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Social Engineering or Hacking the Legal System

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  • Social Engineering or Hacking the Legal System

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/03/09/es....ap/index.html
    Originally posted by description of URL
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former escort service owner who has threatened to sell a list of 15,000 phone numbers from her client list to help her defense pleaded not guilty Friday to racketeering.
    ...
    Attorneys for people who fear their names will become public are also after the records, he said.
    (Emphasis my own.)

    Summary of the story: a woman was running an entertainment/escort service. She claims it was legal. The government claims it wasn't She says she is poor. To raise money she has put up a website for "donations." Additionally, she is putting up her phone list from mid 90's to 2006 up for sale, and claims there are several parties interested in buying the entire list.

    So... could this be classified as extortion? "I have secret data that you fear will be published. Pay me money for the data or I will sell it to someone else."

    http://www.lectlaw.com/def/e073.htm
    Originally posted by url
    EXTORTION - The use, or the express or implicit threat of the use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to person, reputation, or property as a means to obtain property from someone else with his consent. USC 18

    The Hobbs Act defines "extortion" as "the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right." 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2).
    What do you think? Would this count as extortion? If not, why? Do you think this is an example of her "hacking" the legal system by making the sale of this information public?
    Last edited by TheCotMan; March 10, 2007, 07:01.

  • #2
    Re: Social Engineering or Hacking the Legal System

    911, someone just stole my weed... can you come get it back for me?

    Wouldn't one of the people on the list have to be the one to sue her for extortion?
    Last edited by Fire_Walker; March 10, 2007, 19:07.
    -=FireWalker=-

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    • #3
      Re: Social Engineering or Hacking the Legal System

      Here's another example of a victimless "crime."

      The feds are letting go both barrels on the madam, and she's simply playing the hand she's dealt by reaching for any available resource.

      I assume a portion of her clientele are powerful figures who assumed risk when they employed her services. I doubt the average joe who purchased a bit of trim while on business will care, nor can they do much about it. The one's who will be most affected can call her bluff or pay her off.

      I say "go down swinging."
      "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

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      • #4
        Re: Social Engineering or Hacking the Legal System

        What do you think? Would this count as extortion?
        This wouldn't be extortion as the publication of the names on her list would not be an illegal act in and of itself.

        Wouldn't one of the people on the list have to be the one to sue her for extortion?
        There is no civil cause of action that I'm aware of for "extortion" per se. Clearly someone on the list is using the equitable powers of the court to enjoin her from sale or publication of the list because of the potential damage to their reputation.

        If she were to publicize the list I can foresee a number of lawsuits for libel against her, but if the court makes the list a part of the public record those individuals would be largely out of luck.
        jur1st, esq.

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