Genealogists as Stakeholders in Digital Ecosystem Cybersecurity

by Kenneth H. Ryesky March 19th, 2015 7:01 am

[I am now very heavily preoccupied, as never before, with various and sundry personal and professional burdens and deadlines and agendas, so this posting will necessarily be superficial.].

Today's Federal Register [80 F.R. 14360] includes a Notice by the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration requesting public comment " to identify substantive cybersecurity issues that affect the digital ecosystem and digital economic growth where broad consensus, coordinated action, and the development of best practices could substantially improve security for organizations and consumers."


It is definitely in the genealogy community's interest to take advantage of this invitation to weigh in with comments.  Imprimis, we will be affected by whatever rules and schemes come out on the topic.  Moreover, as alluded to in more than one prior Genealogical Privacy posting, we cannot allow ourselves to be seen as an obstacle to privacy; indeed, we need to engage in responsible privacy practices, even as we access and analyze some very personal facts and statistics.


We have been given the opportunity to submit input into a process that will, in some way, shape, or form, affect how we operate -- for better or for worse.


The comment deadline is 18 May 2015.





Update to posting of 23 April 2014 ("What's Behind the Adoption"):

by Kenneth H. Ryesky March 15th, 2015 12:17 am

Update to posting of 23 April 2014 ("What's Behind the Adoption"):

Quite unsurprisingly, the case is still unresolved and further court actions have transpired.

Firstly, there was an appeal to the Appellate Division, but, but for whatever reason, that was withdrawn.

More significantly, the Surrogate's Court granted the injunction against the Trustees, enjoining them from seeking any resolution in the Texas courts regarding the July 2012 settlement. "This court continues to defer to the Texas court on the question of whether the Texas orders of adoption at issue can be vacated or voided based on any theory pled, cognizable, and proved in Texas."

[This latest Surrogate's Court decision, entered on 6 March 2015, has not yet been picked up by the New York State Reporter, but did appear in the New York Law Journal of 10 March 2015, at p. 22, col. 6 - p.23, col. 1. It also is in the Dow-Jones Factiva database, Factiva document #

It is, of course, too early to call the end result of the litigation, but my personal call is that the adoptions will stand. But even if they don't, I stand by my contentions in the last two paragraphs of the 23 April 2014 posting:

" Never mind that there obviously was a scheme involved here, the propriety of which shall not now be taken to the mats. The decision in the case brings forth some questions hitting at the intersection of genealogy and privacy. What are the uses and misuses of adoption? How, if at all, should adult adoptions be treated differently than infant adoptions or pre-teen adoptions or teenager adoptions? How open or private should side deals behind adoptions be?

Regardless of whether or not this particular court decision stands (the dollars at stake here may well be impetus for an appeal), these questions will likely be reprised somewhere, at some future time, in some form."