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DHS to Begin Collecting DNA of Anyone Arrested

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-so-it-begins dept.

United States 483

Foobar of Borg writes "The AP is reporting that the US will soon be collecting the DNA of anyone who is arrested by a federal law enforcement agency and any foreigner who is detained, whether or not charges are eventually brought. This begins to bring the US in line with the UK which, as discussed before on Slashdot, is trying to collect DNA of 'potential criminals' as young as five. DHS spokesman Russ Knocke stated that 'DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool.'"

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dna? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102330)

I don't have dna

Would you DNA the Pope ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102670)



If not why not ?? Just because he's the Pope ?? That's reason enough TO DNA him !!

I heard he's in your country so pick up a coffee cup, or since I hear he likes gum very much, follow him until he spits it out or sticks it under a table. You can never be too sure about the priest types.

Re:Would you DNA the Pope ?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102746)

Heck, just find one of his altar boys. DNA all over.

1st post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102336)

god im so lame...

Balance of power. (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102344)


If you let the balance of power fall too far to the state, it's grossly naive to think it wont lead to use of that power over you, your friends and your children. History supports that as do numerous social studies.

Re:Balance of power. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102420)

If you let the balance of power fall too far to the state, it's grossly naive to think it wont lead to use of that power over you, your friends and your children.

Since DNA will first be collected from foreigners, whose stay in the country is dependent on the government's good graces, it's not hard to imagine a Gattaca [amazon.com] style future where, if the government has your DNA on file and you might have some unpleasant genetic predisposition, your application for residency or citizenship suddenly falls though.

Cut taxes until the federal government collapses. (0, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102484)

The ultimate form of revolution is tax cuts. The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102530)

The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.
In the real world however ... taxes gets cut for the rich, and the poor pay for the infrastructure, education, military, ...

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102552)

Exxon pays more in taxes than the bottom 50% of American taxpayer.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (5, Insightful)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102576)

I would argue that the rich get tax cuts, the poor get social support and the middle class gets the shaft.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (3, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102868)

I would argue that the rich get tax cuts, the poor get social support and the middle class gets the shaft.
What is rich? I only ask because I got a tax cut and I can barely pay my bills. Tell me, am I rich? Can you please put a number to you RICH claim?

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102870)

Sounds like you're describing the "Fair"Tax.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (3, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102634)

That's simply untrue. The "rich" (*those making over $200,000/year) who make up about 5% of the population pay the vast majority of taxes in this country. You can't cut taxes on the poor when they already don't pay them. The bottom 50% (income bracket) of people in the country pay about 3% of taxes. That's right. 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States#Tax_distribution [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (4, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102696)

In the real world, the U.S. taxcode is extremely progressive. The rich pay a far greater share of ALL taxes than anyone else.

The data shows the progressive tax structure of the U.S. federal income tax system on individuals that reduces the tax incidence of people with smaller incomes, as they shift the incidence disproportionately to those with higher incomes - the top 0.1% of taxpayers by income pay 17.4% of federal income taxes (earning 9.1% of the income), the top 1% with gross income of $328,049 or more pay 36.9% (earning 19%), the top 5% with gross income of $137,056 or more pay 57.1% (earning 33.4%), and the bottom 50% with gross income of $30,122 or less pay 3.3% (earning 13.4%).[9][10]

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

It's bullshit to say that taxation in the U.S. is somehow regressive, or that the poor pay for everything.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102852)

More like the middle-class pay for everything. The poor lack the wealth to tax, and the very rich can find ways to reduce their axes in manners which are unavailable to the middle-class. I'd seen an interview on TV who made a point of noting that he'd offered his staff the opportunity to voluntarily compare taxes to see how the scale went, and found that his secretary was being taxed at a final rate (comparing final amount of taxes to gross income) that was three times his own, and that he was doing nothing unusual specifically to lessen his taxes.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102918)

I think what he may have meant to say is that the poor pay a greater percentage of their money towards taxes and/or don't know how to lower the amount that you end up getting taxed on, stuff like that.

