histories of arrested individuals which
        provide complete name, alias or nickname, residence, complete
        physical description, date of arrest, offense committed, and
        occupation. It may also contain fingerprint cards and mug shots.
        Since the Bureau of Criminal Identification maintains the record
        copy of Criminal History Records until individuals death or
        seventy-five years, an individual agency maintains one at its own
        discretion.
        RETENTION
        5 years provided no further arrest or until administrative
        need ends and then destroy.
        SUGGESTED PRIMARY DESIGNATION
        Exempt: UCA 53-10-202 (2011).

        FELONY INVESTIGATION CASE FILES (Item 16-20)
        These case files are created as a result of a felony complaint or
        investigation by the sheriff’s department. They are the central
        case files for felony cases handled by the agency. These files
        may include the investigative report, fingerprint cards, original
        arrest report, supplemental reports, copies of warrants,
        photographs, correspondence, court orders, court dispositions,
        officer’s notes, pertinent laboratory tests, copies of booking
        sheets and arrest reports.
        RETENTION
        5 years after case closed and then destroy.
        SUGGESTED PRIMARY DESIGNATION
        Protected.

  2. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  3. Josh says:

    Here is a whitehouse petition starting to circulate. I found it on facebook, thought it was an appropriate link for your comments 😉 keep up the work! https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ban-all-websites-whose-primary-purpose-extort-money-people-using-shame-tactics-while-abusing-public/Wr0wG8Nf

  4. I was frustrating to find this. Truly refreshing take taking place the information. Thanks a lot.

  5. James Roti says:

    A person who I thought was my friend dropped a pack of heroin in my car I was pulled over In the city of oak park bye a Chicago police patty wagon who drew his weapon on me cuz he said I was thinking of running from him the reason for being pulled over was I did a u turn 5 blocks away in Chicago, the only time I was in Chicago that night was in the back of the patty wagon on my way to 15 district lock up then 6 days in county they let my so called friend go who was on felony drug possession probation I spent 6 days in county jail I recieved a 10,000$ bond or electronic monitoring I was throwing up from the smell at cook county jail and the green lunch meat and they didn’t want me puking in the squad car when they take you home with your house arrest equiptment they lost me in the jail for 5 more days my family couldn’t even find me I was beat up attempted rape and I yelled at a CO who wouldn’t listen I banged on the door he opened it spit in my face no cameras at all and didn’t say 1 word and quietly shut the door turns out I was in division 2 a medical unit with nuts and gang dropouts. I finally was releasead on house aresst when my dad contacted some high ranking jail person first court date it was dismissed for no probable cause illegal search judge was screaming at the cop who i never even seen before he wasnt black now I’m homeless lost my job cuz I missed a week of work I never got a phone call they called my house and I can’t get a job cuz I’m on mugshots.com even though the case was dismissed i have a beer by a minor conviction in 1999 I hitch hiked too south Florida so I don’t freeze at night my family is poor but pays my cellphone so they no I’m not dead I don’t use drugs just pot like 10 years ago and I told that guy I was going home he intimidated me and jumped in the car he yelled nigger at a black lady who pulled in front of us and I think the patty wagon guys were getting lunch in oak park i think my passenger denied knowladge of the drugs someone please help me I find my self walking on overpasses having bad thoughts I filled out at least 150 job apps help me 708-629-9044 I’m in lake worth Florida now I will work for food or shelter. 1 guy getting in my car that got repossessed ruined my life at 32 and the cops never tested the drug who even knows if it was real I just seen some wrapped up pieces of foil in a rubber band in a selifain in a black cops hand I guess I’m responsible by the law cuz the car was in my care and control my emai is Jjroti@comcast.net please pray for me I can’t go on like this I miss my family and my dog they can’t afford to support me,

  6. g says:

    Phillip, I’ve been following along for awhile. Sorting through and educating myself.
    Well done, you.

  7. is says:

    The commercialization of law enforcement records. The mugshot websites. Capitalizing on criminality. Unauthorized access to police records quietly allowed by the very agencies who create involuntary records of citizens and have ultimate authority. One cannot refuse to be arrested.

