[Editor's Note: I am a director for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) which is a member of the Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC). As many of you know, during last week's meeting of the House Ways & Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security hearing, genealogists took it on the chin and were made out the be the scapegoats. This is just the start of an ongoing effort to remove access to these records.
Please read the announcement below from RPAC and get ready to help spread the news about the Stop ID Theft NOW! petition effort.]
RPAC announces the “Stop ID Theft NOW!” Campaign
- The Social Security Death Index were no longer available online; or
- Birth certificates in every state were not made public for 125years, nor death certificates, marriages and divorce records available until after 75 years?
These and similar proposals further limiting genealogical access to “public” records are actively being considered by policy-makers at the state and federal level.
The most recent example is the hearing held by the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held on 2 February and found at: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=276835
Recent posts give at the RPAC Blog at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/ give additional information.
To address such issues, the genealogical community works together through The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee which today includes The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as voting members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), ProQuest and Ancestry.com also serve as participating members.
We expect to launch a significant petition drive on Tuesday, the 7th of February. It will urge the Administration to take steps that should curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from deceased infants and adults almost immediately. Please plan to check back at the RPAC Blog at that time.
What can individual genealogists and local societies do? In essence, our message is “Get Involved!”
Start by asking these two questions:
- Do I know who my legislators (state & federal) are?
- Do they know who I am?
©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee