Photos from the “Marines United” scandal, which saw U.S. Marines sharing nude images of female troops in a private Facebook group, are now reportedly up for sale on the dark web.
James LaPorta and Rory Laverty reported at the Daily Beast they discovered “three new descendant groups engaging in nude-photo-sharing, two new private shared drives, groups selling Marines United T-shirts and challenge coins and individuals posting links or attempts to sell the explicit images on the dark web.”
“The Marines United controversy is not only spawning copycat pages, but also a subset of pages built to exploit service members trying to view the photos,” said one source to the Daily Beast. “Marines United 214 seems to specialize in trying to monetize the scandal, requesting money from any commenter who asks for access to ‘the drive’ or collections of photos. There’s evidence that this page existed before the controversy, and changed its name afterwards to attract those interested.”
It is reported that the nude images are being sold through the dark web marketplace AlphaBay, where users routinely trade in illegal items and services such as drugs, child porn, guns, and even hitmen.
In March, it was reported that both the NCIS and the Pentagon had launched an investigation into the scandal, which saw the public distribution of “explicit photos of current and former female Marines and other service members.”
“A private Facebook group called ‘Marines United’ contained a link to a Google Drive folder, where the photos were being stored,” reported CNN last month. “Members on the site solicited others to submit photos of women without their knowledge. The cloud storage folder has been removed at the request of the military.”
“It was not clear to the Defense Department how many current and former Marines may be involved in potential wrongdoing,” they continued. “A former Marine originally brought the matter to the attention of the Marine Corps last month.”