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Arrest made in “doxxing” of Utah Senators

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Democratic intern has been arrested and accused of posting private information online about our two Utah Senators, a practice known as “doxxing,” during the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

U.S. Capitol Police say 27-year-old Jackson Cosko faces several charges already, but more could be filed. He is accused of posting home address and phone numbers online for Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Mike Lee, both R-Utah, as well as Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

All three of the senators whose information was shared have professed their belief that President Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is innocent of the claims brought against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

National news reports say Cosko once worked for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. The congresswoman’s office says he has been terminated. He also used to work for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and retired Sen. Barbara Boxer, also a California Democrat.

Police say a Twitter bot first spotted the release of information for Sens. Hatch, Lee and Graham, which they tracked to a computer in the House of Representatives. The charges against Cosko include identity theft, unauthorized access of a government computer, and more.

All elected officials are considered public figures, and as such, some of their contact information is publicly available. You can search for your elected representative on a government website. However, this information is typically not their private residence or personal cell phone information, but instead their office address and phone number.

Doxxing, which can also be spelled doxing, comes from an abbreviation of the word “documents.” It refers to gathering personal information about someone online, and then releasing it online. Unlike traditional identity theft, the aim of doxxing is usually some form of attack or retribution.