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TN Man Indicted For Romney Blackmail Attempt: Wanted $1M In Bitcoins

timothy posted 1 year,27 days | from the ok-ok-one-hundred-beeeeeeelion-in-bitcoin dept.

Crime 92

OakDragon writes "A Franklin, Tennessee man has been indicted for his attempt to blackmail Mitt Romney. Michael Mancil Brown allegedly claimed his intent to release some of Romney's pre-2010 tax documents unless one million dollars was converted to Bitcoins and deposited into an account which he specified. Demand letters were sent to Republican and Democratic Party offices in Tennessee, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (whom he claimed to have stolen the documents from). Pricewaterhouse Coopers denies that he ever obtained such documents. Brown was also attempting to "sell" the documents to others (presumably the Democrats or other interested parties) for the same amount. And yes, he was apparently well aware of the Dr. Evil reference."

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92 comments

Is that really blackmail? (5, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125543)

It's not like he was asking for anything of value in return.

Re:Is that really blackmail? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125831)

Yes. Just because I'm asking for 1 million pounds of dog shit, that doesn't make my threat to release evidence of some embarrassing thing you did if you don't give me that 1 million pounds of dog shit any less blackmail.

A better question would have been "why waste a perfectly good blackmail on something as worthless as bitcoins?".

Re:Is that really blackmail? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | 1 year,26 days | (#44131047)

why waste a perfectly good blackmail on something as worthless as bitcoins?

Lack of tracability (... or so he thought...)

Re:Is that really blackmail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125933)

Yes it is,

Looks like you and Mr. Brown have the same amount of intelligence.

How Is This News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125567)

If he just asked for dollars instead of bitcoins, would you still have posted this??!! I don't get it, what makes this story relevant to tech or geeky news??

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125643)

Its not. It is an opening for an argument about Mitt Romney and his policies which will never be implemented at the top federal level. Page views = ratings...

Republican vs Democrats is always a good place for someone to fight. Do not give into 'we vs they'. There is only us.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (2)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,27 days | (#44128225)

Baloney. There is a reason the guy demanded bitcoin instead of USD that has nothing to do with politics, it is due to the technical aspects of bitcoin, namely the fact that it is designed to be untraceable and facilitate anonymous transactions. All made possible (again, UNLIKE conventional currencies) entirely by the Internet and encryption. Slashdot is about nothing if not the double-edged nature of each advance in technology.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

dwye (1127395) | 1 year,26 days | (#44129839)

As opposed to cash in nonconsecutive $20 bills, which are trivial to trace, and which record all transactions directly at the nearest IRS office? OP and grandparent ACs have it right. This is tangentially about anything in which nerds would be interested, as nerds.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (2)

Vintermann (400722) | 1 year,26 days | (#44130345)

It is not untraceable. In fact, if that bribe was paid, Romney could trace it from account to account, no matter how many the blackmailer tried to filter it through. As soon as one of the coins were used in the legal economy (for buying dollars, hosting space or whatever), he would leave traces which would link back to the original account.

Lots of bitcoin have been stolen through bitcoin's history, mostly though scams. And the vast majority of stolen bitcoin has not moved since - for good reasons. It is possible to measure how much of the coin in your wallet is "tainted", coin that came from a scam at some point. Bitcoin exchanges have frozen accounts because they held too much tainted coin, and it's only going to get worse (or better, depending on your perspective) in the future.

There are "mixing" services where you pay one bitcoin to get back one bitcoin (or rather, slightly less) from someone else. This is a way to break a bitcoin's chain of custody. However you're a fool to do this if your coin is clean, since you're likely to get a dirty (potentially less valuable) one in return. It's just charity to scammers and others who managed to get their paws on bitcoin in dubious ways.

Plus, since these services are anonymous and cater to criminals, there's a significant risk they'll break and run one day, so you won't even get a dirty coin back.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,26 days | (#44132197)

Right or wrong, the blackmailer evidently at least thought bitcoin would be harder to trace than cash, because otherwise he would have demanded cash. It would certainly be easier to spend. The resulting discussion about the blackmailer's (erroneous) assumptions, such as your post, are interesting, pertinent to slashdot, and not particularly political.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125651)

If Snowden's news are "relevant" to / . this shit is as well...

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125717)

"If he just asked for dollars instead of bitcoins, would you still have posted this??!! I don't get it, what makes this story relevant to tech or geeky news??"

A man from Tennessee knows what bitcoins are and he assumes that Romney does too, isn't that wild enough for you??

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,27 days | (#44129251)

Yes, Im quite sure Romney is oblivious to economic trends and topics, and that everyone in Tennessee has no technical prowess whatsoever.

How exactly did you get modded insightful for an idiotic jab at an entire state's residents?

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125895)

Slashdot: FOX News For Nerds

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

tibman (623933) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126381)

crime over the internet isn't techy?

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126471)

Today people learn, work, shop, bank, communicate, mate and basically live on the internet. Just because something happens on it doesn't make it relevant to technology.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126631)

Does it matter? That's not even slashdot's slogan anymore.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

dwye (1127395) | 1 year,26 days | (#44129851)

Well, it is, but it gets overwritten too fast for anyone to see unless they read the HTML source.

should have change the title (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125569)

"Man charged for accepting bitcoins"

because all he does is trying to open-source romney tax return

"Democrat Party" (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125599)

Your bias is showing.

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125693)

How? he tried to blackmail democrats with the same information. Unless you are implying that the tax returns would have held some horrible secrets that would have brought him down. But I'm sure he has nothing to hide.

Re:"Democrat Party" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125789)

It's called the "Democratic Party". Their political opponents have taking to calling them the "Democrat Party" in recent years because "Democratic" sounds the same as "democratic".

Re:"Democrat Party" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126249)

Their political opponents have taking to calling them the "Democrat Party" in recent years because "Democratic" sounds the same as "democratic".

You say that like it's a bad thing. Personally, I think your bias is showing, because you are telling us that you like the confusion that may be caused by mixing "Democratic" and "democratic".

Re:"Democrat Party" (4, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126461)

Their political opponents have taking to calling them the "Democrat Party" in recent years because "Democratic" sounds the same as "democratic".

You say that like it's a bad thing. Personally, I think your bias is showing, because you are telling us that you like the confusion that may be caused by mixing "Democratic" and "democratic".

"One is my name, the other is not." [youtube.com]

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126573)

What bias? I didn't express any opinions at all, just listed the relevant facts. I didn't say I liked anything or disliked anythying.

Re:"Democrat Party" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126611)

If it confuses you, you are an idiot. There is no bias in calling a group what they want to be called.

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44127443)

There is within the group when the use a common term to purposely confuse the issue.

Re:"Democrat Party" (1, Offtopic)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126919)

It's called the "Democratic Party".

By Democrats. By everyone else, it's not (and the use of the term dates to at least the late 19th century). That little rhetorical change helps remind us that the Democrat Party is not a party of democracy, but just happens to have that name.

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44128493)

God damn you are a petty douche.

Re:"Democrat Party" (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,26 days | (#44129773)

And you're a whiny little brat. Neiner neiner.

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126985)

Someone should've told that to all of my neighbors last year with their "Stop the Republican War on Women, Vote Democrat!" signs.

Re:"Democrat Party" (4, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | 1 year,27 days | (#44128073)

"Democrat Party" is generally accepted to be derogatory, by the people who use it and the Democrats themselves. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/08/07/060807ta_talk_hertzberg [newyorker.com] I remember that Joe McCarthy used it.

Re:"Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44133235)

Yeah, using "Democrat Party" makes you sound un-America.

Re:"Democrat Party" (1)

timothy (36799) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125703)

Corrected now; that was a slip-up, should have caught it in the original submission.

timothy

Re:"Democrat Party" (0, Troll)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126855)

I suggest switching it back. Sure the "Democratic Party" is acceptable as a term, but it has an unduly favorable connotation. Keep in mind that the term, "Democrat Party" has been in use for over a century and sidesteps that ancient bit of propaganda.

Re:"Democrat Party" (4, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127639)

"Democrat Party" sounds like you're deliberately using bad grammar to demonize democrats, because they rate so low in your estimation.

Re:"Democrat Party" (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,27 days | (#44129283)

I think it sounds stupid but I really dont understand why people are getting bent out of shape about it. Its a name, and not a particularly insulting one (unless youre choosing to be insulted for some reason), and the intent seems pretty clear-- to avoid creating an inaccurate association between democracy and the "dem" party. (there is, of course, nothing more democratic about the "democratic" party than there is about the republican party).

If it makes anyone feel better you can call my party the "republic party". Ill look at you a little strangely but I promise it wont upset me.

Re: "Democrat Party" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44130941)

And what is so "Republican" about the Jesus Party?

Re:"Democrat Party" (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,26 days | (#44130029)

"Democrat Party" sounds like you're deliberately using bad grammar to demonize democrats

You mean Demoncrats. I'm here all week. Try the veal!

There's video too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125601)

There is video [youtube.com] evidence of his blackmail too.

So what's the big deal? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125629)

Repukes are a fair game, religious ones especially.
Every slashdotter knows that. /sarcasm

re: the write-up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125657)

Despite the efforts of Republican pollsters to make the whole country speak in a way that focus groups showed was mildly favorable to their interests, there is no such entity as the "Democrat Party."

Re: the write-up (1)

timothy (36799) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125719)

You're right.

Corrected now; that was a slip-up, should have caught it in the original submission.

timothy

Obviously... (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125675)

starting the insanity defense early

He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (5, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125751)

Look, these tax returns are unique, kinda neat. But if I buy them, they are gonna sit on a shelf for 6 months. I have to find just the right buyer. And even then, I am not sure I can get $1 million for them. I'll give you 50 bucks.

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125845)

Or if he talks to Chum, he can give the guy 5 million dollars.

Chum: "What's a buttcoin?"

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126233)

Chum: "What's a buttcoin?"

Big Hoss: "It's what comes out after you eat one of those chocolate coins from Mardi Gras."

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126259)

"I was hoping for more money, but you know, now I have $50 and can take the wife out to eat."

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126861)

"I guess I did OK, considering that the production staff already interviewed me and told Rick what I was willing to take."

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126827)

I'm going to have to have them cleaned up, and framed, and get Romney's tax preparer to sign a certificate of authenticity.

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,26 days | (#44131015)

Or does Rick have an "buddy" that is an accountant that can verify the authenticity of a 1040A?

Re:He should have gone to the Pawn Stars shop (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | 1 year,27 days | (#44128495)

he never even had the papers in the first place, clearly a well thought out plan

Romney?? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125779)

Who the hell is he?

Re:Romney?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125867)

Some extremist wacko that makes even Democrats look very good.

Re:Romney?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44126409)

A liar, a tax evader, a politician who changes his views every time it's convenient, a cheat, a guy with a HUGE sense of entitlement. Someone who enjoys screwing everyone else over, and then blames it on them.

Someone who appeals to Republicans.

Re:Romney?? (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126945)

And if you had changed that last sentence to "appeals to Democrats", you'd have Obama. I guess that's why some people are upset over the two party system in US politics.

False equivalence (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44127061)

False equivalence. Obama is not remotely as bad as Romney, not within orders of magnitude. Although, if you'd been indoctrinated by Fox News and all the rest of the dishonest conservative media, and you believed all the lies, you sure would believe he was.

Re:False equivalence (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127269)

Obama is not remotely as bad as Romney, not within orders of magnitude.

Nonsense. For example, none of Obama's employers have ever benefited from Obama like Bain Capital did from Romney.

Re:False equivalence (1)

blue trane (110704) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127667)

Are you saying Vulture Capitalism is a good thing?

Re:False equivalence (2, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127803)

If Obama's massive spending and borrowing scared the shit out of investors, dragging out the recovery, then Obama was literally about 50,000 times worse than Romney, assuming you wanted to assign all Bain blame to Romney.

For this not to be true, you have to hope and pray investors are not signicantly scared and skittish when politicians spend out of control and scream the only way out is increasing taxes on them.

NO. I'm sure I'm wrong. Go on about your business.

Re:False equivalence (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127947)

I've dabbled in it myself. Don't see the harm it's alleged to cause to be honest.

Re:Romney?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44130557)

Such a periphrase, you could just have said he's a man.

Must have been a marijuana addict or a pervert (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125785)

As that's all you can buy with bitcoins. The currency of criminals.

Re:Must have been a marijuana addict or a pervert (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126025)

or you just immediately convert it back to dollars, foo

Re:Must have been a marijuana addict or a pervert (1)

tompaulco (629533) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127091)

Or use one of the 800+ vendors that accept bitcoins.

Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transaction (3, Informative)

MatthewNewberg (519685) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125803)

$1 Mil in Bitcoins is the total daily volume of MtGrox. I am thinking it might take some work to get that many bitcoins in short order.

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125987)

Meh, just wait a week, tops, until the wildly unstable value of a Bitcoin* flings itself out such that 0.5BTC is equal to $1M. A half hour later, it'll be down to 12 cents, then up to $32, then another crash will happen*, but at the time of the transaction, it was a fair trade*.

*: Which the Bitcoin loonies trumpet as a sign of the system's "health".

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (1)

tompaulco (629533) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127103)

There should be a "Liar" mod.

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125995)

Kind of pointless too, since from what I read Bitcoin transaction hashes are designed to identify exactly where the money came from, so it would be very difficult for him to convert the money into a fiat currency without it being extremely traceable.

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (3, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126043)

Kind of pointless too, since from what I read Bitcoin transaction hashes are designed to identify exactly where the money came from, so it would be very difficult for him to convert the money into a fiat currency without it being extremely traceable.

There are laundries where this is possible (For a fee). Not every exit to BTC is guarded by the US or its extraditing allies.

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126559)

well yeah if you would expect every bitcoin user to care about it - which you can't.

and since you can't, you can laundry it.

Re:Not enough liquid Bitcoins to complete transact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44127275)

"$1 Mil in Bitcoins is the total daily volume of MtGrox"

You're so full of shit I don't even know where to start de-defecating your bullshit 'facts'.

Considering before the bust MtGox was doing over $100M in USD transactions daily for bitcoin.

How culpable? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44125879)

I mean Tennesseans are barely sentient beings [umkc.edu] , so can we really hold this guy accountable for his actions?

Re:How culpable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44128509)

There a a lot of very smart Tennesseans, and almost all of them came from somewhere else

If only they took his advice (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | 1 year,27 days | (#44125989)

$1M worth of BTC bought back on Sept 2, 2012 would be valued over $10M today and closer to $25M during the peak a few months ago. What blackmail!

He thought of everything (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126007)

He would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for that meddling printer. Such a perfect plan.

Regulation of Bitcoin (2)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,27 days | (#44126039)

Another example of why both law enforcement and regulators will have increasing interest in Bitcoin as it becomes more heavily used.

Re:Regulation of Bitcoin (1)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,26 days | (#44130517)

Crazy notion. Why bother with junk bitcoins, when you can open an anonymous account in some off shore tax haven and have them transfer their money from their off shore tax haven account ie they can't report you without shooting themselves in their tax returns. Same with kidnapping the right wing rich and greedy with tax cheating off shore tax haven bank accounts, accounts hidden, transfers can never be reported and again can't say anything without shooting themselves in their tax returns. Criminals are very much always very vulnerable to crime. Can't report having to pay off that ransom, bride or extortion without having to report where the money came from to pay for it and why you haven't paid any tax on it.

The real question (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127001)

Why does anyone consider Mitt Romney's 2010 worth anything at all, and what in the bleeding blue hell is so bad on these that it's considered ransom-able?

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44127701)

He probably declared his income as zero and got welfare money from the government.

Re:The real question (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127865)

He refused to release it. Therefore he must have had something to hide. The political costs of not releasing were obvious. Therefore he decided releasing it would be even worse.

Re:The real question (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | 1 year,26 days | (#44132291)

So let me get this straight Impy the Impiuos Imp, are you implying that the implications of this might implicitly implicate his imperfect tax record instead of the impeccable impersonation of an honest business man? Sorry man I couldn't resist.

