Senator Golden Leads Passage of Legislation to Punish the Criminal Use of Public Records in New York

Martin J. Golden

April 04, 2011

Bill Would Protect Against Criminal Activity Including Identity Theft

Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), a former New York City Police Officer, today led New York State Senate passage of legislation he has sponsored,

S. 2168, that seeks to make it a crime when public records are used for the purposes of advancing criminal activity in the State of New York.

The legislation amends the New York State Penal Law and makes it a Class E felony so to set a framework to prevent abuse of the Freedom of Information Law. Additionally, this bill would provide the necessary provisions so to prosecute the misuse of government documentation obtained through such requests for the purposes of committing a crime.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “The idea of open access to government documents allows for abuse by convicts and others with wrongful motives. To use the Freedom of Information Law to gain personal data, only to then use it against those same citizens, is identity theft based on information obtained by government documents. This is unacceptable and efforts must be made to prevent this from happening.”

Golden continued, “It is time that such legislation be introduced in the Assembly and they join the State Senate in fighting against the unfortunate reality that this is happening here in New York. Their failure to pass similar legislation only allows for residents of the Empire State to continue to be victimized through the exploitation of public records.”