The U.S. Marine Corps has asked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to pursue a Dropbox folder reported to contain hundreds of nude photos of female service members, the service said Friday.
The website “Hoes Hoin,” was first reported on by VICE News and according to the report, contains photographs of women from all services.
“It’s been reported through NCIS and the appropriate measures have been taken,” said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrison. “I believe the site has been taken down.”
A spokesperson for the Pentagon said the Defense Department was also “aware of reports concerning the Dropbox site” and said it would be investigated and prosecuted if necessary,
“As part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which became law on December 12, 2017, Congress enacted a new criminal offense for the military called, ‘Wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images’” Maj. Carla Gleason said in a statement. “That new statutory authority will aid the Department in holding appropriately accountable service members who engage in this misconduct.”
On late Friday, Dropbox said the site had been banned.
“This link has been taken down and banned so it cannot be recirculated on Dropbox. As always, we investigate reports of content that violate our Acceptable Use Policy. If we find a violation, we take down the content and, when appropriate, take other measures such as banning the content and/or reporting to law enforcement,” the company said in a statement.
The new policy was put in place in response to the Marines United, a secretive Facebook page that contained sexually harassing comments and nude images of female service members and civilians. Marines United had roughly 30,000 members. In some instances, the posts resulted in the stalking of victims.
To date, the Corps has carried out 80 dispositions of cases linked to the crackdown on online-related misconduct during the past year. It includes seven courts-martial, 14 nonjudicial punishments, six administrative separations and 28 adverse administrative actions. In total, the investigation has identified 119 potential culprits ― 97 of whom are Marines ― in the wake of the scandal, according to Marine Corps officials.
Marine Corps Times senior reporter Shawn Snow contributed to this report.