Clark bill criminalizes malicious publication of private information

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Katherine Clark has introduced the Interstate Doxxing Prevention Act, legislation to combat “doxxing” or the malicious publication of private information. Doxxing is often described as the weaponization of personally identifiable information. Perpetrators collect victims’ private information, including home addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account passwords, and cell phone numbers with the intent to share them online to encourage abusive or threatening behavior. Targets of doxxing have been threatened with violence and death, and report taking drastic actions like fleeing their homes, hiring security, and forfeiting work opportunities. Other victims of doxxing have had their identities stolen and their bank accounts compromised. The Interstate Doxing Prevention Act creates a single, clear cut federal prohibition on the use of the interstate telecommunications system to place another person in fear of death or serious bodily injury by knowingly publishing their personally identifiable information.

“Victims of crimes like cyberstalking or online threats of rape and murder constantly fear that anonymous attackers might find and hurt them or their families,” said Clark.  “They need to know that the law will protect them from criminals who jeopardize their safety by maliciously releasing private information. The Interstate Doxxing Prevention Act ensures that perpetrators who use our personal and private information to cause fear and terror will be met by the full force of the law.”

Full text of H.R. 6478 can be found here.