Imagine you’re a police officer, and you make an arrest, and the daughter of the man you arrested believes you were wrong, or used excessive force. So he tweets a link to a webpage that lists your home address, and the addresses of your relatives.
No need to imagine – it already happened in New York. And that tweet was viewed by thousands of people, and re-tweeted nearly 500 times.
Isolated incident? Not anymore. “Doxing” – the act of publicly revealing previously private personal information about an individual or organization through the internet, is now a common occurrence.
- In Los Angeles, an unknown individual posted the names and addresses of two officers online, as well as information about their children’s schools
- In 2012, over 100 police officers in L.A. County had their addresses, names and phone numbers published
- In 2020, 38 law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon, were doxed amid ongoing protests in the area
- Also in 2020, Chicago Police officers became the targets of doxing attacks, in which their personal information was shared on social media
Sadly, other examples abound. And the process of locating an officer’s personal information is made easier thanks to companies defined as “people finder websites.” There are more than 50 of them, and they specialize in compiling comprehensive information profiles about most of us, information anyone can acquire on the internet.
What Can Be Done?
Here’s the good news: California has a law that protects law enforcement personnel from having their home information listed on websites. That law applies to all websites, whether or not they are located in California. However, most sites ignore the law until someone orders them to comply.
That’s what we do. 360Civic has found and removed more than 1 million listings of addresses and phone numbers for judges and police officers enrolled in our program.
You Are Cordially Invited To Our Police Online Safety Webinar
If you are interested in finding out more about this service and what it provides, you are invited to attend our upcoming 360Civic webinar. It will explain how the program works, and why it has been successful at forcing websites to remove any information that may compromise your safety, and the safety of those you love. We’ll cover the details of how this protection can be applied not just to officers but also to their families, and how easy it is to sign up for the program.