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Searching DNA For Relatives Raises Concerns

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the database-creep dept.

Databases 199

An anonymous reader calls our attention to California's familial searching policy, which looks for genetic ties between culprits and kin. The technique has come to the fore in the last few years, after a Colorado prosecutor pushed the FBI to relax its rules on cross-state searches. "Los Angeles Police Department investigators want to search the state's DNA database again — not for exact matches but for any profiles similar enough to belong to a parent or sibling. The hope is that one of those family members might lead detectives to the killer. This strategy, pioneered in Britain, is poised to become an important crime-fighting tool in the United States. The Los Angeles case will mark the first major use of California's newly approved familial searching policy, the most far-reaching in the nation."

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My closest relatives play the banjo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893425)

and have never gotten a first post

Big Brother? (4, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893479)

Looks like a double entendre tag to me.

Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894081)

I wonder what happens if son/daughter is adopted and doesn't know, yet this shows DNA link to a criminal parent. That's a nasty shock to the system, I can just see it now:

Officer: Hi, can you tell us where that lowlife father of your is?
Kid: He is at work at the moment.
Officer: Yeah, drop the act kid, he ain't worked a day of his life. Now, where is he ya little lying bastard?
Kid: He will come home from work in three hours...

*three hours later*

Officer: This ain't your dad! Quit fucking with us here!
Kid: Whaaaaaaa! (Or any other such life changing crying sound when you suddenly find out you are adopted and your whole life has been a lie)

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (5, Insightful)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894143)

Good point. Or consider problems that could come up if the kid's biological father was an anonymous sperm donor - could be bad if either the kid or the biological father got into trouble.

What about clones? (3, Insightful)

psyclone (187154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894407)

Great points of this post's parent and grandparent; especially relative to descendants.

Any questions involving genetic information should be examined with a long-term view. Perhaps not now, but think of future Clones. Should a cloned human pay the price of his/her predecessors genetic information? The mistakes they made in their previous life may affect their future life as a new individual. Communities of people, not just atomic families, may be singled out or "behaviorally predetermined" to commit crime simply on genetic heritage, of which they have no control. Perhaps that genetic heritage is combined with economic, credit, health and lifestyle information?

It is only a matter of time until the cost of mapping 'enough'* of every living human's genome will be 'worth it'*. Shortly after, the cost of genome-mapping all available deceased humans will be negligible. The field of medicine will flourish with this information. (You may even gain heath insurance discounts with a year's proof of purchase at the grocery store -- you are rewarded for eating relative to your pre-determined health risks.)

Yet every individual's privacy will diminish with access (any access) to a history of humanity's genetic information. Thus, thinking about DNA databases must be done with a long-term perspective.

* = Where the information's value to society --be it a friendly or otherwise group of people-- outweighs the cost of gathering it. Perhaps the equivalent cost of fingerprinting every newborn baby equals the cost of genome mapping every newborn baby.

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (5, Interesting)

sillybilly (668960) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894899)

Or imagine a tool like this in the hands of Hitler. That's what's most wrong with this whole thing, the power it gives to someone over other people. Anonymity and privacy, being shielded and safe from some paternalistic overseeing power entity should be a right. Power should be given to government only as much as necessary. Such databases should be in the private sphere, held by someone like the clergy with the "seal of the confessional", or by attorneys in a fashion similar to attorney-client privilege. We need a system of internetized public notaries/attorneys holding confidential private information, regarding issues of identity, privacy, will/testament etc. Some kind of distributed database with confidentiality barriers. Queries run against it, and people having to give consent before answers are released. Government access to it should be absolutely limited, with very strict rights and needing a warrant. In fact no central databases should exist, but some kind of public key/private key system published by many attorneys, or public notaries, from which matches can be found, such as relatives, or criminals, without revealing identity. To a posted public key search the other local small databases should react, and if they find themselves to be a match to a request, they should ask the owner of that DNA whether he would like to reveal his identity to the query. Of course you would find no criminals this way, because who would confess, yes, I'm the one. But that's exactly what the 5th amendment is about, it's not about making law enforcement easy, to the contrary, protecting individual liberty at the price of "security", or "ease of law enforcement." Compiling databases about everybody in the name of security - well, you know what the founding fathers said: those who sacrifice liberty for security will get neither. A social security number databases tagging everyone for tax collection purposes should suffice. Fingerprint databases feel already too private, but all they reveal is your physical presence at a location, if you didn't wear gloves. And they are harder to plant than dna samples of hair, blood, etc. Fingerprints in the name of law enforcement, I can agree to that, because they don't contain much else about you. DNA, that's a whole other beast than a fingerprint. Occasional DNA tests by police, comparing suspects to locally found evidence could be OK, with the data returned to the owners, or owner's assigned attorney/public notary after the completion of the trial. It should not be allowed to be archived, even if it means a whole lot of wasted work, and having to redo everything over and over. Or who do you trust? You should not feel more secure because of the databases compiled in the name of security, if anything, fear some coup, some power takeover at the top by some mad men. Then imagine what power they will have over you to deride you and ride you to hell and back, simply because they feel like it. And you're at fault, who previously sacrificed your privacy and anonymity in the name of security. What security? If you have many small localized/secret databases exchanging information only as needed, in case of a power coup at the top, well, my neighborhood notary public might be willing to hide my DNA from the new government, just like some people were willing to hide jews during the Nazi regime. People being able to disobey laws is a prerequisite of liberty. Where is the guarantee that we will never have another criminal regime like that in power, coming up with laws that are criminal. The time to defend is now. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Law enforcement is important, but so is the 5th amendment, which is more important than law enforcement itself. So how can you hide your DNA, how can you stay anonymous, retain your privacy in this world? Is that even possible? No. But at least we could have a makebelieve, pretend to respect each others rights to privacy world. Anytime you give blood, or a hair sample, for a simple thing as a drug test, others have your DNA, if that sample is tied to you in any way. Posession of such information without the expressed consent of the "owner" should be like possessing drugs, illegal. People will do it, will possess it just like they possess drugs, people will analyze other people's dna from their hair samples, even when they only agreed to a drug test to get a job, but at least, on the surface, in open legal discussion, it will be illegal, and a violation of privacy. Do I feel like a dog barking at the moon, asking for some utopia that's never gonna happen. Unfortunately technological advances in the biotech field will bring about a world that makes me scared shitless. Also a distributed database with confidentiality barriers is a hacker's favorite picnic item. Internetized public notaries? How about paper, hand written information, that's quite safe from hackers, because you can't trust the computer asking you whether to answer a public query to protect your data. You don't know what the computer does. Software is so mumbo jumbo, even open source software, that you don't really know what the computer is doing. Only in a world where everyone is a programmer, including grandma, because programming is so easy, and plain english, and the computer does exactly what you tell it to do, and nothing else, when you're in full control of it, then you can trust the computer. Somehow daily security patches from Windows Update just doesn't fit this criteria. Of course "secure computing" where everyone is a programmer by talking "plain english" at the computer means not much of an IT field. At least not in its current state. In ancient times reading/writing was done in latin, and guarded by a few elite, kept secret from the masses. Because it was too complex for them to master. That's how IT and programming feels like today. Latin.

