(The Center Square) – Legislation before Illinois lawmakers would allow civil recourse, including monetary damages, from those accused of a form of cyberbullying called “doxxing.”
House Bill 2954 defines doxxing as when an individual intentionally publishes another person’s private information, such as a home address, without their consent to purposely harm that individual.
Angela Inzano, policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Illinois, said her organization is opposed to the measure because the language in the legislation is too broad.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, said the intent of the bill is not to limit constitutionally protected speech.
“We feel it’s important that while we may not remove or necessarily adopt all the suggestions from the ACLU, that we have come as far as we can,” said Gong-Gershowitz. “We feel as policymakers sometimes we need to make those calls to ensure we address the harms we are seeking to address.”
Oregon and Nevada have passed anti-doxxing laws, and similar legislation is currently moving through the Washington state legislature.
A high-profile case of doxxing came from Elon Musk, who tweeted in December that his son had been stalked by a driver in Los Angeles. He claimed that internet tracking of his private jet led to the situation.
The Illinois bill advanced out of committee and is headed to the House floor.
This article First appeared in the center square