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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Quincy, Massachusetts, United States

    Default Doxxing and Harassment

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Massachusetts

    While my location is Massachusetts, the possible offenders are located out of state, and possibly out of the country.

    Some backstory: a few weeks ago we ended up outing a person who claimed previously to have watched child pornography. This was on a public stream, and the person has since changed his story several times. Since we outed the individual as a possible pedophile, he has been attempting to DOX many of us who confronted him on the issue. The person claims to be a GS-13 in government service. However, knowing only his name and a possible last place of residence, I can find nothing more on him at the moment. This individual, working alongside his friends, have attempted to DOX myself to include my birthdate by using hacked information from some database, to include access to passwords. He has attempted to target family--and to date has failed, but he has done this to others and they have made death threats and the like to family members of other "marks".

    My question is what should I do? Doxxing isn't a crime as far as I know, but I don't seem to have many choices dealing with this group.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Doxxing and Harassment

    There is no precise definition of “doxxing” and that term is not used in the law at all. In general, doxxing seems to refer to gathering information about someone using available sources on the internet, at least as a starting point. There is nothing illegal about gathering up information that is freely available to everyone on the internet. If the person obtains information illegally, by say hacking into an account to which he is not allowed access, that may be a crime. So it depends very much on what the person does to gather the information. It also matters where the person is located as well as where whatever computers he/she is trying to access are located. So long as the person is not obtaining the information illegally, there isn't anything you can do to prevent him/her from gathering that info.

    However, threats and harassment are another matter. Those things are not part of doxxing, though the information obtained might be used to engage in threats and harassment. Threats and harassment can be crimes, so if you are getting threats of violence or are subject to harassment, you will want to report that to police.

    By and large it is a good idea to avoid direct confrontation with unknown people on the internet. You never know which person out there might be mentally unbalanced, violent, etc., and might take revenge against you for that confrontation. Outing that guy may not have been wise. If you really thought he might be involved with receiving or distributing child porn, report that to the FBI or local police and let them deal with it.

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