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894307)

Maybe the [adoptive] parents shouldn't lie to their kids?

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25895003)

I'm sorry son we lied to you.

You see Derek, your father was Pauly Shore and your mother was Paris Hilton and you were conceived on the set of Bio-Dome, while Pauli was trying to figure out why Paris was naked with a chimp and a donkey.

No child should ever have to live with that shame.

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25895073)

Paris Hilton was in her early teens when Bio-Dome was filmed, you insensitive clod!

Re:Seriously though, what about adopted kids? (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894641)

Kid: Whaaaaaaa! (Or any other such life changing crying sound when you suddenly find out you are adopted and your whole life has been a lie)

I believe that goes: Noooooooooooo!!! I don't believe it, I don't believe it.

DNA evidence 'planting'? (5, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893497)

I suppose this might be slightly off-topic, but one concern I have with the use of DNA evidence is that, now that everybody knows about DNA evidence, what's to stop someone from planting DNA evidence at a crime scene? Splash some body fluids here, drop some hair there, and smear some skin cells at a strategic location, and voila "we have DNA evidence that places the defendant at the scene of the crime."

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (3, Interesting)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893619)

Splash some body fluids here, drop some hair there, and smear some skin cells at a strategic location, and voila "we have DNA evidence that places the defendant at the scene of the crime."

Congratulations on stumbling on the plot from GATTACA [imdb.com] . But your +n insightful is deserved because of the twist--although I've heard that prostitutes sell used condoms for this very reason. I can't find any links on the web to this effect so maybe its simply a urban legend. Hopefully defense attorneys with a modicum of intelligence will figure out that they can use planted DNA evidence as a defense.

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893751)

Well, as someone who used to live a truck stop I can tell you that many hookers are junkies and will be happy to sell you ANYTHING for cash. So I doubt it would be real hard to wave a twenty in front of a hooker and get anything you wanted, especially something she wouldn't be able to normally sell like a used condom.

Of course this gets even worse if you think about it. How many times have YOU left DNA that could be recovered by anyone in a public place? A coke can, those of us like me who smoke leaving our butts in a public ashtray, etc. And as DNA gets used more and more it will be in a criminals best interest to pick up something like that, if for no other reason that it adds to the chance that you could throw them off the trail. And with WAY too many jurors watching CSI all the will have to say is "DNA evidence" and you ass is toast.

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (1)

iter8 (742854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894685)

DNA on a cigarette just led to an arrest [timesunion.com] in a 20 year old rape case. They had DNA and a partial fingerprint from the crime. The fingerprint pointed the cops to the guy and the State Police in New York secretly obtained his DNA off a discarded cigarette butt.

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (0)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894125)

Well, I never heard of Gattaca before, but I might have to check it out now that you mention it.

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (2, Interesting)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894597)

Congratulations on stumbling on the plot from GATTACA.

There was also an episode of Law & Order where a vengeful woman hires a prostitute to get a condom full of semen in order to frame a man for murder.

as seen on law and order svu (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893663)

While performing the autopsy on Newlands' body, Warner finds a plastic tube of blood in his upper arm. He was the father of Morris' baby, but he wasn't the Honey Rapist. He put the tube with someone else's blood in his arm to beat the paternity test. Unfortunately for him, that someone else was a previously unidentified child rapist.

http://www.tv.com/law-and-order-special-victims-unit/serendipity/episode/278851/recap.html?tag=overview;recap [tv.com]

apparently, like much of law and order, based on a real life case of a canadian doctor in 1992 implanting a blood tube in his arm to beat a dna test (and also the basis for a movie):

http://books.google.com/books?id=62uFtPQOegwC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=law+and+order+implanted+blood&source=web&ots=tAMxawCqEz&sig=3jV_E2vL-Xe4UFhG7hH5wCkJQk8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result [google.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Schneeberger [wikipedia.org]

Rape case
On the night of 31 October 1992, Schneeberger sedated his 23-year-old patient, Candice, and raped her. While Versed -- the anesthetic he used -- has strong amnesiac effect, Candice was still able to remember the rape. She reported the crime to the police.

