Senate adopts bill to make doxing a punishable offense

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The Senate has adopted a bill to make doxing a punishable offense. This is expected to make it a criminal offense from next year to share personal data of others for the purpose of intimidation.

The law against doxing is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2024. writes the central government. Under the law, perpetrators risk up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 22,500 euros. When doxing people with certain professions, the penalty is increased by a third. This includes, for example, mayors, politicians, judges, lawyers, journalists and police officers.

With doxing, malicious parties publicly share personal data of victims, such as addresses, telephone numbers or private information of family members. This happens, for example, in chat groups and on social media. The goal is then to frighten the victim. According to the government, doxing is becoming increasingly common, including against opinion makers, scientists, journalists and politicians. However, it also occurs, for example, with ex-partners.

This bill has been in the works for years. The then outgoing minister Ferd Grapperhaus already stated in July 2021 that he wants to ban doxing. His successor, Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, sent a bill to the House of Representatives last year, which already agreed to the proposal in February. The Senate adopted the bill on Tuesday, on the last meeting day before the summer recess.

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