Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Crowne: AG Al-Rawi curiously wrong in characterising ‘doxing Devant’

Crowne: AG Al-Rawi curiously wrong in characterising ‘doxing Devant’

“Doxing, according to the AG, ‘is when you go out of your way to crash a system using certain truths’ which is ‘akin to a cybercrime’. With the greatest of respect, this is untrue. This is not what doxing is.

“[…] In fact both the Interim Report and Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Cybercrime Bill 2017—which the AG himself chaired—defined doxing as ‘the practice of searching for and publishing private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent’. Therefore it is even more surprising that the AG would define the term in such an odd manner.”

The following Letter to the Editor on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s description of doxing—in reference to the behaviour of former UNC Senator Devant Maharaj—was submitted to Wired868 by barrister and attorney-at-law, Dr Emir Crowne:

Photo: Former UNC Senator Devant Maharaj.
(Copyright I95.5fm)

Devant Maharaj has come into the spotlight recently for releasing the otherwise private phone numbers of public officials. Once those numbers have been published, various public officials have reported being inundated with messages, death threats and salacious imagery.

Over the weekend the Honourable Attorney General indicated that Mr Maharaj was ‘doxing’. Doxing, according to the AG, “is when you go out of your way to crash a system using certain truths” which is “akin to a cybercrime.”

With the greatest of respect, this is untrue. This is not what doxing is.

Doxing is the use of the Internet to find and/or publish information about an individual. The information could be public, public but difficult to find, or private. Doxing can be malicious, or for benevolent purposes like social activism and news reporting.

In fact both the Interim Report and Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Cybercrime Bill 2017—which the AG himself chaired—defined doxing as “the practice of searching for and publishing private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.” Therefore it is even more surprising that the AG would define the term in such an odd manner.

The AG’s suggestion that doxing is “akin to a cybercrime.” That statement is also curious since both the Interim Report and the Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Cybercrime Bill 2017 were inconclusive on this point.

Photo: Attorney general Faris Al-Rawi.

Both reports simply noted stakeholder concern as to whether section 18 (1) of the Cybercrime Bill encompassed doxing would criminalise a “person who uses a computer system to communicate with the intention to cause harm to another person.”

To suggest that doxing is “akin to a cybercrime” despite such legislative ambiguity might be a worrying glimpse into the purported reach of the Government’s proposed cybercrime legislation.

About Dr Emir Crowne

Dr Emir Crowne
Dr Emir Crowne is a barrister and attorney-at-law attached to 
New City Chambers in Port-of-Spain.

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2 comments

  1. Earl Best

    “To suggest that doxing is “akin to a cybercrime” despite such legislative ambiguity might be a worrying glimpse into the purported reach of the Government’s proposed cybercrime legislation.”

    …and, no less tellingly, into the workings of the mind of any person responsible for such a suggestion.

  2. Seems right on par with the sedition reference with respect to the same phone numbers leak. Even Senator Palpatine would blush at these developments.