Sextortion – are you aware of it?

As so many are flocking to cell phones and the ages of the users are getting younger, there is a topic that parents need to be aware of.

Sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim. Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion.[1]

We as a society need to be able to band together to combat this psychological attack against our youth. 83% of the victims are female, and 46% are minors. Like physical sexual assault, it is estimated that only a third or less of the victims report the crime. 60% of the perpetrators knew the victim before the incident.

I have reviewed the evidence of one of these cases personally. No, I will not share that data as the victim does not deserve that. The portrayal below is based on that incident but is sanitized for her privacy. This was properly reported to the appropriate authorities.

Here is how this abuse occurred:

  • Victim received a text from an unknown source
  • criminal claimed that they had nude photos of the victim
  • They also recited her street address, including which room within her apartment was hers
  • the pictures were going to be shared on all forms of social media unless she complied with the criminal
  • the criminal wanted her to disrobe for more pictures
  • on a the second day the criminal resumed texting with a more aggressive tone
  • the same intent of getting more pictures
  • Criminal escalated to calling the victim and pressuring her to an online video chat service in Scandinavia (I believe in Norway) to excuse herself from family to go to a bathroom to disrobe and put herself on display.

As I and my colleagues tried to trace the evidence and find the personal data exposure, we were impressed with the victim’s awareness of protecting her data. She does not have her college address shared with any databases other than Amazon, and even they did not have which room was hers.

Text messages are very hard to trace unless you are law enforcement. Even for them, they are not easy. Because of my role, I was able to provide the FBI with the owner (not the user) of the phone numbers used to text and call the victim.  I was also able to  alert the abuse team at the video chat service so that they could review the actions of their users. Since I did not have a subpoena, I was unable to get data to relay to the FBI.

When the victim returned to campus, she found that her roommates were also victims. Since the issue was clearly involving a local perp, the apartment management was advised. They had a very lame excuse that this was a data breach when someone restarted the internet. I am still stunned with how stupid this answer is. The apartment management company did say that seven women had come forward. This number ended up rising to twenty when published by a local media source. The article was a plea for other victims to come forward. It is my personal opinion that the apartment complex has a rogue employee that needs to be identified, arrested, and prosecuted. So far this particular incident is limited to the complex.

When I asked if the abuse has continued, the victim stated that there has not been a peep since the police report was filed. The situation is getting great exposure on campus so the student body is much more aware.

If you check the links below, you will find that this situation is not isolated, but becoming more and more common.

Parents need the same level of awareness. This is the tool that you need to arm your kids (regardless of how grown that they are) so that they can fend off these pond scum samples.

Obviously the first line is to make sure that they do not have these kinds of pictures TO BE shared in the first place. I also know that this is wishful thinking, just like abstaining from sex before committed relationships. It is talking to them so that they know if they do not have content for the criminals to share, then why co-operate with their demands. Do not delete the texts, call logs or any other evidence. The local police (and likely the FBI) need to be contacted. Take the time to file the report. The perp needs to be caught. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Even if your kids DID have content that could be exposed, this is not the time to blame the victim. They did nothing to deserve this. My thought is to treat that situation as you would when your kid calls form a party/bar after drinking. Get them to safety then discuss when it is more mentally safe to do so. If your kids know without a doubt that you will stand with them, then they will be more likely to tell you of the incident so you can help them through it.

I hope that nobody that you know has to go through this, but the numbers indicate that it will hit close to home.

Related useful links:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/sextortion

https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/news-podcasts-inside-sextortion-and-the-lucas-chansler-case.mp3/view

Prosecutors: ‘Sextortion’ Cases Targeting Young Women At Alarming Rate

Sextortion

Comcast – Time Warner merger

Should this merger be permitted?

Wouldn’t it bring the number of providers to 6 or 7?

Both Comcast and Time Warner are already too large for consumer protection. They are too large to care, they are too large to price appropriately. (Just like much of business, they are far too top heavy for responsible pricing.)

Now, IF they are allowed to merge, should they be allowed to remain in control of so many pots?

Should they be mandated to break up into business units? Why should the cable provider also be permit to be the news content provider?

We know that they live to “save” us money by bundling, but when they own enough production companies to put the squeeze on their competition… They start manipulating what is hidden from us, and what we learn about.

Will this further drive news into the dirt? News is being suppressed and it shouldn’t be.

Investigative reported needs to make a major comeback and this merger is not going to help with that.

 

Good timing – Just after I saved this, I got an email from Al Franken (via moveon.org):

If you feel like you pay too much for cable… like you’re not getting your money’s worth… like your Internet connection is slower than what you’re supposedly paying for… like there isn’t enough competition to ensure that you get a fair deal — well, you’re certainly not alone.

And things could be about to get a whole lot worse: Comcast (the nation’s biggest cable company) is planning to acquire Time-Warner (the nation’s second-biggest cable company).

This certainly seems like bad news for consumers already being squeezed, and I’m leading the charge to make sure this deal doesn’t just slide past regulators. But right now, I want to hear from you.

Could you take a few minutes to take a quick survey about your experience with the big cable companies and your thoughts on this proposed deal?

As you might remember, I worked in the media industry before I was a Senator. And I saw the damaging effects of media consolidation first-hand. That’s why I fought against Comcast’s merger with NBC, and why I’m so concerned about this proposed acquisition, as well.

This isn’t just some wonky intellectual debate. This deal could translate directly into higher prices and worse service for you. And in order to keep the focus where it belongs — on the interests of consumers — I’m going to need your voices in this fight.

That’s why I’m asking you to complete a short survey describing your experience with the big cable companies, and inviting you to share your thoughts and concerns about this deal.

Please click here to take the survey.

Thanks for taking the survey — and stay tuned for more on this developing issue.

Al

IRS claims it can read your e-mail without a warrant

Anyone for a forth amendment discussion? Does, or should, the government have the right to peruse individual’s e-mail accounts, and chat history, without cause or a warrant?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57578839-38/irs-claims-it-can-read-your-e-mail-without-a-warrant/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

If they are allowed to continue this practice, how long before corporations are given the same “rights”?

 

By, Eyes_Open

Race for the Cure – Portland Oregon 2012

It is with great pride that I am able to provide communications for the 2012 Race for the Cure in Portland Oregon again.

I think this is my fifth year straight hanging out under the Steel Bridge.

Those of us who have been manning that post call ourselves the Bridge Trolls.

 

This year the race is being done in reverse. Normally I am near the end of the race, but this year, I am at the third radio position.

We will again have the challenge of stopping the hordes for their own safety when the Amtrack train is pulling in. That is always a tough spot.

I am trying to keep them safe, but they seem to want to push their strollers under the train wheels. I thought they loved their kids. all of this during a non-timed non-qualifier event.  In the early race that is a timed qualifier, we expect that kind of crap.

The shirts that will be seen during the event are often outstanding!

The camaraderie is always great to see.

Many do make the effort to thank us volunteers.  (That always feels good, though they are the ones doing the real work)

If you are on the course, watch for me as you pass under the bridge.