What is Doxing and Can That Be Considered Domestic Violence?
Doxing consists of disclosing private information about a person. It occurs most commonly with revealing the real name of a person who uses a social media handle, like the Twitter user “Libs of TikTok.” In many cases, doxing involves revealing even more personal information, such as a person’s address, phone number, employer’s name, and employer contact information.
By itself, revealing someone’s name or personal information isn’t illegal if the information is already publicly available. Many websites like MyLife provide street addresses and phone numbers for people. However, if you dox people with the intent of harassing or terrorizing them, then you could be breaking the law. It might also be considered domestic violence in New Jersey.
Examples of Doxing
Many people dox as part of political disputes. For example, someone hacked the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo, which was raising money to support the Canada “Freedom Convoy.” The hacker then released the personal information of donors online, presumably to get back at those supporting the trucker protest.
But doxing isn’t limited to politics. Almost anyone could dox:
- A wife going through a divorce might publicize the name, address, and employment information of the woman her husband is having an affair with.
- A man who is fighting with his roommate posts the roommate’s cell phone number on Facebook and encourages people to harass him.
- A man who is upset at his former girlfriend doxes her online. He publishes on his social media page information about her new boyfriend, including where he lives.
How Doxing Becomes Domestic Violence
NJSA 2C:25-19 defines “domestic violence” to include certain acts committed against a person protected under the act. Some of the conduct which qualifies as domestic violence include:
- Terroristic threats (NJSA 2C:12-3). It is a crime to threaten physical violence with the goal of terrorizing another person.
- Harassment (NJSA 2C:33-4). Harassment consists of a course of conduct or anonymous communications which are likely to cause alarm or annoyance.
- Stalking (NJSA 2C:12-10). Any course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel emotional distress can qualify as stalking. Repeated electronic communications are examples.
Doxing can rise to the level of any of these offenses, depending on the defendant’s motivation or whether the doxing is repeated.
Who Can Be a Domestic Violence Victim?
Anyone can commit stalking, harassment, or terroristic threats, but they have not committed domestic violence unless they have a certain relationship with their victim. A victim must be at least 18 or an emancipated minor and be victimized by:
- Present member of the household
- Former member of the household
- Someone they had a child with
- Someone they anticipate having a child with
- Someone they have dated
If doxing is directed at one of these people, you could face domestic violence charges, including a restraining order. You can be arrested for violating a restraining order and face certain penalties, like jail or fines.
Were You Accused of Doxing? Contact Us
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can represent anyone accused of domestic violence. You must take these charges seriously. Call our law firm today to schedule a confidential review.