Schneeberger's blood sample was, however, found not to match the samples of the alleged rapist's semen, thus clearing him of suspicion. In 1993, at the victim's request, the test was repeated, but the result was negative, as well. In 1994, the case was closed.

Candice, still convinced that her reminiscences were true, hired Larry O'Brien, a private detective, to investigate the case. He broke into Schneeberger's car and obtained another DNA sample, which, this time, matched the semen on victim's panties and pants. As a result, a third official test was organized. The obtained blood sample was, however, found to be too small and of too poor quality to be useful for analysis.

In 1997, Lisa Schneeberger found out that her husband had repeatedly drugged and raped her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage. She reported him to the police, which ordered a fourth DNA test. This time, multiple samples were taken: blood, mouth swab, and hair follicle. All three matched the rapist's semen.

[edit] Conviction
During his 1999 trial, Schneeberger revealed the method he used to foil the DNA tests. He implanted a 15 cm Penrose drain filled with another man's blood and anticoagulants in his arm. During tests, he tricked the laboratory technician to obtain blood sample from the place the tube was planted.

He was found guilty of sexual assault, of administering a noxious substance, and of obstruction of justice, and received a six-year prison sentence.

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894085)

Wow. . . planting a blood tube in your arm. . . that takes the idea to a whole new level. Nice reference there. Thanks for sharing that.

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894273)

Isn't evidenced obtained via a crime (breaking into the car) inadmissable? How the Hell was he convicted?

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894335)

That evidence was probably never brought up at trial.

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894413)

He was convicted based on that. As the person quoted:

Candice, still convinced that her reminiscences were true, hired Larry O'Brien, a private detective, to investigate the case. He broke into Schneeberger's car and obtained another DNA sample, which, this time, matched the semen on victim's panties and pants. As a result, a third official test was organized. The obtained blood sample was, however, found to be too small and of too poor quality to be useful for analysis.

So it wasn't useful for any analysis. On the other hand the reason he was convicted was because of this other portion the person's post:

In 1997, Lisa Schneeberger found out that her husband had repeatedly drugged and raped her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage. She reported him to the police, which ordered a fourth DNA test. This time, multiple samples were taken: blood, mouth swab, and hair follicle. All three matched the rapist's semen.

Reading comprehension ftw!

There is another big point here. (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894717)

The "illegally obtained evidence" laws generally pertain only to police. In some states, evidence obtained illegally by a private citizen might be perfectly admissible. Though I do not agree with that policy, nevertheless it is up to the individual states.

The private investigator, while finding evidence that might convict, could find himself up for criminal charges regardless of whether the evidence he found were admissible. It is a pretty big risk. Private investigators are not allowed to break into cars any more than anyone else.

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894349)

I wonder if any of these shows have used this:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/uol-dcr100608.php [eurekalert.org]

as a plot device yet?

'These results have a potential use in forensic science, since it suggests that, given large databases of names and Y chromosome profiles, surname prediction from DNA alone may be feasible.'

Re: only 6 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894901)

Serial rapist + obstruction of justice = Minimum sentence? WTF?

The man should have been castrated and sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

don't forget, its canada (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894997)

in the "advanced" parts of the west, a criminal has more rights than the victim, and the criminal must be empathized with and coddled for being a victim too. awww

Re:as seen on law and order svu (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894987)

that's insane. i wonder how far in advance he knew about the blood test. seems like that type of operation would be a pretty invasive procedure if you're gonna make it look convincing. and it would take a while before the stitches could be removed and scarring went away.

in any case, i don't think there's anything wrong with searching for similar DNA matches as long as law enforcement treat it as such. it's just like searching for a suspect based on a physical description. yes, you'll have to interrogate people who are likely innocent, but that's why we have due process and proper police procedures.

if they find a partial match in the criminal database, they can interview and investigate the criminal who might be a relative of the perpetrator. if that turns up leads (like in the North Carolina case where the man's brother lived near the crime scene) and the police are able to collect enough circumstantial evidence to get a warrant, then they can investigate that family member just like they would any other suspect.

however, if the police cannot turn up any leads or enough circumstantial evidence to obtain a warrant, then they shouldn't treat family members as suspects. in other words, just because you're related to someone who has a partial DNA match to the perpetrator, that doesn't mean the police can secretly spy on you, or tap your phone, look at your cellphone records, or try to surreptitiously obtain a DNA sample. if the partial match is the only lead the police have, then they should just openly ask family members for a DNA sample and/or interview them.

Re:as seen on law and order svu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25895177)

Six years after all that?
What the hell?

Re:as seen on law and order svu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25895271)

Not sure whats scarier. the thought that its that easy to fool the system, or that he only got 6 years.

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893737)

That's why I always plant samples of my worst enemies hair, skin, and (ewww!) bodily fluids all around my house, so that when somebody tries to frame me, they will wind up framing my enemies instead! But seriously, if somebody that hates you that much has access to your DNA samples, you've already got some serious problems! My advice to you would be to stop screwing people that want to frame you for murder! While this might make a great episode of CSI:Geek Squad, I'm pretty sure most of the readers of slashdot (and most other people living in the real world) don't have to worry too much about being framed this way for murder.
P.S. Is this the real reason some people want a genetically identical clone -- so they can blame all the rapes and murders they commit on the clone?

