Infamous hacker magazine offers $10,000 bounty for Donald Trump's tax returns

US President-elect Donald Trump exits elevators to talk with the media at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New YorkEDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

A long-running hacker zine has reinstated a bounty of over $10,000 (£8,000, €9,300) for the submission of the complete federal tax returns of US President Donald Trump. The publication, 2600, said the aim of the endeavour is to seek "truth and accountability".

"We are pledging $10,000 to the first person who gets any of these to us, provided they have not been disclosed to any other media outlet or already made public," it said in a statement posted to its website, adding: "This offer is only valid while Trump is in office."

2600, which has published in print quarterly since the late 1980s, was named after the frequency that gave early hackers the ability to control landline phones.

Advertisement

Ever since, it has been publishing on the topics of hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and more. Last year, it made a similar proposal it now says was "only half serious". This time, it maintains, things have changed.

The statement, which admitted the chance of receiving the documents was slim, continued: "There is no law that compels the president to release this information.

"But being the first in modern history to refuse to do this creates a very unhealthy environment of mistrust and suspicion, one that ultimately hurts us all. Right now, the only thing that can begin the healing process is a good dose of truth.

"We need to find out if there's a liar and a cheat in the White House or if some kind of a witch hunt is underway by his detractors. Continuing to withhold information that has traditionally been made public is the stuff of dictatorship."

Since taking office, Trump has been dogged by demands from critics to see his full tax filings.

During a January 2017 press conference, when asked about alleged Russian dealings, he claimed: "The only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters. They're the only ones."

But 2600 is far from the first to offer a reward for the records. Previously, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, offered to pay $5m for the files. "There's no real reason that Trump is keeping his returns secret, except that he sees them as a bargaining chip," he said last year.

Advertisement

And the appetite for them still exists elsewhere. In a tweet after posting about the bounty, 2600 said it had received a number donations to increase the reward to $11,000. However, despite being a renowned hacking-based publication, it doesn't want its readers to go rogue.

"This is not an appeal for people to hack the IRS and attempt to liberate these documents in that manner," it stressed. "First off, we strongly doubt they have this information on any site accessible from the outside world.

"Second, we don't want people getting themselves into trouble over this. We believe there are enough people out there who already have legitimate access to this information who will see its disclosure as the right thing to do."

According to US media reports, Trump's next major plan is for the White House to tackle tax reform –however Democrats are reportedly attempting to force the release of the president's tax filings by threatening to stall any chance of legislation if he fails to publish in full.

© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.