Trust me, if the rich poor and middle class were paying a fair share, they would prevent bogus methods of people with higher incomes from discounting the taxes, as there are more loopholes than swiss cheese for upper class and not so many for lower class.

If I have to spend 5% of my income to get that 5% back additionally as a tax return, (say itemized tax return) what's the benefit? If someone at a higher income level is paying 1% extra for the costs of the itemized tax return (since that cost doesn't scale the same for itemized) to get back 5% of their income, as an easy example, how is that balanced?

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102846)

The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.
In the real world however ... taxes gets cut for the rich, and the poor pay for the infrastructure, education, military, ...
Do you have any numbers to back up that assertion? No? Maybe it's because they don't exist as your assertion is 100% false. The rich have been paying the vast majority of taxes since income taxes began and are paying EVEN MORE now AFTER Bush's so-called tax cuts for the rich.

BTW, I was making less than $38,000/yr when Bush got elected. Was I rich? I only ask because asshats like yourself keep claiming that only the rich get a tax cut and I got one.

THAT'S the REAL world. Please, don't let the facts get in the way of your "truth"

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (3, Funny)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102534)

The ultimate form of revolution is tax cuts. The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.

Yeah, that's worked really well over in the US for the last 8 years.

Rich.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (3, Insightful)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102756)

The ultimate form of revolution is tax cuts. The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.
Yes, it's great that the federal government never, ever spends money it doesn't have.

Re:Cut taxes until the federal government collapse (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102790)

The ultimate form of revolution is tax cuts. The more you cut taxes, the more the government will collapse.
Should I have to state the obvious? The government would be the ones to institute the tax cuts. They'll never cut taxes so much that they lose their power base.

Re:Balance of power. (1)

presarioD (771260) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102492)

oh yeah? Wait until the patriotic rationalists sniff out your statement and come hollering down with bright examples (none) of police state paradises (Singapore?) where the gross imbalance of state-power has led to concrete reduction of crime... and teRRism...

you've got to love them, hapless and desperate as they are clinging on any available shred of hope that their world hasn't really capsized...

Re:Balance of power. (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102548)

You are absolutely correct.

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool."
and this might be true, but it also remains true that standard policing is proven, as is forensics.

There is yet to be ANY evidence that infallible ID of every citizen leads to better security, better safety, or in fact anything better.

In the end, its ONLY use is control.

Criminals with no record, no arrests, and perhaps no citizenship fall outside the view of such a system creating yet another situation where only the innocent are inconvenienced.

REAL ID and biometric IDs have only one purpose, control of the citizenry. period. anytime. in. history.

I could spend days figuring out several ways to defeat any system of ID presented, and if I can you can be absolutely certain that criminals will. In fact they have much better resources than I do and would probably do a much better job. When you have networks of 'friends' to help you out on both coasts, and on other continents, it's easier to fake things etc.

When criminals want to do something the phrase "papers please" do not stop them. These ID schemes will in fact ONLY harm citizens and their rights to do as they constitutionally are allowed.

Re:Balance of power. (4, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102626)

Well, even the DNA samples have been called into question. Yes, if you actually recorded every single piece of DNA in a person, you'd probably have something close to foolproof. But not quite.

As it is though, I think we only look at a 130 some markers... so the changes of "collisions" are greatly increased. Also, it's been shown that some people actually have two sets of DNA. It's not been ascertained how many people may have two sets of DNA in them [thetech.org] .

Re:Balance of power. (4, Interesting)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102682)

I was supposed to donate bone marrow until they found a better match.
The person who would have received my marrow would have my dna in their blood but their own dna in skin and hair samples, etc.

Interesting times.

Re:Balance of power. (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102864)

Interesting indeed. Read up more from that link. Some people have different DNA for their skin / hair than they do their heart / liver.

Jon Stewart recently said (3)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102840)

(paraphrasing)
If you're in a free society, it's not safe. You can either have safety, or freedom. But you can't have both at the same time.

Re:Balance of power. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102890)

There is yet to be ANY evidence that infallible ID of every citizen leads to better security, better safety, or in fact anything better.
DNA evidence is hardly 'infallible'. It can be the best evidence sometimes, but the quality of DNA evidence depends greatly on the quality of sampling and analysis techniques, which are far from fallible.

Otherwise, I totally agree with the rest of your post.

Re:Balance of power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102630)

Balance? I don't see any balance, not anymore. I'm not even a U.S. citizen and/or a criminal, but these developments frighten me sick. Oh well, maybe now it's your turn in history to spread some totalitarian insanity over the pond. Or is the "all your biometrics are belong to us" craziness spreading mostly from the UK right now? It's so hard to tell... :(

Re:Balance of power. (-1, Flamebait)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102666)

Huh? what a load of meaningless cr@p. Please define what you mean be "power". Is it military power? electrical power? financial power? Who are you referring to when you say "state"? the police? the FBI? the IRS? In what basic way do you fear they will make "use of that power over you"? If you cannot answer these questions than you have a clear-cut case of paranoia.

Re:Balance of power. (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102782)

If you let the balance of power fall too far to the state, it's grossly naive to think it wont lead to use of that power over you, your friends and your children.
The question is, is this really true.

Consider for a moment. Do the supporters of oppressive regimes actually suffer under them? Is it not the case that those who tacitly or overtly support this kind of power imbalance actually benefit? Certainly a minority of top supporters do, but what about the silent and not so silent majority that prop up the regime? Does their support not in fact, pay off?

Are registered Republican voters who attend church every sunday, protest against abortion, call for lower taxes and "family values" really going to suffer under these DHS policies? I invoke Godwin because it is inevitable. Look at 1930's Germany. If you weren't communist or jewish, then you, as a german, probably did rather well under the Nazi's. Why wouldn't you support them? It's not like you valued abstract concepts like "freedom" and "democracy" now did you?

Most americans, no, most people in the western world, do not value these concepts. They support internment, executions, secret trials. I'm not being rhetorical here. As long as you mention the right groups; terrorists, pedophiles, minorities, lower classes, etc, the average joe will not see their freedoms as something worth valuing anymore. People do not believe in universal rights for all, only in rights for the right people, which of course includes themselves. It's sad, but that's the way it is.

perhaps I'm missing something (4, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102352)

anyone who is arrested by federal law enforcement agency
How is this different than getting your prints taken when your arrested? Or do they only take prints when your charged where as this wants DNA if you're charged or not...?

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102382)

How is this different than getting your prints taken when your arrested?

When I served in the U.S. Navy nearly a decade ago, their way of keeping my DNA on record was by drawing blood. I don't know if the method here is different (does hair or a cheek swab provide a useful sample?), but were it from blood, putting a needle in people who are arrested (not even judged guilty yet) is an unprecented trespass into personal space.

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (4, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102412)

I don't know if the method here is different (does hair or a cheek swab provide a useful sample?)
The article said cheek swab, but still "we need you to open your mouth so we can stick this in" sounds like something the government is telling us to do a lot lately...

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102644)

'bend over and take it' seems to be the vibe I get from the USA, not "we need you to open your mouth so we can stick this in"

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102486)

A few years ago here in my country there was a case of a woman who was accused to kidnapp two babies and register them as her legit kids. Well, about 20 years later the story came out, she was arrested, but since the kidnapped babies saw her as a mother, they defended her. One of them, during reporting to the police chief smoked two cigarettes and refused to provide a blood sample for a DNA test. The police then managed to get her DNA sample for the saliva left in the cigarettes' butts and proved she wasn't legit. They didn't have to stick a needle in her.

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102422)

The difference is DNA is more than an identifying trait. DNA defines your physical characteristics - the basis of you.

I'm not sure about *you*, but I'm a little uncomfortable with ANY government agency being able to tell me more about myself than I myself know.

This road leads to a Police State - plain and simple. Perhaps your comfortable living in a police state - I'm not.

