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Sent via email on 7/16/03 at 12:30PM to Gary Clemens, Loudoun County Clerk of Circuit Court.


July 16, 2003

Mr. Clemens:

A title searcher put a posting on the Leesburg Today paper's "forum" and he
said you "CAN" deny access to users....Do you know what COV section he's
referring to because according to the AG's opinion and everyone else who
knows about this, only access to confidential records can be denied.  The
Freedom of Information Act applies and that AG's opinion spells it out
pretty clearly.  It is wrong to be telling people something that is not
right and it "could" reflect poorly on "you".  Can you help me here - what
does he know that I don't know or the AG doesn't know???

Also have you gone "live"?  The online records are really missing a lot of
records....there are many holes in just the DEEDS and DOTs that need to be
fixed. I don't see how anyone could do a full title examine with how many
holes I found in those records.

Also you may want to tell your provider that you can leave the site and then
re-enter it without signing in ....for eg. leave and check another site for
a phone number and then just "back" into your site.  I guess when you leave
your site there is no timing out system to cut off access.

Plus how are you going to control people who want to spread their
password/user ID around????  What about "John Doe/anyone" who signs up and
then gives his password to all his friends.  Or the title company who signs
up and has 15 users....That is possible and very likely will happen.
Fifteen people using it and they all have friends and may "let" one of their
buddies have their password/user ID to look something up for themselves and
not for their jobs.

I hope you know I have nothing against you personally but I am really
against all this stuff being available online. I guess you know about the
University of Texas records that were broken into and stolen ....or the
Tricare West records for the military that were stolen (a class action suit
was filed over that in January in Federal Court in Arizona).  If a database
is ONLINE anywhere it can be broken into. Of course, that is against the law
but some people don't care and the jails are filled with law breakers.  Your
job as clerk is to "protect" the people's records and believe me MOST PEOPLE
will not take off from work and come to your records room to do get the
records - or travel to your county-  but will get "online" from their home
computer to suck the info out of those records.  It is my belief that your
records should not even be sold in bulk as you are doing with selling those
monthly disks for $100.  It is wrong to be charging $100 for something that
is already on in a database and would take five minutes to burn a CD. That's
not worth $100.....Are you going to sell all the marriage licenses on one CD
or two for $29.95 .like another clerk is doing so people will have all those
mother's maiden names which people use as passwords for various accounts.

I will be sending out several hundred letters with a copy of their document
(just the signature page where the SS#s are -  like for Mr. Anderson, your
Commonwealth's Attorney, and your assistant Tom Causin - check out their
DOTs which have their SS#s and their wives' SS#s on one for each.)  I guess
what you didn't know is that back starting in the early 90's (and until 2000
for a couple), the banks/lending institutions put on lots of DOTS the SS#S
of both people who were getting the loan. There were about 8 in your
county's records who did it and I found them.  Once you find one, you do an
"adverse" search and you find them ALL.  I told the Devolites committee last
year how dangerous it was just regarding the SS#s on DOT's and your site is
no different than any...They are all have SS#s on DOT's if the lending
institution put them there and since you can't remove them, you have a duty
to protect them. You are quoted in the paper as saying you didn't
know/hadn't seen any....well, how long have you been a Clerk?  Maybe I am
helping you understand why I am so adamantly opposed because like I said
99.99999999% of the people won't take time off from work to snoop in those
records in your office and they certainly won't pay you $.50 a page to copy
the records like I have printed out here.

Lastly, have you thought of all the copying fees you will be losing by
people printing out records at their own office ($.50/page)...and have you
thought that there might be such a firestorm that you may be out of your
$115,000/yr job (plus 5% of probate) if the citizens revolt against you?
You should think about all this....I've seen it happen before and believe me
where the records were online but later pulled down, I hear the Clerk's
gooses are cooked and they will not be re-elected because the people are so
mad about the online records issue when they found their records were

Thanking you and looking forward to hearing from you...


Betty "BJ" Ostergren
The Virginia Watchdog

---- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Clemens" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: Testing your system

July 8, 2003

Ms. Ostergren:

It was a pleasure to speak with you yesterday. I hope that I can visit with
you in person when I visit the Richmond area.

Thank you for providing the information to participate in the pilot program.
Since you have sent payment, I am instructing my systems administrator, Tom
Causin, to establish a connection for you to our system.  I trust you will
contact me to share any insights after you have had an opportunity to access
the records.


Gary M. Clemens
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Loudoun County, Virginia
(703) 777-0270


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