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Washington State Wants DNA From All Arrestees

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-feel-safer-already dept.

Government 570

An anonymous reader writes in to say that "Suspects arrested in cases as minor as shoplifting would have to give a DNA sample before they are even charged with a crime if a controversial proposal is approved by the Legislature. "It is good technology. It solves crimes," claims Don Pierce, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned. Others believe that this is just another step in the process to build a national DNA database with everyone in it."

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570 comments

There's no way they'll abuse this (5, Insightful)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739625)

Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned.

Allow me to be the first to say, "Yeah, right."

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739905)

They fingerprint kids in elementary school.

This is just a more efficient implementation of that.

There really isn't anything wrong with the practice, any more so than putting a police station every mile or two.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (5, Interesting)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740095)

They fingerprint kids in elementary school.

Citation, please. I've heard of schools setting up programs where kids can be fingerprinted if the parents wish, but none where it is mandatory.

There really isn't anything wrong with the practice

There is everything wrong with a government that thinks it is entitled to take flesh - no matter how small the amount - from its citizens.

The sovereignty of the state ends at my surface of skin. That's a boundary I am willing to protect with force if necessary.

Here's a novel idea: don't fucking SHOPLIFT !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740321)

All you wussy pussy thieves who fear the law closing in on you !! Don't want your DNA known? Don't shoplift. Goddamn that seems simple enough even for slashdot lusers !!

Re:Here's a novel idea: don't fucking SHOPLIFT !! (5, Insightful)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740511)

I bet no one in your land is ever arrested without being guilty of a crime, and no one will ever abuse their access to private information about you. You lucky dog!

All you wussy pussy thieves who fear the law closing in on you !! Don't want your DNA known? Don't shoplift. Goddamn that seems simple enough even for slashdot lusers !!

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740097)

My kids will never be fingerprinted in school.

I don't want their fingerprint being scanned for a match every time they get a fingerprint at a crime scene. Eventually you'll get a false positive.

We forget that minors and students are still people with the same constitutional rights as adults. Just because we force them to go to school, doesn't mean their other rights are negated at the door.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (3, Informative)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740369)

We forget that minors and students are still people with the same constitutional rights as adults. Just because we force them to go to school, doesn't mean their other rights are negated at the door.

Umm. No. While maybe you think that children should have the same rights under the constitution as adults they actually do not have the same rights as an adult.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740533)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Seems to me that includes children (and yes, women). Our implementation may not be perfect, but that's a problem to correct, not something to point to as evidence.

That fucker up there said it very simply over two centuries ago.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (5, Insightful)

Hork_Monkey (580728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740125)

It's alot harder to plant fingerprints at a crime scene than it is to drop some random hair that you find (Long haired people shed worse than dogs).

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (1)

Incubusion (1450505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740443)

You're right. We do shed worse than dogs. But it takes more than one hair, especially one hair if your hair goes everywhere in the first place, to convict.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740455)

Except that when they do the kids they take the prints in front of, and give the cards back to the parents to keep. This is only given back to the police to help find missing kids.

Amazing that this is happening in Washington, one of the most liberal states of all. Could the left want the police state they accused Bush of trying to build?

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (4, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740621)

The powerful want the police state. They use the left and right to control the two largest blocks of the population. They write off everyone else (libertarians, singularitians, whatever) as being too small and unimportant to bother with.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (5, Informative)

spacerog (692065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740021)

Yup, just like they did in Massachusetts [boston.com]

State hits crime lab on DNA cache, Some files improperly kept, IG says
The State Police crime laboratory is storing the DNA profiles of hundreds of people whose crimes do not warrant it, according to an investigation of the historically troubled lab, raising the specter of what one civil libertarian called a "shadow DNA database."

- SR

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740181)

or wait until a leaked bunch of these ends-up on BitTorrent...

or wait until a stolen bunch of these ends-up on the black market

or wait until a government really does the wish of the electoral body... oh wait !

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (4, Insightful)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740113)

The dilemma involved in balancing "security vs. freedoms". Its a very non-linear problem, and at this point it looks like freedoms are on the downward slope.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740517)

There is no dilemma nor need to balance. There is only an excuse (NOT a reason) for power grabs.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (5, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740257)

Here's how I see it playing out:

Step 1: They pass this law. Perhaps they "forget" to destroy the DNA samples. Perhaps they do destroy it.
Step 2: They complain about the "destruction" requirement impeding law enforcement. A high profile case is brought up where keeping the DNA evidence would have helped solve the case quicker. (Bonus points if they can claim a life would have been saved.)
Step 3: The law will be amended to allow police to keep the samples for as long as they deem it needed.

It seems to be a popular method of getting 1984-style laws passed. Pass an innocuous sounding law backed by a rallying cry ("Think of the Children!" "Protect against Terrorism!"). Now, expand that law as quietly as possible until it matches your original intent.

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (4, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740357)

It makes a change. We (in the UK) exporting our stupid ideas to you...

Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740623)

And if I'm innocent, etc, they'll destroy the finger prints too and any record that
one was arrested forever?????

Yeah, yeah, heard it all before (5, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739645)

"Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned."

This is not what happens in the UK.

So far it takes a lot of pressure to get entries deleted once you are on there, and you don't even need to be arrested to be on there.

The European Courts have said that this is not right and that they should remove entries that don't pertain to criminals, but I don't think there is any rush.

