THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG
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10/24/06 U.S. Senator George Allen as Gov. of VA in 1997 cooked our goose...and Del. Eric Cantor helped. I didn't know about HB 2762 when Allen ran previously for re-election, but I do now. Neither one of them will get my vote on November 7th, 2006.
Written by BJ OSTERGREN, FOUNDER OF THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG
In 1997 the idea of allowing final divorce decrees, deeds, mortgages, judgments, tax liens, marriage licenses, Wills, UCCs, etc. to be accessed over the internet was introduced as House Bill 2762 in the Virginia General Assembly. The bill/idea was pushed by the Circuit Court Clerks, their "association", real estate attorneys, the Virginia press and its association, and some title companies.
The final version of that bill allowed Circuit Court Clerks to provide internet access to records which contained personal info like social security numbers, dates of birth, signatures, mothers' maiden names, minor children's names, health information, and financial account information.
Here is the Senate vote where you can also see our present Lt. Governor, Bill Bolling, voted for the bill.
Here is the House vote where you can see now-Congressman Eric Cantor's "AYE" vote...and also the "AYE" vote of our present Attorney General, Bob McDonnell. They never gave a thought to the unintended consequences of it.
On March 15, 1997, HB 2762 was signed into law by then Governor George Allen who wants to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate. Doing so essentially cooked the citizens' goose and thus began the most egregious invasion of our privacy.
Some counties were able to get the documents scanned and ready for internet access quickly, while others have taken much longer to get the job done. A total of 59 Clerks out of 120 have internet access now. You have to sign up, but ANYONE can! That's the law. And electronic records have to be treated the same as paper records due to the Freedom of Information Act.
Once a person gets access to a Clerk's database, he can let his whole neighborhood use his computer and password.
The records have little protection and all the personal info can be seen - even all the gritty details in final divorce decrees like this page out of one I got via the internet when I signed up ($25 for one month's access) to Carroll County's site. I blacked out the SSNs, kids' names, and their DOBS, but you get the idea.
ASK YOURSELF: Do you want your information/records available on ANYONE's home computer? Or do you think like I do that these records should only be seen at the courthouse? People should have to put forth some effort to see the records.
If you agree with me, then don't vote for the people who put us in this mess that now no one knows how to fix.
And that's why in addition to 1) the Macaca incident, 2) the business about him just discovering his Jewish roots this year, and 3) his past 2003 endorsement of three people he should have given some thought to before endorsing them, I will NOT be voting for Sen. George Allen or Congressman Eric Cantor.
And as far as Eric Cantor goes, I'm not voting for him due to his close ties to AND acceptance of money from Jack Abramoff, etal and his close associations to Tom Delay and Mark Foley... and this. Cantor also endorsed of the same folks that Allen endorsed. Here's another article about the endorsement mess.
Remember this in the voting booth on November 7th.
Even you out-of-staters should give this records issue some thought in your elections. You've been screwed, too, by your state legislators who were catering to special interests in allowing records to be put online with all those SSNs, etc. in them.
(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)