FCW Insider

Blog archive

What's the half-life of an Internet hoax?

So I have now received this from three different places -- and from people who do not know one another -- so I'm posting this just in case you happen to see the same hoax floating around. This will let you shoot it down quickly! It is about driver's licenses being available to be searched online for free and it just is not true.

Here is the e-mail:

>Check this out. It's amazing!
> >> This is upsetting but I thought I should pass it along. Check
> >>your
> >>drivers license. Now you can see anyone's Driver's License on the
> >>Internet, including your own! I just searched for mine and there
> >>it
> >>was.
> >>. . picture and all!! Thanks Homeland Security! Where are our
> >>rights?
> >>I definitely removed mine. I suggest you do the same. .
> >>
> >>Go to the web site and check it out. Just enter your name, city
> >>and
> >>state to see if yours is on file. After your license comes on the
> >>screen,
>click the box marked "Please Remove". This will remove it
> >>from public viewing, but not from law enforcement.
> >>
> >> [Web site left out because we don't need to feed their traffic, right?]

As is ususally the case, if something seems too good -- or bad -- to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Here is a link on this item from Snopes.com, a site that debunks urban legends such as this one.

The site notes:
Driver's license and police record information is available over the Internet from various sources such as PublicData.com, but these sites are not accessible to everyone for free, nor do they offer information from every state.

And I should add to my e-mail beefs... sending these things out without checking them out.

One really wonders what the life span of an Internet hoax is?

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Oct 28, 2005 at 12:15 PM


  • Cybersecurity
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    The disinformation game

    The federal government is poised to bring new tools and strategies to bear in the fight against foreign-backed online disinformation campaigns, but how and when they choose to act could have ramifications on the U.S. political ecosystem.

    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.