Unconstitutional Utah anti-doxxing bill withdrawn by sponsor

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I'm pleased to say that Utah state Rep. David E. Lifferth (R), sponsor of the anti-doxxing bill that I criticized earlier this week, has withdrawn the bill:

Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain, announced Thursday that he gutted part of his own bill, HB225, because of concerns that it went too far in cracking down on speech online. Specifically, Rep. Lifferth removed a portion of the bill that cracked down on "Doxxing," which is posting personal information (like address, phone number, etc.) online with the intent to harass….

He also planned to remove the words "annoy, offend and frighten" from the existing law because of free speech concerns.

"I'm fairly active online and I'm sure just by being here today and breathing I'm offending, annoying and frightening someone," he said. "But those are rights that are protected under the First Amendment."

I had a very pleasant exchange with Lifferth earlier this week, culminating with a similar statement from him:

I need to fix the underlying law which still makes it a crime to Annoy, Offend, and Frighten others with electronic communication. I made several attempts to find a quick solution to the existing law, but can't get stakeholders to agree on a quick fix. I will need to fix that in a future session and then include Doxxing.