by Chrissy Cuttita
45th Space Wing Public Affairs
6/11/2015 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- When
the news reported military members were being virtually targeted by
terrorist groups, one Airman became so driven to mask his personal
information from the internet he ended up on a road trip to Florida's
Tech. Sgt. Carlos Laurencio, a mission assurance technician of the 5th
Space Launch Squadron, became curious to know what sort of information
was on the internet about himself after reading reports about how
another service member's residence was being threatened by a known
His research led him to discover his concern to protect other military
members' personal information became a bill that was filed by the
Florida House of Representatives in January. Then he had the opportunity
to witness the process it took to become a state law.
"Tech. Sgt. Laurencio deserves all of the credit for asking the
questions, digging in and actively working as a concerned citizen to
protect his fellow military members," said Lt. Col. David Leach, 5th SLS
commander. "This is a great example of our core values in action."
The NCO was beginning the process of clearing his personal information
from third party internet searches when at the same time the bill
"CS/CS/CS/HB 185 Public Records/Active Duty Servicemembers and Family"
was being drafted at Florida's capitol building.
On June 2, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill which "provides an
exemption from public records requirements for certain identification
and location information of current or former service members of the
United States Armed Forces, Reserve Forces, or National Guard, including
their spouses and children," according to the state governor's webpage.
Laurencio said he started his journey into the center of state politics
by researching the names of the most popular data aggregator websites
and contacted each individually. Some sites allowed him to login and
delete his information. Others asked for identification and notarized
"I felt vulnerable," he said, after discovering how buying a house or
registering a boat can get a personal address into the wrong hands.
This ignited Laurencio to go to his city hall with high hopes to have
his public record information protected. However, while there, he
discovered that military personnel are not covered in a long list of
exempted categories such as police officers, firefighters, judges, and
other public officials whose personnel information is protected under
Florida Statue 119.071.
Once he discovered how many local government offices could legally give
out his information, Laurencio started visiting them one-by-one to ask
them to list his information as "confidential," knowing that he was not
in an exempted status and, if asked, those offices would have to legally
provide his information.
"On top of feeling vulnerable, I felt exploited," he said about some
office's ability to sell personal information to other ".com"
registries. "You disclose this information because you think it is only
going to be for official business and not for sale."
Since his first interaction with social media he knew to be mindful and
take precautions when releasing personal identifiable information but he
never knew how many other places could distribute that information on
"No one needs to know all of the information Facebook asks for, such as
phone and addresses, when registering for an account," he said.
"All of the people who matter know how to get a hold of me," said Laurencio.
However, what the 15-year veteran didn't know was people he never met
could easily get his information through third party sources or
government offices. Laurencio noticed his personal information was
available on the internet through various government organizations such
as the county tax collector, property appraiser, voter registration and
even city utility offices.
Laurencio took the next step of contacting his congressman knowing the
only way to get public records of military personnel exempted was to
change the law. An executive in that office, who sided with the NCO's
position, asked him to draft an email for the State Attorney General.
He said he knew then he would have to seek the appropriate guidance from
his chain of command and base legal office to exercise his
Constitutional rights as a concerned citizen.
"This is a huge deal for protecting our military personnel who have been
in the news as being targeted by terrorist groups," Leach said.
When his co-workers began to ask what Laurencio's big tasking was, they asked the same questions he initially did.
"When I saw them (my coworkers) getting upset I knew I must be doing the
right thing," said Laurencio, who is also serves his squadron's
antiterrorism monitor, an additional duty he takes seriously.
By keeping in touch with the congressman's office and the attorney
general, he was not only able to get the most current drafts of the bill
and its status, he also learned there was an opportunity to watch the
bill in session online and in person.
After his first disappointment of not seeing the bill presented in an
online session, he decided go to Tallahassee, Florida, to watch the next
"It was a cool experience," he said. "Seeing the diversity was the best
part; young people, women, all walks of life, cowboy hats, designer
suits, all sorts of accents. Whether or not the people agreed, all of
them were together to make the state better."
But as much as he said he fell in love with the idea of public service
even more, he spent a day of sitting in the Senate chamber where there
was no mention of the bill.
He began to question the process again and started calling his
resources. However, with one phone call, he learned the win was in the
House that day, not the Senate, with a unanimous vote of 113 yeas. A few
days later the Senate also unanimously passed it with 40 yeas on April
Laurencio said he always had a sense of public service that drives him
to do more, which is how he evolved from being an active member of his
homeowners association for 144 homes in his community to becoming a
commissioner on a seven-man environmental commission for the city he
"Maybe I'll be in the state legislature in the future," Laurencio pondered.