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893887)

if somebody that hates you that much has access to your DNA samples, you've already got some serious problems!

Never been divorced have you?

Re:DNA evidence 'planting'? (4, Insightful)

Binty (1411197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893927)

Remember that law enforcement agencies keep the raw blood/hair/whatever sample. So, suppose you've got a guy who has been in and out of prison a few times and now is being investigated for another crime. The authorities are pretty sure he did it, but don't quite have the evidence for a conviction. It would be pretty convenient just to splash some of that previously collected sample around and guarantee a conviction. I think that is the parent's concern here.

Being too clever for your own good (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893933)

now that everybody knows about DNA evidence, what's to stop someone from planting DNA evidence at a crime scene?
.

The same things that stopped you from planting the same sort of evidence before DNA testing:

You have to collect the samples.

You have to distribute the samples.

In ways that are safe and plausible. Getting it right means spending more time at the crime scene. This is generally considered undesirable.

Unless you are a nincompoop the frame has to fit someone you know very, very well - and who almost certainly knows you.

It had better not be the poor schnook who was struck by the crosstown bus at 5:30 on the day when your murder was committed at 9 o'clock.

Figures (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893501)

L.A. is the nosiest, most evil, most corrupt city in the United States.

Rumor has it that the Dick Cheney's original plan for 9/11 was to attack L.A., but ultimately chose the East Coast targets because of the lack of sympathy and overall apathy an attack on L.A. would generate.

Which is unfortunate, beacuse the twin towers have fallen and the pentagon had that gaping hole with cruise missile debris(incidentally a PATRIOT missile) while the RIAA and MPAA, the rest of Hollywood and the Church of Scientology, and a few annoying and well-known celebrities all remain alive and standing.

Leave it to our intelligence services to bungle yet another clandestine operation.

Re:Figures (0)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893557)

I'm not sure whether to mod you +1 funny or -1 troll.

Re:Figures (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893681)

I'm not sure whether to mod you +1 funny or -1 troll.

I lived in LA for 4 years and it seems like it should be +1 insightful to me. But 911 conspiracy theories, even in jest, raise big time hackles on /., so don't plan on seeing in good karma come out of Ethanol-fueled's post even though I'm 100% confident (s)he is kidding.

Re:Figures (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893839)

Hey, I live in LA as well, and yeah, the stinger about LA could be marked insightful, but I was referring to the paranoid conpsiracy theory(tm).

Re:Figures (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893693)

FLAMEBAIT. More loosechange lunacy.
How can some people be technically proficient enough to be interested in slashdot, but so gullible that a youtube video fools them into thinking Bush attacked the USA?
I remember the first edition of loosechange, and how full of holes it was without doing ANY research (a B-52 bomber crashed into a building in the thirties - decades before they were in service). And there is the obvious contradiction that they were willing to kill thousands of innocents, but couldn't stomach killing one dweeb who "knows the truth". Geez.

Re:Figures (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893745)

How can some people be technically proficient enough to be interested in slashdot, but so gullible

That "whooshing" sound is not a patriot missile, if you know what I mean.

Privacy concerns, yes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893513)

But dress it all up as "social networking" and you'll have zillions of willing participants.

Re:Privacy concerns, yes (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894175)

If myspace or facebook started asking for hair clippings from subscribers, the DNA database would choke.

Re:Privacy concerns, yes (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894255)

If I had a mod point I would rate that as insightful, as in brilliant.

Re:Privacy concerns, yes (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894659)

What happens when 23andme.com makes a Facebook app that lets you find other people on Facebook to friend based on how close your genetic profiles match, or certain traits you share? It's more likely than you think, and I say this as someone who uses Facebook AND has had a genetic profile done through 23andme.com.

Re:Privacy concerns, yes (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895151)

because you want to date your cousin? or because you want to find people who are susceptible to the same diseases as you?

genetic profiles don't seem very useful for social networking. they don't describe personality traits. at most you might be able to find people who share the same mental health issues as you (e.g. ADHD/ADD, bipolarism, schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome, etc.), but it wouldn't be much help in finding friends or potential dates.

something like a personality profile generated by user surveys would be much more useful. there's no gene that's responsible for making someone like football/horror movies/snowboarding/sci-fi/Chuck Palahniuk/Chinese food/rock climbing/etc. and there isn't even a specific gene that causes people to be artistic/creative, intelligent, kind, etc. so what kind of traits would you be able to match using genetic profiles? risk of heart disease or prostate cancer?

and if you're looking for romantic relationships, finding someone who closely matches your genetic profile is a bad idea. there's a reason why inbreeding is taboo. if anything, you'd want someone who's MHC (major histocompatibility complex) genes are very different from you. that way your offspring will inherent a more diverse set of MHC genes, giving them a more robust immune system.

There goes the 5th again (5, Interesting)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893559)

One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative. That niche just got filled nicely by DNA cross matching.

Re:There goes the 5th again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893759)

Could you cite a source, please? IANAL, but my amateur search has failed to find such a statute, code, or precedent.

Source (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894025)

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLJ/2004/1.html
I was going to cite an episode of Weeds, but my l33t search was strong...

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893865)

What the hell are you talking about? First, spousal privilege only applies to married couples. Second, there is nothing to stop someone from voluntarily testifying out of moral duty (though, in some states I believe that a spouse cannot testify even if he/she wants to under certain circumstances).

