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Doxxing Series

Is Doxxing Illegal in Alabama? 

If you live in Alabama and care about your online privacy, you might wonder: is doxxing illegal in Alabama?

In this guide, we’ll take a look at whether doxxing is illegal in the state of Alabama, as well as review how the state defines doxxing, who the law applies to, and the criminal consequences for publishing someone’s personal information online. 

Is Doxxing Illegal In Alabama? 

Yes, doxxing is illegal in Alabama under the Ala. Code § 13A-11-38.

The Alabama doxxing law was introduced as House Bill 287 on April 11, 2023 and was signed into law on May 26, 2023. This ​doxing law defines doxxing and describes ​what constitutes personal identifiable ​information. 

What Is Doxxing In Alabama?

According to the Alabama doxxing law, a person commits the crime of doxxing if they do either of the below:

  1. Intentionally electronically posts, publishes, or provides personal identifying information belonging to another person with the intention that someone else will use that information to harass/harm that person, and the doxxed person is actually harassed/harmed. 
  1. Intentionally electronically posts, publishes, or provides personal identifying information belonging to a firefighter, law enforcement officer, or public servant with the intention that someone else will use that information to harass, harm, or get in the way of that’ person’s official duties, and the doxxed person is actually harassed, harmed, or prevented from performing their government function. 

Both mean pretty much the same thing, except the first definition covers any person whereas the second definition covers firefighters, law enforcement officers, and public servants specifically. 

The second definition also includes the impediment of government function performance as a consequence of doxxing, whereas the first definition only covers harassment/harm. 

Alabama doxxing law

What Is Personal Identifying Information In Alabama? 

Alabama defines personal identifying information as any information that would make it possible for the doxxing victim to be threatened, harassed, or harmed. 

The law includes a small list of personal identifying information examples, including home address and information or photos of the doxxing victim’s children, like what schools they go to.  

Are There Any Exceptions to the Alabama Doxxing Law?

Under specific circumstances, publishing/sharing someone’s personal information may not be considered a crime in Alabama. 

It is legal to share personal identifying information in Alabama in the following two cases: 

  • As part of political speech protected by the First Amendment. 
  • To encourage citizens to lobby public officials for/against a policy or legislative act. In this instance, it is only legal to publish a public official’s contact information, which means official address or email/phone number the public official uses for their public service. 

What’s the Penalty for Doxxing in Alabama?

The penalty for doxxing in Alabama is a class 1 misdemeanor, which comes with a jail sentence (up to one year) and/or a steep fine (up to $6,000). 

If someone commits a subsequent violation, the penalty increases to class C felony, which comes with a prison sentence of 366-days to 10 years and a fine (up to $15,000). 

Alabama doxxing law penalty

Is Doxxing Illegal at the Federal Level?

There is currently no law against doxxing at the federal level in the United States. 

Although Alabama and a growing number of states (like California, Arizona, and Illinois) have made, or are in the process of making, doxxing illegal, doxxing laws only provide after-the-fact legal protection to residents, rather than doxxing prevention. 

The good news is that everyone can take steps to make themselves undoxxable, regardless whether they live in a state with doxxing laws or not. 

How to Protect Yourself Against Doxxing In Arizona (And Elsewhere)

To become undoxxable, you first need to figure out where your personal information appears online and then take steps to remove or hide that information from public view. 

In other words, you need to doxx yourself. 

If you’re not sure how, refer to our thorough guide on how to doxx yourself. We’ve also put together a guide on how to doxx yourself specifically on Instagram and a list of doxxing tools to help you go beyond Google when searching for your information on the internet. 

Once you know where your information shows up, it’s time to reduce it. Typically, this means:

  • Deleting yourself from data brokers and people search sites. These are companies that collect information about you from various sources (social media, public records, etc.), aggregate it into profiles, and sell these profiles to third parties that have no business having your whole life’s dossier, like advertisers and random strangers. You can opt out of brokers, but you’ll need to do so constantly because they relist your information when they gather more of it. Alternatively, you can subscribe to DeleteMe to have privacy experts opt you out of data brokers and people search sites on your behalf. 
  • Making your social media accounts private. Bad actors can glean a lot of information about you from what you post on your social media profiles, and data brokers can scrape this information to use in their profiles about you. Some social media sites allow you to see what your profile looks like to friends versus public. 
  • Using unique usernames to stop bad actors from being able to follow you from one site to another. 
  • Creating unique passwords to prevent bad actors from accessing your accounts. Too many people still use the same password (or some variation of it) across multiple accounts. Unfortunately, with all the breaches that are constantly happening, at least some of your passwords are likely to be compromised. 
  • Not giving out unnecessary information to anyone or anywhere online, including social media comments, forum posts, and account bios. 

The fewer data points there are about you online, the less likely you are to be doxxed. To learn more, check out our guide on how to prevent doxxing

Laura Martisiute is DeleteMe’s content marketing specialist. Her job is to help DeleteMe communicate vital privacy information to the people that need it. Since joining DeleteMe in 2020, Laura h…

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