What's next? Refusing you the vote cause your DNA shows a tendency to irrational behaviors or mental disease? Perhaps denying you a federal student loan cause you have genetic tendency of lower mental function? We aren't there yet - but moves like these are the first step

The government does NOT have the right to collect and store my DNA without my permission - PERIOD.

Anon.

Re:perhaps I'm missing something (4, Informative)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102802)

"The difference is DNA is more than an identifying trait. DNA defines your physical characteristics - the basis of you." You are mistaking DNA with DNA profiles - which is what the government want. DNA profiles are more like an md5 hash of your data (i.e. DNA) rather than all the actual data which makes up you. Storing all that data would require absolutely immense processing and storage capabilities which simply don't exist. Besides, it will be a long, long time before DNA can be properly "read" and not just "compared" (which DNA analysis basically consists of at present). A DNA profile can identify you and basic traits but it can't "identify tendency to irrational behaviors" etc.

UK has been doing this for years... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102354)

The UK is at the forefront of privacy invasion. This has been going on at least ten years. The governments claim that the system works. For instance Serial killer Steve Wright(Ipswich Murders) was caught [yahoo.com] because he had his DNA taken following a theft a few years previous. So yeah... the system works. *rolls eyes*

DHS needs to go (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102372)

It's one thing to single out certain segments of the population for greater scrutiny if the greatest proportion of violent crimes is perpetrated by that group. It's another thing entirely to use that as an excuse to tag and release citizens just because they act like animals.

There has been very little that has been good since the DHS was formed. Maybe it's a matter of them preventing bad things from happening, but the tighter the grip, the more problems will seep through their fingers.

Re:DHS needs to go (2)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102800)

It's the greater part of the population that brought this on themselves when they allowed the singling out of "certain segments of the population".

Simple Solution (1, Funny)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102380)

Don't get arrested or do anything remotely questionable (in the UK you get swabbed even if you're just cautioned) and don't go to the US. Oh, and if you do go to the US, don't accidentally drop anything down the plane toilet on your way there.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102452)

(in the UK you get swabbed even if you're just cautioned)

Uhm, no. You get swabbed if you get arrested and charged. If you don't actually get convicted, the sample gets destroyed.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102508)

Eventually.

Re:Simple Solution (1, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102544)

Maybe.

Re:Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102716)

And only after you expressly asked them to have it destroyed, according to TFA.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102826)

...and if it isn't your lawyer would be able to get you off on a clear technical breach of law. Sorry if that doesn't sound paranoid enough to go with the flow here.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102532)

If you don't actually get convicted, the sample gets destroyed.

If this practice is actually followed, it might mitigate some against building up a large library of samples from people wrongly accused of some crime.

Still, how would you know that the sample was destroyed? Right now it's probably less costly to store the physical samples than to extract the sequence information and store it digitally somewhere. The time will come, though, when automated sequencers become cheap enough that digital storage might be more feasible. If that happens, confirming that the physical sample is destroyed by whatever means won't guarantee the information it contains isn't stored digitally somewhere else.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102538)

No, the DNA sample gets taken even if you're just arrested and cautioned, mine's on record from being arrested 6 years ago for breach of the peace even though it never went to court.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102618)

If you accept a caution, you are actually admitting guilt.

Re:Simple Solution (2, Informative)

Sheepy (78169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102556)

Uhm, no. You get swabbed if you get arrested and charged. If you don't actually get convicted, the sample gets destroyed.

That's not true.

Both DNA profiles (the string of numbers used for identification purposes) and DNA samples (which contain unlimited genetic information), are kept permanently, even if the person arrested is never charged or is acquitted.
Gene Watch UK [genewatch.org]

the permanent storage of bioinformation taken from witnesses, victims, children, and people who are not later convicted;
The forensic use of bioinformation: ethical issues [nuffieldbioethics.org]

Re:Simple Solution (5, Interesting)

The Frogstar (1189619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102558)

That's simply not true. DNA and fingerprints are taken on arrest, regardless of whether or not you are charged. There is no system in place to remove this data once it is taken, even if you are found to have been wrongly arrested (I have had first hand experience of this).

