This story is getting better and better! The countdown begins: 22 days. Surely Romney / the billionaires will pay a measly $1 million to keep his secret tax returns secret. After all Romney has spent way more than that in personal credibility by refusing to release this usually common information already. From The Tennessean:
The Williamson County Republican Party this morning notified police about a package received last week that claims to include copies of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax returns hacked from an accounting office in Franklin.
A letter in the package corresponds to an incredible claim posted anonymously on a website popular among computer hackers that boasts of having downloaded copies of the tax returns obtained by hacking into systems via PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Franklin office. Whoever is behind the message is threatening to release the filings by the end of the month unless they receive $1 million.
For the same price, someone interested in seeing the returns made public could guarantee that action, according to the letter. Whomever pays first, wins.
[...] Kevin Kookogey, chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party, said his office had not attempted to access the flash drive.
Meanwhile, the Williamson County Democratic Party said they found a similar package at their office Thursday. “Somebody pushed it through the mail slot in the door,” said Gary Moore, a spokesperson for the organization.
Moore initially characterized the alleged scheme as “preposterous,” but said that because a duplicate package was left with the Republican office there may be something amiss.
Oh, please, may something really be amiss!
CNN: The Secret Service said it is investigating, and the company said there is no immediate sign that any such theft took place.
“Using your office” in Franklin, Tennessee, the group tells PricewaterhouseCoopers in an online posting, “we were able to gain access to your network file servers and copy over the tax documents for one Willard M Romney and Ann D Romney.”
It threatens to send encrypted copies to “all major news outlets” and warns, “If the parties interested do not want the encrypted key released to the public to unlock these documents on September 28 of this year then payment will be necessary.
They are demanding a cool $1 million, paid in Bitcoins, “an untraceable online currency popular in the criminal underworld,” says Chris Taylor at Mashable. “An anonymous post on Pastebin asking for Bitcoins? That’s basically a parody of hackers.” says Julia La Roche at Business Insider. — Is this theft even plausible?