In his recent post on sextortion as cybersecurity, Benjamin Wittes rightly points out that every webcam should have a physical cover or off-switch.
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In the week since the release of our sextortion reports, there have been a number of encouraging signs of legislative interest in the problem. The day Brookings released the reports, Rep.
We've discussed sextortion as a manifestation of "the future of violence" and as a form of remote sexual assault. But it's also worth considering this new type of assault as a new form of violence against women.
A relatively large group of cases involving both large numbers of text messages and huge volumes of stored communications and images offers an interesting opportunity to look at how “dark” law enforcement really is going.
When we think of cybersecurity, we don't think of sexual violence. Sexual assault, rape, and child molestation are problems of intimate contact between individuals in close proximity to one another. By contrast, we tend think of cybersecurity as a problem of remote attacks that affect governments, major corporations, and—at an individual level—people with credit card numbers or identities to steal.
Legally speaking, there’s no such thing. But sextortion turns out to be remarkably common. A great many sextortion cases have taken place―in federal courts, in state courts, and internationally―over a relatively short span of time, and they involve what are effectively online, remote sexual assaults, sometimes over great distances, sometimes even crossing international borders, and sometimes involving a great many victims.
This morning, Benjamin Wittes hosted an online webcast previewing two new studies on "sextortion," a new form of remote sexual assault.
Join us Wednesday for a Brookings Spreecast on two new reports on an alarming new form of sexual violence: We found a large number of sextortion cases of exceptional brutality involving literally thousands of victims. These cases suggest that we are defining cybersecurity far too narrowly. And they describe significant gaps in federal law, which we endeavor in these papers to identify.