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One OSU student's finals strategy: blackmail and fraud

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Blackmail is not a game, unless you consider a naked dude playing an organ dur­ing an episode of "Monty Python's Flying Circus." And computers are not toys, unless you're using them to play video games. (This Chicken-Fried News item has a point, we promise.)

Allegations of blackmail and computer shenanigans are at the heart of an interest­ing story out of Payne County. While the closure of each semester is usually filled with caffeinated students cramming dur­ing all-nighters, Caroline Randal's finals week at Oklahoma State University didn't go so well, according to the Stillwater NewsPress. The 18-year-old student was asked to share her notes with a male stu­dent for an introduction to theater course (that just sounds like a toughie), which had an upcoming final. Randal refused.But that wasn't the end of it.

She allegedly started receiving unfriendly text messages Dec. 7 from fellow OSU stu­dent Brandon Paul Johnson threatening to post erroneous photos and informa­tion under her name at the dating Web site match.com, but he allegedly offered to take it down if she forked over the notes. Gee, how generous.Johnson, who also e-mailed her a fake match.com profile, then allegedly texted threats to post more on craigslist.com and Facebook, according to the NewsPress. After the case was presented to the Payne County District Attorney's office, Johnson is facing a felony charge of using a computer to extort property, the NewsPress reported.

Johnson also faces a misdemeanor charge of using a telecom­munications device to harass or intimidate. If convicted, the 24-year-old OSU student could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.To have your name and other infor­mation put out to the public without your permission is a frightening thing," Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson told the NewsPress.

"I believe from reading the report that she felt very threatened and frightened by what she was threatened with.People need to understand that mod­ern day technology, while very helpful, can be very harmful. This is an example, the allegations against Mr. Johnson, of how technology can be used to per­petuate criminal activity. "¦ Sometimes people find it easier to use a computer or text message, and people need to under­stand that this does not diminish the harm of their acts."

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