    Think about that – commercialization of government record-keeping on its citizens. With the government pushing for conversion to electronic medical records, that’s what’s next. Our medical records are now in the hands of private contractors, not our doctor’s office. Computer software companies and database engineers.
    Why did the government do this? Why did the federal government care? Why did state and federal politicians take this on as a government issue, in the first place? What difference does it make to politicians, whether your doctor writes chart notes in pen and paper, or types it into a computer?
    “Streamlining.” For insurance purposes. Diagnosis coding. Payment procedures. This somehow became a government-sanctioned issue needing legislation passed to make all docs and clinics and hospitals switch over to electronic records. Really? Why?

    So, will we be able to buy lists of everyone with cancer? HIV/AIDS? Can I buy a list of all citizens on anti-depressants? All autistic children? Are photographs available yet, so I can identify the crazies and know who has AIDS?

    So with these mugshot operators, the police can feebly wave their hands and say – oh no, we never authorized that, we never released arrest photos, they just scraped ’em off the internet, unauthorized. Sorry. Nothing we can do.

    In the meantime, police have created a huge giant crack in their record-keeping systems and internal databases, stuck a big flashing neon sign with an arrow pointing to files, “Help yourself. We’ll worry about it later.”

    So, does mugshots.com provide a public service? Fight crime? Keep us informed of who the bad guys are? Is it all just public record?
    No. NO.
    Mugshots.com is operating under “unofficial” government permission to monitor and capture citizen information, collecting it in databases. Under the cover of darkness. Without transparency and accountability. No one knows anything about it. Except possibly the Department of Justice and NSA. Untraceable offshore foreign corporations.

    How much stuff do they have? Isn’t it just really nasty bad guys?
    1 in 31 Americans is in the criminal justice system right now. That means already gone through the court system and legal process. But _1 in 4_ Americans have, at some point in time, been arrested or had some negative contact with police. 1 in 4. Look to your left and look to your right. If you’re with three people, one of you has been arrested.
    That’s who is in these databases. Arrest photos AND inmate photos. There’s a BIG difference between the two. Inmates are those who’ve been processed through the criminal system system, charges filed and a conviction and a sentence. Everybody else is someone who simply got arrested, at one time or another. NOT in jail. NOT necessarily charged or sentenced or guilty of anything.

    Mugshots.com has millions of records and the database is getting bigger by the day.

    But it’s openly available “public record.” No, it isn’t. Funny how the government and law enforcement are participating in letting the public think that. They KNOW quite well that that’s not true. The REAL question is – why aren’t public officials and law enforcement telling the truth and setting it straight?
    Every state, municipality, jurisdiction, manages its public records. There are published policies and procedures regarding ALL records. For example, the minutes of a city council meeting. Employment records. Municipal employee health insurance records. School district records. Records on any kind of city and government department. Public Records Policy says how records will be handled, who has access to them, where records will be kept, how long stuff will be kept, and when and how it will archived or destroyed. It’s supposed to be FOR us, the citizens. For open government. To eliminate corruption. So there’s no backroom deals in smoke-filled rooms.
    It was NEVER about making life hard for citizens. It was NEVER to expose what citizens are doing. It was to PROTECT citizens from police corruption and brutality. So that police wouldn’t be able to keep a citizen imprisoned without due process, or secretly. Not to target us!
    Every jurisdiction has a request process. It must consistent and uniformly applied. By regulation, the request process MUST be followed. You can’t tell one guy they can’t have copies of the meeting, and give them to another guy.
    Arrest records are NOT kept forever – there is a schedule, according to regulation and law. If there are no charges, it’s kept for a short time and then archived and then destroyed. If there are charges, it’s kept while the charges are adjudicated. Either way, average is about 3 to 7 years, depending on the seriousness of the charge. Unless the person is incarcerated. ALL records are eventually destroyed.

