Sextortion: How Big a Problem is It?


Sep. 21, 2016, 6pm to 7pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

Greenspun Hall Auditorium (1st Floor)
Benjamin Wittes


Brookings Mountain West presents Sextortion: How Big a Problem is It? a talk by Benjamin Wittes, Ph.D., senior fellow, governance studies, Brookings Institution, as part of the Fall 2016 Brookings Scholar Lecture Series.

The word “sextortion” is a prosecutorial slang for a new kind of cybersecurity problem: the extortion of sexual conduct online by victims—often a great many of them—by means of threatening the release of sexually explicit images. A recent Brookings study reveals that sextortion is remarkably prevalent. We identified a large number of cases nationwide encompassing many thousands of victims. The justice department has identified sextortion as the most important and fastest-growing cyber threat to children, but many victims are also adult women. A discussion of recent research into a little-discussed cybersecurity threat: The ability to conduct sexual coercion at scale against very large numbers of victims and across state and international borders.


Admission Information

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Information

Brookings Mountain West

External Sponsor

Brookings Mountain West