Anti-doxing bill filed in the Utah State Legislature

Posted at 10:01 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 13:23:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of state lawmakers have filed a bill that makes “doxing” a crime in Utah.

Senate Bill 227, sponsored by Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, and Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, makes it a misdemeanor crime to disseminate personal information online with the intent that others will share it and harass someone.

If it happens repeatedly, the bill calls for the charge to be elevated to a third-degree felony, which carries a potential prison sentence.

SB227 includes a long list of what is considered identifying information, including home addresses, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, phone numbers, credit card info, biometric data, employee numbers, electronic signatures, photos, screen names and passwords and “information in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

“‘Identifying information’ does not include information that is lawfully available from publicly available information, or from federal, state, or local government records lawfully made available to the general public,” the bill’s language states.

“Doxing” is publishing identifying information about someone with a malicious intent. Social media has been used to disseminate the personal information, in an effort to inflame people or intimidate the victims of doxing.

The bill was introduced in the Utah State Legislature on Wednesday and no committee hearing has been scheduled.

In recent years, state lawmakers have gotten more aggressive about cyber crimes. Last year, Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain, attempted to ban doxing, but he ultimately gutted his bill over free speech issues. His bill still criminalized Direct Denial of Service (DDOS) and Swatting attacks.