Utah anti-doxing bill would impose six-month jail term

If the Cybercime Amendments passes, doxers may want to stay clear of Utah or risk a six-month jail term.
If the Cybercime Amendments passes, doxers may want to stay clear of Utah or risk a six-month jail term.

Revenge-seekers, hotheads or just grumpy souls considering doxing a nemesis might want to avoid operating in Utah if state legislators pass a proposed bill that will make the activity a crime and attach a six-month prison sentence to it.

The likelihood of the Cybercrime Amendments (Utah HB 255) becoming a law, though, diminished nearly immediately after its introduction Monday by state Rep. David E. Lifferth with critics saying language in the bill runs counter to free online speech.

The bill's authors worded the proposed legislation to cast too broad a net. "This bill as drafted is clearly unconstitutional," Ars Technica quoted Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo saying, noting that sensible anti-doxing legislation may exist somewhere. But Lifferth's bill makes it a “crime if you, with the intent to annoy, publish someone else's name,” he said, explaining that if he posted online that “'Sam is a poo-poo head,' that's a crime under this draft."

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