    So some guy, just out of the kindness of his heart and a sense of duty, went to all this trouble and spent a bunch of money to create websites, develop data-capturing technology and software, built these databases from scratch. Sure. For no reason. As a public service. Riiiiggghht.
    So we would know who’s in jail. But we already can. Because there are inmate records of the guys in jail. It already exists.

    These mugshots are not collected by legitimate public records requests. The operators don’t pay fees, certainly not the hourly staff time for multiple bulk files, like hundreds of mugshots and the file information that goes with it. You and I – the public – cannot access records this way. The public has to submit a request and pay the fee.

    But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. Go to the nearest police station and ask for an arrest record. See what happens. Do a Google search for your town’s “public records policy and procedure” and “public records retention schedule”.

    So how are they getting them? They are electronically accessing government records. It’s clear that some are “scraped.” But others could only come from internal sources.

    Why would anyone do this? Only one reason. Money. Not public service. Money. I think there’s BIG money, not just the $400 fee citizens can pay to remove the information. Either the mugshot operators are under government contract to collect and store information or it IS the government. Because, as we all know, government is prohibited from monitoring and collecting information about citizens. So this way, it’s not _them_.
    It is also possible they are foreign government contractors collecting intel on the United States and that US law enforcement is too stupid to see that. So busy high-fiving themselves about their “war on crime” and retarded shaming of America.

    What happens when someone pays the removal fee? Well, nothing. The file isn’t deleted. They just remove the robot text that makes it visible.

  8. is says:

    The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

    » 7.3 million Americans-or 1 in every 31 adults-are in the nation’s prison system. This figure includes those in US jails and prisons, on parole, on probation, or under other forms of correctional supervision.
    » The United States is ranked #1 for rates of incarceration.
    » 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation.
    » 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population.
    » Counting only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.

    More than the entire populations of Israel or Honduras, or all of the residents of Washington state. More than the populations of Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego and Dallas put together.

    The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England’s rate is 151; Germany’s is 88; and Japan’s is 63.

    The United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

    Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.
    “Far from serving as a model for the world, contemporary America is viewed with horror.” – James Whitman, “Social Research. Comparative law specialist at Yale.

    Prison sentences here have become “vastly harsher than in any other country to which the United States would ordinarily be compared.” – Michael Tonry, “The Handbook of Crime and Punishment.”

    The American incarceration rate has made the United States “a rogue state, a country that has made a decision not to follow what is a normal Western approach.”
    “The U.S. pursues the war on drugs with an ignorant fanaticism.”
    – Vivien Stern, research fellow, International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

    From Pew Report: “Last year alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections. However, the national recidivism rate remains virtually unchanged, with about half of released inmates returning to jail or prison within three years. And while violent criminals and other serious offenders account for some of the growth, many inmates are low-level offenders or people who have violated the terms of their probation or parole.”

    “For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety.” Adam Gelb, director, Public Safety Performance Project.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/03/pris-m04.html

  9. Psy Ops says:

    Kyle Prall, owner of the site depicted in this article, is going to court to overturn the county’s denial of his Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request for 1,388 mug shots taken between Jan. 11 and Jan. 27. The county claimed the pictures were classified as protected records under the federal Copyright Act. — The following has been edited as the admin has decided that it violates ethical SEO practices.

    Philip Cabibi’s note to Poster:

    I welcome lively debate with the owners of these sites; I’m even open to comprimises we can reach at sit downs. What I’m not open to; is smear tactics. It’s not a good business practice, and afterall, we’re all business men.

    If you are interested in discussing business, I’d be happy to chat with you. However; I will not tolerate borderline libel tactics which is what this entire industry seems to be based on.

    You know how to reach me.

    • pcabibi says:

      It won’t get overturned because the new law outlines the procedure for obtaining mugshots, and in that procedure, a written request must be signed acknowledging that the mugshots won’t be used for commercial purposes or charge individuals to remove them. They’re only allowed to be used for legitimate journalistic purposes and acquired by journalists registered with the UPA, or by parties immediately tied to the individual. This law will not be found to be in violation of the FOIA… but best of luck to Kyle.

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