An infamous hacker magazine called 2600 is offering a $10,000 bounty to anyone who can provide them "first access" to Donald Trump's tax returns. The magazine announced the bounty in a tweet posted shortly after the conclusion of the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The magazine's tweet also indicated that prospective participants could make use of PGP encryption to send files and that the source's identity would be protected. The magazine also posted another tweet claiming that Trump's comments about an overweight hacker, during a heated moment in the debate, sparked the magazine's decision to offer the bounty.
"This is a guy who has not released his tax returns, despite every presidential candidate having done that over the past however many decades, and somehow that's just being swept under the rug," said the editor of 2600, who goes by the name Emmanuel Goldstein, Motherboard reported. "Guccifer 3.0, if you're out there, this is what we need: We need somebody to get in and get these returns," he added.
Is the bounty offer legal?
According to a report by DailyDot, 2600's offer does not appear to overstep the bounds of legality. Jay Leiderman, a California attorney with a history of defending hacktivists, said: "The tweet that 2600 sent out is, on its face, not soliciting illegal activity. However, having said that, the universe of people that would have the ability to lawfully release the tax returns is miniscule. Moreover, those that would be authorized to release the tax returns probably make about $10,000.00 per day.
"Accordingly, there is little possibility that 2600 could get the tax returns without someone acting unlawfully to obtain them. Even so, in that the tweet was carefully worded, I don't see 2600 having any liability for the solicitation. Or, in other words, I believe that 2600 acted lawfully."
Trump could also claim the bounty
The magazine claimed that the bounty would also be offered to Trump "or anyone in his campaign or family" in the event that his tax documents were provided to them. 2600 also indicated that it would welcome others to add to the initial amount offered as part of the Trump tax bounty. It also claimed to have received some interest from prospective contributors, interested in adding to the bounty. "This could easily become $100k or more. We can pay in dollars, bitcoin... or rubles," the magazine wrote in a tweet.
According to reports, there is still some uncertainty about the sincerity of the offer. It is also unclear if anyone may attempt to claim the bounty using either legal or illegal means.
This is not the first time that an individual or organisation has shed the spotlight on Trump's taxes. In August, Warren Buffet publicly challenged Trump to reveal his taxes. Earlier in September, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman offered to donate $5m to US military veterans if Trump reveals his tax documents before the last debate of the election.
Trump is reportedly the only US presidential candidate not to have revealed tax documents. During the first presidential debate, Trump said that he was currently being audited by the IRS and would release his tax details after the audit was concluded.