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893873)

One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative.

I am pretty sure that is not true.

IANAL (and IORAL, but that's another subject) but my lay understanding is that a spouse can not be forced to testify because legally husband and wife are the same entity and thus it would be a violation of the 5th amendment, the right to refuse to be a witness against oneself.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893885)

One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative.

Wrong. We don't force one spouse to testify against another, although they are allowed to do so if they so desire.

They can force you to testify against your Mother, Father, Brother Daughter, etc.

IANAL, but I've spent a lot of time in court!

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

BradMajors (995624) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894091)

It is not illegal for the prosecutor to offer a plea bargain in exchange for testimony against a spouse.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895043)

True. My point is simply that they cannot compel you to do so.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

HubHikari (1217396) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893901)

One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative. That niche just got filled nicely by DNA cross matching.

IANAL either, but the 5th amendment only protects against self-incrimination. Anyone else, even your SO, you can be ordered to testify against.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894173)

The privilege not to testify against close relatives is part of English Common Law, which precedes and often transcends the US Constitution. It's where the right of Habeas Corpus comes from as well.
Then there are more specific laws, in California http://law.justia.com/california/codes/evid/970-973.html

Re:There goes the 5th again (4, Informative)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894243)

IANAL either, but the 5th amendment only protects against self-incrimination. Anyone else, even your SO, you can be ordered to testify against.

IANAL either, but IIRC, a wife/husband can *not* testify (voluntarily or otherwise) against his/her spouse and relate information told to him/her "in confidence" by the spouse. Information given to a spouse is deems "privileged", the same as information a person gives to an attorney or therapist. I *think* that evidence can be suppressed if it was obtained in violation of "spousal privilege" (for instance, if a husband tells his wife where he hid the gun, and she tells the police, the gun may be deemed inadmissible as evidence).

The spouse *can* testify (voluntarily or otherwise), but only regarding things that he/she witnessed. For instance, a spouse can be forced to answer the question "Did you see your spouse hit the neighbor with a baseball bat?".

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894171)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure that only exists for spouses, not brothers, sisters, parents, etc.

Re:There goes the 5th again (3, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894203)

One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative. That niche just got filled nicely by DNA cross matching.
.

You are thinking of the old notion that you can't be forced to testify against your spouse. "The two become one."

But "to testify" means "to be cross-examined."

It is about what you can be forced to say on the stand, not about what was discovered in a forensic examination of your hair, blood, fingerprints and so on.

The privilege against self-incrimination is fundamentally a defense against the use of psychological manipulation, extortion, bribery and torture to extract a confession.

Re:There goes the 5th again (3, Interesting)

happyslayer (750738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894799)

...the usual disclaimers, IANAL, etc...

Just to be specific, with some examples:

Scenario #1: Mobster husband coming home from a hard day's "work"

Hubby: Boy, Honey! That was a rough day! Do you have any idea how hard it is to chop up a guy with a Ginsu knife? We never thought Tony Da Rat would fit in that suitcase!

The wife can't testify or be made to testify about Tony Da Rat's tragically funny disposal. Her husband related it to her (assuming no one else was around) as part of the marital confidential communication.

Scenario #2: Wife greets Mobster Hubby after hard day's work

Wife: Awww...honey. Looks like you had a rough day. Let me wash that bloody shirt. What do you want me to do with the head in the bowling bag?

The wife canbe made to testify about the bloody shirt, the head in the bag, or anything else she directly sees, hears, touches, etc.

The point is that it's not her privilege or choice...it's her husband's. He can refuse to let her testify about confidential communication--she can't just go forth and start spouting it off...not if it (or any subsequent evidence) is to be used in court.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894703)

<i>One of the core protections in the US legal system is that you cannot be made to testify against a close relative.</i>

Fifth Amendment objections are besides the point here. There are serious objections to be made to this that are based on the Fourth Amendment. It's as if we were to tap the phones of everyone with a relative in jail. The people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. I think that includes DNA.

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894947)

You, sir, clearly have no fucking idea of what you're talking about. The 5th amendment means that you don't have to testify against yourself. This right is also extended to the spouse. Other relatives are fair game. Your mother, your father, your siblings and your children CAN be compelled to testify against you.

Not having to testify against yourself doesn't mean that even if there is probable cause, they can't get a warrant for genetic material and test your DNA. DNA is not testimony.

LK

Re:There goes the 5th again (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895035)

Better not tell Monica Lewinsky's mother [nytimes.com] that.

routine in Britain (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893583)

I dont know how the Brits let the authorities get aways with it. But relative search is routine in Scotland Yard. Also global DNA collections in local neighborhoods is routine. And keeping data forever is routine. The Brits just bend over and take it.

Re:routine in Britain (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893815)

Not sure what the problem with near matches is.

If the police cant get a direct match then they can still narrow it down significantly if a relative is in the database.

Its a minor privacy problem at most.
Chances are the near match person would be questioned anyway about the crime if there was a direct match.

Problems with near matches (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894345)

1) You are identified as a near match. All of your relatives are now suspects.
2) Near match doesn't mean the perpetrator is a close relative of yours. Police waste their time on an extensive bad lead and fail to solve the crime.

The problem with these tests is that they don't identify enough of the genome to operate in this fashion. They are really only suited for conclusively ruling out a suspect, not for identifying one. The odds of a false positive are much higher than is reported, and going up all of the time as the number of people in these databases increases.

