The Future of the Social Security Death Index?

Here is an important article about the future of the Social Security Death Index, and a petition genealogists can sign to show their concern over privacy laws while balancing access to critical research tools. The following article comes from Tampa Bay Online:

Genealogists want to keep access to Death Index

By SHARON TATE MOODY | Special correspondent

Published: February 26, 2012

The call is out for genealogists to unite in a fight to stop identification theft.

The campaign, spearheaded by the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), is in reaction to hearings before a congressional Ways and Means subcommittee that could lead to closing public access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

The Subcommittee on Social Security recently listed the death index as a possible source for identity thieves to acquire a deceased person’s Social Security number. The index is on several websites (including and Genealogy Bank) and is widely used by individuals researching their family roots.

RPAC has called the Subcommittee on Social Security’s proposal to completely shut down use of the SSDI as a short-sighted attempt that runs counter to the original purpose of the index, which it says is “to actually combat fraud.”

RPAC has placed a petition on the We the People website and is urging genealogists and other interested individuals to sign it.

The website was created by the current administration to identify issues of interest to a significant number of Americans. The administration has pledged that issues getting substantial numbers of signatures will be sent to “decision-makers who can best implement solutions and improvements.”

Readers can access the Stop Identity Theft NOW! petition at RPAC’s goal is to obtain 25,000 signatures by March 8.

Click here to read the full article.

5 thoughts on “The Future of the Social Security Death Index?”

  1. It is disappointing today to find that the number of people signing the petition is only about 1/5 of the target number. It appears that folks don’t understand the value of the Death Index. If the ban suceeds we can expect Congress to whittle away other valuable sources of family research.

  2. Some of that might be due to the fact that my browser, Firefox upon clicking the above links says,
    (This Connection is Untrusted

    You have asked Firefox to connect
    securely to, but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure.

    Normally, when you try to connect securely,
    sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are
    going to the right place. However, this site’s identity can’t be verified. Do you want to continue ? – Get me out of here!.)

    And going to the website and trying to find the petition just sucks, doesn’t even come up using many different search querys and criteria.

  3. Although we have been aware of any number of challenges using the “We the People” website, “This Connection is Untrusted” is a new one for me.

    I do note a slight difference in the link above. The last letter is not capitalized.

    Try this: Sign the We The People petition at

    We have set up an RPAC help desk to assist in resolving some of these issues. If you still have difficulties, contact us at: .

    Sharon, thanks for your support.

  4. When you do click “continue” you get a “404 Page not found” yoou can then select to go to the homepage. The result is that you find yourself at a OBama propaganda site. Doing a search on “Stop Identity Theft NOW!” continues to get you more obama propaganda.

  5. When the president of the United States addresses the problem of terrorism, even when fighting it might be a personal inconvenience, calling the site “propaganda” seems a bit unpatriotic.

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