Doxxing: Laws set to criminalise ‘unacceptable’ practice could be in place by the middle of 2024

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Laws to criminalise doxxing could be in place by the middle of the year as the Federal Government moves quickly to stamp out the ‘unacceptable’ practice.
Laws to criminalise doxxing could be in place by the middle of the year as the Federal Government moves quickly to stamp out the ‘unacceptable’ practice. Credit: Pexels/Pixabay

Laws to criminalise doxxing could be in place by the middle of the year as the Federal Government moves quickly to stamp out the “unacceptable” practice.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signalled the Government would seek to outlaw doxxing after the details of more than 600 Jewish writers, artists and academics were leaked online last month.

Doxxing is the act of publishing private information about an individual on the internet for malicious reasons.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will start consultation on anti-doxxing legislation on Monday. He hopes the new protections will pass the Federal Parliament as soon as mid-year.

“The increasing use of online platforms to harm people through practices like doxxing, the malicious release of their personal information without their permission, is an alarming development,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Australians should have trust and confidence that their personal information is kept safe and secure in the digital age.

“The targeted and malicious release of personal information without permission is unacceptable and unacceptable.”

The Government will convene a roundtable with key stakeholders, including victims, this week as part of the consultation process.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry demanded a crackdown after the mass doxxing involving the Jewish creatives.

“We cannot, as a free and democratic society, permit the compilation of racial blacklists and the ensuing exclusion, vilification and harassment to take place,” ECAJ president Daniel Aghion said on February 12.

Mr Aghion also urged social media platforms to deactivate accounts that were found to have engaged in doxxing.

Mr Albanese confirmed in a radio interview later that day that Mr Dreyfus would bring forward legislation to combat the practice.

“The idea that in Australia, someone should be targeted because of their religion, because of their faith, whether they be Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Catholic or Buddhist, is just completely unacceptable,” he said.

The opposition welcomed the crackdown, with Coalition frontbencher James Paterson lamenting that such laws were necessary in 2024.

Senator Paterson said at the time that subject to measures to protect press freedom, the laws should be “very swiftly put through the parliament”.

Mr Dreyfus is also working on new laws to stamp out hate speech.

Attorney-General and Acting Foreign Minister Mark Dreyfus speaks to media during a doorstop at Treasury Gardens in Melbourne, Thursday, December 28, 2023. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will start consultation on anti-doxxing legislation on Monday. He hopes the new protections will pass the Federal Parliament as soon as mid-year. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

The push for stronger hate speech protections has strengthened after Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the ensuing conflict in Gaza.

Submissions on the doxing crackdown are open until March 28.

Comments

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 18-04-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 18 April 202418 April 2024

Tears as Bondi Junction Westfield reopens for people to grieve and reflect.