Doxxing has officially gone mainstream: The controversial practice of posting an individual's personal contact information in the name of public interest has been employed by a local New York daily to out area gun permit holders — much to the offense of many in conservative circles.
The Journal News — which serves the New York City-adjacent Lower Hudson Valley — used Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the names and addresses of all Westchester and Rockland county residents who are currently in possession of a gun permit (the Putnam county request is still pending).
"Anyone can find out the names and addresses of handgun owners in any county with a simple Freedom of Information Law request, and the state's top public records expert told the Journal News last week that he thinks the law does not bar the release of other details," reporter Dwight R. Worley wrote in an article prefacing the controversial map. "But officials in county clerk's offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam maintain the public does not have a right to see such things as the specific permits an individual has been issued, the types of handguns a person possesses or the number of guns he or she owns - whether one or a dozen."
Many of the Journal News's own readers also had issues with the "invasion of privacy."
"So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??" asked one. "Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves?" asked another.
For its part, the paper stood by Worley's work, saying in a follow-up statement that it "felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings."
And, for what it's worth, an editor's note was added to the article disclosing Worley's weapon of choice: A Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum permitted by the city of New York.