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Summary: SB 1798 would create a new offense for "doxing" which involves an individual posting personal information on the internet with intent to cause the person harm. This new offense would only apply to the personal information of a public servant or a public servant's family. This new offense would be a third degree felony under the obstruction or retaliation chapter of the Penal Code (36.06) unless bodily harm is caused then the offense would become a second degree felony.
Analysis: Posting the telephone number or address of a public servant with intent to do harm is certainly a disagreeable act. However, this bill makes individuals who post this information on the internet a felon regardless of the impact. If harm occurs because of information posted on the internet, the individual who inflicted that harm should be held accountable and punished. Making the individual who posted the information a felon is draconian. SB 1798 is a case of overcriminalization, and we recommend voting NO unless amended to reduce the penalties from felonies to misdemeanors.