What is Extortionography?

Extortionography logo.Extortionography: Using audio / video / photographic evidence for personal or monetary gain, or to force a desired result or outcome.

“What is Corporate Extortionography, and why is it important to me?”

The legal usage of illegally gathered information – when used by the news media (as from a wiretap, covert camera, room bug, or other illegal espionage method).

The legality of extortionography was first decided in a 1999 court case ,US Supreme Court decision (BARTNICKI v. VOPPER (99-1687) 200 F.3d 109)

Decision-in-a-nutshell…
The media can legally use information that someone else illegally obtains for them.

May 31, 2001 – The first post-ruling instance of Corporate Extortionography… Surveillance team targets Gay Days at Disney World. Self-described “Christian guerrillas” aimed hidden video cameras … Their mission, to record any homoerotic displays to show at Disney’s next shareholders’ meeting.

The implications of extortionography are far reaching. From disgruntled employees to social activists… All can now leverage illegal snooping to champion their cause, extort or blackmail, under the guise of newsworthiness.

Further… “the media” can be anyone… from newspaper, radio, and television… to a public access cable TV show or a homebrew Internet “news” site.

All businesses are potential targets of illegal surveillance, and extortionography is just one reason for concern. Illegal electronic surveillance is also used fro these reasons…

• Competitive Intelligence
• Economic Espionage
• Malignant Activism
• Internal Intrigue
• Strategy Spying
• Media Snooping
• Mysterious Leaks
• Personal Privacy Concerns

Recommendations…
• Read about extortionography cases in the news.
• Learn how you can detect covert cameras in your “expectation of privacy” areas.
• Learn how wireless bugs / video cameras are found.
• Learn how spycams (hidden in walls and ceilings) are found.
• Schedule professional TSCM eavesdropping detection inspections.

Not all Extortionography is Legal

Extortionography when practiced on a personal level is just blackmail or coersion. Here is an example from February 23, 2018… “Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who was once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, has been under siege since January, when accusations emerged that he threatened to use a nude photo to blackmail his former hairstylist, with whom he was having an extramarital affair… Greitens had allegedly threatened the woman by saying he would distribute a nude photo he had secretly taken of her if she exposed their relationship.” In this case, the Grand Jury indictment charge was a felony invasion of privacy.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, you don’t want to be blindsided by it, and you can takes steps to prevent it.

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Kevin D. Murray CPP, CISM, CFE is a business counterespionage consultant and TSCM specialist with over four decades of experience.

Murray Associates is an independent security consulting firm, providing eavesdropping detection and counterespionage services to business, government and at-risk individuals.

Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, a Murray Associates team can assist you quickly, anywhere in the United States, and internationally.