How else could there be over 3 million, almost 5% of the population on the database?

As a British citizen I can't decide which scares me more, DNA databasing or CCTV cameras. I can't wait to move to Patagonia.

Re:Simple Solution (4, Interesting)

pinny20 (415459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102560)

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 if you are arrested for anything more than a minor offence (no need to be charged) your DNA can be taken and stored on the UK National DNA Database. It does not get destroyed.

Re:Simple Solution (2, Informative)

happytechie (661712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102578)

No it doesn't inocent people are actively trying (and failing) to get their DNA removed from the database now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7266130.stm [bbc.co.uk] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/6768725.stm [bbc.co.uk] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6979490.stm [bbc.co.uk] Whilst the existance of a DNA record for previously innocent people is questionable in terms of human rights the power it has for tracking down people who have commited crimes is huge. The recent case in the UK of the murderer in suffolk is an good example. If the police are using it to arrest criminals I have no issue with it. Once my life insurance company and employer can use it for screening I have HUGE issues with it.

The new Miranda Warning (3, Funny)

Jodaxia (312456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102388)

...anything you say or DNA will be held against you in a court of law.

Revenge made easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102400)

1) Give cops an "anonymous tip" about your enemy
2) Enemy gets arrested and logged into the system
3) Enemy no longer trusted by law enforcement (or anyone who "accidentally" gets access to that database)

Twofo Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102408)

Eat my goatse'd penis! [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

You nerds love it.

Shred and Incinerate (5, Insightful)

giafly (926567) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102432)

Some criminals already plant cigarette butts in stolen cars, to confuse the evidence and implicate innocent people, and I predict more of this. It's not hard to collect fake evidence from someone else's trash, to place at the scene of a crime.

To avoid identity theft, not only should you shred everything with your name and address, but now you also need to flush or incinerate everything with your DNA on it.

Re:Shred and Incinerate (4, Funny)

EricWright (16803) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102472)

you also need to flush or incinerate everything with your DNA on it.
I predict mass outbreaks of nudity, hilarity and squeamishness soon to follow.

Re:Shred and Incinerate (5, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102614)

It's not hard to collect fake evidence from someone else's trash, to place at the scene of a crime.

Don't bother with a particular person's trash, just go to a bar or a bus stop in a poorer area of town and pick up cigarette butts. Those poor people are probably on the database and are unlikely to have good, believable alibis. They'll go to prison instead of you.

Rich.

Gattaca (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102438)

From imbd [imdb.com]

Gattaca Corp. is an aerospace firm in the future. During this time society analyzes your DNA and determines where you belong in life. Ethan Hawke's character was born with a congenital heart condition which would cast him out of getting a chance to travel in space. So in turn he assumes the identity of an athlete who has genes that would allow him to achieve his dream of space travel. Written by {AVision200@aol.com}
How long before we are to this point?

Re:Gattaca (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102794)

The point where human spirit triumphs?

We've been there for a long, long time.

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool." (5, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102444)

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool."
Yes, and removing hands prevents stealing. It doesn't mean it is a good idea.

Re:"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102514)

It's not a good idea - it's a great idea!

Re:"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102586)

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool."
DNA in which sense? In tracking down criminals? Identifying people involved (who also have priors)? Surely they jest.

Thanks for the tip! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102744)

Yes, and removing hands prevents stealing.

Thanks for the tip! After all, only thieves steal and when you're caught, off with your hands!

Your next "law and order, save the children, yadda yadda " political candidate.

Re:"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool." (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102898)

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool."
Yes, and removing hands prevents stealing. It doesn't mean it is a good idea.
Somehow I suspect removing hands is a more effective deterant to theives than DNA samples ever could be to terrorists.

Fingerprinting in Texas (2)

mistapotta (941143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102446)

The police state has already started in Bushland. The state of Texas has decided that all teachers will be fingerprinted (http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/fp/faq_SB9.asp) and their fingerprints will be compared annually to a nationwide criminal database. Any teacher who is not fingerprinted will be terminated within eighty days. Of course, I was scheduled for fingerprinting Monday morning. The one company in the state of Texas given the bid to fingerprint teachers couldn't be bothered to show up Monday, so I was bumped to Tuesday. Tuesday I was bumped to Wednesday because 9 AM is way too early for them to show up (they started taking "papers" at 1:45 PM.) Wednesday I was bumped to Thursday because they were "late" again. Just curious, what other licensed profession is fingerprinted and compared to a national criminal database annually? Doctors? Childcare Providers? Lawyers?

Fingerprinting in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102496)

California has been doing this since forever.

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102564)

Just curious, what other licensed profession is fingerprinted and compared to a national criminal database annually? Doctors? Childcare Providers? Lawyers?
Pimps and Drug Dealers come to mind... wait did you say licensed...?

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (2, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102632)

Almost anybody who works around children, or at least that's been the case in Maryland for about twenty years or so. I worked in the IT department of a children's hospital and was fingerprinted along with every other employee including the doctors. (As I recall, we were also all tested for AIDS). As a parent, and as an employee, it doesn't bother me. I'd prefer not to consign my children to the care of someone with a criminal background. Your alternative if the privacy question bothers you would be to seek employment where children aren't involved.

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (2, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102690)

Awesome idea. I have no problems invading the privacy of others so long as it protects me. Just don't invade *my* privacy.

...

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102726)

Just curious, what other licensed profession is fingerprinted and compared to a national criminal database annually? Doctors? Childcare Providers? Lawyers?

The following is state dependent, but several states (and maybe all) require fingerprints for lawyers, doctors, liquor licenses, and child care providers. The requirement for the first three is at least two decades old.

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102752)

> Just curious, what other licensed profession is fingerprinted and compared to a national criminal database annually?

Anyone who works in a hospital (like myself).

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (1)

DaFilthee (1185687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102768)

I work IT in a school district in NY and I got fingerprinted 5 years ago when I started working there. It was old-fashion ink fingerprinting so I don't think they run it through any computers. Personally, I don't mind them fingerprinting people working at schools and running them through a criminal database when the person is hired. It's a bit much to consistently running them through the database though after the person has already been hired. There's a line somewhere that shouldn't be crossed. Finding that line is the hard part.

Re:Fingerprinting in Texas (1)

nycguy (892403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102824)

When one starts work in the financial services industry as a "registered person" (e.g., a trader, broker, etc.) one is fingerprinted. Every time I've moved from one firm to another, I've been fingerprinted again. I'm pretty sure these are checked against criminal databases each time.

You could already be a winner! (2, Funny)

Dreadneck (982170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102450)

Enter the DHS DNA Sweepstakes now for your chance to win an all expense paid vacation at your regional FEMA Happy Clown Candy Fun Camp. No purchase necessary!

War is peace, ignorance is strength, slavery is freedom.

define detained? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102454)

So the TSA cop that started to write me a ticket at Chicago Midway because I paused for 15 seconds at the curb in the drop-off/pick-up zone to wait for my 74 year old father to walk the from the terminal could conceivably result in my DNA being collected?

(Perhaps the cop was only Chicago PD or Illinois State Police, I couldn't tell from a distance.)

I wish they had more insight (2, Interesting)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102470)

It is beyond reason to even think that genetics can predispose someone to crime. Anyone that thinks so has the ignorance of those who think other races are inferior. It may be a small factor, but it is nowhere near as important as their development and current situation. And then I hear dolts that say, "well statistics say that blacks are more likely to commit a crime", but statistics also say that blacks live more impoverished conditions, and I bet you'll find an indisputable correlation between the two. This will be terrible news for anyone who may have the "criminal gene" (the idea is so stupid it's on par with the "likes to watch baseball gene"). He could be a innocent person that is more likely to be accused simply because of his genetic inheritance. Or worse he could be framed. How easy would it be for lazy policemen to "find" the hair of a local "predisposed criminal" to "solve" a murder case (which has been done, minus the predisposed part). Rather than even bother with these expensive programs, we should focus on the other factors that cause crime, such as lack of education.

