10:00 am EDT - 11:00 am EDT

Past Event

The cybersecurity threat no one is talking about: Coercion of sex through blackmail

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

Live Webcast
Online Only

Sextortion—defined as blackmail (often by the threat of releasing sexually explicit images of the victim) carried out over a computer network, which forces victims to engage in some form of sexual activity online—is a new term for a new crime. The remote coercion of sex is a crime that was impossible until recently, but with the expansion of the Internet and proliferation of webcams, Sextortion is a growing form of exploitation. This remarkably understudied crime has affected thousands of people, almost entirely women and children.

On May 11, Governance Studies hosted an online discussion at which Benjamin Wittes will release new research on sextortion. A panel of experts will explore what sextortion is and what lawmakers can do to stop this egregious crime. Panelists will also discuss how to help victims and how to more effectively prosecute sextortionists. 

Watch the archived conversation and view the presentation slides below. This Spreecast accompanied the release of two new papers authored by Benjamin Wittes, Cody Poplin, Quinta Jurecic, and Clara Spera. In “Sextortion: Cybersecurity, teenagers, and remote sexual assault,” the authors provide an in-depth study of sextortion cases, and in “Closing the sextortion sentencing gap: A legislative proposal” they recommend a new federal law on the subject.

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View the presentation slides: