The Implications of Texas’s New Cyberbullying Law

While the enactment of a new law underscores Texas’ commitment to protecting its residents from online harassment, it is imperative to ensure that the rights of the accused are not trampled in the process. 

Doxing, simply put, is the act of revealing private information about individuals online without their consent. With the ever-expanding reach of online platforms, some believe that the dangers posed by such activities have escalated.

While the intention behind a new law in Texas is to curtail doxing and online harassment, its implementation raises critical concerns. One such concern is the potential for overreach and misapplication. In the digital age, distinguishing between legitimate information sharing and malicious intent can be exceedingly challenging. Individuals may inadvertently find themselves on the wrong side of the law, facing serious consequences for actions that were not intended to cause harm.

Additionally, the broad language of the statute may lead to disproportionate penalties for relatively minor infractions. A single misstep, such as sharing someone’s address in a public forum without malicious intent, could result in criminal charges and significant legal repercussions.

Furthermore, there is the issue of enforcement and jurisdiction in the realm of cyberspace. Identifying perpetrators of online harassment and doxing can be incredibly challenging, particularly when they operate anonymously or across state or national borders. This raises questions about the efficacy of the law in deterring such behavior and holding perpetrators accountable.

Under the provisions of this new law, the disclosure of a person’s residence address or telephone number with the intent to inflict harm is now categorized as a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. This classification carries severe penalties, including up to six months of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000. Moreover, if the victim or their family suffers bodily harm as a result of the offense, the severity escalates to a Class A misdemeanor, warranting even harsher consequences.

If you or someone you know is grappling with legal challenges stemming from accusations of doxing, Barbieri Law is here to provide guidance and expert representation. Our experienced team understands the nuances of cybercrime laws and is dedicated to advocating on behalf of our clients. Contact us for a confidential consultation.