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Video sites are by far the biggest consumers of bandwidth on the Web: Netflix, You Tube, Twitch … Of all top content providers, though, Mind Geek has by far the most shadowy presence.

In 2009, the Secret Service seized $6.4 million from bank accounts controlled by Mansef, a company founded by Stephane Manos and Ouissam Youssef, the assets of which Mansef later sold to German tech investor Fabian Thylmann, who made them part of a company he owned called Manwin.

Manwin would later become Mind Geek.* (Of the $6.4 million that was seized, $4.15 million was later released pursuant to a settlement with the federal government.)* In April 2011, Manwin quietly secured a $362 million loan from Wall Street firm Colbeck Capital, founded by former Goldman Sachs employees Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman.

It is uncertain whether this strategy will work, since the facade remains fairly transparent.

As one Glass Door user wrote, “If you're interested in the ‘Content Formatter’ job, just be aware you're basically a glorified child porn screener, and you will be watching disgusting videos all day.” Because of the taboo surrounding pornography, especially in America, no antitrust actions are going to be taken against Mind Geek any time soon, nor has much attention been paid to the increasing bind that industry workers find themselves in as a single corporate behemoth gobbles up companies.

Actress Tasha Reign told ABC, “I kinda have to shoot for [Mind Geek] because they own almost everything.” This total industry dominance has had the effect of silencing performers against criticizing Mindgeek; people like South and Siri, who have openly condemned Mind Geek’s monopoly and power, are extremely rare.

When asked, most refuse to talk about piracy, worrying that Mind Geek will blacklist them.

While each individual tube site responds to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests, most porn producers do not have the resources of movie studios or record labels to monitor piracy; according to adult film star Siri, Mind Geek’s sites “force copyright holders to jump through hoops to get our content removed.” South told me that consequently, production of porn films is down 75 percent from where it was eight years ago, and DVD sales down 50 percent in that time.