Re:routine in Britain (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894425)

Its only minor until the CIA or the NSA decides its in the interests of national security to force the appearance of a childs father by locating the child through that national DNA database and taking them into custody and threatening to do bad things.

Re:routine in Britain (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893823)

Do you have any realistic suggestions on how to stop them? Not just on this, on everything. Voting, protesting and petitioning have failed on major issues. What options are there now?

Re:routine in Britain (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893913)

Do you have any realistic suggestions on how to stop them? Not just on this, on everything. Voting, protesting and petitioning have failed on major issues. What options are there now?

Nanomachines that rewrite your DNA just enough to through off the tests.

Re:routine in Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894743)

"Do you have any realistic suggestions on how to stop them? Not just on this, on everything"

The only way, is to make everyone aware of the depth of the boiling frog like manipulation and the depth of the danger. Good luck with that, it'll never happen. Most people don't want to know. Plus the media doesn't want to talk out and protest in any way. Plus the media is now so fragmented, no group is large enough to make large numbers of people aware of the danger. Plus the Government uses the boiling frog principle, where each subtle new step towards Big Brother is brought in slowly, over time. Most fools cannot even see any danger.

History has shown so many times, knowledge is power, but too few read much history. Big Brother gives vast knowledge, more than has ever been possible before. Therefore Big Brother gives vast power and as we know, power is the power to rule over others. Its therefore no surprise, that people who seek political power, also seek political moves which take them slowly nearer to Big Brother. They seek power over others. The simple act of seeking power over someone else, is the power to dictate rules to someone else, so its pushing others down, as they seek to climb to higher levels of power. Big Brother gives vast power to keep others down, so the ones in power, keep their positions of money and power and everyone else cannot speak out against them and even if they try, so few will hear them. Too few have learned from history, so it looks like the mistakes of the past are going to be repeated. Only this time, fighting for fairness, against vastly more power to keep them down and silence their point of view.

"always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler" ... George Orwell, 1984.

Re:routine in Britain (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893845)

The Brits just bend over and take it.

It's a tradition. Orwell wrote about it in 1984 in 1948. They even have a saying -- "Lie still and think of England".

I must be an American (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894777)

... because I would SHOOT a cop who tried to force me to give a DNA sample just because somebody in my neighborhood committed a crime.

Seriously. That is something that they had better not try where I live.

sauce (2, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893631)

I can understand how convicts, felons, suspects, and arrestees get their DNA thrown into a federal database, but how do they get the DNA of their family members if crime doesn't happen to run in the family? Where are all these DNA samples coming from?

Re:sauce (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893875)

Because daddy got convicted in a DUI 10 years ago, the computer can now match the son's DNA they recovered from a rape victim as being related to daddy. What greatly limits the number of people they have to examine, and also will give the police probably cause for obtaining DNA search warrants on all relatives.

Re:sauce (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893969)

Border Crossers
School Teachers
Bank Tellers
Law Enforcement
Foster Parents
Armored Car staff
Caregivers
Military
Medical Personnel

Re:sauce (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894089)

I can understand how convicts, felons, suspects, and arrestees get their DNA thrown into a federal database, but how do they get the DNA of their family members if crime doesn't happen to run in the family? Where are all these DNA samples coming from?

  • Sperm/Blood donors?
  • People crossing the border? (ok... currently just being photographed and fingerprinted afaik... but DNA is next...)
  • People subjected to drug tests?
  • People subjected to 'reference/elimination samples'? ... (ie you were attacked, and now we need your blood sample, so know which blood is the attackers and which is yours...)
  • Medical teststing? Bloodwork?
  • Screening tests for sensitive jobs (law enforcement, military, medicine, security...)
  • Parents volunteering their children's DNA for use if they are kidnapped, etc

And remember, the moment this becomes legal, they will start begging/demanding/legislating that DNA from any source they can get their hands on be added to the database.

Re:sauce (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895189)

Screening tests for sensitive jobs (law enforcement, military, medicine, security...)

And BestBuy, Costco, McDonalds, Starbucks, Wal-mart, Blockbuster, Del Taco, Denny's, Maxim, OfficeMax, Petsmart, Sunglass Hut, Bed Bath and Beyond...

Re:sauce (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894159)

Anyone treated in hospital is likely to fill out a form asking if their DNA can be used for medical research. Anyone who has used a genealogical DNA service (and there are many) or one of the genetic disease detection services (there are rather fewer of those, deCODEme being one of the better-known) has their DNA on file on the service's database. Now, whilst there is some protection from unscrupulous departments abusing these kinds of socially-provided services, "law enforcement" gets a LOT of leeway when it comes to bending/breaking the rules. Also, bear in mind that the FBI has been caught using anti-terror legislation to cart off all of the computers in libraries and other communal services. All you need is one "potential suspect" on one of these massive databases and suddenly the powers-that-be have authorization to confiscate/duplicate the entire system, protections be damned. This is not the fault of such services, and they can have all the good intentions they like when it comes to privacy protection, but none of your records have been safe for many many years now. If there is a "fault" in this, it is the fault of those Americans who encouraged (through votes, money or even simply not telling their senators and representatives they were being stupid - inaction is just as bad as incorrect action) Congress to pass such paranoid legislation.

The British have been just as foolish, trusting (despite all evidence to the contrary) that it was safe to provide Government with such sweeping powers. Iceland has no doubt passed on it's thanks. I'm not a proponent of small Government by any means. Size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts. And what's been done is the encouraging of the paranoid delusions of a few, to the detriment of many.

