Latest in Sextortion

Politics & National Security

Nonconsensual Pornography, Political Scandals and a Warning for 2020

Amid the hubbub of L’Affaire Ukrainienne, you could be forgiven for overlooking another story that has emerged out of Congress over the past week. It’s a grubby, unpleasant story—so much so that it feels ugly to draw attention to it. But the times are ugly, after all, and the story is a concerning harbinger of what might be to come in the lead-up to 2020.


Jeff Bezos Accuses the National Enquirer of Sextortion

Benjamin Wittes and I, along with other Lawfare writers, have published over the years on the phenomenon of “sextortion”—sexual violence that takes place over the internet, usually when the perpetrator obtains explicit images of a victim and uses that material to obtain money or further sexual images. Most sextortion cases we’ve covered have involved victims who were relatively unknown. There are a few exceptions—a former Miss Teen USA, for example.

The Russia Connection

Did the Internet Research Agency Use Sextortion Against Americans?

Longtime Lawfare readers may be familiar with the work we have published on “sextortion”—a form of remote sexual violence that usually involves a perpetrator obtaining explicit images or video of a victim and using that material for blackmail, often to produce further sexual material or money. Editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes and I, along with colleagues Cody Poplin and Clara Spera, did a fair bit of research on the matter a few years ago.


The Justice Department Responds to Sen. Boxer on Sextortion—Sort Of

Shortly after we released our sextortion reports back in May, Sen. Barbara Boxer wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch seeking data on the scope and magnitude of the problem: "court records show that some of these cyber-criminals have blackmailed hundreds of different victims online.

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