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Inside England and Wales' DNA Regime 141

Posted by timothy
from the how-far-do-you-trust dept.
Sockatume writes "The UK's Human Genetics Commission has published its report on the collection of DNA by the Police forces in England and Wales. Currently, Police collect DNA from every suspect in a case which could lead to a criminal record, and retain that material, which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled illegal. The government plans to keep all DNA samples for suspects from England, Wales and Northern Ireland for up to six years, except for DNA from individuals arrested during terrorism-related investigations, which will be retained forever. The report states that the police frequently performed arrests solely to collect DNA, that certain demographics (such as young, black men) were 'very highly over-represented,' that there was 'very little concrete evidence' that the DNA database had any actual use in investigating crime, and that the database contained material from individuals arrested in Scotland and Northern Ireland, outside its remit. Of the 4.5m individuals in the database, a fifth have never received any convictions or cautions from the Police. The report recommends that an independent advisory body oversee the database, and that laws be passed to limit the uses of the database, while tracking those with access to it, and making misuse of the information a criminal offence."
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Inside England and Wales' DNA Regime

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:47PM (#30216138) Journal

    Police collect DNA from every suspect in a case which could lead to a criminal record ...

    So they started with the politicians then?

    I'm serious though, the people who passed this and put it into place should first enter their own DNA into the system as a sign of good faith and unwavering confidence that this system will never be used negatively to persecute anyone nor will it ever produce a false positive on a match.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That's not a bad start; but it also isn't as useful as it sounds.

      Cops aren't stupid(well, some definitely are; but even they possess a certain low cunning). Even if a politician, or some other Person Who Counts(tm) is enrolled in the big Orwellian database, they are going to get the kid-gloves-nice-and-polite-all-strictly-legal-and-by-the-book-certainly-you-are-entitled-to-see-your-lawyer treatment, rather than the "Yeah, and what is your overworked public defender going to do about it, shitbag?" treatme
      • It's like the creator of COPS said about why he doesn't go after corporate crooks.

        "It doesn't make good TV. When the police go to arrest someone like that, they act like he's on city council, which he may or may not be, and it's all very polite. Now, if you could get that same guy to rip his shirt off and jump out the window when the police show up, then that's good TV."

        • I forget where I saw it; but I once ran across a spoof of the COPS formula, where a besuited white-collar criminal is having is face smashed into the hood of a limo...
          • You will find that travelling to the United Kingdom requires little more preparation than a visit to any other state. :-)

            Consider your visit as you would to Delaware, only with PAL and and DVD Region 2.

            Difficulties with Wireless are non-existant. Since laptops generally have auto-switching power supplies, a mains-adaptor for the socket is all you require. Get a proper, British one. These have a FUSE in the adaptor. British mains are of varying conditioning and quality. 240 Volts is manly, compared to a

          • I forget where I saw it; but I once ran across a spoof of the COPS formula, where a besuited white-collar criminal is having is face smashed into the hood of a limo...

            You might be thinking of Reno 911 [imdb.com]. I don't recall seeing an episode where that happened, but it definitely sounds like the type of humour you see in that show, and I definitely have not seen all of the episodes of the series.

          • I forget where I saw it; but I once ran across a spoof of the COPS formula, where a besuited white-collar criminal is having is face smashed into the hood of a limo...

            Michael Moore's TV show.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) <(ten.3dlrow) (ta) (ojom)> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @08:37PM (#30221228) Homepage

        The police love to target vulnerable people that way. The Jill Dando murder is a perfect example.

        The cops had no idea who did it. No witnesses, no usable DNA evidence, no CCTV, no known enemies and no-one claiming responsibility. A high profile crime, a celebrity shot on her doorstep in broad daylight and they had nothing. How embarrassing.

        Desperate for a suspect they arrest Barry George, a man with serious mental health problems. He denies the murder but because he is a serial fantasist and as an interest in guns (as do many immature males) they charge him. In the end their case comes down to some rumour, character bashing and one single spec of gunpowder residue on a coat found at his residence. He was convicted and went to jail. Several years later he was released on appear after it emerged that the police had not only stored the coat in a room with other clothing that had gunpowser residue on it but that the significance of a single spec, which may not in fact be gunpowder reside anyway, was massively over-represented by police experts.

        DNA and forensic evidence in general is far from 100% reliable, and is very easy to abuse. There need to be strict limits on it and independent checks in place to prevent this sort of thing happening. It would be nice if we could trust the police all the time, but in reality they are the same flawed human beings as we are and simply cannot be trusted with too much power.

    • Here in the United States they've taken your DNA from birth since the 1970's (even earlier if you were in the military or other government programs). Every state does it. They bury the "consent" form in the mountains of paperwork you need to sign while at the hospital. That's if they haven't gotten rid of the consent requirement. Minnesota got rid of parental consent in 1997.

      Even though some states let you "opt out" by having them destroy the blood samples after the tests they still keep all the information

      • What are the black helicopters used for?
      • What good would DNA have done them in the 1970s (or earlier)?

        • The DNA probably wasn't of much direct use back then. But I guess it could already be expected that it would be of more use later on. And it was probably much easier to pass such a law at times where you couldn't do that much with it.

          Also note that most people born back than are still alive. And you'd probably have a much harder time to get their DNA now. And both facts could already be predicted quite easily back then.

      • by tibman (623933)

        Gene therapy requires the specific persons DNA because the part that is broken needs to be 'fixed' and reintroduced into the body. It would be silly to put someone else's DNA into your body. And of course it is expensive, it's still experimental!

        DNA collection at birth must still be on a very limited scale, my state doesn't do it. Though we do keep criminal DNA records. In fact you can go to DNA.gov and look up the numbers for your state as well.

        The Army collects DNA for "Identification purposes only".

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        They patent your DNA? "Method for the creation of John Smith by non-DNA cell contents"?

    • by Znork (31774) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:23PM (#30216592)

      So they started with the politicians then?

      That could lead to a criminal record. If you're a politician you won't get a criminal record even if you violate human rights (case in point), torture people or commit war crimes unless you happen to be on the losing side in a war. DNA evidence would make no difference, with what passes for 'rule of law' in 'democratic countries', you could have their signature on a confession, video, multiple witnesses and live broadcasts of them torturing someone to death and a spokesperson would just go 'Mr. Politician does not condone torture' and they'd get away with it.

      • by tomhath (637240)

        DNA evidence would make no difference

        Unless the politician lies to a Grand Jury about an encounter with an intern...

        • by shentino (1139071)

          No, that only goes to prove the point.

          The only thing that one high ranking politician fears when he breaks the law is another high ranking politician making a stink about it.

          If you're going to be abusing your position at least have the sense enough not to piss off your competition.

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      A good police force is one that commits fewer crimes than is solves.
    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      At least the police should be required to have their DNA in the database. That way any DNA contamination during crime scene investigation can be accounted for.
  • by Gerzel (240421) * <<brollyferret> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:49PM (#30216152) Journal

    In the US too, and for fingerprinting as well.

    Such evidence should only be collected without consent with a warrant and if the individual is not charged and convicted with a crime such evidence should be removed from any database/storage and destroyed/deleted. If it is taken with consent then the individual should have the right to ask that it be destroyed after the investigation is complete.

    On a wider note many such police/law enforcement databases need to be more thoroughly regulated, including things such as "Do Not Fly" lists and terrorism suspects. There needs to be a clear legal way for both puting someone's name on the list, and removing it, as well there also needs to be a way for individuals to know why they are on any such list.

    • I agree. but it should be noted that in the USA the police cannot require you to "cooperate" unless they arrest you (though they will tell you otherwise). The only thing they can demand is that you not get in their way.

      • Luckily, the more battered you are by the time you reach the coroner, the greater the evidence that you were resisting arrest...
      • by digitig (1056110)

        I agree. but it should be noted that in the USA the police cannot require you to "cooperate" unless they arrest you (though they will tell you otherwise). The only thing they can demand is that you not get in their way.

        That doesn't seem to have been the case here [slashdot.org]

    • Right. In the U.S., fingerprints are kept indefinitely. At least in the local law enforcement offices. But they are viewable/searchable by other agencies as well. The reason they keep these is for identification purposes other than crimes such as after death or missing person, etc. I'm sure DNA will be kept for the same reasons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        Right. In the U.S., fingerprints are kept indefinitely.

        Not always. I was charged with a crime that I didn't commit a number of years ago. When the grand jury cleared me I received an 'order of dismissal' from the court. Among other things, this order required any and all police or governmental agencies with copies of my prints, DNA and photograph to destroy them.

        Of course I later had to give up my prints to get my concealed carry license, so they've got them anyway, but not as a result of my arrest....

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      > Such evidence should only be collected without consent with a warrant and if the individual is not charged and
      > convicted with a crime such evidence should be removed from any database/storage and destroyed/deleted. If it is
      > taken with consent then the individual should have the right to ask that it be destroyed after the investigation
      > is complete.

      Agreed but... the measure also needs teeth. There should be STRONG penalties for NOT destroying evidence that should be destroyed. In fact, I woul

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Unfortunately, real life is a bit more complicated.

        What if the reason that some police clerk didn't destroy the records is because they were told not to, and their boss threatened their job if they didn't comply?

        What if the reason was that their boss told them to focus on other priorities during the 8 hours they had in the work day? As in "I need you working on this other project which could help the department solve 3 murder cases. You can work on destroying the records later."?

        You see the problem? That's

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          But... if you let that be an excuse to not make the law, or not give the law teeth, then you are essentially saying that "the convenience of the police is more important than peoples privacy".

          If there is no punishment, then they will simply not comply. They will NEVER allocate the resources, and this will ALWAYS be the case, UNLESS there are real teeth to the law. The simple fact that somebody along the chain is going to fry for it will MAKE SURE that doesn't happen.

          This is NO DIFFERENT than at ANY workplac

        • by sjames (1099)

          What if the reason that some police clerk didn't destroy the records is because they were told not to, and their boss threatened their job if they didn't comply?

          The boss told me to is not a get out of jail free card for anyone else, why should police be any different? His best bet is to rat the boss out FAST!

          As in "I need you working on this other project which could help the department solve 3 murder cases. You can work on destroying the records later."?

          Again, start ratting now! If they don't have the resources to destroy the records, they certainly don't have the resources to create them in the first place. Besides solving a murder a day earlier won't bring the victim back!

          As for assigning blame, the cops like to play army, so we'll go with that. The CO is responsible.

          • by TheCarp (96830)

            > The boss told me to is not a get out of jail free card for anyone else, why should police be any different? His
            > best bet is to rat the boss out FAST!

            Yup. I have to agree. I work in healthcare. We have an entire department known as "Compliance" that deals with ethics investigations and even has a third party anonymous reporting service. We are required on a yearly basis to go to training provided by that department.

            The company has done everything in its power to, as the grandparent said "Fry the cle

  • No Way! (Score:4, Funny)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:49PM (#30216156) Journal

    I'm shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:51PM (#30216174) Homepage
    Certain demographics (such as young, black men) are also 'very highly over-represented' in prison.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Certain demographics (such as young, black men) are also 'very highly over-represented' in prison.

      You mean like, they are in prison, so they represent a black man in prison?

      You probably meant to say something like "young black men commit a disproportionate amount of violent crimes, leading to a disproportionate young black prison population."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sssshhhh... you're only allowed to make comments like that when it refers to 'middle class white guys' like the story yesterday.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amilo100 (1345883)
      I also share this sentiment. Since processing this DNA costs money, to minimize the cost, police should use whatever features there that indicates an individual would be more susceptible to crime.

      As another example, the number of samples of men are also probably a lot larger than women. That isn't discrimination - it is statistics.
  • Of the 4.5m individuals in the database, a fifth have never received any convictions or cautions from the Police.

    Than means that for approx 80% of the people they initially suspected, they were right! Far be it for me to support Big Brother, but its hard to find fault with a law enforcement system that actually seem to be doing what it is supposed to.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:53PM (#30216210) Journal

      That's not the issue. The issue is that one in five people in that database really have no business being there.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Throw enough charges at someone and eventually *something* will stick.

      There's enough laws out there that everyone has broken at least one of them or some "interpretation" of one.

    • > Far be it for me to support Big Brother, but its hard to find fault with a
      > law enforcement system that actually seem to be doing what it is supposed to.

      You believe that they should arrest the same people over and over again for acts most of which would not be crimes in a truly free society?

    • Did you miss the part about "cautions from the police"?
    • by Shimbo (100005)

      Than means that for approx 80% of the people they initially suspected, they were right!

      No, it merely reflects that when the database was set up they only retained the DNA of convicted criminals.

    • by eepok (545733)
      Not necessarily.

      80% has had some sort of infraction, but nothing says that they were bled as a result of those actual infractions (or just erroneously picked up later) let alone if the crime was serious to make the gov't body think, "We better keep an eye on this wily-eyed criminal."

      Moreover, 80% is acceptable? Seriously? 1 out of 5 completely innocent people abused by the system is completely acceptable? You either have extremely low standards or work in law enforcement, criminal prosecution, or co
      • 1 out of 5 completely innocent people

        That's not how statistics work!

      • by tibman (623933)

        Their DNA is stored for identifcation purposes, i don't see how that counts as abuse? If the DNA is treated like a fingerprint, the only value it has is for identification.

    • by aslate (675607) <[planetexpress] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:10PM (#30216468) Homepage

      Of the 4.5m individuals in the database, a fifth have never received any convictions or cautions from the Police.

      Than means that for approx 80% of the people they initially suspected, they were right!

      No, that means that 80% of those have had some form of criminal conviction or caution at any point in their life, which could be for a large array of fairly minor things.

      Cautions can be given out for petty vandalism or fairly minor crime, lots of things that people may have done during their younger years. Not the sort of crimes that i think DNA should be kept on a database for.

      • Why not? All they have to do is not break the law, right? Seems simple enough. And besides, we're talking about the police. If we can't trust them with our DNA profiles, who can we trust?
        --
        Burning karma so you don't have to!
        • Why not? All they have to do is not break the law, right? Seems simple enough.

          This argument is about as meaningful here as it is if it were in support of universal death penalty for every crime - "all they have to do is not break the law". Breaking the law is not an excuse for the state to do anything it wants to you; only what is reasonable. Storing a DNA of a guy arrested for something like indecent exposure because of pissing in the bushes in a public park is not reasonable.

          And besides, we're talking about the police. If we can't trust them with our DNA profiles, who can we trust?

          Someone with whom you have a specific contract regarding what can and cannot be done with your DNA, and whom

      • by NoseyNick (19946)

        some form of criminal conviction or caution at any point in their life, which could be for a large array of fairly minor things

        Hey, you can get a caution for having noisy sex!

        (Erm, not speaking from experience, you understand! ;-)

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Than means that for approx 80% of the people they initially suspected, they were right! Far be it for me to support Big Brother, but its hard to find fault with a law enforcement system that actually seem to be doing what it is supposed to.

      They're not suppose to punish innocent people. If 80% are guilty, 20% are innocent. And I'm of the opinion that violation of my human rights IS punishment.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) <(ten.3dlrow) (ta) (ojom)> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:34PM (#30216720) Homepage

      The problem is that the police use DNA for fishing expeditions instead of doing real police work. Rather than bothering to investigate and find likely suspects that they can then interview and perhaps ask for a DNA sample, they just arrest anyone who has merely been accused and take their DNA. Even if it turns out that are completely innocent that DNA is kept forever and tested against all future crimes.

      Let's say you accidentally brush against someone on the street. A few days later the police arrest you because a hair with your DNA was found at the scene of a child rape and murder. You now have to explain how your hair got there (it landed on the clothes of the person you passed in the street and was transported there) and your whareabouts at the time of the crime. You will need to involve other people to confirm your alibi, which means they will find out that you are a suspect in a child rape and murder. You will not be able to go to work while in custody, and will have to explain your absence to your employer.

      All because the police couldn't be bothered to try and figure out who might have done it, they just grabbed any DNA from the scene and looked in their database, then arrested everyone who matched to see who could provide an alibi.