Re:sauce (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895121)

Anyone treated in hospital is likely to fill out a form asking if their DNA can be used for medical research.

Really? Where? I've never seen such a clause at any hospital or clinic that I've worked at and it would seem to be in violation of most standards for 'informed consent'. Typically, you have to consent for a specific research protocol and be given the pros and cons of doing so. Exceptions exist for things like CPR registries (where it becomes difficult to get the unconscious patient to sign the informed consent form and the relatives have, typically, other things on their minds), but these types of studies are carefully vetted by several committees.

Issues will come about where society asks for DNA from medical providers for 'other important reasons' but I am unaware of this happening currently.

Let the abuse begin (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893653)

"Yes your honor, we need 45 search warrants."

"Why?"

"Well, this individual isn't the murderer, but DNA shows the murderer could be related to him so we want to search the houses of ever living relative he has.

Re:Let the abuse begin (3, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893895)

"Good thing I had this stamp made to imprint my signature, otherwise I would get writers cramp signing all these warrants. My clerk will stamp them for you on the way out."

The Heights of Privacy Invasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893683)

This is the thin end of the wedge. How long before the government knows everything my DNA has to tell them?

How long before it knows which diseases I'm prone to before I know it myself? How long before I lose my bodily privacy?

So much for "slippery slope" (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893743)

That didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would before law enforcement starts expanding use of their growing DNA data bank.

"You're NOT the father!" (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893749)

Seems like you run an interesting risk, doing this, of discovering fathers or are not the biological father of their children.

Re:"You're NOT the father!" (3, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894017)

Exactly, and there are a few other problems that might pop up when matching familial DNA. There do not seem to be any privacy issues addressed here, nor any concern for the rights of citizens.

If you look exactly like someone that just robbed a bank, you might get stopped walking down the same street. If you happen to have 99% of the same DNA as someone that just robbed a bank, there should not be much cause for searching your person or papers.

This is only a blaspheme away from searching everyone's DNA to eliminate them from criminal prosecution. Everyone is guilty till proven innocent. On top of that, 'if you have nothing to hide, give us your DNA' is NOT the right solution. Warrants should not be issued on the idea of similar DNA alone.

Would a man who is step father to 3 good boys, and unknowingly father to a son in another city of the same state have to endure the searching and police BS, as well as his entire family enduring it simply because his DNA was similar to the DNA found at a crime scene?

This can be good for a marginal minute percentage of the crime fighting. The rest of the time it will be used for pure terrorism, the kind that only police states can generate.

If I wanted to live in Soviet Russia (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893757)

And be subject to unreasonable and unwarranted search and seizure, I wouldn't have served in the Army.

And as someone with family in California, I don't see why any such use is even slightly warranted.

Re:If I wanted to live in Soviet Russia (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894049)

And be subject to unreasonable and unwarranted search and seizure, I wouldn't have served in the Army.

Were you DNA tagged for identification? It always made me nervous - a DNA record possibly subject to a Freedom of Information Act request (albeit somewhat far-fetched). Good intentions with lots of abuse potential.

Re:If I wanted to live in Soviet Russia (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25895217)

And be subject to unreasonable and unwarranted search and seizure, I wouldn't have served in the Army.

Were you DNA tagged for identification? It always made me nervous - a DNA record possibly subject to a Freedom of Information Act request (albeit somewhat far-fetched). Good intentions with lots of abuse potential.

If I recall correctly, the law requiring DNA samples from servicemembers for remains identification forbade the use of that data set use for other purposes.

When genetic engineering becomes common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25893897)

...I wonder how many parents-to-be will deliberately change some of the marker genes to flip off the authorities.

Next stop... (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893967)

...Guilt by gene proximity.

"We couldn't help but notice you share critical gene sequences with you serial-killer cousin, not to mention Ted Bundy."

BANG!

This is why (2, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893973)

you should encrypt your DNA using truecrypt.

Re:This is why (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894047)

Now, that's some funny shit.

Re:This is why (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894297)

I hope there was no pun intended...

Re:This is why (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894983)

Just don't forget the passphrase at the wrong moment.

tangent (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25893993)

anyone remember that csi episode about the chimera?

incredibly rare, but sometimes two fraternal twins will fuse while still blastocysts. so the dna of two seperate individuals form different organ lines in one individual. so your blood and kidneys and stomach might be from one person, while your brain, skin and lungs might be from another. most chimeras go through life never knowing what they are, but every once in awhile, a blood test reveals that, for example, a mother isn't even the mother of her own children (her womb is from a nonexistent twin):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Fairchild [wikipedia.org]

Lydia Fairchild was pregnant with her third child, when she and the father of her children, Jamie Townsend, separated. When Fairchild applied for welfare support in 2002, she was requested to provide DNA evidence that Townsend was the father of her children. While the results showed Townsend was certainly the father of the children, the DNA tests indicated that she was not their mother.

This resulted in Fairchild being taken to court for fraud for claiming benefit for other people's children or taking part in a surrogacy scam. Hospital records of her prior births were disregarded. Prosecutors called for her two children to be taken into care. As time came for her to give birth to her third child, the judge ordered a witness be present at the birth. This witness was to ensure that blood samples were immediately taken from both the child and Fairchild. Two weeks later, DNA tests indicated that she was not the mother of that child either.

