Creator Of Website That Doxxes ‘Cop Callers’ Served Prison Time For Sending Death Threat
( Daily Caller )
The creator of a website that allows users to doxx people who call the police served two years in federal prison for threatening to kill a woman who said false information was posted about her on one of his other sites, court documents show.
A federal grand jury indicted Cyrus Sullivan in 2013 on charges of extortion and internet stalking for demanding the woman pay him $10,000 to remove her information from his website, STD Carriers. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one charge of making a threatening communication.
In return, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue additional charges “known to the [U.S. Attorney’s Office] at the time of this agreement,” the plea agreement stated.
Prosecutors said in a court filing one month before Sullivan entered his guilty plea that the network of websites he operates was a fraudulent scheme. They said he profited from the “substantial emotional distress” imposed on his victims because of “false and/or malicious postings” about them on his websites.
Sullivan has maintained that the network he runs is not fraud.
People who wish to suppress postings on STD Carriers accusing them of being infected have the option of paying Sullivan upwards of $1,000 to have him direct Google to not include the posts in search results, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation during an extensive phone interview Tuesday evening. Sullivan said does not delete posts for people who pay him.
Sullivan said he still operates the same websites and services that the prosecutors had called a fraud in 2013.
Sullivan said he currently has no work outside of operating his websites. He said his income is completely tied to the revenue his sites bring in.
Sullivan launched Cop Blaster in 2017. It operates similarly to STD Carriers, allowing registered users to submit the personal information of police officers as well as anyone they consider to be “Cop Callers” and “Snitches.” Sullivan said he provides a platform for those seeking to expose such people because they “have a history of causing a lot of problems for people.”
Sullivan said he launched Cop Blaster just before he was sent back to prison for six months for disabling a court-ordered computer monitoring program while he was on probation. He said he launched the site so he could dox “pretty much anybody involved” in his federal criminal case.
“A lot of times these cop callers are just vindictive people that can’t solve their own problems using other ways, so they start crying to the police about just trying to get people in trouble,” he said. “People need to know about people like that.”
“They need to know that somebody they’re dealing with is liable to go running their mouth about them if they get into a dispute that angers them too much,” Sullivan continued.
Whose the #snitch protesting #policebrutality that went to the #cops? Filing #policecomplaints for any reason is no way to lead by example for people seeking to #DefundThePolice. Sounds like people know who it was anyway, so they should man up and handle it themselves. #putinwork https://t.co/8jDMn81lu2 — CopBlaster (@CopBlaster) August 9, 2020
Cop Blaster was highlighted in a story in The New York Times about a Seattle auto repair shop owner, John McDermott, whose picture and business address was featured on the website after McDermott called the police on a man who had broken into his shop and emptied his cash register.
McDermott told the Times that his store received so many harassing phone calls after his information was put on Cop Blaster that some of his employees had to take time off work.
Sullivan rejected the notion that Cop Blaster led to the harassing phone calls, noting that he didn’t publish the phone number for McDermott’s business on the site. However, Sullivan said he had no regrets exposing McDermott’s information online.
“It seemed like they were going a little further than they needed to just keep the dude off their property, like holding him there and hoping the cops would come get him,” Sullivan told the DCNF. “It seemed like he was trying to leave once they showed up.”
“People don’t usually consider the type of jacket they put on somebody when they hold them for police,” he continued.
‘It’s been the same service for the past eight-plus years or so’
Sullivan told the DCNF that he still operates STD Carriers and his reputation management service, which he recently rebranded as Post Almost Anything Reputation Improvement Services (PAARIS).
“It’s been the same service for the past eight-plus years or so,” Sullivan said of PAARIS.
And when asked if federal prosecutors believe the reputation management service he’s been offering for over eight years is a fraud, Sullivan said: “I believe that’s still their official position.”
Sullivan said he doesn’t remove content from his sites for people who pay for the service because he “felt it would violate the spirit of the value proposition given to the original authors.”
