THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG
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01/02/06 North Carolina legislators apparently forgot (or didn't know) about a great source for SSNs on one of their state sponsored websites...
When North Carolina legislators passed a bill in Sept of 2005 which would allow people to have their SSNs removed off documents put on the internet by Register of Deeds and Court Clerks, they did not include letting people remove SSNs off UCCs -commonly called "financing statements" - held by the N.C. Secretary of State.
Elaine Marshall who is the Secretary of State for N.C. has been notified by The Virginia Watchdog that SSNs are all over her site on those documents. She has known about this since last spring when BJ Ostergren was on local television down there it was discovered then by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Stephen Troxler, that his SSN was on a document. He then had someone black out his SSN.
But under what legal authority did the SOS's office do that? Where is the "original" record filed with her office that shows his SSN on that document? The "integrity" of the original document filed with her office has to be maintained. So where is she keeping that record? Someone should ask. The Virginia Watchdog asked but to date has not received an answer from her office or the Attorney General's office. Both offices were asked directly for an answer but no response.
Her website linked here shows SSNs are still in abundance and since she has no statutory authority to remove those SSNs, then she should shut her site down until all SSNs can be removed.
Here's how that site and many more like it across this country work...Pick to search by "individual". The put in any name in the last name space and pick any initial to put in the blank for the first name. When the next screen comes up with results then keep opening (clicking on) the little yellow file folder next to the "file number." Open earlier records like from 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.
The file will come up in PDF format. Here is the document for Troxler I got off her website last spring showing his SSN and now go into her site and look up this guy. You will see his SSN has been blacked out. Apparently because of who this man is and he has some "pull" is how he got his SSN protected/blacked out on that site while thousands of others remain... And to print them out, if you have a problem not getting the whole document, the just "email" them to yourself and they'll print out fine (unless they stop that).
Here's the NC law that went into effect12/01/05 and it deals with freezing credit accounts in the first section and then later down the page, it comes to Section 4 132 -1.8 which gives someone the right to have a SSN removed off a PUBLIC RECORD on a Register of Deeds/Clerks internet site. But where will the "originally" filed document be maintained to protect the record's "integrity?"
No where in this law though does it mention that the Secretary of State has the authority to black out a SSN on her internet records...but she has done it and Stephen Troxler's record is evidence.
And the NC legislators (like other state's lawmakers who have allowed the same thing) didn't give a thought to ANYONE now easily finding out the home addresses and other personal business of police, sheriffs, jailers, bailiffs, judges, doctors, nurses, FBI stationed in NC, military/servicemen and women, etc. merely by sitting in their homes and pulling this information up on a home computer. The North Carolina legislators have put all the people who work for the above groups (and the rest of their citizens) at risk and they don't seem to care!
(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)