Cotton, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Stop “Doxing” of Government Workers
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), and Rick Scott (R-Florida) introduced the Public Servant Protection Act, a bill designed to protect government workers, officials, and appointees from being targeted at their homes.
Specifically, the bill gives all government employees, elected officials, and appointees at all levels (Federal, State, Local, and Tribal) the right to have their home addresses and phone numbers—or the home addresses and phone numbers of their immediate family members—removed from any publicly-displayed website. The bill also makes it a criminal offense to post a government official's (or their immediate family members’) home address or phone number with the intent to cause them physical harm. Penalties would include a fine and up to a year in prison or, if injury or death results, up to life in prison.
Bill text may be found here.
“No public servant should be endangered or subject to harassment for doing their job. But as activist mobs increasingly target elected officials and police officers, additional protection is warranted. Our bill will help shield government workers and officials by increasing penalties on malicious actors and protecting workers’ personal information,” said Cotton.
“Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges already serve the public at tremendous risk. They should not be forced to live with the added fear of having their personal home information widely available on the internet for use by violent criminals. Empowering these officials to keep their personal information private will help protect our protectors and their families," said Blackburn.
“Now more than ever, the law enforcement community needs our support,” said Perdue. “The ‘Defund the Police’ movement pushed by radical Democrats has led to an alarming increase in attacks on police officers, and their families. No public servant should ever be targeted for doing his or her job. I will always stand with our law enforcement officers as they work to keep our communities safe.”
“Law enforcement, government officials and prosecutors have dedicated their lives to serving our communities,” said Loeffler. “Unfortunately, fueled by today’s Left wing aggressive cancel culture agenda, their service and livelihoods are under attack. As a strong supporter of our men and women who swear an oath to protect and serve, I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to prevent dedicated law enforcement officers and government officials at all levels from being targeted for doing their jobs.”
“Anyone who maliciously publishes personal information of government officials—including judges and police officers—puts innocent lives at risk. Tactics like this have led to tragic outcomes that should have never happened. This bill puts safeguards in place that will help end this trend. Public servants should not have to live in fear of aggressive activists who want to see them harmed,” Boozman said.
“I’m proud to sponsor the Public Servant Protection Act to protect hardworking public servants and their family members. These individuals dedicate their lives to serving the American people, and it’s disgusting that they would have to live in fear of targeted harassment, harm or violence in their own homes, just for doing their jobs,” said Scott.
In July 2020, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was targeted by a man who came to her home and killed her husband and son when they answered the door. This year, anti-police rhetoric, law enforcement officer deaths, and targeting have also increased. Mobs of activists have even targeted officials at their homes. This bill is designed to protect public servants from the rising number of people and groups that call for harassment and violence against public officials with whom they disagree.
This bill is also endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the National District Attorneys Association.