Porn actors' medical records leaked to website

Apr 1 2011 - 9:16am

LOS ANGELES -- Officials at a Los Angeles health clinic that caters to the porn industry say they are investigating allegations that patient information was leaked to a website.

Pornwikileaks.com posted the names, birth dates and stage names of more than 12,000 current and former porn performers earlier this year. Some say that information could only have come from the clinic where many performers are tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases: the former Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation clinic, now known as AIM Medical Associates P.C.

On Thursday, clinic officials posted a statement on their website saying that they were "investigating the possibility of a criminal breach of the medical record database" and that "there is preliminary information indicating that criminal behavior by persons or entities may have occurred."

Jeffery Douglas, an attorney for the clinic, would not comment about whether AIM officials have referred the matter to law enforcement for investigation.

"If such a breach occurred, we shall take all available steps to see that the felonious behavior is criminally prosecuted to the maximum extent under the law," the statement said. "Accessing a database for improper purposes, violating medical privacy and extortion are all crimes in California."

Douglas said that if a breach occurred, AIM officials believe it was by outside hackers, not staff.

The statement noted that "substantial amounts of information posted on the site in question could not come from the AIM database because we do not possess that information. Specifically, home addresses and identification documents are not within the AIM database. Other testing businesses may or may not have such information on their databases."

AIM officials also called upon the Web hosting company to remove the site, which they called "malicious" and "scurrilous."

Douglas said AIM officials have increased security in the wake of the breach investigation.

"Additional steps have been taken to protect the data. But until we know if a) the data was improperly accessed or b) how, I can't tell you whether the steps were adequate," he said. "We're doing the best we can given the information we have."

Pornwikileaks is registered in the Netherlands. It is unclear who owns the site. Internet chat groups have speculated that it is owned or run by former porn actor Donny Long. Reached by email Thursday, Long said he has "nothing to do with (Pornwikileaks.com) other than being a member there."

On Wednesday, Gawker.com posted an article alleging that information on Pornwikileaks.com came from AIM. That article was based largely on information from porn industry blog mikesouth.com and a performer.

Blogger Mike South posted some of the allegations Monday and said he has since heard from additional performers who were convinced that the information about them on Pornwikileaks came from AIM. The performer South initially spoke with could not be reached for comment.

Under the porn industry's voluntary guidelines, performers must have tested HIV negative within 30 days of filming. Porn producers and directors are allowed to access the AIM clinic's database to check performers' test results.

The AIM clinic opened in 1998 but was shut down in December by Los Angeles County public health officials days after state health officials denied its application to operate as a community clinic based on what regulators called "business-related issues."

The clinic was sold and allowed to reopen last month as AIM Medical Associates P.C., part of a doctor's office regulated by the Medical Board of California, according to state officials.

(c) 2011, Los Angeles Times.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

 

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