The enforcement of laws criminalising doxxing will come into force from next year (next Wednesday, to be precise) onwards.
In a joint press release, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said this amendment to the Protection from Harassment Act will commence on Jan. 1, 2020.
The amendment criminalises the publication of personally-identifiable information with the intention of harassing, threatening, or facilitating violence against a person.
This can include (but will not be limited to) the posting of
- contact numbers
- addresses, and
- employment details.
According to MHA and MinLaw, the key to the offence will be "the intention or knowledge of the person posting the information".
"The new offence does not stop people from legitimately sharing information," they said.
These exceptions might include posting videos of an incident to give a factual account of what happened or if a person is seeking help with identifying perpetrators of a crime, for example.
The amendment was passed in Parliament on May 7 earlier this year.
At the time, MinLaw noted the increasing trend of online vigilantism found in the form of an individual’s personal information being consolidated and published online, with a view to harassing the person.
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.
Top image from JP Morgan’s Facebook page, and screenshots from Facebook