Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a bill into law that was approved by both the state House and Senate have unanimously. It creates a searchable electronic Internet database of historic Connecticut military records. Bethel Representative Dan Carter expressed some concerns over private information being made public, but was told 75 years would have to pass before they are digitized and released.
The State Librarian will be required to conduct a study about creating the database, what documents would be included and what personal information should be redacted.
Newtown Representative Mitch Bolinsky co-sponsored the legislation, which was voted on unanimously in both the House and the Senate. The study must be completed and reported back to a legislative committee by January 15, 2016.
Retired Marine Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea, a combat veteran from Brookfield wounded in Iraq in 2004, submitted written testimony to the legislature on behalf of the Connecticut Veterans Chamber. He said the digitalization will result in more efficiencies in the form of improved services for veterans. He recommended that steps be taken to protect the records and identifiable information, citing concerns about potential financial exploitation or identity theft via hacking.
He recommended bank-level security for these records because for national security reasons. Zacchea said ISIS has targeted civilians and there's a concern that if the digitized records are hacked that the information could be matched with social media profiles of post-9/11 veterans, making them vulnerable to threats of and actual violence.