|This is a slight condensing and re-editing of what I sent out to my Congresswoman. I figured it was easier to just post here than to set up something where it could be downloaded. Feel free to copy and edit as you wish. [Many thanks to Lee/AR for significant input/feedback on this. ] |
It's probably still too long, but feel free to further edit, copy sections or do whatever you like with it. The key is to just SEND SOMETHING! The correct address for YOUR Representatives can be found via links posted elsewhere (in this thread?) or just via a Google search.
If you choose to send your letter via snail mail, I looked up the correct format for this type of letter, so you can copy this. You may also be able to adapt this to fit into those electronic comments blocks on many Reps web pages. There's a good chance most messages won't get read, but they'll read the subject line "Remote Online Notarization". If they see it often enough, it will register.
Please let us know once you've sent your message(s). I'd love to see this forum get bombarded with posts that indicate lots of messages sent to lawmakers. Don't forget your state Reps, too, because if this issue hasn't already come up in your state, it probably will before long... ***BTW, there are a couple of notes injected here, so don't forget to take those out and personalize this with correct info.***
Honorable ______[Name of Rep]_________________
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Remote Online Notarization
Dear Congressman/woman ____[Name of Rep]__________:
I’m writing to call your attention to a well-funded movement by big tech and ‘too big to fail’ banks to allow notarizations to be conducted remotely via a webcam on the internet. Those promoting Remote Online Notarization (RON) are gaining momentum throughout the nation and this process has already been legalized in a number of states. A recent attempt in California was tabled when their Assembly Judicial Committee produced an analysis which provides an excellent overview and examines several concerns in detail: [https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billAnalysisClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB199.]
It’s my belief that a notarial act should be about prevention of fraud and protection of the integrity of a transaction, not be viewed as merely an obstacle to be overcome. A notary’s job is to confirm that those about to sign are, in fact, the party(ies) named in the document and that they're doing so of their own free will. A notary can’t determine willingness as effectively if they’re not physically in the same room as the signer and there are too many issues re: methods for identifying signers to enumerate.
The proponents lobbying strongly for RON disclaim any liability (leaving that on the notary), exaggerate perceived “inconvenience” of current processes, and underplay challenges and/or flaws of the proposed methods, including “Knowledge Based Authentication”. E.g., there’s little to no focus on safeguarding the storage of transaction data, on who would have access to it, or on how records could later be retrieved, if required in legal actions.
However, because of the technology that would be required, as this effort takes hold it’s likely that most notarizations will be conducted by employee-notaries in centralized locations, especially when on behalf of financial institutions for home loans. It’s probable that many of these centers will fall under the control of those very financial institutions. **[This paragraph could be deleted if you need to shorten this.]**
The potential for abuse is staggering.
This movement urgently needs serious scrutiny at a national level. Please read the legal analysis referenced above and, if you agree with the stated concerns, please help put the brakes on the acceptance of RON, at least before essential safeguards can be ensured. Legislators around the country are rapidly succumbing to the siren call of ‘technological progress’ without properly considering the potentially dangerous downsides of this change.
I hope you’ll agree that urgent action is needed. Thank you for your consideration.
YOUR TYPED NAME
YOUR CONTACT INFO