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Kentucky Lawmakers Hit Refresh On Anti-Doxing Bill

Josh James

Fallout from the 2019 viral video showing Covington Catholic students interacting with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. continues in Frankfort, as lawmakers look to revive a bill aimed at criminalizing "doxing."

Doxing is the practice of posting personal or identifying information online with the intent of targeting a person or group for harassment.

Last year, Ted Sandmann — the father of Nick Sandmann, the high school student seen in the widely-circulated video — pressed Kentucky lawmakers to create new penalties for doxing a minor.

"My son, Nicholas Sandmann, was the victim of the most sensational Twitter attack on a minor child in the history of the internet," he testified before legislators.

Lawmakers were unable to muster enough support for an anti-doxing bill last year, but sponsor Chris McDaniel hopes it can gain momentum in 2020. Under Senate Bill 182, it would be a misdemeanor to spread personal information, such as the names, addresses, or schools of those under 18, and a felony if that information led to bodily harm or loss of income.

Critics contend the measure would be broad, difficult to enforce, and could lead to the prosecution of victims who discuss details of their cases online.

The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads to the full chamber.

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