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UPDATE 01/02/08 - 84 VIRGINIA CIRCUIT COURT CLERKS NOW OFFER REMOTE ACCESS TO PERSONAL (ALBEIT PUBLIC) RECORDS WITH SSNs, ETC. ON THEM...   WE CALL IT SPOON FEEDING CRIMINALS!


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84 Clerks Certify to Currently Providing Access to Land Recordsí Images

 

Accomack

Fairfax County

New Kent

Surry

Albemarle

Fauquier

Northampton

Sussex

Alleghany

Floyd

Nottoway

Warren

Amelia

Fluvanna

Orange

Washington

Amherst

Franklin Co

Page

Wise

Appomattox

Frederick Co

Pittsylvania

Wythe

Arlington

Giles

Powhatan

Bristol

Bath

Goochland

Prince Edward

Buena Vista

Bland

Grayson

Prince George

Chesapeake

Brunswick

Greensville

Prince William

Colonial Heights

Buchanan

Highland

Pulaski

Danville

Caroline

Isle of Wight

Rappahannock

Fredericksburg

Carroll

James City Co

Richmond Co

Hampton

Charles City Co

King George

Rockingham

Martinsville

Charlotte

King William

Russell

Newport News

Clarke

Lancaster

Scott

Norfolk

Culpeper

Lee

Shenandoah

Portsmouth

Cumberland

Loudoun

Smyth

Radford

Dickenson

Louisa

Southampton

Suffolk

Dinwiddie

Madison

Spotsylvania

Virginia Beach

Essex

Montgomery

Stafford

Winchester

 

In October, 2007, The Virginia Watchdog learned from the Executive Secretary of the Virginia State Compensation Board that 84 Circuit Court Clerks  in Virginia (out of a possible 121) answered a 2007 survey in which the Clerks stated they are offering remote access to records containing home addresses, SSNs, dates of birth, signatures, mother's maiden names, health information, children's names, and other personal information.   The General Assembly in this year's session had extended the deadline for that access to July 1, 2008. 

The Court Clerks' Association thru their lobbyist pushed hard for this online access system even knowing about all the personal info in those records.  The Clerks call it "secure" remote access, but is any site or system "secure?"   NO.   And once a person signs up, there is no security since a subscriber can let "ANYONE" use his computer and the Court Clerk would not know it.  And the subscriber could print out thousands of SSNs and pass out the copies and it is perfectly legal.  The records are public.

The Circuit Court Clerks of those 84 localities have chosen to go online before the 2008 deadline and expose home addresses for cops, judges, celebrities, FBI agents, Secret Service agents, CIA agents, single/abused women, jail/prison guards, and many others who don't want their home addresses or their SSNs known by just "ANYONE."    If the info is on a document recorded in their offices, then it is a public record and under Code of VA section 17.1-208 it shall be open to everyone unless its "sealed" by a judge.  But even sealed court records have made it onto at least one Virginia Court Clerk's site - King William County, VA which was online but was shut down after public outcry against it.

This is happening all over this country - Government agencies intentionally making people's personal info available over the internet.  So what we have is state/government agencies selling - or giving away - SSNs, etc. online!  

Virginia's legislators even passed a special law to allow the records to be made available online in people's home or office.  

The records the Clerks are providing access to contain everything "ANYONE" would need to steal someone's identity or wreak havoc on their lives.  Being able to get someone's home address sets people up for burglary, rape, murder (like the AMY BOYER case - read about it), and/or harassment/stalking.  

For example, to access Fairfax County's Circuit Court Clerk's 33 million plus records, "ANYONE" can sign up for $25 a month and spend 30 days downloading people's records with personal information on them.  What a bargain to get a few million SSNs!   And who's to know if the subscriber lets 100 of his identity theft friends use the same computer?  No one would know.   "ANYONE" because of Virginia's open records laws can sign up for access to any of the 84 Clerk's systems and download all the SSNs they want - legally.

Even though we all know identity theft is against the law, people break laws everyday and there have been actual cases of ID theft linked to these records put online by clerks in OHIO for one. 

The records should not be available online at your home computer, but, instead, they should be kept within the four walls of the courthouse or wherever they are stored.  Then if "ANYONE" wants to see them, they should have to get into their car and drive there.

Click here for EXAMPLES of records that are available (or were) online in just a sampling of localities.   And most Clerks', Recorders', Register of Deeds', and State Secretaries' websites and the records online across this country are FREE for the taking.   No sign up. No nothing.  

With all this online access, is it any wonder why identity theft, mortgage fraud, and document fraud is rampant? 

 

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