Lawmakers Who Pushed CISPA Were 'Doxed,’ Received Threats Online

Members of Congress who voted for CISPA had their personal information posted online.

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011, to talk about the death of Osama bin Laden.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011, to talk about the death of Osama bin Laden.

Members of Congress who voted for CISPA last week have received threats of violence and had their phone numbers, addresses and other personal details posted online by those who disagree with the legislation. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act would allow private companies to share cybersecurity information with the federal government, sparking privacy concerns and causing some to dub it the "Big Brother Law."

Whispers has learned that the office of at least one member of Congress has asked the FBI to investigate.

A Twitter user called "Grim Reaper," for example, whose bio reads: "We kill the ones that are corrupt so you don't have to," has been harassing Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who cosponsored CISPA.

[READ: CISPA Supporters Spend 140 Times As Much Money Lobbying as Opponents]

"For your support of CISPA Rep. Mike Pompeo, the bill to end privacy, here is your dox," wrote Grim Reaper, and then shared a document including the congressman's work address and phone number, military service and salary, and even his zodiac sign. The document was posted to Pastebin, a website favored by hackers like Anonymous.

"Doxing" is the practice of posting personal information, much of which is already available online, all in one place in an effort to destroy anonymity. Another user threatened to add Pompeo's credit card and social security numbers.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the author of the CISPA legislation, has also been threatened. A "dox" about Rogers, also posted on Pastebin, includes the names of his wife and children, his work addresses, and a link to a petition for his removal from Congress.

[ALSO: Congressman Uses Bombing To Argue For CISPA]

A third document posted to Pastebin includes the phone numbers of every member of Congress who voted for CISPA.

Rogers has defended CISPA as "a constitutional obligation to defend this nation," while Pompeo has called it "a Good Samaritan law for cyberspace."

To his online aggressors, the Kansas congressman responded on Twitter: "Really?"

A spokesman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says that Rogers, who chairs the committee, is "far more focused on the real threat of cyber espionage from countries like China than he is on faceless and anonymous threats online."

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.

    Corrected on : Updated 04/23/13: This article has been updated to include comment from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.