Australia to Outlaw ‘Doxxing’ After Anti-Israel Activists Publish Personal Info of Hundreds of Jews

By Hamodia Staff

Australia’s Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus leaves the house of representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

The Australian government said on Tuesday it will outlaw “doxxing” — the malicious release online of personal or identifying information without the subject’s permission — after anti-Israel activists published personal details of hundreds of Jewish people living in Australia.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the proposed laws, which have yet to be drafted, would involve issuing take-down notices to social media platforms and imposing fines for the intimidation tactic.

The government was responding to Nine Entertainment news reports last week that the activists had published the names, images, professions and social media accounts of Jewish people working in academia and the creative industries.

A nearly 900-page transcript was published by the group, which leaked from a private WhatsApp formed last year by Jewish writers, artists, musicians and academics, according to media reports last week. The transcript was accompanied by a spreadsheet that contained the names and other personal details of almost 600 people, purportedly the group’s membership.

Dreyfus said the new laws would strength Australian protections against hate speech, but provided scant detail about how they would work.

“The increasing use of online platforms to harm people through practices like doxxing, the malicious release of their personal information without their permission, is a deeply disturbing development,” Dreyfus told reporters.

“The recent targeting of members of the Australian Jewish community through those practices like doxxing was shocking but, sadly, this is far from being an isolated incident,” Dreyfus added.

There has been an increase in reports of antisemitism in Australia since the October 7 massacre perpetrated by Hamas terrorists and Israel’s resultant war on the terror group in Gaza.

“We live in a vibrant multicultural community which we should strive to protect,” Dreyfus said.

The government’s plan to outlaw doxxing was welcomed by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, which represents Australia’s Jewish community.

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure the full extent of the harm caused is understood and that the new laws effectively protect Australians from this shameful and dangerous practice,” council president Daniel Aghion said.

With reporting from wire services.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!