Doxxing in S’pore can result in S$5,000 fine & up to 12 months’ jail
Online vigilantism has become a higher stakes game.
Doxxing will be criminalised under proposed changes to the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA).
The amendments were tabled in Parliament on Monday, April 1.
What is doxxing?
Doxxing involves the publishing of someone’s personal information with the intention to harass.
The information could be photos, contact numbers or employment details.
What are the amendments to the law
The amendments are to enhance protection for victims of harassment and falsehoods, and to make it easier for victims to obtain remedies.
The amendments will ban the publication of personal information when it is done with the intention to harass the victim, or cause violence.
Existing gap in law
There is a current gap in Singapore’s existing laws.
Currently, intentional harassment is banned if it assumes the form of threatening, abusive or insulting words, behaviour or communication.
What is going to change?
Even if threatening words were not used, the new law will make posting someone’s personal information online with the intention to harass or cause violence a form of deliberate harassment.
Penalties for doxxing
Perpetrators of “doxxing” could face a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to six months if the intention was to cause harassment.
The jail term can go up to 12 months if they intended to cause fear or provoke violence.
Increasing doxxing trend
The Ministry of Law said that due to online vigilantism, there has been an increasing trend in recent years of an individual’s personal information being consolidated and published online, with a view to harassing the person.
POHA was enacted in 2014.
It was to provide a range of criminal and civil remedies against harassment, and civil remedies for false statements of facts.
Since it came into force in November 2014, the Ministry of Law says the civil and criminal measures it provides have benefited many, with more than 1,700 prosecutions and over 3,000 Magistrate’s Complaints filed.
More than 500 people have stepped forward to make applications for Protection Orders.