Another info theft highlights lack of public access

Another judicial worker has been detained on the allegation that he illegally used confidential government records of at least one individual.

The Judicial Investigating Organization was not specific on what the illegal act alleged was, but as the courts tighten up previously open records, there is more opportunity for insiders to see material that is closed to outside eyes.

As a California private investigator said last month that prior to the 2012 arbitrary shutdown, anybody with Internet access could search the judiciary’s public data base to see if a person or corporation had any civil or criminal cases on file. A new law changed that.

As the investigator, Seth Derish, pointed out, this is valuable commercial information that is vital to doing a  due diligence study for a potential commercial agreement. Closing records also leads to corruption, which may be the case in the arrest today.

Derish said that “when these records were shut down in 2012, a staff attorney from my office was immediately approached by a functionary in the court offering to sell access to the system.”  He said he declined.

The judicial investigators’ report said that this new case involved using internal equipment to access confidential personal data that appears to have been used at least once for the benefit of the suspect. The information is believed to have been passed on to a third party, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The investigation is continuing to determine if there were other such cases, said investigators.

Derish said he is sending a translated copy of his Sept. 26 letter to the Spanish-language media as a start for a campaign to change the law.


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