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Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

No Police Complaint Filed On VINO 'Gay Porn Hack'

No Police Complaint Filed On VINO 'Gay Porn Hack'

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is not investigating the alleged hack of Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), which displayed several images and GIFs of gay pornographic content on its website within the past week.

There is a simple explanation why investigators may not be investigating the alleged hack.

Partly because no complaint has been filed with the local police despite claims from the news website that the matter was reported to local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

"No complaint was logged with the RVIPF on this matter," the RVIPF press office confirmed to BVI Platinum News today, February 8.

The website claimed that sometime late Monday, January 31, 2022, VINO was hacked by unknown person(s) and pornographic images and videos that do not reflect their values were installed.

"Additionally, we were unable to make any new posts or edits on the site for a few hours. We apologise to our many readers, advertisers, business partners, and other stakeholders," the website claimed.

It also claimed that management has since regained full control of the website and has strengthened its internal security.

However, last Friday, February 4, another image showing two men engaged in a sexual act appeared on the site, but there has not been an apology nor further claims of being hacked in relation to this incident.

It is unclear if local authorities would pursue an independent probe given that children, in search of news for research or otherwise, may have been exposed to pornographic content that appeared on the site. Such a probe, BVI Platinum News was informed, could take place under the Computer Misuse & Cybercrime (Amendment) Act of 2019 which came into force last year.

At the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) hearing last year, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Julian Willock confirmed his association with VINO's parent company Advance Marketing and Professional Services. However, he insisted that he had no editorial control of the website although he remains involved in advertising based on a deal he made with the Premier and Governor.

Policing The Internet


The RVIPF has stated that it wants to work to ensure the internet is safe for children. They have joined counterparts worldwide in recognising Safer Internet Day by bringing awareness to the local fight to keep the internet safe for children.

Head of the Family and Juvenile Unit Inspector Kendol Bobb says that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force through the Safe Online Initiative End Violence Partnership is working with and through partners like the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to make the internet safe for children and is actively working to fill gaps in resources, evidence, programs, and technological solutions.

“That is why on this Safer Internet Day, Tuesday, February 8, we want to focus on celebrating the progress made so far and creating a safe internet by raising awareness about the issue, sharing solutions, and calling for everyone to take action. With your help, we hope to engage communities and work together to end violence against children online,” Inspector Bobb added.

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