I was just curoius what you guys(or girls) philosophies are on doxing from an ethical standpoint, especially you limdis since it's kinda your thing.
I'm a big avocate of privacy and anomitity but at the same time I'm naturally incredibly curious about everything so I'm kind of torn on this. I suppose the main thing has to do with how you use the information, but what about if you just want the info for yourself? Do you think it's a total invasion of privacy to dox somebody you met just out of curiosity? Is it always perfectly acceptable or is there a point were one crosses a line?
My other question is how would you define the difference between doxing and stalking, is there a point at which doxing becomes stalking?
Alright here is how I see it:
Doxing at it's core isn't that much different than conducting research. But instead of a historical event it's on a person that is a alive today. How and why you gather this information and later what you do with it plays into the ethical "right or wrong". I personally never dox anyone I personally know without a reason, no matter how curious I am. Not that it might be wrong but because I think that's just a little weird and removes the human element of knowing them or getting to know them. Those that I do know that I dox I will tell them I am doing it. Well they'll ask me to do it actually lol. Online doxing is entirely different. I'm always doing it. To the curious individual or event I might hear about in the news to a defaced webpage trying to uncover who might be responsible. 99% of the time I do nothing with the information I find. It's just a drive that I have to attain knowledge, to see around corners and connect the dots in understanding the bigger picture. That drive pushes me in other directions as well, a lot of which falls into the hacking realm. But back on topic. If you dox for illicit gain then that answers your question right there. Such as doxing for identity theft, blackmail, to hack them, or stalking. All of which is obvious but the difference between doing a dox and stalking (if that is not your goal) is that stalking is by definition referred to as unwanted or obsessive attention. Stalking, like harassment, in most states has to be stated by the individual as unwanted before it falls into the category of stalking or harassment. For example; you can text your girlfriend 100 times a day and it's fine. You break up because you cheated, and she says never talk to her again. You text her several more times pleading for forgiveness and finally she tells you to stop or she will file for harassment. Now, texting her again, even though it is entirely legal for you to text, would fall into pushing illegal simply because she has stated it as being unwanted and therefor harassment. This varies by state/country, but generally it does. So that covers legally. Doxing, unlike physically following, they will likely never know you are doing it, so it can't really become unwanted. Ethnically however it boils back down to why you are doxing in the first place. Are you doxing your ex because you are jealous and want to see who she is talking too? To me that would be unethical.
Perception to those hearing about a dox not fully understanding what a dox is can give you a bad rep. There is an article released by the FBI that gives doxing a very very bad rap. It also states that doxing is the collection and public release of personal information. Well no, it isn't. Releasing information is releasing information. It itself is not 'doxing' and really has nothing to do with it at all. Secondly, the information collected from doxing (legally) is already public. On top of that, it's perfectly acceptable to spend $50 to get a background check on some stranger that you just met. If you think doxing is deadly pay for one of those reports.
Fact is, doxing is only a name given to a direction of research. You are searching out publicly listed information on an individual or group. If your intentions are to not do something illegal and you aren't just a straight out creeper, then it is no more than that, research. However, knowledge is power and doxing leads to a wealth of knowledge. That falls into the hands of the wrong few and already it has a terrifying reputation.
If it makes you feel any better, I designed the mission to teach the methods so you can protect yourselves. I have already gotten several PMs thanking me for shining light on that they never realized just how vulnerable they really were.