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Australia intends to criminalize doxxing after flood of personal info

Mark Dreyfus, the country’s attorney general, said the practice is “far from being an isolated incident.”

Names and faces on social media. Credit: Pixabay.
Names and faces on social media. Credit: Pixabay.

The top lawyer in Australia’s government is calling for a ban on doxxing after an anti-Israel group released 900 pages of a WhatsApp chat group that included Jewish writers and members of the media.

The information dump included a spreadsheet with personal details for nearly 600 people.

Mark Dreyfus, the country’s attorney general, seeks to pass a law that would send take-down notices to websites and impose fines.

“The increasing use of online platforms to harm people through practices like doxxing, the malicious release of their personal information without their permission, is a deeply disturbing development,” he said.

He also noted that the practice is “far from being an isolated incident.”

Nigel Phair, director-enterprise for the University of New South Wales, expressed skepticism that Dreyfus’s proposed law would be effective, pointing to the difficulty of police gaining access to the necessary data and their already heavy workload on Internet-related crime. 

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