A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]In the past, genealogists have gone to town offices, county courthouses, and state archives to research their family histories. All that will change when the Intelligence Reform and Genealogy Prevention Act of 2004 goes into effect.
Michael Brown is the Homeland Security Department's new Director of Genealogical Impediment, and he sees a bright future for genealogy in America.
"Imagine, if you will," he says, "a country where birth and death records are kept not in thousands of dangerously unprotected facilities spread out over fifty states, but in one secure location in Washington, D.C. Imagine the convenience!"
The convenience will extend not only to officials of the FBI and NSA, but to any employee of the Executive Branch with adequate security clearance. Genealogists, of course, will not be admitted.
"Genealogists will still be able to search locally through any records that bear their own name," Brown says. "If there's information they need but can't get, maybe they should just ask themselves why they want to lend support to our enemies."
As an added convenience, the names of genealogists who request records will be sent to Washington and compared against lists of known or suspected terrorists.
Brown says that loyal Americans shouldn't be troubled.
"If you haven't done anything wrong—and don't have the same name as someone who did something wrong or might have done something wrong or voted against the President—you have nothing to worry about."
[For more information on the possible implications of the very real Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, see Information is Power]