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Sen. Adam Morfeld introduces bill to make 'doxxing' a crime in Nebraska

Sen. Adam Morfeld introduces bill to make 'doxxing' a crime in Nebraska

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Using social media to post someone’s address and photograph for the purpose of causing mental anguish or of targeting someone for harassment and violence would be illegal under Legislative Bill 227.

It must be proven that the intent of the post was to cause harm.

State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said he introduced the bill Monday after being subjected to such online threats, or “doxxing,” and after hearing others speak of the anxiety caused by having personal information posted on social media.

The bill lays out criminal penalties for doxxing and allows for civil lawsuits. Urging someone to “contact your senator” would remain legal, Morfeld said.

Among other bills introduced Monday were:

Seat belts and cellphones. Two perennial driving safety bills returned for another session. Under LB 239, all drivers would be banned from using mobile phones while driving, with a few exceptions. Currently, only teenage drivers with provisional licenses are prohibited from talking on a phone while driving. Texting while driving is banned for all drivers. Under LB 240, seatbelts would be required for all passengers in a vehicle. Currently, they are required for front-seat passengers and children under 18 years old. Sen. Robert Hilkemann of Omaha introduced both bills.

Meatpacking safety. Meatpacking plants would be required to follow safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among employees under LB 241, introduced by Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha. Among other things, the bill would mandate 6-foot distancing in all areas of a plant, require companies to provide masks and other protective equipment, and provide for inspections and other enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. Nebraskans working in meat and poultry processing plants have been among the hardest-hit groups in the pandemic.

No-permit concealed carry. Counties could authorize people to carry concealed weapons without a state permit under LB 236, introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon. But people prohibited from possessing or carrying concealed weapons under state or federal laws would be prohibited under the county-authorized programs as well.

Veteran grave markers. The graves of more military veterans could have special county markers under LB 261, introduced by Sen. Lou Ann Linehan and 28 co-sponsors. The metal markers are currently reserved for veterans who served during wartime. The bill is being introduced on behalf of Linehan’s 2020 election opponent, Allison Heimes. Heimes brought the issue to Linehan’s attention after Heimes’ brother, Matthew Myers, a member of the Nebraska National Guard, was denied a marker when he died in 2017. LB 261 would allow markers for anyone who served in active duty in the armed forces or reserves or who served in the Nebraska National Guard in active-duty federal service after July 1, 1973.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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