Re: The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44130973)

The operating theory among those whove looked into it carefully is that he likely had stashed a lot of money in Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes, and took advantage of a tax amnesty program to repatriate the money before the USG started prosecuting. Having a foreign bank account to evade taxes is illegal.

Anonymity (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127309)

Bitcoin provides anonymity. Unfortunately like most computer security mechanisms, the weak link is the human being using them.

Even if this guy had the alleged information, and wasn't stupid enough to get caught, it makes no sense for Romney to pay him. If Romney paid the guy $1M in bitcoins, there is nothing stopping him from also selling the info to the democrats or a newspaper immediately afterwards for another $1M. It's not like you can sue the guy for breach of contract.

Re:Anonymity (2)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,27 days | (#44127339)

Bitcoin provides anonymity. Unfortunately like most computer security mechanisms, the weak link is the human being using them.

Even if this guy had the alleged information, and wasn't stupid enough to get caught, it makes no sense for Romney to pay him. If Romney paid the guy $1M in bitcoins, there is nothing stopping him from also selling the info to the democrats or a newspaper immediately afterwards for another $1M. It's not like you can sue the guy for breach of contract.

Omg, you discovered the problem with blackmailing people. Too bad no one else ever thought of that!

Re:Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44127861)

It's also the reason that blackmail shouldn't be illegal. If two people want to enter into a contract, that's grand... then if one party reneges, you can sue them for breach of contract.

If the information was acquired legally, why is it moral to prohibit the person from profiting of it? If it was acquired illegally, then there's already a law in place to prosecute theft or trespass or what have you.

If I have documents that I *legally* acquired, I can choose to publish them. I can also choose to not publish them. If someone pays me for the rights to publish them, that's legal. If someone pays me for the rights to not publish them ... why should that suddenly be illegal??

Re:Anonymity (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,27 days | (#44128285)

Because in a contractual agreement, both sides are entering the agreement willfully. An agreement based on blackmail is an agreement made by coercion.

Re:Anonymity (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,23 days | (#44156947)

It's not necessarily made by coercion. If someone says, "Give me $1M or I will murder your children", then it is coercion. If someone says "Give me $1M or I will leak negative information about you", that is not coercion, especially if it is information that if leaked without the blackmail, would be legal. This kind of blackmail actually gives the person a choice (albeit not a very good one), where the alternative is no choice. The blackmailer is not forcing (i.e. coercing) the victim to give into the demands. It's not coercive, just manipulative.

In fact, in many cases, the winners in a incident of blackmail are both the blackmailer and blackmailee, and the losers are the general public. If someone discovers a politician is taking bribes, and blackmails him for money not to release the info, the blackmailer profits, the politician gets to keep his office, and the public is stuck with a douchebag politician.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,23 days | (#44158213)

"give me money or something bad will happen to you" is coercion. Coercion does not require physical harm. It is not illegal for a boss to tell an employee the phrases "sleep with me" or "I will fire you". But combine those two and you have coercion.

Re:Anonymity (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,23 days | (#44159221)

That is a very broad definition of coercion. I am not saying it is a definition nobody uses, but it is one in which nearly everything can be considered coercion. It could include you're employer saying "Come to work on time or I will fire you". Whether the threat is justified does not affect it's coerciveness.

Even in the case of "Sleep with me or you're fired", being fired is not considered a life destroying phenomenon. It can be life destroying, but usually it takes more than firing someone to completely destroy their life. People get fired all the time. I've been fired twice. If you give someone a difficult choice, but it remains an actual choice rather than being so frightening as to cause people to make irrational decisions, then it is not what I would consider to be coercion.

If it is what you would call coercion, then I would at least try to have you acknowledge that there is a distinction between "Sleep with me or you're fired", and "sleep with me or I will slit your throat with this knife". In one of them you probably have much more freedom to make a rational decision. Maybe you decide to quit, or sleep with the guy to advance your career, or maybe you think reporting the incident is the best action. But you still get to decide things in a more free way than if there is a knife to your throat.

Re:Anonymity (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,26 days | (#44129859)

Well I see you've discovered how to be an asshole...
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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