Journal article Open Access

Sexual Extortion of Children in Cyberspace

AÇAR, Kemal Veli

K Jaishankar

This paper examines Sexual Extortion of Children in Cyberspace (SECC), which has gained notoriety despite the fact that it has recently emerged, and is also considered one of the most significant online threats to children in 2015 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report of Europol. After the characteristics and frequently-observed modus operandi of SECC are described, the points of differentiation and overlap between SECC and other related concepts about online child sexual abuse will be examined. Then, the constituent elements of SECC will be identified and explained in detail; later, possible prevention strategies and research areas will be discussed individually for each one. However, whether SECC should be defined as a separate criminal act and the legal conditions of punishment in the current criminal law systems are completely ignored. 

Files (263.8 kB)
Name Size
263.8 kB Download
  • Baker, C. N. (1994). Sexual Extortion: Criminalizing Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment. Law & Ineq., 13, 213. Briggs, F., & Hawkins, R. M. (1994). Follow-up data on the effectiveness of New Zealand's national school based child protection program. Child abuse & neglect, 18(8), 635-643. Butler, D., Kift, S., & Campbell, M. (2009). Cyber bullying in schools and the law: Is there an effective means of addressing the power imbalance. eLaw J., 16, 84. Butterfield, L. (2002). NetSafe: the New Zealand model for Internet (ICT) safety education. Retrieved from Cano, A. E., Fernandez, M., & Alani, H. (2014, November). Detecting Child Grooming Behaviour Patterns on Social Media. In International Conference on Social Informatics (pp. 412-427). Springer International Publishing. Cohen, L. E., & Felson, M. (1979). Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activity approach. American sociological review, 44 (August), 588-608. Cole, H., & Griffiths, M. D. (2007). Social interactions in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 575-583. Davidson, J. C., & Martellozzo, E. (2004). Educating children about sexual abuse and evaluating the Metropolitan Police Safer Surfing Programme. (Project Report) London, U.K. : Metropolitan Police. Davidson, J., Martellozzo, E., & Lorenz, M. (2009). Evaluation of CEOP ThinkUKnow internet safety programme and exploration of young people's internet safety knowledge. Other. Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies and Kingston University. Retrieved from Dombrowski, S. C., LeMasney, J. W., Ahia, C. E., & Dickson, S. A. (2004). Protecting Children From Online Sexual Predators: Technological, Psychoeducational, and Legal Considerations. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35(1), 65. Edwards, A. (2010, June 18). Judge calls child exploiter a 'narcissistic demon,' hands down 30-year sentence. Retrieved from Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230. Europol. (2015). The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2015. Retrieved from Goodno, N. (2007). Cyberstalking, a new crime: Evaluating the effectiveness of current state and federal laws. Missouri Law Review, 72. Haden, S. C., Scarpa, A., Jones, R. T., & Ollendick, T. H. (2007). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury: The moderating role of perceived social support and coping for young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(7), 1187-1198. Hadnagy, C. (2010). Social engineering: The art of human hacking. John Wiley & Sons. Interagency Working Group. (2016). Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Retrieved from Joyce, M. (2012). Video Chat Extortion and Sexual Abuse. 형사정책연구소식, 122(단일호), 20-32. Kerlikowske, R. G., & Wilson, M. (2007). NetSmartz: a comprehensive approach to internet safety and awareness. Police Chief, 74(4), 46. Konrad, K. A., & Skaperdas, S. (1997). Credible threats in extortion. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 33(1), 23-39. Kopecký, K., Hejsek, L., Kusá, J., Marešová, H., & Řeřichová, V. (2015). Specifics of children communication and online aggressors within the online assaults on children (analysis of selected utterances). In SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings (pp. 195-202). Kopecký, K. (2014). Stručný úvod do problematiky online vydírání českých dětí se zaměřením na tzv. sextortion. Pediatrie pro Praxi, 15(6), 352-354. Krone, T. (2004). A typology of online child pornography offending. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Criminology. Leary, M. G. (2009). Sexting or Self-Produced Child-Pornography-The Dialog Continues-Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Response. Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L., 17, 486. Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., & Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social Media & Mobile Internet Use among Teens and Young Adults. Millennials. Pew internet & American life project. Levmore, S., & Porat, A. (2014). Credible threats. Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics. Retrieved from Lindgren, J. (1993). The theory, history, and practice of the bribery-extortion distinction. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 141(5), 1695-1740. Livingstone, S. (2008). Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression. New media & society, 10(3), 393-411. Livingstone, S., & Smith, P. K. (2014). Annual research review: Harms experienced by child users of online and mobile technologies: The nature, prevalence and management of sexual and aggressive risks in the digital age. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 55(6), 635-654. Livingstone, S., Ólafsson, K., & Staksrud, E. (2011). Social networking, age and privacy. EU Kids Online, London, UK. Retrieved from Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Duggan, M., Cortesi, S., & Gasser, U. (2013). Teens and technology 2013. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Mann, M. I. (2012). Hacking the human: social engineering techniques and security countermeasures. Gower Publishing, Ltd. Marcum, C. D., Higgins, G. E., & Ricketts, M. (2010). Assessing sex experiences of online victimization: An examination of adolescent online behaviors using routine activity theory. Criminal justice review. 35(4), 412-437. Mitchell, K. J., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2005). Police posing as juveniles online to catch sex offenders: Is it working?. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 17(3), 241-267. Murr, H. S. (2005). Continuing Expansive Pressure to Hold Employers Strictly Liable for Supervisory Sexual Extortion: An Alternative Approach Based on Reasonableness, The. UC Davis L. Rev., 39, 529. O’Connell, R. (2003). A typology of child cybersexploitation and online grooming practices. Retrieved from Pendar, N. (2007, September). Toward Spotting the Pedophile Telling victim from predator in text chats. In ICSC (Vol. 7, pp. 235-241). Peris, R., Gimeno, M. A., Pinazo, D., Ortet, G., Carrero, V., Sanchiz, M., & Ibanez, I. (2002). Online chat rooms: Virtual spaces of interaction for socially oriented people. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 5(1), 43-51. Quayle, E., & Taylor, M. (2011). Social networking as a nexus for engagement and exploitation of young people. Information Security Technical Report, 16(2), 44-50. Rigby, K., & Slee, P. (1999). Suicidal ideation among adolescent school children, involvement in bully—victim problems, and perceived social support. Suicide and life-threatening behavior, 29(2), 119-130. Roeffen, C. (2015). Mobile dating: Romance is just a swipe away Tinders’ Romantic and sexual interactions. Utrecht Faculty of Humanities Theses (Pre-master project). Retrieved from Rothon, C., Head, J., Klineberg, E., & Stansfeld, S. (2011). Can social support protect bullied adolescents from adverse outcomes? A prospective study on the effects of bullying on the educational achievement and mental health of adolescents at secondary schools in East London. Journal of adolescence, 34(3), 579-588. Sapouna, M., & Wolke, D. (2013). Resilience to bullying victimization: The role of individual, family and peer characteristics. Child abuse & neglect, 37(11), 997-1006. Shavell, S. (1993). An economic analysis of threats and their illegality: Blackmail, extortion, and robbery. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 141(5), 1877-1903. Shin, W. (2015). Parental socialization of children’s Internet use: A qualitative approach. New media & society, 17(5), 649-665. Siegle, D. (2010). Cyberbullying and Sexting: Technology Abuses of the 21st Century. Gifted child today, 33(2), 14. Taylor, M., & Quayle, E. (2003). Child pornography: An internet crime. Brunner-Routledge, Hove. The European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online. (2014). Strategic Assessment of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online. Retrieved from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (2015). Sextortion. Retrieved from Trendmicro. (2015). Sextortion in the far east. Retrieved from United Nations Office on Drug and Crime. (2015). Operation Strikeback. Retrieved from U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2015). Facebook Predator Sentenced to 29 Years in Prison in for Child Pornography and Sexual Extortion Offenses [Press Release]. Retrieved from Victims of Violence. (n.d.). Crime on the Internet. Retrieved from Virtual Global Taskforce. (2015). Child Sexual Exploitation Environmental Scan. Retrieved from Whitty, M. T. (2015). Anatomy of the online dating romance scam. Security Journal, 28(4), 443-455. Wishart, J., Andrews, J., & Yee, W. C. (2005). Evaluation of the ‘Getting to Know IT All’ presentation as delivered in UK schools during November 2005. Bristol: University of Bristol. Wittes, B., Poplin, C., Jurecic, Q., & Spera C. (2016). Sextortion: Cybersecurity, teenagers, and remote sexual assault. Retrieved from Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2011). Sexting: A typology. Retrieved from Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Mitchell, K. J. (2009). Trends in Arrests of "Online Predators". Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Mitchell, K. J. (2012). Trends in Arrests for Child Pornography Production: The Third National Juvenile Online Victimization Study (NJOV‐3). Yar, M. (2005). The novelty of ‘cybercrime’ an assessment in light of routine activity theory. European Journal of Criminology, 2(4), 407-427.
All versions This version
Views 106106
Downloads 99
Data volume 2.4 MB2.4 MB
Unique views 103103
Unique downloads 99


Cite as