Yesterday’s publication of the home addresses of senior members of the police and the details of many businesses that support the Republican National Convention by one of the anti-RNC groups reinforces the threat of actions away from the Convention location and permitted protest routes by anarchist and extreme left wing protest groups. Some of the targets are clearly intended for direct action in sympathy, as they are not even in Florida.

Whether simply intended to spread police resources or deliver an actual target list, the move will spread the police thinner. This tactic isn’t new and one hopes it was anticipated. The Internet research and publication of personal details of the police, known as “doxing,” is a common tactic in the UK and Europe and has been heavily used in some areas of the United States for the last year (see an earlier post I wrote on this issue). Actions intended to spread police resources are hardly innovative; indeed, the tactic is now being used regularly by the protesters in Bahrain.