Wasserman Schultz, Bacon Introduce Bipartisan Doxing Threat Assessment Act to Prevent Cyber Harassment
Extremists are exploiting our online platforms to spread private information and incite violence against vulnerable individuals and groups,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Arming our national security officials and law enforcement with knowledge of how these groups operate and for identifying vulnerabilities and preventing attacks is a first step to protect our communities from harm.”
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25) and Don Bacon (NE-02) introduced the bipartisan Doxing Threat Assessment Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to evaluate risks posed to national security and civilian privacy by the digital activities of terror organizations and other foreign malign actors. They were joined by 23 original cosponsors.
“Extremists are exploiting our online platforms to spread private information and incite violence against vulnerable individuals and groups,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Arming our national security officials and law enforcement with knowledge of how these groups operate and for identifying vulnerabilities and preventing attacks is a first step to protect our communities from harm.”
“American citizens are threatened by nefarious actors who exploit the private information of others,” said Bacon. “This is a new frontier, and we need more information on the threat doxing poses, as we have seen anti-Semitic groups weaponize the data of victims. Jewish citizens and businesses have been targeted by this doxing. With more information, our law enforcement will be able to develop a more robust approach to the protections of Americans and their data.”
"Terrorists and foreign malicious actors have engaged in cyberharassment, doxing, and digital threats for quite some time,” said Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt. “Last year the Boston Mapping project, an antisemitic attempt to target and intimidate Jewish affiliated organizations across Massachusetts, including ADL, raised concerns about the threat of digital abuse, doxing, and other malicious activities from at home and abroad. I applaud and thank Reps. Wasserman Schultz and Bacon for their partnership in introducing bipartisan legislation to assess the threat of cyber harassment in an effort to drive policy to better protect vulnerable communities."
Extremist groups increasingly abuse social media platforms by ‘doxing,’ or the malevolent, unauthorized release of personal information online. Members of Congress and other federal officials have had personal information leaked by foreign-affiliated entities.
A notable case of ‘doxing’ was the “Boston Mapping Project,” an antisemitic attempt to publicize the locations of Jewish community organizations in the Boston area. It was endorsed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a U.S.-designated terrorist group) and Iranian state-run media entities. In another notorious case, the Islamic State terror group published online “kill lists” with identifying information on U.S. nationals.
This legislation would direct the development and dissemination of a threat assessment of cyber harassment tactics, to both inform future policymaking and law enforcement, as well as prevent targeted attacks on community institutions and persecuted groups.
Reps. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Becca Balint (D-VT), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Pat Ryan (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider, Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NY), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Susan Wild (D-PA), and Joe Wilson (R-SC) are original cosponsors of the legislation.
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