Craigslist prankster may escape jail

Remember Jason Fortuny? He’s the Seattle self-employed IT guy who thought it was funny to "out" the respondents to a Craigslist sex ad – complete with photos, names, email, mail server information, and even phone numbers. He challenged his groupie-wannabes to connect each email to a real person.

He generated a lot of controversy with his immoral actions, and has been showing up in the news here and there too. There has been a lot of speculation that what he did is not just immoral, but unlawful too.

Monday I sent an email to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office asking for comment, and today I received the response that, “… there is no violation of our state criminal code involved here, yet.”

(Interesting qualifier ending that sentence.)

So, as they currently stand, Jason’s actions are lawful. But he’s on a really thin line that might easily be crossed into crime.

Jason’s last post was around 7PM Sunday night, (the datestamp is in UTC) not Saturday – he’s been in hiding and closing things down ever since. Maybe now that he knows he won’t be arrested, he can breathe a sigh of relief and go on with his life as normal – or as normal as someone with something of a personality disorder.

I’m sure he is completely unworried about the possibility of individual lawsuits or personal retribution. Jason Fortuny is the Internet intellectual equivalent of “Alfred E. Neuman.”

Followup 5 Oct 06

Since Jason has seen fit to link to my blog, I'd like to point out some other links that RFJason groupies might like to see.

Violet Blue's blog; The seattle craigslist sex scandal - where I learned about this
Jason Fortuny - using people as things - My first blog entry on this
Jason Who? - my followup after this entry

I also must apologize that I have to enable comment moderation. I know it is a terrible power that turns bloggers into tin-pot tyrants, but I'll do my best to be a benign dictator.


Anonymous said...

I really hope you have bigger things to worry about than this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hit a little too close to home, huh? Perhaps you're one of the lucky respondents here?


rfjason said...

Sorry about all the goofball anonymous comments. I talked about your post briefly at

Anonymous said...

'sokay Jason. I cleaned 'em up.

For the curious, the first deleted post said 'fag' over and over again, and the second post said 'ow' in the same fashion; demonstraiting impressive "cut 'n paste" skillz.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

I knew jason in high school..he wasn't anything like the negative comments being made about him..people have to understand when they release personal information on the net it is public information at that point..was this immoral? perhaps...was it illegal? i say no..I am all for freedom of speech and they shouldn't have emailed their personal info if they didn't want it to be public.

Calladus said...


I've already established that the local law isn't going to charge Jason for anything - so his actions while immoral, are probably lawful.

The Jason interview from the 10zenmonkeys links sent by K.M. show a person that may or may not be completely honest, but is certainly troubled.

I'll agree with everyone that it's stupid to send too much information in response to an Internet dating ad. That's why disposable email addresses are valuable.