Sri Lankan Phonography on Dark Web

Sri Lankan Phonography on Dark Web

Perpetrators have been sharing locally produced pornography posts on the dark web for some time, and web analysts have observed that more recently there has been an increase. The dark web is only accessible using special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

There have been instances where young women have had sexually revealing posts taken by perpetrators using secret filming devices. Earlier this week, a woman who was a victim of filming of sexual activity was rescued by the Ahungalla Special Task Force officers just minutes before she jumped onto an oncoming train carrying her little child. The woman, who had an affair with a former police officer, had been threatened for ransom money after being exposed to videos he had made on her mobile phone while she was with her.

There have been several instances where older schoolboys enticing young girls with the offer of free smartphones in exchange for explicit photos and videos have shared the filming through an organized group that has developed a lucrative business of sharing pornographic content.

Sri Lankan women in compromising situations.:

WhatsApp and Facebook groups, Dropboxes, and explicit websites have been widely used to share depictions of young Sri Lankan women in compromising situations.

Hans Billimoria, Director of The Grassrooted Trust, speaking to the media, explained an escalating trend of organized cyber exploitation, using advanced technologies and encryption to evade law enforcement. As offenders utilize virtual private networks and the dark web for posting content, it has been challenging for law enforcement agencies to handle the matter.

Some have taken to pornographic content sharing as a means of income generation to face the economic crises they are facing. Recently, a Sri Lankan student living in Australia spoke up and said how her husband had filmed their sexual life in secret and posted it on the web to develop a stream of income, as he thought that it was much easier to earn a living this way than working hard. The Information Security Engineers at SLCERT, Sri Lanka’s cybersecurity agency, have received a large number of complaints from victims, and in most cases, the perpetrators have been nabbed, but the harm done to the victim is almost irreversible. Once pornographic material enters the web, it goes viral and spreads rapidly.

There are gangs of young men who have ganged up to exploit women who are addicted to drugs, and these gangs are connected to cybercrime middlemen who provide access to pornographic websites and dark web avenues. The racket has evolved into a sophisticated economic model that interweaves drugs and pornography.

Unfortunate  Incidents:

There have been unfortunate incidents where victims reporting cyber exploitation have faced harassment from police officers or have been treated in an insensitive manner. However, most officers of the cybercrime division of the Sri Lankan Police are trained and act with a professional approach.

UNICEF’s 2018 Report highlights that 52.8% of young people in Sri Lanka access the internet, posing increased risks. Cultural norms hinder open discussions about sex education, contributing to the problem.

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