Mar 222010
 March 22, 2010  Posted by  Court

Frank Green reports that Betty “BJ” Ostergren of the Virginia Watchdog will be back in court tomorrow:

A privacy advocate will be in court tomorrow defending a ruling last year that enables her to publish records with the Social Security numbers of state officials on her Web site.

In June, a federal judge ordered Virginia to stop enforcing a law — barring the dissemination of Social Security numbers — against Betty “BJ” Ostergren for republishing the numbers of Virginia officials in records that are accessible to the public elsewhere.

Ostergren, of Hanover County, posted records with the Social Security numbers of 20 state officials on her Web site,, to pressure them into keeping the numbers off government Web sites such as those maintained by court clerks.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne ruled the law violated Ostergren’s free-speech rights. The Virginia attorney general’s office appealed, and the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow.

Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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