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HLS Students Targeted by Online Doxxing and Billboard Truck in Harvard Square

Harvard Law School students and student government officials were doxxed after the student government passed a resolution calling on Harvard to divest from "illegal Israeli settlements."
Harvard Law School students and student government officials were doxxed after the student government passed a resolution calling on Harvard to divest from "illegal Israeli settlements." By Julian J. Giordano
By S. Mac Healey and Saketh Sundar, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard Law School students and several leaders in its student government faced doxxing attacks after the passage of a resolution on Friday calling on the University to divest from “illegal Israeli settlements.”

The attacks escalated when a billboard truck drove around campus on Tuesday displaying the names of the HLS student government co-presidents with the text “Why Does HLS Student Government Hate Jews?”

The doxxing campaign comes after the HLS student government called on the Harvard Management Company — which stewards the University’s $50.7 billion endowment — to “divest completely from weapons manufacturers, firms, academic programs, corporations, and all other institutions that aid the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the genocide of Palestinians.”

The truck, which was paid for by the Jewish Leadership Project, drove around Harvard Square for several hours on Tuesday. It was the most vivid example of a doxxing campaign that began on Friday with several social media accounts posting photographs and names of students who allegedly supported the resolution calling on Harvard to divest.

Aaron A. Nytes, a member of the HLS student government, said in an interview on Tuesday that the doxxing attacks have left students “feeling not safe to speak out, not safe to voice their opinions.”

“They feel that anything they say is going to be misconstrued or published in a negative light and that it can pose risks to any sort of livelihood in the future or anything they want to do in the future — and really just a general feeling of anxiety that their words are going to be used against them,” Nytes added.

HLS spokesperson Jeff Neal wrote in a statement on Tuesday that the “safety and wellbeing of members of our community continues to be our top priority, and the school is continuing to work to support our students, staff, and faculty.”

“Members of our student services teams have reached out directly on an individual basis to offer assistance to students affected by events of recent days,” Neal added.

The doxxing attacks and the Tuesday reappearance of a billboard truck triggered memories of the fall semester, when similar trucks circled campus following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and former President Claudine Gay’s controversial congressional testimony.

The Jewish Leadership Project, the organization that financed the truck that circled campus on Tuesday, also claimed responsibility for two billboard truck campaigns in December that targeted Gay and the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.

The Jewish Leadership Project did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Last semester, many undergraduate students faced doxxing attacks after public backlash to a widely criticized statement released by more than 30 student groups in October that held Israel “entirely responsible” for the violence stemming from Hamas’ attack.

The passage of the resolution on Friday was followed by an emergency meeting where the student government discussed procedural objections raised against the resolution’s passage. While the student government eventually passed a procedural motion affirming the validity of the resolution on a 9-5 vote, two first-year law students resigned over the passage of the resolution.

On Monday, HLS students staged a sit-in at the Law School’s Dean of Students office in response to the administration’s handling of the doxxing attacks against students.

“The sit-in was basically just showing the administration that we are aggrieved, that we are dissatisfied with the level of protection that they are offering us as students,” Nytes said.

“The doxxing and releasing of sensitive information is against Harvard policy,” he added. “The general feeling is frustration that Harvard isn’t willing to enforce that policy and they’re not willing to protect students.”

Students also sent a “high volume of inquiries” to the Office of Public Interest Advising asking to be removed from internal Harvard career lists.

In an email sent to HLS affiliates, the OPIA announced it had taken down spreadsheets with employment information in response to student concerns and a high volume of requests for the removal of students’ personal information.

HLS Lambda — the school’s LGBTQ+ student organization — wrote in a statement on Sunday that they condemned “in the strongest terms the doxxing campaign against HLS students conducted by numerous Twitter accounts.”

“We are deeply troubled that this doxxing campaign was instigated by HLS students,” they wrote, “(which is self-evident because the Zoom meeting was only made available to HLS students).”

—Staff writer S. Mac Healey can be reached at mac.healey@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @MacHealey.

—Staff writer Saketh Sundar can be reached at saketh.sundar@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @saketh_sundar.

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