Revealing a "name" per se' may, or may not be considered "Doxing" depending on the level of anticipated anonymity. However, in this law, the term "restricted personal information" means, "with respect to an individual, the Social Security number, the home address, home phone number, mobile phone number, personal email, or home fax number of, and identifiable to, that individual." This is an important distinction to remember.
Once you outline the address or location of a person, within which a person can be placed at risk, YOU have VIOLATED THE LAW. PERIOD.
In all cases if you outline the physical location of any individual with the intent to harm, shame, stalk, humiliate, endanger, or otherwise compromise the safety and security of ANY individual you have placed that person in a position of risk and you are in violation of ALL State Stalking laws.
THIS is the most commonly crossed line.
However, in some cases, such as federal agents, or in Mark Osterman's case his anonymity as a Federal Air Marshal, just revealing his name crosses the threshold for illegal activity.
I CAN FIND THOSE PIECES OF INFORMATION USING GOOGLE SEARCH. IS THAT STILL RESTRICTED? YES. It is illegal to announce or disseminate or post those listed pieces of information for the purposes listed in the law (18 USC § 119). Those are purposes such as threatening or intimidating or making it so others can harass or harm the person. This law is about acts that endanger the safety of or encourage attacks against a person or a person's family. It is not about where you found the information.
READ THAT AGAIN:
This law is about acts that endanger the safety of, or encourage attacks against, a person or a person's family. It is not about where you found the information.
18 USC § 119
The information may or may not even be on the internet; that is not a factor for a charge. A criminal act does not need to be physically possible for a charge to exist with regard to it. The activity can take the form of cyber-space and internet posting.
Doxing might also be part of a conspiracy to harm, endanger, or even kill a person. Even if unintentionally if the action of the party is intended to threaten, harass or harm.
Doxing is always illegal, whether it is done against a federal employee, a state employee, or a regular person. There are federal and state laws that specifically address doxing government employees 18 U.S.C. Sec 371 (18 U.S.C. Sec 119).
With regular non-governmental citizens, doxing falls under various state criminal laws, such as stalking, cyber stalking, harassment, threats, and other such laws, depending on the state.
Since these doxing threats and activities are made on the internet, the law of any state may be invoked, though most often an investigator will look to the state in which the person making the threat is located, if this is known, or the state in which the victim is situated.
A state prosecutor can only prosecute violations of the laws of his or her own state, and of acts that extend into their state.
However, when acts are on the internet, they extend into all the states. Thereby allowing the victim to choose the state of filing which may, or may not, be the state of residence for the victim(s) or perpetrator(s).
Increasingly with internet use, attorneys are affirming representation to the state with the strongest current legal remedies for Doxing, Cyber-Stalking, or Harassment.
Misinformation was spread that doxing is legal. I am not sure how or why anyone fell for that misinformation. Surely, people must understand instinctively, even if they were misled about the law, that if they are threatening someone or putting them at risk, or tormenting or harassing the other on the internet, that this must be illegal.
Common sense would tell you that bullying or jeopardizing another would be illegal in some way. So yes, doxing is illegal, no matter who the target. The difference is when it is on the internet it is Federal, or State. When it is not via cyber space it is State issue/laws/ remedy only.
In addition there are even more consequential specific federal laws, and federal remedies, against doxing federal employees. This is one of the issues with Mark Osterman and the potential for Frances Robles indictment. In addition, many states have such individual laws against doing this to state employees, officials, and/or law enforcement officers.
If you are doxing a non-government person, this can be illegal under various laws that have names such as stalking, cyber stalking, cyber-bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, threatening, terroristic threatening, endangering the safety of, intentional infliction of emotional distress (this can be a crime or a tort, depending on state law), threatening a witness (if the person is a witness), intimidation, and other laws that exist in the different states.
Depending on the situation, it might also be a hate crime or a violation of civil rights. Some states also have laws that specifically apply to students harassing or being harassed. Many states now have laws about posting a person's name or photo on an indecent or incendiary website without their permission. It really depends on the situation, but there are plenty of laws that can be invoked and multiple remedies available.
When you do something on the internet, it reaches into every state and you open yourself up to potentially being prosecuted under the laws of any state.
In addition, since it is being done in interstate commerce (the internet), you can be accountable under federal law.
Also, if you dox someone using an internet website or service such as Facebook or Twitter or most other such services, such as WordPress or Blogger, and your intent is stalking, cyber stalking, cyber-bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, threatening, terroristic threatening, endangering the safety of, intentional infliction of emotional distress or intimidation, you are probably violating the Terms of Service under the media contract which binds your activity from your acceptance of the terms.
Violating the terms of service can actually be a federal crime, depending on the situation, and especially so when the terms are violated in order to harm a person.
It is important at this point to note the "intent" of the activity itself, which is where capturing the full data "as it exists" becomes important. Example: A post itself may not violate the terms or the law; However, the "intent" can change depending on the editorial content within the control of the site operator. When the comments follow, and reflect, a specific intent as outlined, then the arbiter of the posting itself is ultimately liable for the consequences of their affiliates.
Think about only using a name, it is probably a violation of law, but maybe not. However, once you go beyond the name IT IS ALWAYS A VIOLATION OF LAW.
If we are hosting a site discussion and publicly name a private party, depending on intent, there is no harm. However, if we further provide, or a commentator provides an address for the party - and we do not delete the information in a timely manner, then depending on circumstance we could be in direct violation of law.