Women in danger… Cyber blackmail is a crime that must be addressed
The Women’s Support Unit of the National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms issued its report on the crime of electronic blackmail against girls under the title “Women in Danger … Electronic blackmail is a sin that must be addressed.” Egyptian society if we do not combat this malicious and strange phenomenon in our societies.
Electronic blackmail is a process of threatening and intimidating the victim by publishing pictures or videos or leaking confidential information belonging to the victim, in exchange for payment of money or exploitation of the victim to carry out illegal acts for the blackmailer. And Twitter, Instagram and others due to its wide spread and great use by all segments of society, and electronic extortion is increasing in light of the growing number of social media users.
Often the blackmail process begins by establishing a close relationship with the victim, and the victim is lured in different and professional ways, so that the blackmailer lure the victim and records conversations that contain offensive content or secrets of the victim, threatening and blackmailing her, either by transferring money or forcing her to do so. By actions that she refuses, and it may often amount to assigning orders that violate honor, customs and traditions, taking advantage of the victim’s surrender and her lack of help in facing the matter, which threatens Egyptian society and harms the personal security that the girls enjoyed, and it is suspicious that long periods were ignored This phenomenon and the failure to find effective and realistic solutions to it, which made cases and violations increasing every day, with disastrous results from the suicide of some victims, affected by the extent of defamation and violence that fall upon them as a result of this crime.
The National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms raises the alarm to the community about the importance of discussing and studying the phenomenon of electronic extortion in order to protect society and ensure the personal safety of half of society, who are women and girls who are exposed to electronic blackmail.
The report discusses the weakness of the legislative structure to protect girls from the crime of electronic extortion and the failure to confront the crime in a full way. The report also monitored a number of cases that appeared in electronic extortion and we are confident that there are thousands of crimes that have not been disclosed for fear of scandal, which exposes thousands of girls to violence and oppression .
The National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms has put forward a number of recommendations in order to confront the phenomenon and try to deter criminals to stop this crime that destroys entire families and clearly undermines the personal security of girls.
Among the most important recommendations of the report:
1- Issuance of an independent legal text separate from what was stated in the Penal Code on electronic extortion and toughening the legal penalty for this crime, considering it in the first place as an indecent assault and a threat to life.
2- Ensuring confidentiality and speed in receiving complaints and reporting, and offices should be allocated for this matter within each department so that the victim feels safe when reporting, and that the recipients of the communication are trained in psychological handling of cases or their victims.
3- Provide full protection to victims when they submit legal reports, enact laws to ensure this, and set penalties in case the victim is subjected to violence from the family or those around them.
4- Intensifying awareness campaigns, especially through schools, universities, seminars, and various means of communication, and raising girls’ awareness of the legal measures that can be taken if they are blackmailed.
5- Conducting psychological rehabilitation and awareness sessions for victims and their families.
6- Civil society must develop plans for many initiatives and campaigns to educate society about the rights of women and to preserve their rights in a safe society, whether on the street, at work or at home.
7- The state must establish and develop shelters to receive victims from their families exposed to any kind of domestic violence.
8- The speedy completion of the establishment of the Anti-Discrimination Commission to combat racism and clear discrimination against women and marginalized and vulnerable groups within Egyptian society and enact the necessary laws for it.