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House Votes To Expand National DNA Arrest Database 341

Posted by timothy
from the declan's-just-paranoid-right dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from CNET: "Millions of Americans arrested for but not convicted of crimes will likely have their DNA forcibly extracted and added to a national database, according to a bill approved by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday. By a 357 to 32 vote, the House approved legislation that will pay state governments to require DNA samples, which could mean drawing blood with a needle, from adults 'arrested for' certain serious crimes. Not one Democrat voted against the database measure, which would hand out about $75 million to states that agree to make such testing mandatory. ... But civil libertarians say DNA samples should be required only from people who have been convicted of crimes, and argue that if there is probable cause to believe that someone is involved in a crime, a judge can sign a warrant allowing a blood sample or cheek swab to be forcibly extracted."
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House Votes To Expand National DNA Arrest Database

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  • Not right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:22PM (#32285602)
    I dont believe that this is constitutional, or at least its not of the same spirit as the constitution.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by characterZer0 (138196)

      So, what are you going to do about it? Nothing? Yeah, the government figured that out. The constitution is irrelevant.

      • by Chris Newton (1711450) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:45PM (#32285948)

        I find it ironic that the US should decide to introduce this measure under a new government when the old one was notorious for abuse of authority.

        Meanwhile, here in the UK, we just handed electoral annihilation to the administration that introduced a similar guilt-by-suspicion DNA system here, not long after the European level courts ruled that keeping innocent people's DNA on the database indefinitely was illegal anyway.

        One of the first proposals brought up by our new coalition government, indeed one of the points where both parties agreed on almost everything despite their general political differences, was a "Freedom Bill". That will basically be a mass repeal of all the draconian, intrusive, guilt-assuming laws that the previous lot brought in under a climate of fear that they perpetuated more effectively from the corridors of power than any terrorist group ever could. Introducing safeguards so that innocents' DNA is removed from the database in a timely fashion will be an acid test of that bill: they've talked the talk, now will they really follow through?

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:00PM (#32286124)

          I find it ironic that the US should decide to introduce this measure under a new government when the old one was notorious for abuse of authority.

          You live in the UK though, there are major differences between the political parties, the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid, etc. With the US there are no ideological differences, the only difference is who pays them more. For example, "green" businesses have paid a lot of money to the democrats, therefore they support "green" jobs. Etc.

          They only have differences when it is politically convenient. For example, stem cell research and abortion.

          The largest 3rd party (the Libertarian party) has no representation in congress.

          One of the first proposals brought up by our new coalition government, indeed one of the points where both parties agreed on almost everything despite their general political differences, was a "Freedom Bill". That will basically be a mass repeal of all the draconian, intrusive, guilt-assuming laws that the previous lot brought in under a climate of fear that they perpetuated more effectively from the corridors of power than any terrorist group ever could. Introducing safeguards so that innocents' DNA is removed from the database in a timely fashion will be an acid test of that bill: they've talked the talk, now will they really follow through?

          Well of course they will have to follow through, because you have a political system that, despite its flaws, gives representation to third parties so everyone's political views can be represented. In the US, if you vote for a "third party" you are throwing your vote away (more or less), in the UK if you vote for a "minor" political party, chances are they will have at least some representation in government.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by WillDraven (760005)

            In the US, if you vote for a "third party" you are throwing your vote away

            I wish people would stop repeating this as it reinforces the idea in people's minds and keeps them voting for one of the big two. We should instead say (loudly and frequently) that if you vote either Republican or Democrat then you're throwing your vote away.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          Unlike in the UK, we don't really consider it a new government the way you guys do. It's just changing who runs the government. I know it's mostly semantics, but it affects how we view our government, and the amount of change we expect.

          We expect certain things to change, but we know the vast majority of things will stay exactly the same, or continue moving in the direction it has always been moving.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "I find it ironic that the US should decide to introduce this measure under a new government when the old one was notorious for abuse of authority."

          I used to find stuff like that rather ironic, until I came to the conclusion that behind all of the false opposition, behind all of the smoke and mirrors, behind all the playing with peoples gregarious nature in getting them to either vote for the right, or for the left, to watch either cnn, or fox, religiously-- behind all of that bullshit, the truth is that th

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kd5zex (1030436)

        I'll do something about it tomorrow, American Idol is on tonight...

      • Re:Not right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:36PM (#32286556) Journal

        >>>So, what are you going to do about it?

        Organize patriots and pass this amendment to the Constitution in order to give Member States of the Union power to nullify Congresses' stupid laws. It may take 40 years but I think it will pass eventually, because it is the only way to provide "checks and balances" between the Union government and the State governments:

        The "Protect the 9th and 10th Amendments" Act.
        ----- Proposed Amendment XXVIII.

        Section 1. After a Bill has become Law, if one-half of the State legislatures declare the Law to be "unconstitutional" it shall be null and void. It shall be as if the Law never existed. ----- SECTION 2. The Supreme Court will have the authority to review cases, and as part of the ruling declare these cases constitutional or unconstitutional, however the decision by the States (section 1) shall be superior.

        .

        With our current system, you first have to wait until some government arrests you for a crime (for example: owning a gun in Washington DC). Then you have to file in court to defend yourself against this unconstitutional law. In most cases you'll lose, but if you're lucky it can rise to the level of the United States' government court who may or may not declare it unconstitutional. ----- That process took ~30 years to overturn D.C.'s unconstitutional banning of guns. With my proposed amendment, there'd be no need to wait. You (and your neighbors) could collectively instruct the State Legislature to declare the law "unconstitutional". Once 25 other legislatures have done the same, then the U.S. law would be voided.

        My proposed amendment would simplify the process, shorten the time that an unconstitutional law sits on the books (2-3 years, not 30), and most-importantly, not require citizens to sit in jail or waste time in the courtroom.

      • Sourcecode (Score:4, Funny)

        by naz404 (1282810) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:04PM (#32287494) Homepage
        I refuse to give my DNA. It is my sourcecode (4-bit sequence) and is copyright my parents (& myself via inheritance). No state should have the right to forcibly take my sourcecode and have the means to create clones or test-tube children of mine without my consent.

        It is comparable to rape (rapist forcibly impregnates woman and creates child without woman's consent) and child kidnapping (means to create children without parent's care).
    • Re:Not right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:56PM (#32286084)

      It is exactly the same, if more invasive, as fingerprinting. You get arrested, you get fingerprinted. Period. It stays in the database forever.

      I'm not sure how many people have tried to fight fingerprints, but there has obviously never been a successful constitutionality challenge against it. DNA is simply a more complete, and more invasive, fingerprint.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Antisyzygy (1495469)
        Im not against fingerprinting because people don't necessarily see it as definitive proof of someone committing a crime. People, that is potential jurors, tend to see DNA evidence as conclusive.
      • by blincoln (592401)

        DNA is simply a more complete, and more invasive, fingerprint.

        It's really not. Can a fingerprint be (reliably) used to indicate your ancestry, diseases you are genetically likely to develop, etc.?

      • by GumphMaster (772693) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:33PM (#32286522)

        Don't Even Need The Arrest...

        1. Dare to be born outside the USA
        2. Cross the US border
        3. Fingerprint(s) on file forever.

        How long before a swab is required to cross the border?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DM9290 (797337)

        It is exactly the same, if more invasive, as fingerprinting. You get arrested, you get fingerprinted. Period. It stays in the database forever.

        I'm not sure how many people have tried to fight fingerprints, but there has obviously never been a successful constitutionality challenge against it. DNA is simply a more complete, and more invasive, fingerprint.

        In canada it was challenged and as a result you can request to have your fingerprints removed by the police after you are acquitted and they will be removed once they confirm there is no outstanding warrants or anything against you, that you have no criminal record and you were in fact acquitted, and that you aren't a terrorist or something else like that.

        this practice probably does not include any of the special national security databases that are secret and nobody knows about, but almost certainly exist.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr. Slippery (47854)

        It is exactly the same, if more invasive, as fingerprinting.

        It's not "exactly the same" precisely because it is invasive.

        The sovereignty of the state ends at my skin. Period.

        You want to put me in a "clean room" for a bit and then pick up any bits of hair and skin I leave behind? Ok, I won't resist, assuming it's a legit arrest. You want to take a microgram of living flesh from me? Fuck you, buddy. That's stepping over a bright, clear line.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        You get arrested, you get fingerprinted. Period. It stays in the database forever.

        Actually that depends on the state. I got fingerprinted when I was arrested. When the Grand Jury refused to indict me I received a court order compelling the relevant police agencies to destroy any and all copies of my fingerprints, photograph, DNA, etc.

        Of course I later had to give up my fingerprints to the state to get a pistol license, but there you go.....

    • Wasn't it GWB who said that the constitution is "just a piece of paper"?

      The only time anybody pays attention to it is when doing so serves their own purposes.

      You can get my DNA from the saliva I spit in your face!

    • by dunng808 (448849)

      I thought being arrested got you finger printed and photographed, and that data is retained forever. How is gathering and storing DNA different? Now if every woman who has sex can sell a sample of collected fluids to a communicable disease database I think some married jocks would worry about leaks. Nobody on Slashdot, of course. And if you want to out a Republican Congressman just extend the offer to underage boys.

      So are we against retaining finger prints and mug shots? Or only DNA?

  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:24PM (#32285646)

    I would like to add a line amendment that anyone running for any government elected position also be required to submit DNA to the database.
    What is good for the goose.

    • by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:28PM (#32285728)
      I'll go further. Anyone taking any public position at all should have to "submit"; including (especially) all law enforcement types. Heck, if the census-takers had all been DNA screened against the criminal database, I'd worry a bit less about the possibility of my family letting them into the house.
      • Heck, if the census-takers had all been DNA screened against the criminal database, I'd worry a bit less about the possibility of my family letting them into the house.

        As a census worker, I did have to submit a full set of fingerprints (all 10 fingers) to be kept on file.

        In fact, I almost walked away from the job instead -- even those who work for the government ought to be protected from it!

  • Cheek swabs (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:25PM (#32285662)
    Wouldn't the results from a DNA test of a cheek swab of someone arrested for prostitution be, uh, somewhat confusing?
  • Sensible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:27PM (#32285696)

    Sounds about as sensible as registering as a sex offender some 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 17 year old.

  • Seriously. Where is all this pressure to bypass warrants coming from?

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:34PM (#32285830)

      Seriously. Where is all this pressure to bypass warrants coming from?

      An apathetic citizentry kills democracy faster than any group's ambitions.

      • by MobyDisk (75490) *

        That doesn't answer the question. That is why it isn't stopped. The question is "why did it start?" There must be some cause that motivates them to even propose these bills.

        • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:01PM (#32286146)
          There must be some cause that motivates them to even propose these bills.

          The people want it. They like to feel safe. The appearance of safety makes them feel even safer than real safety. So to get reelected, officials push for things that increase the appearance of safety. Their constituents support that.
        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          The pressure has been there since the beginning. It started well before we were a nation, and it continues to this day. Basically it has taken 200 years to erode this far, but it seems to have made it to the fast-track lately.

          Fortunately, our system is set up such that it can always self correct, even if it takes a while. Slavery is a perfect example of that (it took two different Supreme Courts before it was set right).

          • by Qzukk (229616)

            Fortunately, our system is set up such that it can always self correct, even if it takes a while.

            In the long run we're all dea^H^H^Hin jail for a crime someone else committed.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          The system of governance is, ultimatelly, a reflection of its society. Don't kid yourself it's not the case.

    • Seriously. Where is all this pressure to bypass warrants coming from?

      The ideal state for a police officer is a police state. People want to make their jobs easier, and a police state is where a policeman has the easiest job. It could be deliberate malice, or just a desire to not have to work as hard with no thought put into the repercussions.

      The ideal state for a lawmaker is a dictatorship. Same reason.

      Thus, only the hard-working visionaries among policemen and lawmakers will actively fight against such changes. The malicious actively want them to happen for the abuses t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't need a movement per se. Because human nature is to consider personal rather than societal impact, it's perfectly natural for police and prosecutors to support this kind of BS. (Fortunately, they don't get to make the laws, but IMO their voices carry far more weight than they should.)

      Red tape is an unpleasant part of any job, and as an honest cop, of course you're not going to go for a warrant until you're damned sure you're right anyway, so it must feel like a waste of time at best (when you offer evi

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      TV. I suppose movies have something to do with it too.

      Think about it. In just about any TV show or movie, the bad guys are the ones who ask for lawyers. They're the ones who demand warrants. They're the ones who refuse to allow the police to search their car. You can always spot the bad guy on TV: he's the one talking about "civil rights." Any time you see a guy on TV stand up for his civil rights, you know he's the bad guy.

      And it goes beyond that. In fiction, warrants only cause harm. Thanks to the delay i

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:28PM (#32285722)

    Sometime in the middle of the night, Karl Rove had the Democrat representatives kidnapped, cloned and their brains replaced with aging Republican brains so they could vote for this fascist law.

    The original Democrats were then sent back in time thru a secret NSA time portal where the were placed on airliners and crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon.

  • Here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:36PM (#32285856)

    This is just a horrible, horrible idea. And once the government gets a hold of your DNA:

    * You will have no idea what it is used for, by whom, nor how often
    * You will never really be able to get that data removed
    * You will be put in a position to have to prove innocence instead of being assumed innocent
    * You are giving up yet more control over your life and privacy to the government
    * The data WILL be used to make assumptions about you
    * Your DNA data WILL be unreasonably searched, every time a search is done, and without probable cause
    * The data WILL be shared with other agencies- state and fed
    * The data WILL be leaked in one way or another
    * The data WILL be used to also implicate others in your family with "close" DNA profiles

    There are lots of other ramifications, these are just the ones that pop into my mind immediately. Perhaps it is time to Email/Fax/Call your Senator and tell them what you think before the House gets its way... http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt [congress.org] http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm [senate.gov]

    • The data WILL be shared with other agencies- state and fed

      The data WILL be shared with other agencies- state, fed, and international

      There. Fixed that for ya.
    • Re:Here we go (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:56PM (#32286076) Journal

      You know, I'm usually really strongly against any increase in government power at the expense of civil liberties. I'm having trouble coming up with how this is an infringement on them though. It's not like they're keeping your entire DNA sequence, just information on the frequency of some marker sequences. They won't be able to search your genome for any useful information. The analogy to fingerprinting is apt here:

      Once the government gets a hold of your fingerprints:

      * You will have no idea what it is used for, by whom, nor how often
      * You will never really be able to get that data removed
      * You will be put in a position to have to prove innocence instead of being assumed innocent
      * You are giving up yet more control over your life and privacy to the government
      * The data WILL be used to make assumptions about you
      * Your fingerprint data WILL be unreasonably searched, every time a search is done, and without probable cause
      * The data WILL be shared with other agencies- state and fed
      * The data WILL be leaked in one way or another

      Except for the last point you raise, this isn't really any worse than fingerprinting. Family members coming under suspicion because of partial matches would be pretty bad. But I think that's an abuse that can be dealt with. Since your closest relatives are unlikely to share more than 50% of your DNA, that should not amount to a finding of probable (>50%) cause. So that's a fairly limited case for abuse. What else makes this worse than fingerprinting?

      • Re:Here we go (Score:4, Insightful)

        by markdavis (642305) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:02PM (#32286162)

        You are assuming they are only going to take a small portion of the sequence (which at this time is probably true). BUT, at the rate computing is advancing, it will not be difficult to get an entire sequence in the future. And once sampling becomes mandatory and "accepted" they will sequence more and more of it as technology improves.

        You are also assuming they are ONLY storing the small sequence. What if they store the sample, itself? Then it can be resequenced, more fully, at a later time. It doesn't take much physical space to store a dried drop of DNA-containing material.

        And... I am strongly opposed to the collection of fingerprints of non-proven-guilty-felons, for many of the same reasons. Just because it is "accepted practice" doesn't make it right.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You can wear gloves or temporarily or permanently strip your fingerprints. Also with DNA there is more chance of planted evidence, lab error, or even non-unique matches. Compare them saying that they found "your print" on a car window versus them finding "your semen" in the victim. In the first case you can look at the print and criticize their comparison, and even then it's not conclusive proof. In the second you are just fucked even if you have people testify that you were doing a spacewalk at the time, t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fulldecent (598482)

        >> What else makes [a national DNA database] worse than fingerprinting?

        Because I can actively avoid touching things. I cannot control my bleeding or shedding of hair.

  • I'd like to hear some arguments against a DNA database including the entire population of the US, or any country for that matter. I'm against it myself but my arguments are based on theories that people who are "okay with it because they have nothing to hide" call far-fetched.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:47PM (#32285972)
      DNA evidence is increasingly used to convict even where the rest of the evidence is tenuous at best. Jurors, who mostly do not understand the science behind DNA, will accept that DNA evidence must mean the accused is guilty. The problem is that there are many ways in which an innocent person can be convicted on the basis of DNA "evidence". First of all we have cross-contamination of a crime scene. Next up. cross contamination (or downright incompetence) in the lab. Next we have increasing evidence that the current science behind DNA forensic analysis is not fool-proof: the tests only look for a finite number of specific markers on the DNA sample, and it appears that there is a non-zero chance that you share a genetic fingerprint with some other person. In fact the methods used are so weak that you may even share a marker with someone who is a different race than you. As the available DNA database grows the chances of such a false positive also increases.
      • by sznupi (719324)

        With growth of databases there's at least some potential that the methods, if indeed weak, will be demonstrated to be so.

        Or one can just start some sect objecting to puncturing of the skin, sanctifying bodily fluids, etc.

      • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:28PM (#32287118)
        And third, you can be FRAMED with DNA. It is not difficult, and it is hard to "prove your innocence", which seems to be the necessity now. I can frame someone with DNA far easier than trying to frame them with fingerprints...
    • by guruevi (827432)

      You can track anyone's family ties and forecast certain inherited diseases or disorders - access to such a database would allow insurance companies to allow or deny coverage, raise premiums etc. You can track anyone's heritage, race and according to some check if you have certain 'evil' bits in your DNA thereby including or excluding you from a list of suspects of a crime or 'protect society' against future crimes (see Minority Report). You could track down (yours or others) families against their will (eg.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)

      Three reasons I can think of are based on what I understand from the UK - where we have the dubious honour of being several years ahead of the US in this:

      1. Such databases are fantastically expensive to set up and maintain. (Well, it's not the database per se that's expensive, more setting up and managing all the processes that will involve taking DNA samples, getting them into the computer and then matching up DNA data with evidence collected at the scene).

      Not ideal when your country is buried in a mount

    • by pavon (30274) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:27PM (#32286446)

      The chances of two given people having the same DNA fingerprint are tiny. So if the police already suspect someone of a crime, based on other reasons, then a DNA fingerprint match is good corroborating evidence.

      However if you look for everyone that has the same DNA fingerprint as your sample in an entire city/state/country, you will almost certainly find multiple matches. In this case, the DNA match means absolutely nothing, but Jurors will treat it with the same weight as they did in the first case, because they don't understand statistics. Combine that with the fact that the defendant has had prior arrests (that's how he got in the database) and that is often enough to secure a conviction of an innocent man, even more so if he is poor and/or black.

      Our justice system already convicts too many innocent people. Giving the government a tool that will result in more is a horrible idea.

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Ding ding ding, the very existence of the database indicates that the government desires to exploit the Prosecutor's Fallacy [wikipedia.org] to the max. There is absolutely no legitimate purpose to such a database, the money would be better spent developing faster methods of testing suspects and clearing out the horrible backlog of rape kits and such in many jurisdictions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mr. Slippery (47854)

      I'd like to hear some arguments against a DNA database including the entire population of the US

      Here's an argument for you: the state has no right to any amount of my flesh.

      None. Zero. Nada.

      I'll pay taxes with only minor grumbling: "render on to Caesar what is Caesar's", and all. But my flesh is not Caesar's.

      And I don't have a problem with people who have shown that the are a threat to the rights of others, being placed under the close supervision of the state, even including losing to some degree the

    • The short answer is merely to ask "What would Hitler have done with one?"

      Expanding on my main comment [slashdot.org], the UK's appalling 9 year policy of retaining DNA of people arrested and not convicted has proven to have no significant effect on crime. Retention of everyone's DNA would be even less significant.

      Your DNA indicates much about yourself which, in the wrong hands, would be a major invasion of privacy, including racial characteristics, psychological characteristics, sexuality, gender, familial rela

  • Senators (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:43PM (#32285924) Homepage

    The United States Senate thinks sharing photos is risky [slashdot.org], but sharing DNA is okay. To become a US Senator, is it a requirement to lose all sense of perspective?

    • by Kreigaffe (765218)

      Woah woah. Don't conflate two different issues. This is the government doing it, so that means it's totally OK.

    • by fnj (64210)

      A hallucinogen is sprayed lightly in the air of the Capitol building and congressional office buildings 24x7.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The United States Senate thinks sharing photos is risky [slashdot.org], but sharing DNA is okay. To become a US Senator, is it a requirement to lose all sense of perspective?

      No, they've got perfect perspective. This database gives them more info and power over the public, so they want it. Meanwhile, Facebook is giving the public more of THEIR info, so they told Facebook to stop.

      Did I mention that the perspective they have the one that comes from being at the top of the heap?

  • by Gonoff (88518) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:49PM (#32286008)

    In the UK, we are about to start toning our database down.
    You are unfortunate as you don't have any real Liberals in your government as we now do...

  • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:55PM (#32286070) Homepage
    From link [politics.co.uk]:

    "It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide," Mr Clegg said.
    "It has to stop."
    He said the ID card scheme, national identity register and second generation biometric passports would be scrapped.
    "We won't hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so," Mr Clegg pledged.
    "CCTV will be properly regulated, as will the DNA database, with restrictions on the storage of innocent people's DNA...

    Would this ever happen here in the US (you know, the home of the free)?

  • 4 All (Score:2, Funny)

    by b4upoo (166390)

    It would be far better to record DNA for everyone in America including tourists. That first rape may be the only crime a criminal ever commits. Tracking people from DNA is one great way to discourage crime.

  • What happened to "responsible spending"? Regardless of if this is a good idea or not, couldn't this money be better used elsewhere or, god forbid, not at all?
  • by UpnAtom (551727) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:02PM (#32286158) Homepage

    Your DNA reveals a lot about you and so unauthorised access to is a clear invasion of privacy, which could only be justified by any protection against crime it causes.

    Furthermore, any national database which can act as a primary index for further information held on you is a genuine totalitarian threat.

    The outgoing Labour Government, which has been repeatedly noted on /. for its frightening attacks on UK liberty, insisted that the retention of DNA of innocent people was necessary to stop serious crime. However, after 9 years of retaining the DNA of innocent people, this hadn't even aided in the solving of a single serious crime.

    The new coalition Government is committed to only retaining DNA of convicted criminals and temporary retention for those charged with violent and sexual offences [scotland.gov.uk], a model already applied in Scotland.

    It should be noted that DNA is retained from crime scenes and that DNA of arrestees is checked against that before being destroyed. This is a world apart from the blanket retention that the outgoing Goverment pretended was necessary to solve certain cases [timesonline.co.uk].

  • by droopus (33472) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:25PM (#32286416)

    Ok, as I've posted, I just finished a five year bid in the Feds. When I was first arrested, I was held at the very miserable Wyatt Detention Facility [wyattdetention.com] in Rhode Island. I had not gone to trial nor plead out, so was not a convicted criminal at the time.

    My Judge ordered a cardiac study done, as I was having heart problems, so I was sent to a fed medical center at FMC Devens [bop.gov] as a pre-trial detainee. The day I arrived I was required to give a DNA specimen, which they get with a finger stick and blood drops on a card. I mentioned I was pre-trial, but was told if I refused, I would be "four pointed" (cuffed to a metal bunk by all four limbs) and the specimen taken by force. This is the usual course for people arrested (but not convicted) in the Feds. Some may have had different experiences, but I was one of many I met with similar treatment.

    So this bill seems to be nothing new.

  • ... then people looking for jobs in certain "critical" sectors, then people looking for jobs, and soon enough everyone has to do it.

    This isn't the thin end of the wedge: This is the middle portion. Doesn't hurt yet? Don't worry, there's a nice wide base to come yet.

  • finger prints.

    I have no idea why anyone would use a needle to get your DNA. A swab will work just as well.

  • You know how much it takes get arrested...

    Mispaying on a parking ticket by even a cent. They issue a warrant, the warrant is attached to your license you get pulled over and get arrested. I had underpaid a parking ticket apparently by five dollars, and they put out a warrant for me. Thankfully the cop got the whole store before arresting me, and just told me to get it taken care of quickly. Which I did that night via online payment, but still. I was within an inch of being arrested.
  • ...'cuz you know the insurance corporations would "somehow" have gotten access to this database, too, and absorbed the genetic predisposition information for future cover/no cover decisions.
  • If you're a Human (or even just a warm blooded mammalian) your DNA is constantly pouring off of you everywhere you go...

    Billions of skin cells are falling off of your body (1.5g per day [wikipedia.org]), and you shed hair follicles constantly as well.

    Your saliva is in the disposable cup you tossed into the refuse bin.

    Think that DNA from the cells in someone's pubic region should be solid proof that's admissible in rape cases? If yes: YOU'RE WRONG.
    Have you ever seen pubic hair on and around a public toilet or urinal -- Guess where it came from? YOU (at some point).
    Additionally, male mammals (including Humans) excrete semen that is left in their urethra when they urinate after having been sexually stimulated.

    Your DNA is by no means private, and the appearance of it at a crime scene doesn't prove anything at all.
    Any premeditation on the part of murderers, rapists or thieves could easily include following YOU around (esp if you fit their physical profile) for a few hours collecting "evidence" that YOU did the crime.

    Inappropriate conclusions are being made based on the presence of DNA evidence.
    The only thing that YOUR DNA being found at a crime scene really proves is that you (might) exist.

    (For plausible non-existence of living entities even given the presence of DNA see: stem cell research & gene therapy).

  • by evilWurst (96042) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:23PM (#32287074) Journal

    "Not one Democrat voted against" seems an odd way to word it. Why not actually give the totals? There are 435 Representatives, but the given 357 yes / 32 no count only adds up to 389. That means the difference of 46 were conveniently absent or didn't vote. And there are currently 253 Democrats and 178 Republicans in the House, so that means even if all the nonvoting ones this time were Republican, fully 100 Republicans voted for it. (And I'd like to hear the excuses of the members who didn't vote, from both parties).

    I can't call a bill that more than half of the opposition voted for anything but bipartisan, so why word the results in a partisan way? The blame should correctly fall on *all but the 32 who voted no*.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      I can't call a bill that more than half of the opposition voted for anything but bipartisan, so why word the results in a partisan way? The blame should correctly fall on *all but the 32 who voted no*.

      The wording is partisan, but not the way you think. It is expressing disappointment with the democrats for not living up to their public image of being pro civil-liberties. The republicans have an image of being anti civil-liberties, so it's no surprise they would vote for such a thing.

      Of course, anyone paying attention for the last few decades knows that the democrats' public image of being pro-civil liberties is mostly false, if for no other reason than in recent years it has been promulgated by the rep

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @11:00PM (#32289042)

    Anyone confused at all why Democrats would not vote against this measure need to read Liberal Facism [amazon.com].

    When your body belongs to the state why should it matter if they force you to give blood or not? You live at the pleasure of the state. The state knows best after all.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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