Doxed Physics Postdoc Reaches $55K Settlement

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The Guardian reported that a Christopher Backhouse, a former research fellow in physics and astronomy at University College London, must pay approximately $55,000 in damages to a research associate in physics at Indiana University at Bloomington for impersonating and harassing her on social media. According to British court records on the settlement, the woman’s “home address, email address and phone number were used to sign her up to various unwanted services and groups, including far-right hate groups, fetish websites and to arrange for unwanted goods and services to be supplied, including the delivery of adult diapers and babyproofing services.” She also reportedly received death threats and unsolicited sex requests after Twitter accounts using fake pornographic images were set up in her name.

The woman’s lawyer, Adham Harker, said the accounts falsely portrayed her “as a nymphomaniac, exhibitionist and sex worker.” Backhouse, who reportedly used proxy servers to cover his digital footprints, eventually was found to be behind the fake accounts after the woman subpoenaed technology companies for information. Backhouse and the woman reportedly worked with each other on a research project in the U.S., where the woman accused Backhouse of sexual assault. In that case, no finding of fact was made against Backhouse, according to The Guardian.

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