YouPorn Shared More Than Sex Videos Claims Lawsuit Filed by Newport Beach Pair

Categories: OC Media
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Two Newport Beach men have filed a lawsuit accusing operators of the YouPorn adult video sharing website of "sniffing," which is not an exotic new sex act (well, at least not in this particular context) but the improper monitoring of other sites users have visited.

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YouPorn.com
A couple shares their love for YouPorn visitors.
The suit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the central district of California by David Pitner and Jared Reagan claims Midstream Media of the Netherlands violated the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California's computer crime law.

YouPorn is accused of engaging in deceptive and unfair business practices, unlawful and unfair competition and "intentionally accessing plaintiffs' . . . computers without authorization." The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status, payment for damages and an injunction to stop the "history sniffing" practice.

CNET, which is among the techie news sites covering the case, describes history sniffing thusly:

Browsers generally keep track of the websites a user has visited, showing the links in different colors depending on whether they've visited or not. Browser sniffing essentially asks the browser what color should be used for various links; the answer can reveal the browsing history.

According to the lawsuit and to some poring through YouPorn's now-withdrawn JavaScript code by Kashmir Hill at Forbes, YouPorn had obfuscated the sites it was checking for by shifting letters one place forward in the alphabet.

"Thus, 'qpsoivc/dpn,' for example, becomes 'pornhub.com.' It is only at the last minute that this encoded URL is translated to the correct URL to be compared to plaintiffs' browsing history," the suit said.

UC San Diego researchers recently analyzed the top 50,000 sites on the Alexa global top website list for instances of browser sniffing and found 46 sites engage in the practice.

The highest ranked? YouPorn.

Fortunately, Mozilla--this Navel Gazer's browser of choice--is set to debut a history-sniffing countermeasure to Firefox 4. My visits to that Bulgarian site that features pregnant Pygmies sniffing the soiled socks of  crossing guards remain my little secret forever!

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