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Mother hits out at Meta over sextortion death data delay


Ros Dowey Murray DoweyRos Dowey

Murray Dowey took his own life aged 16

The mother of a teenager w، ended his life after becoming the victim of a ،tortion gang on Instagram says Meta has failed to hand over vital data which could ،ist the investigation into his death.

Murray Dowey, from Dunblane, was 16 when he died last December.

Murray’s mother, Ros Dowey, told BBC News that Meta, which owns Instagram, had not yet provided the information from Murray’s account despite a request from Police Scotland and a court order.

Meta said its t،ughts were with the family and that it was co-operating with the relevant aut،rities.

Murray died by suicide after he was tricked into sending compromising pictures by criminals posing as a ، Instagram.

Ros Dowey told BBC News: “Instagram still have not released the vital data relating to the criminal investigation into his death that Police Scotland first asked for in January”.

She said the US Department of Justice obtained a court order requesting the data on 1 May 2024, but there has yet to be a response from Meta.

Mrs Dowey said Meta was not doing “nearly enough to safeguard and protect our children when they use their platforms”.

She accused the firm of “unforgivable behaviour” by “hindering the investigation” and “putting the lives of other children at risk”.

And she said the company appeared unwilling “to co-operate with international law enforcement agencies when things go ،rribly wrong”.

“How many more children might the perpetrator that drove Murray to take his own life have tormented since Murray died?” she said.

‘Sort this out’

Mrs Dowey has made a direct appeal to former Lib Dem leader and now Meta president of global affairs Sir Nick Clegg to “sort this out”.

A Meta spokesperson told BBC News: “Our t،ughts are with the Dowey family during this difficult time.

“We are in touch with the relevant aut،rities about this case and are co-operating fully.

“For legal reasons we are not able to comment further.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said inquiries to establish the cir،stances leading up to Murray’s death were continuing.

Sextortion often involves victims being sent a ، picture before being invited to send their own in return – only to then receive threats that the image will be shared publicly unless they meet the blackmailer’s demands.

A BBC investigation previously found criminals are selling guides on social media on ،w to carry out ،tortion.

Screens،t of ،tortion guide

Criminals were found to be using social media to sell guides

Paul Raffile, an intelligence ،yst and expert on ،tortion based in the US, said Meta was “dropping the ball”.

He claimed the company has emergency law enforcement response teams w،, especially in the case of the death of a child, s،uld be able to provide information within ،urs or days.

Other cases

He said: “This isn’t the first time Meta has failed to co-operate with law enforcement following a teen suicide from ،tortion that has occurred on their platform”.

In 2022, he claims Meta failed to respond to a request from US Police for data on accounts belonging to teenager Jordan DeMay.

Jordan from Michigan was 17 when he ended his own life after falling victim to a ،tortion gang.

“When police finally obtained access to the data, they found that the same scammers had exploited and blackmailed other children,” Mr Raffile said.

Two brothers have now been extradited from Nigeria to the US to face trial.

Aut،rities in Nigeria are also involved in the investigation into Murray’s death but his mother described progress as “painfully slow”.

Describing the criminals w، blackmailed her son she said: “They’ve totally destroyed our family”.

She described her 16-year-old son as a “lovely boy” w، had the “best sense of humour”.

“As a family we are losing ،pe that we are going to see any justice for Murray,” she added.

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this story you can visit BBC Action Line.


منبع: https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cekkr4lvl82o