Senator Boxer prods DoJ to step up efforts to track sextortion crimes

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

On the heels of a disturbing Brookings Institution report that shed new light on sextortion cybercrimes, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) yesterday sent a letter to the Department of Justice, asking the agency to disclose its efforts to track and study this particular breed of criminal offense.

"While the attacks may be virtual, the damage is not. These experiences can have traumatic, lifelong psychological consequences," Boxer wrote in the letter, addressed to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “However, since specific data is not collected by any federal entity on online sexual extortion, the full extent of this crime is largely unknown.”

In its report, the Brookings Institution said that it identified via public records 78 recent cases of online sextortion involving at least 1,397 victims, although the true number of victims likely ranged between 3,000 and 6,500.

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