A Utah State House of Representatives bill would outlaw doxing—publishing someone's private info with the intent to facilitate harassment—but the EFF says the planned law's language is so broad it would target free speech.
At fault, Sam Machkovech reports, is the fact that the law doesn't clearly define its terms.
[Lead sponsor State Representative David E.] Lifferth's suggested amendment, on the other hand, offers no such specific, harassment-minded qualifiers in regard to "personal identifying information." The legislation as written would punish citizens for posting a laundry list of information about anyone if a court determined there was intent to annoy, alarm, or offend them, including names, birthdays, phone numbers, place of employment, photographs, or other realistic likenesses. The penalty for first-time offenders would be a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Among other things, such legislation might limit citizens' ability to hold public officials and other influential members of society accountable for their actions.
Lifferth has promised to fix the bill's language.
The Supreme Court has ruled in the closely watched Carpenter v. United States case, which questioned the constitutionality of warrantless location surveillance, a widespread practice among US law enforcement and surveillance agencies.
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