Should Blackmail Be Legal

In general, extortion is the crime of threatening to disclose certain information in order to force another person to perform a certain act. In this sense, it is a crime of blackmail. «You believe that [markets] are created when individuals decide to trade with each other» – yes, you reproduced exactly what I meant here. And that`s exactly what I disagree with. A group of individuals who trade do not make a market. I think a market needs things like rules, conventions and information transfer mechanisms. Markets need a legal framework that supports them. They probably need a currency that brings with it a whole new set of rules and conventions. And they probably require some pretty sophisticated notions of «willpower,» which you seem to consider a necessary ingredient. In Kansas, for example, extortion is a crime against the person, not a theft offense. State law defines crime as a threat to reveal embarrassing or damaging information about a person in order to obtain something of value or to force someone to act against their will.

The information could relate to the victim or another person. Under the federal blackmail law, the government must prove: What makes one (perhaps) an acceptable trade and the other not? Why should the threat of physical harm be considered intolerable, but should the threat of reputational damage be acceptable? A few counter-arguments come to mind. Legal blackmail could also encourage the discovery of truly damaging information, such as: whether a politician or businessman engages in embezzlement; or relevant information that isn`t criminal, like finding out that your spouse is cheating on you, something you want to know, which can lead you to file for divorce. The invasion of privacy can be harmful, but it can also retain potentially relevant information. While Tyler acknowledges that extortion should be shown to be illegal, he doesn`t do justice to the problem. His only statement about it in his article, other than a brief mention that Jeff Bezos is one of the good guys, is this: The situation is more complicated than simply «blackmail does not involve a violation of rights.» There are constant violations of rights, some of which lead to blackmail closer to blackmail in terms of individual agency considerations. The problem with blackmail is that the blackmail victim is forced to participate in a transaction in which they would not otherwise engage (or is it a monopoly issue where the victim can only negotiate with one supplier). The whole thing is colorful with a touch of coercion.

And as far as blackmail is concerned, is there added value or only rental extraction? They have proved too much. If this is reason enough to prohibit blackmail, it is also reason enough to prevent people from speaking ill of you, even if they are not blackmailing. To Tyler`s credit, he refers to a 1985 article by economist Walter Block and historian David Gordon, «Blackmail, Extortion, and Free Speech: A Reply to Posner, Epstein, Nozick, and Lindgren,» in which they explain why blackmail should be legal. Unfortunately, Tyler doesn`t talk about it. Block and Gordon make a scathing critique of jurists Richard Posner and Richard Epstein, and I recommend the article. Should abortion for sale also be a legal form of blackmail? While the terms «extortion» and «blackmail» are virtually indistinguishable in their common usage, and although they are similar crimes, the terms do not mean exactly the same thing. Blackmail occurs when a person threatens to reveal private information about another person unless they receive compensation for remaining silent. In contrast, «extortion» occurs when a person threatens to physically harm or harm another person unless the blackmailer receives compensation.

Since both blackmail and blackmail involve threatening people with something valuable, state legislators have often codified them under the same law. These laws are often officially referred to as «extortion» or «extortion» or «theft by extortion.» Despite the different names, they criminalize both acts in a similar way, so the terms can often be used interchangeably safely. [4] There is no doubt that the scope of freedom of expression includes many illegal acts because we do not want a government to analyze speech too thoroughly. But we may be more willing to allow the government to criminalize speech for money more aggressively than gratuitous speech because we are less concerned with large-scale legitimate acts. The publication of nude photos of a person without their consent is certainly an illegal act, at least if it is not in the service of an overriding public interest. And this is probably the case with the prototypical act of blackmail. Therefore, I am still not convinced that, under these premises, there are many arguments in favour of repealing anti-blackmail laws. Would those who legalize blackmail agree to blackmail secret homosexuals so that they are not revealed? While it is certainly legal to come out to people today, do we really need additional incentives for the kind of low lives that would engage in such wickedness? Blackmail is a legal paradox because it does not require the threat of illegal activity. It is generally not illegal for one person, for example, to reveal truthful information about another.

However, it is illegal extortion to demand money from a person if they do not reveal potentially harmful information (even if it is true). Perhaps a better objection to blackmail is that it distracts everyone, degrades public discourse, and runs counter to the possibility of a second chance at life in the broadest sense. Of course, we need to discuss what constitutes good and bad behaviour. But the focus should be on what people did or didn`t do, rather than the drama of how the information was obtained. When we think of the old aphorism «the truth will set you free», the only «weapon» the blackmailer has is the truth. By using the truth to back up his threats (which he sometimes has to do), he releases the truth, very often without the intention of doing everything he can do right or wrong. Laws aimed at preventing blackmail are a remedy for known failures in the information market. If extortion is legal, the amount of information produced depends on the value of the information to both counterparties. It would be nice if the information were an ordinary commodity where the marginal cost is positive and all interested parties have the opportunity to bid (think of the automotive market). But the MC of information dissemination is zero. This means that anyone willing to pay a positive amount should be able to bid. But due to high transaction costs, this market does not work well at all.

We see the gun to the head as a constraint because we believe that people value their lives and should not be forced (by an outside agent) to arbitrarily choose between life and something they would rather not do. However, the line drawn in the case of physical violence is arbitrary. People appreciate a lot of things. I think the application of the concept of coercion to things other than physical force can be slippery, but I also think a purely physical definition of coercion is a bit narrow. Another aspect of extortion that distinguishes it from ordinary theft crimes is the way it is punished.