“I promised them I wouldn’t delete their content unless it was proven to be false,” he said.
Sullivan said people seeking to block Cop Blaster posts about them from showing up on Google are ineligible to enroll in his reputation management service.
Sullivan acknowledged that some people do consider the service to be “blackmail” in a post on his eponymous website refuting the notion that he’s an extortionist.
“The main difference between what Cyrus does and extortion is that extortion requires a threat of action if someone fails to do something, but Cyrus doesn’t threaten to do anything, he just does nothing by default and offers to do something if paid,” Sullivan’s website states.
Sullivan rejected the notion that his reputation management service is a fraud. He pointed to the service’s webpage, which states that it removes “negative search engine results.” Sullivan also has a page disclosing “pitfalls” for the service, one of which being it “does not remove original pages” from the websites he operates.
Sullivan also said the judge who presided over his criminal case in 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez, concluded that he was operating his websites in a legal manner.
Court documents show that Hernandez said he was operating on an assumption that Sullivan’s websites were legal after stating he had no interest in debating their legality.
“I don’t want to get into a debate with you about whether that website as legal or not, whether you have a First Amendment right or not, because that’s not important to me,” the judge told Sullivan during his sentencing hearing.
“I’ll assume you did have a First Amendment right to run the kind of website you did,” Hernandez continued. “Let’s operate under the assumption that it’s completely legal.”
Sullivan knows people post false information about others on his websites
Sullivan said he doesn’t have a way to verify the accuracy for much of what people post on his websites.
When asked what he’s done to prevent people from posting false information about others on his websites, Sullivan told the DCNF he created Cyber Bullying Reports so that people “post up information about people that abuse the STD Carriers service for that purpose.”
Sullivan said he only removes posts from STD Carriers on rare occasions, such as when people can prove posts are false by mailing him the results of a negative STD test or if he suspects a post is targeting a minor.
‘I’m the real victim here’
As part of Sullivan’s guilty plea in 2013, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue additional charges that arose out of the investigation into his death threat against a woman who had asked him to remove false information posted about her on STD Carriers.
Sullivan told the DCNF that he was the victim of a “government set up,” alleging that authorities started working with the woman to “provoke me into some sort of response.”
“I shouldn’t have even been prosecuted in the first place. If you actually look at the evidence you’ll see I’m the real victim there,” Sullivan told the DCNF.
Sullivan had refused the woman’s initial request to remove her information from his website, so in response, she obtained and posted Sullivan’s personal information online, according to Sullivan’s defense lawyer, Robin Iniguez.
“She then calls 911 and says she’s holding hostages at his mother’s house and a SWAT team reports,” Iniguez said before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 in an appeal to modify Sullivan’s supervised release conditions.
“She also creates not one, not two, but three separate YouTube videos where she uses defamatory language, calls him a slew of names that are in the record,” Iniguez said. “This is what escalates the tension between these two.”
Court documents show Sullivan sent the woman an email that stated: “You just don’t learn your lessons do you? Now I have no choice but to come to your house armed and put an end to you once and for all. The only way you can stop this is by removing your stalker site and paying me $10,000.”
Sullivan told the DCNF he was “really drunk” when he sent that email.
Federal prosecutors also stated that an individual who identified as Sullivan left a voicemail on the work telephone of an Oregon Department of Justice investigator that stated in reference to the woman: “I have some events in motion that are going to eliminate her as a threat to my company. And those events will kill her if she doesn’t stop it.”
Someone did that to my mother years ago and the police called it “reasonable” just because I wouldn’t remove the person’s name from a website. When I found out who it was I got arrested for threats, my lawyer argued that was a mitigating circumstance, and the court disagreed. — CopBlaster (@CopBlaster) August 13, 2020
Despite insisting he was the victim of a government setup, Sullivan told the DCNF the email he sent to the woman “was a death threat, yes it was.”