Doxing should be punishable by law but policing is tricky, say MPS

Intelligence agencies are bracing themselves for Brexit hacks.

A majority of MPs are expected to support new legislation that will make publishing a person’s address online so they can be intimidated a crime, but questions remain about how the measure can be policed.

At the moment the online publication of a private address, known as doxing, is not an offence.

The need for the new legislation, which will be discussed in parliament on Thursday, is not in dispute but questions remain about its effectiveness, broadcaster NOS reported.

CDA MPs are in favour but want to know how intent to intimidate can be be proven.  D66 MPs said the the effect of new legislation would be like ‘mopping up while the tap is running’ because names and addresses are still readily available via the chamber of commerce registry. Land registry Kadaster is also open to anyone wanting the data of home owners.

D66 MP Joost Sneller said only certain professionals, such as real estate agents, should be able to access the Kadaster. ‘And we must make it more difficult to find out the addresses of, for example, judges, lawyers, journalists and scientists,’ he told the broadcaster.

Questions will also be asked about the penalty for doxing. The VVD has said a a year in jail doesn’t go far enough while the SGP want a higher penalty for divulging the addresses of politicians.

Policing the new law will also mean more police capacity, which is under pressure as it is, MPs said.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation