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Genealogy Websites Were Key To Big Break In Golden State Killer Case (nytimes.com) 237

An anonymous reader shares a report from The New York Times: The Golden State Killer raped and murdered victims all across the state of California in an era before Google searches and social media, a time when the police relied on shoe leather, not cellphone records or big data. But it was technology that got him. The suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested by the police on Tuesday. Investigators accuse him of committing more than 50 rapes and 12 murders. Investigators used DNA from crime scenes and plugged that genetic profile into a commercial online genealogy database. They found distant relatives of Mr. DeAngelo's and traced their DNA to him.

"We found a person that was the right age and lived in this area -- and that was Mr. DeAngelo," said Steve Grippi, the assistant chief in the Sacramento district attorney's office. Investigators then obtained what Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento district attorney, called "abandoned" DNA samples from Mr. DeAngelo. "You leave your DNA in a place that is a public domain," she said. The test result confirmed the match to more than 10 murders in California. Ms. Schubert's office then obtained a second sample and came back with the same positive result, matching the full DNA profile. Representatives at 23andMe and other gene testing services denied on Thursday that they had been involved in identifying the killer.

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Genealogy Websites Were Key To Big Break In Golden State Killer Case

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  • This is one side (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:38PM (#56511349)

    This is the good side of DNA databases. This data can also be abused. It's an awesome power and power is very corrupting. This needs serious regulation...ironclad. But of course that wont happen.

    • by Excelcia ( 906188 ) <kfitzner@excelcia.ca> on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:05AM (#56511447) Homepage Journal

      From a public safety and for the interests of the state, this is a good outcome. But for any particular individual contemplating sending their DNA in to one of those sites, there is no good side. In this case it's a serial rapist and murderer. Queue the ticker tape parade. But your personal interests can only be harmed. This is becoming more like Gattaca every day. If any piece of random sloughed off skin is public domain, then at some point everywhere I've been, everything I do becomes public domain. Which bodes ill if there is a rare book I happen to touch immediately before or after a serial killer. If, for example, it's known that a suspect touched this book, my DNA on it suddenly puts me in the running for man of the hour. This is just one example, and an unlikely one to be sure, but I honestly can't think of any use of my randomly shed DNA in correlation with these genetic genealogy sites that serves my self interest.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        We should wait for this to be tested in court first. In the past similar DNA evidence, where it has been linked through family members, has proven to be unreliable. Particularly where the DNA was preserved for a long time and had to be processed to make a usable sample.

        The example of touching something subsequently touched by a bad actor is realistic. There was a case a few years ago where police charged a man with destroying mail, only to discover that his DNA was on it because he wrote the mail in questio

        • Except... with what appears to be at least 10 matches to crime scene DNA from multiple scenes, the odds of this not being the right guy, in THIS case, are pretty low.

      • You need to think through what you're worried about. Do you have any doubt that these extra forensic techniques are going to make perpetrator identification more accurate? If you admit they will, you've admitted that you're significantly less likely to be falsely charged in this new forensic regime than you would be in the less accurate system we have now. Yes, misleading evidence can crop up in any system of crime solving, but the fewer and sloppier are our tools and techniques, the greater the likelihood
        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          But it doesn't make it more accurate at all. It allows them to create a larger base of synthetic pseudo samples with a lower fidelity. Given good police work, they can then go on to weed out red herrings and get better samples from likely suspects, but given bad police work a lot of people who had nothing to do with any crime at all can be put through hell.

          In this case, it looks like good police work (though the trial may tell a different story, stay tuned).

          • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

            Presumably they used the familial matches to get probable cause to compel an actual sample from the man himself.

            There's a legitimate Facebook-style privacy concern in that the actions of my family members can provide personal information about me, but unless California has some pretty crazy laws regarding obtaining DNA from suspects and admissibility in court, there shouldn't be any complaints on that end.

      • and for the interests of the state

        As the state - theoretically - is a system that's supposed to work for us - i.e. a machine - anyone talking about "its interests" is actually referring to the "interests of those that control the machine."

        Just saying.

      • by Miser ( 36591 )

        100% correct.

        I've said this for awhile - I'd really like to use these services. However, once that DNA data is out of my custody, I have no idea what they do with it. It's a privacy nightmare. Regardless of putting a criminal away, I'm not sure I'm comfortable that all procedures were followed to get that data from the genealogy company.

        This pretty much seals the deal that I'll never use one of these services. A bit disappointing really, as I wouldn't mind learning about my family.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2018 @01:48AM (#56511717)

      Yes, it's pretty nice they finally nabbed a guy whom they think is the killer. Still have to give him a fair trial, as is due.

      But no, this is already very, very disturbing. To wit: "You leave your DNA in a place that is a public domain" the goverment official says. Yes you do, everywhere, involuntary. Meaning that to have any privacy left you can't go to any public place. In fact, if you want to have any privacy left, you can't have any relative, even a distant one, go to any public place, ever. This "a public place" starts right at your door. Hey, even your airco's exhaust is public, and it will contain your dna, so... etc.

      So while I don't disagree it's nice to have finally found a very likely suspect in the case (but still only a suspect, not convicted yet!), to do it they had to destroy all privacy forever. "Only for murder cases" you say. I have seen in other cases and fully expect to see here that it won't stay that way. Soon it'll be for everything, down to getting loans, or even China style, for getting on the bus. So no.

      I don't think destroying all privacy forever to nab a suspect is such a good idea.

      • I don't think destroying all privacy forever to nab a suspect is such a good idea.

        There goes your social credit score as described here: https://news.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

      • I believe the Founding Fathers would have considered DNA subject to 4th amendment protections. IE: Get a warrant.

        I cannot control where I shed skin and hair.
        • I cannot control where I shed skin and hair.

          Yes you can. I have a 100% proven method for not shedding skin and hair in Gorky Park. It could probably work for other locations too.

    • by Plumpaquatsch ( 2701653 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @02:52AM (#56511837) Journal

      This is the good side of DNA databases. This data can also be abused.

      While the end result is positive for society, this is already abuse.

    • This is the good side of DNA databases. This data can also be abused. It's an awesome power and power is very corrupting. This needs serious regulation...ironclad. But of course that wont happen.

      Yeah, the bad side is that people making judgements using DNA as evidence are bad at at stats. DNA evidence only "works" due to limited number of suspects. When you're comparing DNA to the entire population you're going to get quite a thousand false positives. When you have 10 suspects and one of them as a "match" (and I use that term loosely) then you can be pretty sure he's the one.

      When you compare against a database of 300m, you're going to get tens of thousands matching close enough.

      • by j-beda ( 85386 )

        This is the good side of DNA databases. This data can also be abused. It's an awesome power and power is very corrupting. This needs serious regulation...ironclad. But of course that wont happen.

        Yeah, the bad side is that people making judgements using DNA as evidence are bad at at stats. DNA evidence only "works" due to limited number of suspects. When you're comparing DNA to the entire population you're going to get quite a thousand false positives. When you have 10 suspects and one of them as a "match" (and I use that term loosely) then you can be pretty sure he's the one.

        When you compare against a database of 300m, you're going to get tens of thousands matching close enough.

        Very good point, but perhaps this can be addressed by comparing more DNA markers? If you get pulled in due to this type of data, it certainly seems worth your while getting an independent lab test as part of your defense.

        Of course if the crime scene sample got contaminated during the first tests due to bad evidence handling process ("Was I supposed to clean the test tube before or after testing the suspect's sample?") you are screwed.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Or, if you can't afford the test, you're screwed.

        • ? If you get pulled in due to this type of data, it certainly seems worth your while getting an independent lab test as part of your defense.

          Why should you have to pay to dispute evidence when we already know in advance that the same evidence includes tens thousands of others?

          • Why can the police hold your property hostage, deny you standing in the court case, and never, ever return it -- despite YOU never being convicted of a crime?

            Because corruption.

    • This proves that genealogy companies make their data available to law enforcement. Don't trust their privacy B.S. Forgive me Alex Haley, but this also proves that law enforcement will use a family member's genetic profile to 'root' you out. What's not proven is that this sort of genetic analysis is accurate enough to pass sentence on someone.

      In 2017, Insider Edition used triplets' DNA samples to test several personal genomics companies. The results came back with differences over 10%. To put this in pers

    • This is the good side of DNA databases. This data can also be abused. It's an awesome power and power is very corrupting. This needs serious regulation...ironclad. But of course that wont happen.

      It WILL happen once private individuals and corporations start collecting "abandoned DNA samples" from the rich and powerful and start doing some tracking and analysis of their own. After all, what's good for the goose...

      Strat

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:44PM (#56511373)

    but what about other cases, where the state desperately wants to hunt down someone (for whatever reason, not necessary for murder) --- will they employ similar tactic?

    Looks like the West is not that far behind China, or North Korea, or Russia, in terms of BIG BROTHERHOOD

  • Not so fast! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:56PM (#56511409)

    https://www.theguardian.com/co... [theguardian.com]

    There is growing concern over stuff like this. DNA tests often only test a small subset of information which means that false positives are possible and when you have a whole database to match against the greater that chance of a false positive happening.

    We already know that law enforcement is sloppy, lazy, and corrupt. Until accuracy and better controls on this data have been instituted then this is going to result in more innocent people getting fucked over while the real criminals get of Scott free with society ignorantly believe it has its man.

    • Don't worry they can beat a confession out of him now. Seriously do you think he would not be able to find an alibi for however many rapes and murders if he was innocent. They don't just have the DNA here. More scary is witness testimony where it is basically he said she said. DNA may be a little off sometimes but it will rarely work out to the only evidence once they find who it is and investigate.
    • Re:Not so fast! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:15AM (#56511477) Homepage

      They did at least compare his actual DNA with crime scene DNA. The guy is a loner, prone to sudden outbursts to neighbors. At least he fits some sort of profile rather than being taken in on DNA matching alone. That doesn't mean that other cases will fare so well, but there is a lot of evidence to comb through on this guy so it's likely we'll see some sort of successful proof one way or the other.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The guy is a loner, prone to sudden outbursts to neighbors.

        You must be tragically stupid if you think the above matters with respect to a person being convicted. Of course, in the corridors of your tiny little
        mind, a person who is a loner MUST somehow be capable of heinous crimes also, right ? And then there are those sudden outbursts ... yeah,
        anyone who does that must be a serial killer.

        You're a dumb shit.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        In other words, an ideal guy to take the fall, even if innocent.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Two unrelated people can have a matching set of DNA markers, so false positives are entirely possible. For that reason, all DNA can do is give you some leads, then you still need real evidence to prove that you have the right person.

      • Re:Not so fast! (Score:5, Informative)

        by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:35AM (#56511541)

        Yea, still not a good thing, look at how society reacts to just being a suspect, you are now mostly guilty until proven innocent. Wives will divorce husbands, working fathers will be fired from good jobs, people that know them will ostracize and avoid them, they could lose access to their own children.

        People are so hell bent on getting the bad guy they will happily grind up innocent people along the way with little remorse. This is not even considering things like this...

        https://www.nbcnews.com/news/u... [nbcnews.com]

        20,000 convictions dropped. Heck people have gone to jail over donuts!
        https://www.npr.org/sections/t... [npr.org]

        Lets face it... law enforcement and quality testing are just not friends. They happily rely on shoddy results and questionable evidence to go full assault on someone in their pursuits to apprehend "the innocent criminals."

        • Re:Not so fast! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by another_twilight ( 585366 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @01:00AM (#56511617)

          You're looking at this the wrong way.

          There is certainly a problem with false arrest and conviction, and a culture that treats an arrest as though it were a conviction.
          None of that gets worse because there's a new vector that might point at someone. Sure, now there are people that may not have previously been brought in, and there will certainly be some people who are arrested, even convicted, on poor quality DNA 'evidence', but if the system is broken, it's going to find a scapegoat, regardless of what it relies on.

          This is one more tool to differentiate between the three different suspects you are holding. This is a way to exculpate the poor bastard held for 20 years.

          More information, more accurate information means a greater possibility for more accurate results.

          Demand more of your police. Hold them to higher standards. Denying them better tools for fear that they won't use them well, or may abuse them leads nowhere.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SirAstral ( 1349985 )

            Nope, looking at it completely the right way.

            The problem does not even approach false arrest and conviction... the problem starts at just becoming a suspect. And your none of that gets worse because of a new vector is not represented in the math. The more suspects the police can create the more they get to put in jail. This also has knock on effects for people with past convictions... sure just one more on the pile won't hurt, and you surely will not get into trouble if you happen to still be on probatio

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              There needs to be more come-back for police who fail to properly investigate DNA evidence before making arrests. If they didn't account for the possibility of false positives before arresting someone, they need to be punished. Arrest should not be an investigatory technique, hoping that the suspect will crack under the pressure of questioning.

              • Perhaps you should learn the difference between arrest and conviction, and the respective levels of proof required.

                Why are you on your high horse? Been collared for looking at jihadi websites again, have you?

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                  Wait... Do you think I'm an Islamist or something?

                  • You are not?
                    I always thought your name is an anagram of islamis. But now I notice the lack of a "T".

                    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                      "Ami" is short for Amiga. Back when I signed up that was my main machine.

                      But really, considering how often I speak in support of gay rights, trans rights, women's right, and how often I deride religion and Islam in particular... An anagram was enough to give you the wrong idea?

                    • This is Slashdot. If you say that while you happen to disagree with their religion, you don't think all Muslims are rapists, do not see any legitimacy in deporting them or restricting their rights, and feel that terrified people who are fleeing persecution and war should be let in to your country even if they belong to a religion you're not terribly impressed by, then it means you're a liberal muslim hippie muslim atheist muslim muslim lover.

                      You should know that by now.

                    • Thanks for that. You just proved every single word of my comment correct while claiming the opposite, with your ludicrous assertions about Feminists and your unsubstantiated assertions that right wing jackasses aren't claiming Muslims are generally rapists when I can see with my own eyes that you fuckers are always making that claim. A great combination of obvious lying, mixed with "Wah wah Feminists aren't always attacking Muslims and won't join in when we call them all rapists so they must be anti-women

              • There needs to be more come-back for police who fail to properly investigate DNA evidence before making arrests. If they didn't account for the possibility of false positives before arresting someone, they need to be punished. Arrest should not be an investigatory technique, hoping that the suspect will crack under the pressure of questioning.

                No. There needs to be come-backs for judges who ignore the exact probability of a false positive in a particular case. If the prosecutor submits an incorrect false positive probability, then they need to face some penalties as well.

                The cops only do the arresting. They don't lead the prosecution, they don't make a finding and they certainly don't hand out penalties.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            But this does make it worse. It adds one more way a completely innocent person can be wrongly sucked into a system where even being accused has harmful consequences.

            If you need to bust up a driveway, a jackhammer is a much better tool than a hammer. You're damned right I'm inclined to deny that better tool to a bunch of 8 year olds who want to look for treasure.

        • We should have different word for suspect where there is no evidence at all. Call it them a "wicher" as in "wich" person do we label guilty? To determine the guilt, trow them into water. If this "Wich" floats,it is guilty if it drowns, innocent.

        • Re: Not so fast! (Score:4, Informative)

          by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @05:33AM (#56512177) Homepage
          The Innocence Project exonerated thousands of men unjustly imprisoned. The #1 crime they were falsely accused of? Rape.
        • Yea, still not a good thing, look at how society reacts to just being a suspect, you are now mostly guilty until proven innocent. Wives will divorce husbands, working fathers will be fired from good jobs, people that know them will ostracize and avoid them, they could lose access to their own children.

          /quote> All of that only applies to male suspects, not to female suspects. Females get the benefit of doubt in all cases against males. You need relaly good evidence to convince someone that the female committed a crime, and even when you do get the evidence the female usually gets a much lighter penalty than a male.

      • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
        You can always do full sequencing or microarray SNP analysis if you have actual samples. This will pretty much guarantee that there are no false positives, even in the case of twins.
        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          Now that sequencing is so cheap, there's really no reason to use a handful of markers to compare, at least not for the actual prosecution.

          Most of the arguments here seem to be along the lines of "cops are lazy and courts are dumb so DNA evidence is bad." Perhaps improving the quality of the justice system would be better than railing against a useful technology?

    • DNA tests often only test a small subset of information which means that false positives are possible

      The DNA test matched the database on the subset, which identified a suspect. They then did a more exhaustive DNA comparison with the criminal evidence, and came up with an exact match. There is plenty of non-DNA evidence as well. They already suspected the perp was a cop (not sure why they suspected that, maybe something he said or did to one of the victims that survived). He was also in many of the locations on the dates that the crimes occurred.

      • This whole story, including the involvement of Patton Oswalt's late wife and the posthumous completion of her book which led to a nearly 40 year-old crime being solved, is really something. In a crime novel, it would probably be considered too far-fetched.

      • Re:Not so fast! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:50AM (#56511581)

        As long as there is other matching evidence I am more agreeable with the testing, but if the only evidence is DNA match that is just not enough.

        While the chances of false positives are low, reality is just too following case of a person being arrested for looking like and having the same first name of a criminal..

        https://nypost.com/2017/06/12/... [nypost.com]

        or this one...

        https://www.theguardian.com/us... [theguardian.com]

        there are 8 billion people on the planet and a lot of people share a lot of similar genetic information name and other identifying information. It is also shocking how much law enforcement is happy to put an innocent person in jail because at least they have someone to arrest just so they can call it a case closed.

        There is a reason we need to make Law enforcement jump through hoops and get warrants to exercise power. They are humans like the criminals they go after. An open database of DNA they can use to scan people with is going to end badly for a lot of people.

        Just becoming a suspect in a case like this will leave an impact and possibly wreck their life! It has happened all too often!

        • As long as there is other matching evidence I am more agreeable with the testing, but if the only evidence is DNA match that is just not enough.

          No prosecutor is going to win a case based on a single piece of evidence, DNA or otherwise.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        We HOPE so, but consider that by "exact match" they do not mean pair by pair over the whole genome. They mean as many as 12 sequences from the broken up DNA matched by mass.

    • Re:Not so fast! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Cynical Critic ( 1294574 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @03:15AM (#56511861)
      DNA tests not being absolutely 100% accurate has been known since law enforcement started using it as a tool to solve crimes. Anyone raising alarm right now is either decades late or just trying to stir up manufactured controversy.

      The reason why DNA testing is so popular is that a false positive is a literally a one-in-a-million type scenario, which makes it several orders of magnitude more accurate and less likely to provide a false positive than any other investigative tool law enforcement has at it's disposal. There's a reason why a large part of the people who have been convicted and then found innocent in cases from before the use of DNA evidence became widespread have been done so using DNA testing.

      In other words, like any of the investigative tools available to law enforcement, DNA testing is not absolutely 100% accurate, but it is several orders of magnitude more accurate than any other tool available to law enforcement meaning that if you're going to raise alarm over it's accuracy, you ought to raise an even bigger alarm over every other tool they have at their disposal.
      • The false positive is guaranteed if my sample size is large enough. If I test for 20 markers that have 2 values each, and I test 1 million people I will likely find a match to you. (More if the distribution of each marker isn't 50/50).

        However if you have a known sample of the perpetrator (say a semen sample), and the DNA doesn't match then you are pretty much 100% sure the suspect is innocent.
    • by jrumney ( 197329 )

      DNA tests often only test a small subset of information which means that false positives are possible

      The police seem to be aware of this. In the article I read yesterday, it said they confirmed the match with a second fresh DNA sample they collected, and presumably did a full forensic DNA test on, before getting the arrest warrant.

    • by ve3oat ( 884827 )

      DNA tests often only test a small subset of information which means that false positives are possible

      Anything less than a full genome test cannot produce a foolproof match, and it is up to the defense lawyers to convince the judge and jury that this is so. The 12 CODIS markers, so loved by law enforcement, are totally inadequate for proving identity. Even a 67/67 STR marker match of Y-chromosomes is not proof of identity and you have to test terminal SNPs to be sure that the "matching" men even belong to the same haplogroup.

      I have been testing DNA for genealogy since 2007 and am appalled at the clai

    • I confess, I read (part of) the fucking article. They really should ban me for that.

      They are burying the lead, deep. This scumbag was a COP.

  • Such good access (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whoda ( 569082 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:57PM (#56511411) Homepage

    So geneology websites are secretely feeding their data to the government? They make it sound like they simply put his data into a 'DNA search engine' on the internet and got a match.

    How distant was the 'distant relative' that they got the original DNA hit from I wonder?

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:11AM (#56511467)

      How distant was the 'distant relative' that they got the original DNA hit from I wonder?

      It was Lucy.

    • Re:Such good access (Score:5, Informative)

      by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:17AM (#56511485) Homepage

      They used an ancestry-type DNA service and submitted it as if they were a consumer. These sites match you up with potential relatives already. The government didn't really need anything other than the DNA service's risky privacy policy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dorianny ( 1847922 )
      They are not so secretly selling access to their data to anyone that is willing to pay! Why do you think they are so eager to analyze your spit so cheaply. Match it up with other big data and it's marketers dream, imagine being able to identify targets that fit the genetic profile of people predisposed to poor impulse control.

      Most likely the investigators simply bought access in order to avoid getting one of those pesky search warrants

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      I don't think the website is knowingly sharing data with law enforcement without a warrant. I'm guessing the cops created a fake profile for "John Doe", uploaded the DNA sequence they had from the crime scene, and started tracing through the families of the "probable distant cousins" that it identified, filling in the gaps in the family trees from government birth records, which they have complete access to (while the general public and genealogy site generally only has easy access to historic data).
  • He wanted to find out if he had any famous rapists in his ancestry.
  • Isn't what is described in the summary the very definition of the prosecutor's fallacy?
  • The idea basically means anybody can legally sequence your DNA. That is not good at all and the problems far outstrip any positive uses.

  • I'm still thinking of a reason to go on living in this world, but so far I've come up empty.
  • "You leave your DNA in a place that is a public domain,"

    So any DNA found in a public space is considered public domain? I can collect DNA from any public space and use it any way I want, including selling it or any information I gather from it (genetic predisposition to diseases, etc).?

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @08:12AM (#56512627)
    If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit.
  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @09:09AM (#56512855)

    They're the genetic counterpart of Facebook. Even when you explicitly don't sign on for that crap, you're still swept up in it. It's good that they caught the guy and all; but it's going to be bad when insurance companies and potential employers use genealogy databases to deny coverage and jobs to blood relatives of those who have 'undesirable' or 'risky' something-something-somethings.

  • A few years ago somebody got the list of porn tapes a supreme court justice had rented. Suddenly we had a privacy crisis. Soon a law was passed "protecting" these records from public disclosure. The lesson is simple; if we want to have our privacy protected we must invade the privacy of our rulers- the President, the legislators, the judges and all the public figures including the network anchors and the late night TV hosts. They hate being exposed but more than that they hate being laughed at for enjoying

    • Better question: Who is Chelsea's dad? My money is on Web.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      A few years ago somebody got the list of porn tapes a supreme court justice had rented.

      Citation needed.

      You're probably thinking of the confirmation of Robert Bork [chicagotribune.com] when Democrats were pulling out everything they could think of to obstruct the nomination. Thirty years later and they're still at it.

      Bork seems to have become the catalyst for legislation designed to prohibit video store owners from divulging lists of customers` video rentals. The issue first surfaced during Bork`s confirmation hearings, when a Washington newspaper published lists of the judge`s video rentals during the last several years. The films were general releases such as ``Ruthless People,`` ``The Man Who Knew Too Much`` and ``A Day at the Races``; there were no X-rated rentals.

  • What struck me was the fact that it was the relatives they got the genetic data from. It doesn't matter that you carefully avoid submitting your DNA to ancestry sites (or other DNA sampling sites); if your family does, you can still be traced.

    Of course there's the mandatory but what about the children retort, but as others pointed out... today is murder and rape. Tomorrow it's watching kinky pr0n. And next week it's protesting fascists.

    And yes, the same technology can be used to prove someone is innocen
  • by Caerdwyn ( 829058 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @02:53PM (#56515285) Journal

    I have a twin brother who is a criminal with a lengthy record; the only reason he's not still a guest of the State of Washington is changes in Washington's Three Strike laws.

    Like HELL I'm going to let these websites set me up for false accusation for his crimes.

    By the way: if the government falsely accuses you of a crime and it costs you a six figure legal bill to defend yourself, too bad. You're out the money, and no prosecutor in the world gives a damn about that or has any incentives to not do so. Had to sell your house? Too bad.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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