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Doxxing Series

Is Doxxing Illegal In Missouri? 

Residents of Missouri concerned about other people sharing their personal information online without their permission might wonder: Is doxxing illegal in Missouri? 

In this guide, we’ll review Missouri’s legal code to determine whether doxxing is a crime in the state and examine doxxing-related criminal activities.

Is Doxxing Illegal in Missouri?

Yes. Doxxing, or the act of sharing someone else’s personal data without authorization, is a crime in Missouri (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.240). 

Missouri doxxing law

Doxxing is charged as a class C misdemeanor in the state, amounting to up to fifteen days in jail and a fine of up to $700.

If the doxxing victim is a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, parole officer, judge, commissioner, or prosecuting attorney – or any member of their family – the offender will be charged with a class E felony, punishable by up to four years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Where doxxing of these individuals results in bodily harm or death of the individual or their immediate family member, the offense is a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine. 

While Missouri criminalizes doxxing, publishing someone else’s personal information online might also lead to other activities that are illegal in the state, including harassment, stalking, identity theft, and more.

Harassment

It’s considered harassment in the first degree in Missouri (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.090) when someone engages in any act with the goal of causing you emotional distress and does indeed end up causing you emotional distress. 

Missouri harassment law

Harassment is a class E felony punishable by up to four years in imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the offender only attempts to cause emotional distress (but doesn’t succeed), they’ve committed harassment in the second degree (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.091), a class A misdemeanor, and can face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 

Stalking

When someone knows where you live and work, they can commit the crime of stalking in the second degree (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.227) by following or disturbing you. 

Missouri stalking law

In Missouri, stalking is a class A misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

If the person following you or disturbing you also threatens you enough to cause you emotional distress, it’s considered stalking in the first degree (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.225), a class E felony punishable by up to four years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Missouri stalking in the first degree

It’s also considered stalking in the first degree if:

  • The perpetrator’s conduct violates an order of protection, and the person has received notice of such an order.
  • At least one of the perpetrator’s actions violates probation, parole, pretrial release, or release on bond pending appeal. 
  • The victim is seventeen or younger, and the perpetrator is twenty-one or older. 
  • The perpetrator was previously found guilty of violation of an order of protection, domestic assault, or other crime where the other person was the victim. 
  • The victim is a participant of the address confidentiality program, and the perpetrator knowingly accesses or tries to access the victim’s address. 

Identity theft

When someone obtains your means of identification without your permission, they’ve committed identity theft in Missouri (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.223). 

Missouri identity theft

Identity theft is a class B misdemeanor in the state, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Property damage

If someone damages your property, they can be charged with property damage in the second degree in Missouri (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.120).

Missouri property damage

Property damage in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor, meaning the offender could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

If the damage exceeds $750, the charge increases to property damage in the first degree (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.100). In these cases, it’s a class E felony, leading to up to four years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Trespass in the first degree

Anytime someone comes onto your property without your permission, they could be found guilty of trespass in the second degree in Missouri (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.150). 

Missouri trespass in the first degree

Trespass in the second degree is considered an infraction in the state and can result in a fine of up to $200.

If your property is fenced in or marked as not to be trespassed, or you’ve otherwise made it clear that the intruder is unwelcome, the trespasser can be charged with trespass in the first degree (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.140). 

Trespass in the first degree is considered a class B misdemeanor and comes with up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Is Doxxing Illegal at the Federal Level?

There is no anti-doxxing law at the federal level, although doxxing can lead to federally illegal crimes. 

One reason doxxing isn’t enforced by federal law is the large amount of personal information available on the internet, including your name, address, phone number, and more. 

Some states (including Missouri) have passed their own anti-doxxing laws. These include Arizona, California, and Illinois

Regardless of whether you have legal protection from doxxing or not, you should take steps to prevent yourself from being doxxed in the first place. Once your information is shared with the wider public, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove it, which can put you at risk of stalking, harassment, and swatting

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

To reduce the chances you’ll be doxxed, you should dox yourself.

While it may sound strange, doxxing yourself will give you a better idea of where your information is showing up online and what you’ll need to do to remove it. 

Learn how to dox yourself with our step-by-step self-doxxing guide using this list of doxxing tools

For most people, reducing your online footprint will involve:

  • Opting out of data brokers, which are companies that collect and sell your information. You will need to opt out of every major data broker with a profile on you, and you’ll likely need to repeat the process, as data brokers routinely reactivate old profiles once new data is found online. As an alternative, consider subscribing to a data removal service such as DeleteMe.
  • Changing your social media privacy settings from public to private.
  • Using different usernames to make it more difficult for bad actors to follow you between platforms.
  • Using a password manager and multi-factor authentication to prevent criminals and other bad actors from accessing your accounts.
  • Removing your data from Google’s services, including Maps, YouTube, and Search.
  • Sharing less personal information online.

Learn more in 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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