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Sorry, but that is how it works with or without DNA. If someone sees you with the "person on the street" and they end up dead, you are a suspect simply because someone - or a camera - saw you, or thinks they saw you. Or saw someone that after obfuscation through a sketch artist ends up with a drawing that looks sort of like you. And they fax the picture around enough until someone says "Oh yeah, I know that guy."

        The police pretty much have an impossible task today. 80-90% of crimes go without anyone bei

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <(ten.3dlrow) (ta) (ojom)> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @08:04PM (#30220904) Homepage

          The difference with DNA (and to some extent fingerprints) is that it turns the tables on the accused. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and it is up to the police to make that proof. Instead they now just go directly to the database, meaning that if the real criminal is not on there but your DNA is then it will be you who is arrested and now has to explain how your DNA got there while the police go through your life looking for anything they can to attack your character or use as leverage against you. Only have you have been ruled out will they look for the real perpetrator.

          Even worse are the so called "voluntary" testing of entire communities. If a woman is raped and says it was by a white male age 20-35 the police have been known to ask all white males aged 20-35 in the area to submit a "voluntary" DNA sample. Anyone who refuses to "volunteer" becomes a suspect and has to explain their decision to decline, as well as being arrested and forced to give their DNA anyway and suffering all the consequences I already mentioned.

          The balance between the police's power to investigate and that of citizens to be private is a tricky one. If you gave the police absolute power they could catch a lot more criminals, but you would also be living in a police state. I think you just have to accept that some people will literally get away with murder, but such is the price of freedom.

  • by eepok (545733) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:02PM (#30216338) Homepage
    Oversight isn't a fix for something that shouldn't exist in the first place. If you can't trust the original owners to be ethical with something of such corruptible power, do you really want to risk trusting *anyone* with this?
    • by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:56PM (#30217044) Homepage

      1. I don't think there is anything we can do to stop the collection of biometrics (fingerprints, DNA, etc.) And there really are legitimate reasons to do it. There are countless ways that the government (or anyone else) could get my fingerprints and DNA.

      2. As a matter of principle, we should not pass laws that cannot be enforced.

      So with those two rules in mind, instead of fighting the inevitable biometric data collection with unenforceable laws, let us make laws governing its use. If anyone uses that information, then they have to bring it in front of a court and prove their case. At that time, the judge can decide if they used the biometrics properly. If not, the evidence is thrown out. That is a pretty darned strong incentive for them to use the information properly. It is measurable and enforceable. Good laws can make it transparent.

      Just brainstorming here, but what if the law required notifying someone of when and how biometric information was collected, how it is used, etc? Imagine if people suddenly got notifications about their fingerprints or DNA being stored - I think that would contribute to public awareness a heck of a lot. Awareness is good.

      • by eepok (545733)
        You're right in that there's no way to completely stop the accumulation of biometric data, but given the extreme potential for misuse and the near-zero trust any of us have for anyone actually controlling the data, shouldn't we do our best to prevent the accumulation of data while we can?
        • by MobyDisk (75490)

          shouldn't we do our best to prevent the accumulation of data while we can?

          Yes you should. So next, decide what period of time is "while we can?"

          It sounds like this is merely a measure of degree. You said "You're right in that there's no way to completely stop the accumulation of biometric data" but I'm not asserting merely that we cannot stop it completely. I'm asserting that we can't stop it one bit.

          If that is true, then "while we can" = never. So then you should not do anything to stop the accumulation. Is my "can't stop it one bit" really the case? hmmm... well, right no

  • But... (Score:4, Informative)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:05PM (#30216392) Journal
    What about this [nytimes.com]? Are we just supposed to pretend it never happened?
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:33PM (#30216708)

    I can't say it's surprising that there is " 'very little concrete evidence' that the DNA database had any actual use in investigating crime." If you look at the UK, the trend lines all seem very alarming - billions of pounds spent on crime fighting theater that doesn't actually fight crime, loss of basic freedoms at a rate even the Tudors or the Puritans would have found alarming, all with no apparent actual oversight of any of it. This just seems part of the same pattern.

