Blackmail on the Internet

How to Deal With Blackmail on the Internet

Definition of Blackmail?

Most people think of ابتزاز as someone threatening to do or expose anything unpleasant unless they are paid. While that is a pretty accurate description, the legal meaning of blackmail is significantly more complicated.

Legal Definition

Blackmail is the illegal act of threatening to expose harmful information about a person in exchange for money or some other advantage. In other situations, the offender wants favours other than money to acquire influence over their victim, such as sexual favours or other advantages. When someone threatens to expose humiliating or dangerous information unless they are rewarded in some way, this is referred to as blackmail. It is crucial to remember that the crime occurs when the threat is made — no money or property is required to be exchanged. Whether or not you comply with someone who blackmails you, they are breaching the law.

While state laws differ, blackmail is a federal crime punishable by a fine or up to a year in jail under 18 U.S.C. 873. The federal statute defines blackmail as follows: “Whoever demands or receives any money or other valuable thing under threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.” You are not alone if you believe the federal statute’s phrasing is a tad thick and confusing. Each aspect will be broken down into simpler words in the next section.

Hobbs Act Blackmail

Sekhar v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2720, was a well-known case involving the federal Hobbs Act (2013). While investigating the fund, the Comptroller’s General Counsel was informed by the New York Attorney General that an FA Technology agent was under investigation and that investing in the firm was not advisable. As a result, the Comptroller made the decision not to invest in the fund. A few days later, the Comptroller’s General Counsel got an email threatening to disclose his extramarital affair unless he changed his mind and invested in FA Technology. The FBI was able to track the source of the emails to FA Technology’s managing partner, Sekhar, after receiving numerous additional threatening emails. Sekhar was charged with Hobbs Act extortion as well as six charges of interstate transmission of extortionate threats.

Revenge Porn Blackmail

Revenge porn is a type of extortion in which a perpetrator threatens to disclose sexually explicit content (typically on revenge porn websites) unless money or other favours are provided. The offenders might be previous love partners who were given the explicit materials with your permission when you were together. According to a 2013 poll conducted by the Cyber Rights Initiative, 95% of the victims of revenge porn are women, and 57% of those women had been threatened by an ex-boyfriend. Explicit materials are sometimes obtained by hacking, making it more difficult for victims to determine the real identity of their attacker. Perpetrators are sometimes strangers who trick their victims into giving sexual content سايبر. Sextortion is another term for this sort of revenge porn.

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