This was from a self proclaimed 'public records junkie and life-long observer of people'. "Politicians are interested in only one thing – getting elected or re-elected. They can only do that if they morph themselves into someone who will ease the fears of the potential voters.
When it comes to privacy, there is more than enough fear on both sides – the liberals are afraid of the corporations keeping track of them. The conservatives are afraid of the government keeping track of them. It's a rare and strange place where two opposing groups can meet and agree on one thing – public records are a threat!
When you restrict reasonable access to public information, you immediately shift it to the black market. On the black market, information as innocuous as property taxes is now in the same category as your income tax information or your medical information – it's for sale on the UNREGULATED black market. When people who are looking for seemingly harmless information, if it's not public record, they must turn to the black market. And when they're shopping on the black market, the catalog also includes the most private information.
By limiting the access to public records for 'legitimate' (constitutionally protected) reasons, the government is inviting crime, corruption and the biggest threat ever to some one's privacy.
Politicians will respond to fear. So will their potential voters. So this will inevitably create a wonderfully unhealthful fear of their personal information ending up in the hands of ruthless criminals."
Don, a California PI wrote: "If you cannot do this for you, then do it for your fellow PI brothers and sisters. Get-up and out of your slump, put your coffee cup back in its holder, and let us all let these misinformed hysterical politicians know that you are no longer going to sit back and allow them to put more prophylactics on your toolbox. For his Holiness' sake! Do something for someone else instead of just sitting around, drinking beer, and burping on your way to relieve yourself!
Act NOW! This is the right time to speak up. BUT, pack a lunch this is long-haul work. We must be prepared to collectively continue the campaign to stem the tide of record closure. Stop thinking about you and start thinking about the millions of people who rely upon our expertise and resourcefulness to help them in their times of need.
Politicians are trying [and succeeding] to convince themselves and their constituents that PIs are "rogues, unregulated, selfish, and, above-the-law vigilantes" that we must be stopped from accessing their "personal records." One piece of BAD press for us per week is greater than the daily pounding the current administration receives. However, the difference is: the current administration has resources and clout to fight back; PIs (with the exception of NCISS), at this moment, have neither!
We must disabuse the public's perception into believing "PIs are bound to misuse access to personal records; therefore, we must close their access to our records!" For this very reason, politicians think PIs should be denied access completely…"
Whether you are pro or con on the carry issue, this is blatantly wrong! Yet, why is there nothing but a deafening silence on this issue? Does this silence suggest what I am saying now about records access?
How did all of this evolve without a tougher fight? Did commonsense escape us all?
You all must be heard immediately! Get the word out to all licensed PIs. Remember, this fight is not about your personal philosophies… it is about returning the teeth to the PI Act as a whole. Do we want what we have eroded further or do we want to regain our rights to pursue our righteous endeavors? Please do not act to suit your individual needs, act to meet the over all needs of the PI Industry."
Does this make you angry?? Are you feeling guilty for not being part of the solution?? Take Action!!
Below is a sample letter to use to forward to your congressman or congress woman.
Click HERE to locate your congressman or congress woman's email, phone, fax, local address and/or DC address.
What is your excuse now? Get-r-done!!
Patrick L. Baird
Honorable ………. September 27, 2007
Member of Congress
VIA FACSIMILE (or electronic mail)
I am writing to express my concern with HR 948, the “Social Security Number Protection Act” and HR-3046, the “Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Protection Act”.
It is generally not recognized that a high percentage of the fraud, identity theft, and other crimes and all of the torts winding through our civil and criminal justice systems are investigated by licensed private investigators, not law enforcement personnel.
Law enforcement does not have sufficient resources to investigate many crimes. Many law enforcement agencies have substantial loss thresholds which preclude their accepting all but the largest of financial losses. Investigators have handled cases involving losses of more than $75,000 that have not met these threshold levels.
While it sounds good and reasonable to ban the “sale or purchase” of Social Security numbers, doing so will make it unlawful for investigators in the private sector to access the many databases which are necessary. Not allowing an exception for legitimate investigations in the private sector will, in the end, cripple our system.
Though unintended, the SSN has become the primary and universal identifier on which most identifications revolve. Locating witnesses and determining the correct identity of defendants, plaintiffs and witnesses is essential to our courts.
Recognizing that many investigations of criminal suspects and all criminal defense investigations are conducted by private investigators, the Senate Commerce Committee included necessary exceptions in S 1178, the Identity Theft Prevention Act. We are asking the following language (similar to S-1178) be adopted in HR 948 and HR 3046 if they are to continue to be considered:
. . .to the extent necessary to prevent, detect, or investigate fraud or unauthorized transactions, to verify identity, to locate missing or abducted persons or witnesses to an ongoing or potential civil or criminal lawsuit, criminals, criminal suspects, parties to lawsuits, parents delinquent in child support payments, organ and bone marrow donors, pension funds beneficiaries, missing heirs, and for similar legal, medical or family related purposes . .
Should you have any questions, please contact me or my association’s Washington representative, Larry Sabbath at 703-426-1976. Thank you for your attention.