AMSTERDAM – The Dutch Senate on Tuesday approved a law to make “doxing,” the online publication of someone’s address or other personal information, a crime when it is done in an attempt to intimidate them.
Similar laws have been passed in South Korea, Hong Kong, and in some U.S. states, such as California, as part of rules against cyber harassment.
The practice of doxing as a form of intimidation has become increasingly common in the Netherlands in recent years, with first aid workers, police officers, politicians, journalists, scientists and bureaucrats all targeted.
While many forms of intimidation are already illegal under Dutch law, attempts to prosecute doxing frequently fail because the person responsible for publishing private information does not make a specific threat.
The law, expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, makes doxing punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 22,000 euro ($24,215).
The word “doxing” originates from a hacker term for obtaining and releasing documents or “docs” to attack or discredit someone. — Reuters