A 27-year old Washington D.C. man, Jackson A. Cosko, was charged with five federal offenses and two District of Columbia offenses in a criminal complaint regarding the doxing of five US senators.
Doxing is the process of researching, collecting, and publishing someone's private information (e.g., names, phone numbers, addresses, or credit card details) online, without their knowledge or permission.
Cosko worked as a legislative correspondent/systems administrator for Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire between January 2017 and May 2018, according to information available on the Legistorm lawmaker and Capitol Hill staffer tracking web platform.
Moreover, Cosko also worked for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and for former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
As District of Columbia 's U.S. Attorney’s Office press release says, Cosko published restricted information on Wikipedia about of three US senators and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, i.e., Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), without them knowing anything about it or giving him permission to update their pages.
If the doxing charges stand, Cosko can get up to 20 years behind bars
The US Capitol Police started an investigation on September 27 after it was observed that personal phone numbers and home addresses of the three senators had been added on their public Wikipedia pages.
All three Wikipedia edits were made by Cosko while Senate hearings related to sexual assault allegations against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were ongoing.
Two other US Senators' Wikipedia pages were also altered by adding phone numbers and addresses on October 1, 2018, and on the night of October 2, Cosko was seen by a witness using a computer in the office of Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) who previously employed him.
The witness who caught him in Sen. Maggie Hassan's office after 10 PM, received an e-mail from the firstname.lastname@example.org address a few hours later saying "If you tell anyone I will leak it all. Emails signal conversations gmails. Senators’ children’s health information and socials."
If the six felony counts and one misdemeanor will be proven to be true, Jackson A. Cosko could face up to 20 years behind bars. The Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson ordered that Cosko remain detained until the next hearing set for October 9, 2018.