A state lawmaker is using the threat of the Islamic State group to advance a bill that could make it harder for people to find addresses and phone numbers of military service members, their spouses and children.
The House Local and Federal Affairs committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday. It now goes to the full House.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s bill (HB 185) would allow active and former military members to tell government agencies to keep private personal information that would otherwise be public record.
The bill originally applied only to members of special operations units.
Gaetz said he expanded the language because the Islamic State group (IS) posted a “kill list” with names and addresses of 100 soldiers and urged sympathizers to take them out.
The public records exemption, which would also apply to spouses and children, would be an “opt in.”
Service members would have to send a written request to the state, including a “statement that he or she has made reasonable efforts to protect the identification and location information from being accessible through other means,” referring to Facebook and other social media.
About two-thirds of the names on the IS kill list were published in military press releases, according to reports, with other identifying information culled from social media sites.
Indeed, many in the military community mocked the kill list, according to the Army Times: “‘Come at me,’ one reader wrote, alongside a photo of himself holding a Glock pistol.”
A companion bill in the Senate (SB 674) has to clear the Rules committee before heading to the Senate floor. Neither bill has yet received a ‘no’ vote.
Original article here.