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THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG  has just learned on 1/10/3 that the Virginia Information  Providers Network (VIPNet) entered in an agreement with the Division of Game and Inland Fisheries to sell and are selling anyone's/everyone's boat registration information to anyone who wants to pay the $75 to get it. 

 AND they are working on a database so they can begin selling  the hunting and fishing licensee information.

 If you own a boat or have a hunting and fishing license in VA, you will have your info sold and didn't even know it until told by the Watchdog

 Someone is going to profit off this and DGIF claims it ain't them. So who is it?  VIPNet is a public/private venture so it must be them.  But who are they really?

  Why should anyone be able to buy your boat information?  It's just one more piece of the puzzle of your life that between the Clerks and DMV and now Game and Inland Fisheries someone can have your life.

 This information they're selling for the boats includes, according to the website I visited, your name and home address, the make and model of your boat, how many motors it has and if they are gas or diesel, the boat number, the length, hull ID, issue date of license, where the boat is docked, hull material, purchase price, and whether or not you have a lienholder.

 It is a certainty that Commissioners of Revenue should be able to get their hands on this information, but the general public????

 And now they are going to sell your name and address if you buy a hunting or fishing license?   What is going on?  They're doing it just because they can and all under the guise of the Freedom of information Act.

 And, of course, at the meeting (click here to read the minutes) on October 31, 2002, where the above things were discussed and voted on, was the executive director of the VA Coalition for Open Government - Forrest "Frosty" Landon.   (More on that group later.)

 The citizens of this state are being sold out for a mere $75 to sign up and then for $25 more you can buy the boat registrations for 2500 boat owners.  And for $25 more you can buy another 2500 boat owners' info.  For $2500 you can buy the whole data base! (Click here to see fee schedule).

(Since this story first was written, the state and VipNet have changed prices for boat registration info which now is $3,000 for the entire database and $500 for each subsequent download of the entire database and also now it's $50 for up to 2,500 records.  It still is $75 to sign up initially) 2/16/03

 But selling the hunting and fishing licensee database?  Good grief! And no one has a date yet for that to begin but they say they are working on itů.

 This is just one more thing to be stopped!  If every person who is affected by this would spread the word and email or call their legislator and tell their friends, we could stop it.

 Let's quit being sold out!    

(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)