Re:I wish they had more insight (2, Interesting)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102550)

They aren't trying to check pre-disposition. They want positive identification.

I am opposed to this on principle which is that giving this much freedom to a body in power leads invariably to abuse. Unfortnately, there are fewer places in the world that actually give a rats ass about freedom and liberty.

Certainly not the US (I am American, btw) that claims to protect liberty with one hand and takes it away with another.

Re:I wish they had more insight (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102798)

The argument isn't that blacks are genetically predisposed to committing crime. That is a strawman and it unfairly preempts any discussion on genetic differences between races.

The argument is that groups of people who share relatively close genetic markers will share the phenotypic traits defined by the DNA. Identical twins share identical DNA, so they look and behave very similarly to each other. Not only their physical attributes, but also their mental attributes [sciencemag.org] and temperament [gmu.edu] come from the sharing of DNA. Similarly, children will share traits (both physical and mental) with their parents.

As anthropological history shows, humans have lived in relatively small groups and intermarried amongst relatives for most of history. In small closed societies, specific traits become more prevalent. White skin, curly hair, bone density, height, nose shape, and yes, intelligence. These differences are real and specifically linked to the history of our genes. There is no "genetic lottery". You get the genes that your parents have, and they got theirs from their parents. The only lottery is to which parents a person is born, and except in the most colloquial of terms such a thing can hardly be called chance.

Since intelligence is one of biggest factors in societal success or failure, even a slight advantage is enough to propel one person higher than another (even at the microcosmic scale of a university classroom, the smartest students are easily identified over the lower tiers). As humanity progresses towards modernity, the impact of intelligence is much greater than in primitive hunter-gatherer societies. A group with a high average intelligence will gradually (perhaps suddenly) outperform a group with low average intelligence.

This is not to say that average group intelligence applies to any particular individual within the group. As with any distribution there are outliers on both sides of the average. An above average individual in a lower average group could definitely outperform a below average individual from a high average group. The overlap is significant. However, looking at the groups as a whole, the tendency of the high average group to outperform the low average group is consistent.

Nurture, education, and nutrition play very significant roles in the underperformance of certain groups, but to discount genetics as a factor of intelligence and thus also societal success just because it seems racist is to be putting illogic and superstition above science.

Why should we study this? What good could come out of finding a certain group sufficiently deficient? The most obvious is to find ways of structuring society to maximize their potential. By pitting underachievers against overachievers, the result is reasonbly guaranteed to fall in favor of the overachiever. If the alternative to repeated failure is crime, then the underachiever is very tempted by the easier path of crime.

It's Science [bostonherald.com]

Too easily abused (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102504)

The trouble with DNA is that it doesn't say that person was there - only that their DNA was. If DNA was (is?) accepted as proof of someone being at a crime scene then it would be too easy to frame someone by planting a few hairs/whatever... Couple that with some circumstantial evidence/suspicion (maybe an anonymous tip) that plant was the criminal, and there's your "scientific" "proof".

There was a recent case in the US where an attorney admitted letting an innocent man spend most of his life in prison because be wasn't willing to break the attorny-client confidentiality of his client who had admitted to the crime the other man was locked up for. With scumbags like this running the system, we should be very afraid of anything that can be remotely abused.

That's it. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102574)

If things don't change for the better in 1(one) year then I'm emigrating to Norway. Who's comin' with me?!

Re:That's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102766)

I already live in Norway, but I can welcome you at the airport (if you come to Trondheim, that is). Just make sure you get a job here before you get moving, or you will run out of money really fast.

Not like the UK - like England and Wales (1)

Anonymous EPA (1127109) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102590)

Just to clarify, the position is not the same throughout the UK...

In Scotland, if you are arrested and subsequently not charged or acquitted, your DNA will be deleted from the database, which seems right and proper. It is in England and Wales that your DNA will be kept by default.