  • Idiot Juries (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:39PM (#30216796)
    that think any DNA evidence presented is absolute, pure, handed-down-from-god-almighty proof of guilt are a big part of the problem. Especially if you have a giant, tailor-made repository of DNA already harvested from 'The Usual Suspects' to help 'solve' those pesky cases that stand in the way of pay raises, big promotions, or running for political office on a law and order platform. Just sprinkle your handy sample of pre-collected DNA liberally at that stone-cold-whodunit crime scene and announce "Hey, look what I found!".
    • by Inda (580031)
      Car theives around here already spread the contents of an ashtray into the car they've stolen to contaminate evidence.
  • by joocemann (1273720) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:40PM (#30216806)

    ... also be able to charge, fine, and incriminate the policemen who continue to do things illegally, thus setting example and ensuring better policemanship.

    The police don't respect the law because very few people actually make them do it.

    Make them.

  • "Members of the Jury, if you accept the scientific evidence called by the Crown, this indicates that there are probably only four or five white males in the United Kingdom from whom that semen stain could have come. The Defendant is one of them. If that is the position, the decision you have to reach, on all the evidence, is whether you are sure that it was the Defendant who left that stain or whether it is possible that it was one of that other small group of men who share the same DNA characteristics." -
  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @03:01PM (#30217084) Homepage

    It's bizarre but there still seems to be this perception that the police are a fine bunch of chaps who will universally do their best to apply the rules sensibly and fairly. There are plenty of police officers who that description applies to, I'm sure - but that's not an excuse for lawmakers and the justice system to assume it holds universally true.

    At the end of the day, the police are there - in practice - *to catch potential criminals*. Sorting out who is and isn't guilty is not their job, that's the job of the courts (as it should be). So the police don't really have an incentive to be especially fair or reasonable; that's not what we've tasked them with doing. What lawmakers sometimes seem to fail to understand is that if we pressure them to achieve "catch all the terrorists / criminals" then they'll try to do that, even if they "catch" many innocent people too. If we give them new tools to do that then *they will use them*. If the tools we give them are extremely blunt instruments, like the ability to hold innocent people's data on the DNA database, they're going to use them to their fullest extent. If we want them to behave sensibly, the laws need to be more focused and less open to abuse.

    It's the same issue with various "anti-terror" laws. Allegedly local councils in the UK have used these to put people under surveillance for reasons unrelated to terrorism (like whether they're using their rubbish bins correctly and whether they live in the locality of a school they have applied to). We gave them overly broad legislation and assumed that they wouldn't use it, even though it helps them to do what they see as their job. None of these organisations can be relied upon to act in the best interests in society because each of them only sees part of the big picture - our politicians are *supposed* to maintain the balance of power with targeted legislation that results in society's best interests being served overall. That goal can't be reached by handing out disproportionate powers indiscriminately.

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      Thank God for the Second Amendment.
    • by Spikeles (972972)

      . If the tools we give them are extremely blunt instruments, like the ability to hold innocent people's data on the DNA database, they're going to use them to their fullest extent. If we want them to behave sensibly, the laws need to be more focused and less open to abuse.

      Reminds me of that movie, The Siege [imdb.com] where the commander warns them not to send in the military to catch the terrorists.

      "Make no mistake, Senator. We will hunt down the enemy, we will find the enemy, and we will kill the enemy. And no ca

  • Criminal offense? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kungfugleek (1314949) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @03:10PM (#30217174)

    ... and making misuse of the information a criminal offense.

    Wait a sec. You mean it isn't a criminal offense already???

  • I spit... (Score:2, Funny)

    by jeffshoaf (611794) *
    I spit at their attempt to get my DNA! Oh, wait...
  • >>> The government plans to keep all DNA samples for up to six years, except for terrorism-related investigations, which will be retained forever.

    This is true even if the person is found not guilty. All this means is that to get what they want which is records of everyone's DNA forever all they need to do is claim some fake terrorism-related possibility at the time of arrest.

    Even for non-terrorism arrests, we only have the government's word that they aren't keeping the records past 6 years. The UK

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