A breakthrough came when a lawyer for the prosecution found an article[2] in the New England Journal of Medicine about a similar case that had happened in Boston, and realised that Fairchild's case might also be caused by chimerism. In 1998, 52-year old Boston teacher Karen Keegan was in need of a kidney transplant. When her three adult sons were tested for suitability as donors, it was discovered that two of them did not match her DNA to the extent that her biological children should. Later testing showed that Keegan was a chimera, a combination of two separate sets of cell lines with two separate sets of chromosomes, when a second set of DNA was found in other tissues[3] This DNA presumably came from a different embryo from the one that gave rise to the rest of her tissues.

anyway, in csi, the aberation was used to good effect: the killer knew he would get away with the crimes because his dna from the crime scene would not match the dna from his lab tests. but of course, the dna would indicate the killer was a brother of the prime suspect, because half the dna would match his phantom brother (which puts a twist on the subject of this story: if relative dna banks enjoy common use, a lot more chimeras out there are going to come to light)

most of the episode the csi investigators run after one brother of the suspect after another, in a fruitless red herring chase to find the dna of a brother who did not exist, except inside that of the killer

http://www.csifiles.com/reviews/miami/bloodlines.shtml [csifiles.com]

Todd has four living brothers, and one who died, named Joss. Sara questions fraternal twins Larry and Roger Coombs, who own a car repair shop together. Brass talks to one of the brothers who is a police officer, but the CSIs are unable to locate Kevin Coombs, another brother. ...

Sara locates Kevin living on the edge of town in a trailer. He is called in for questioning, but the CSIs attention again alights on Todd. A strand of hair was found on Lindley's jacket, and the DNA is an exact match for Todd. When Grissom examines him, he notices some odd markings on his back.

Grissom hits the books and reads up on fraternal twins and Chimeras. He brings Todd into the interrogation room: he's cracked the case. Todd is a Chimera. He should have had a fraternal twin, but the cells of his twin merged back into his, giving him two sets of DNA.

the odd markings on the guy's back refers to the fact that chimeras are often zebra striped or blotched, since their skin can be a piecemeal agglomeration of the cell lineages of two different people

freaking weird

Family Member statistics (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894145)

Funny thing about matching possible Family Members.
Depending on how good of DNA profile they took a Lab can match 99.9% Match. That means 1/1000 people of the same race could be the criminal real parent or sibling. If the DNA profile is very detailed the odds are 1/100,000 people of the same race. So theyâ(TM)re going to be a-lot of innocence people harass by the police.

http://www.dna-geneticconnections.com/dna_accuracy.html

Just a reminder... (5, Interesting)

Ghostworks (991012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894261)

Now California police also reserve the right to take DNA from anyone they arrest for any reason. Which means if they can ever make the process an order of magnitude cheaper and faster, they could assemble a very large database very quickly with just the laws already on the books.

Lazy lawmaking (2, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894315)

It seems lazy lawmaking to me that CA would put some law on the books and just wait for problems to arise.

One would have thought that with a week or two on ask slashdot, a whole bunch of the more obvious problems with this approach could have been forestalled. And with another few weeks of expert review even more simple constraints could have been devised.

It seems to me inevitable that this approach to investigation will only get more prevalent, so I don't see any reason why CA could not have spent some time to try and get some of the details right in advance.

How about introducing a law with some overly-strict limitations and then relax them over time instead of introducing an overly-loosely managed system and then going back to make it right after it's ruined a few peoples lives.

It just seems like a piss poor attitude to lawmaking to me.

"Race Doesn't Exist. Or Does It?" DNA, etc... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894665)

http://www.prx.org/pieces/30720 [prx.org]

I think this is the same show i listened to this past weekend on NPR/RadioLab/...

It is very interesting. Ran about an hour.

Also, the stuff in our guts can identify each and every one of us probably as much as DNA does:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97303406 [npr.org]

DNA Records For Everyone (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894681)

Why not store DNA records for everyone? It would help cops zero in on all kinds of criminals. The goal is to catch every criminal for every crime.
      People who felt DNA had been planted could still offer a defense. Also people trying to plant false DNA samples would be quite likely to leave their own DNA while doing the planting.
      It would be interesting to live in a society with zero lies and zero crimes. Keep in mind that popularity would not matter much at all as things like discrimination in employment and health care would be under the same intense spot light as major crimes. Perhaps the truth shall set us free.

What about cuckolding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894815)

In lower socio-economic classes (the kind over-represented in prison) estimates place up to 30% of children as not fathered by the mothers' husband.

How does this figure in to the mix?

cool captcha word: inhuman

Time to obfuscate my DNA... (2, Insightful)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25894879)

IIRC, DNA matching is done based on 'junk' DNA. Assuming the particular markers used actually don't do anything, I'd be the first to sign up for an injection of a virus that will randomly change those markers around. Let them find me by my DNA when every cell has a different sequence.

That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894915)

Cop shows up at workplace.

Cop: is John Stevens here?

John's co-worker: um, no, he's out sick today, what's up?

Cop: Oh, well, we're investigating a crime, and his DNA came up in our database as a close match with the suspect.

John's co-worker: Oh really? What crime, exactly?

Cop: well, I'm not really supposed to tell you this, but -- basically it's a murder-kidnapping.

John's co-worker: Good lord! And you're saying John has DNA similar to this... this... murderer?

Cop: yes, well, we're not saying he's a murderer, or anything like that -- he may be a perfectly fine citizen. We're just trying to get information about this case.

John's co-worker: but... he's related to this murderer...

Cop: well, he may be related, or he may just have similar DNA.

John's co-worker: SIMILAR to a murderer?

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