A

Here We Go Again... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102594)

Coupled with that often-used cause for arrest, "Driving While Black", the inevitable compromise of this data base should eventually provide wonderful marketing opportunities for companies who market their products primarily to the African American community.

Please Read 1984 (2, Insightful)

pbailey (225135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102602)

I think everyone needs to (re)read 1984. And stop letting the government remove all your civil liberties in the name of making YOU safe !

Where is the Federal Register comment form (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102608)

The article said the the legislation would be posted on the Federal Register for 30 day comment. Anyone know where that would be? I am searching now, but I don't think I will find it.

Subject (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102612)

National Security Letters are a "proven law enforcement tool" as well, but that doesn't mean we can trust the government to get it right.

Fine Print (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102642)

"If a person is arrested but not convicted, he or she can ask the Justice Department to destroy the sample."

So it is bad, but not that bad.

It's worse than that, he's dead! Jim (5, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102656)

Unlike fingerprints, once you build up a sizeable DNA database, you can also to a certain extent work out the DNA of people related to the person whose DNA you sampled. (or more accurately, from the DNA, you can establish that the DNA of perpetrator was relative of someone in your database). This "creep" allows you to effectively have a DNA database for the entire population with only a small proportion of records.

Re:It's worse than that, he's dead! Jim (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102854)

Not to mention what insurance companies and other government agencies could do with DNA. For example, screening people for known trouble genes that would ultimately cause them to pay higher insurance premiums or be put on a terrorist watch list or be recruited by the CIA. DNA is NOT as benign as a fingerprint.

Ummm slightly misleading I think (2, Interesting)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102676)

I saw this story on Good Morning America this morning and they phrased things a little bit differently than this article. What is obvious to some but not all readers is that if you are being arrested by federal agents it is for a "federal crime". This has nothing to do with somebody being arrested for stealing a car, identity theft, simple assault etc.

Re:Ummm slightly misleading I think (2, Insightful)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102934)

I submit you can be arrested by Federal Agents for all of the crimes you listed in your argument.

If you have stolen a car and take said car to a National Park where you get pulled over for speeding, the LEO is definitely going to arrest you.

If you are in a National Park (or virtually any other Federal property) and get into a fight, you are most probably going to be arrested by a Federal LEO.

Actually its worse that mentioned in the UK (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102700)

In the UK they are trying to get everyones DNA, irrelevant of whether they are arrested or not. And they want to put the details on an ID card too. Identity theft will flourish, innocent people will be jailed...At least we don't have the death penalty.

"...in line with the UK..." (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102702)

Hardly! I don't see how the equivalent of fingerprinting everyone who is booked--a practice that is perfectly acceptable by the vast majority--could be compared with fingerprinting children who have been profiled as potential criminals.

One more step in the loss of privacy (2, Insightful)

wheagy (1240328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102736)

Why not just strap a camera on our heads at birth and get it over with? It won't be long before they just collect DNA at birth. Why not...will make things easier for law enforcement and that's what this seems to be all about.

All do not behave equally- (1)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102742)

Not all people behave in an equally civil manner. Short of putting up 50 ft. walls around thugly areas such as South Central, L.A., Detroit, and N.E. Philly this is the next best thing. It's the data handling rules that matter, not the data itself.

Do you have DnA? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102784)

If so, you are a gay homosexual who sexes with men in the butt anally.

So sad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23102838)

Forget about 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and wellcome the newly born NeoFascist States Of Nazimerica....

If hitler was alive he will be rotlf...

A question of trust (4, Insightful)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23102850)

While on the surface it may appear to be no more onerous than the fingerprinting system in use today, a DNA database would have far greater potential for abuse. What happens if they decide to use the DNA to detect ancestral or genetic heritage? Not to Godwin the thread, but technology like this would have clearly been misused in the not so recent past.

With the recent abuses of the Patriot Act, I don't trust the government not to overstep the stated purpose of this policy either.
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