Too much "think of the children" and "think of the raped woman" going on for privacy and human rights to get a look in.

Even if they did, we all know these databases are hives of incorrect data anyway.

The slippery slope (4, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739651)

What happened to only getting DNA evidence from felons? This seems insane, there's no reason at all that someone ACCUSED of a misdemeanor crime should have to submit (and, most likely, pay for!) DNA samples unless it was important to the court case. If this goes through, I can only wonder what they'll be asking for next. Getting DNA from children to put into a database, like they've done with fingerprints in some places?

Re:The slippery slope (1, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739777)

Don't get so uppity, in France the proposal included to take DNA samples even of all witnesses involved in a case.

Re:The slippery slope (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739811)

Yes, and that database amounts to illegal search of the populace for every crime when they use a database to find a match to some DNA found at a crime scene. The same goes for finger prints.

There are arguments both ways, but in the end having a database of identifying information on huge portions of the citizenry is the same as stores checking your bag when you leave: you are guilty until proven innocent by way of not matching the evidence. This goes against the intent of the law.

This is not a slippery slope, it's a roller coaster drop off .... but I'm not sure there is a smooth curved set of rails to stop the impending crash.

Re:The slippery slope (4, Insightful)

brouski (827510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740179)

Going with the "checking the bags when you leave" analogy, it's not the fact that the bags are being checked that annoys me, it's the act of having to queue at this final gatekeeper and wait for their OK before I can walk past.

If the stores could transparently scan these bags as I walk out with RFID tags or some such, inconvenience is gone and so are my complaints.

I don't think the act of merely having the database is the same as rifling through your stuff when you walk out the door

Re:The slippery slope (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740617)

History has shown us that if there is a database to check the fingerprints or DNA against for a match, it will be done. This is the same thing as getting all those people to donate their DNA and fingerprints for every crime that is committed. Another way, all the people in the database are assumed to be guilty until their DNA/fingerprints are shown to not match those found at the crime scene.

How long before a crime is committed where DNA is planted? How will law enforcement teams solve a crime when the only DNA found is that of the governor; who happens to have a solid alibi? Will they keep searching the database looking for someone that is a close match, or simply decide it was planted evidence?

The database is worse than rifling through bags. The bag checker doesn't know who you are. The database does. The bag checker is assuming your guilty and only letting you go when you are proven innocent. The database is the same thing as police coming to your door 14 times a month to collect your DNA for use in solving a crime. Bio-identification is not secure, it is not foolproof, and it necessarily makes you guilty until proven innocent if the police have it in their database.

Re:The slippery slope (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739819)

At first I had the same reaction that many slashdotters probably had: This is way overstepping, you are assigning a penalty to even being accused of a crime (the penalty being an invasion of privacy and a chance of being falsely accused of a crime later).

Then I thought about the fact that people are fingerprinted upon arrest, and have been for decades. When you come down to it, there really isn't any significant difference between recording fingerprints and recording DNA. If you disagree with recording DNA there's no reason why recording fingerprints before conviction should be acceptable either.

Finally, I thought about statistics. We always here in cases how the DNA evidence shows a 99.9% chance that the person is the guilty party. The problem is when you have a few million entries in the database, 99.9% isn't all that good. You could easily end up with a half dozen people fitting the DNA evidence in a large city. DNA analysis should be the end of a good investigation, not the starting off point.

Re:The slippery slope (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740019)

If you disagree with recording DNA there's no reason why recording fingerprints before conviction should be acceptable either.

I disagree with both. I don't see how compelling someone to give you their DNA, or their fingerprints can be anything other than forcing them to testify against themselves.

Re:The slippery slope (3, Interesting)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740339)

I think it is Unreasonable Search for both. That it is easy to do is half of the problem. If anyone walked up to you and said 'Let me examine your hand with this magnifying glass and these chemicals' you would think them insane. My fingerprints and my DNA are my own thank you. They are part of what makes me ME. You have no right to part of me upon accusation. Conviction maybe, but not upon accusation.

Re:The slippery slope (1)

abbyful (1415623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740485)

I agree.

USA is supposed to be a free country. Why then is the government wanting to treat citizens like criminals?

Re:The slippery slope (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740049)

If using DNA can reduce the number of suspects to a half dozen, it's much more advantageous to use it at the outset to focus the investigation on a few matching people. Why would you waste time investigating a crime when you can isolate the suspects up front?

Re:The slippery slope (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740107)

I think there's some quote by some dead guy that goes on about essential liberties and temporary safety that might answer your question.

Re:The slippery slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740491)

It's never really discussed how self-contradictory that actual quote is. You see, Ben Franklin was using irony to get a laugh. It's not some deep political or philosophical statement, any more than "Fart proudly" is.

Re:The slippery slope (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740269)

When you come down to it, there really isn't any significant difference between recording fingerprints and recording DNA.

Of course there is - DNA collection involves the government taking a piece of my living flesh. That's a rather bright line for them to try to cross.

Then there's the problem that DNA isn't so reliable after all [boston.com] - but then, neither are fingerprints [livescience.com] .

Re:The slippery slope (3, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740275)

If you disagree with recording DNA there's no reason why recording fingerprints before conviction should be acceptable either.

I think that's taking it a little far. There are sometimes very good reasons to take prints/DNA. If you're accused of a crime and you claim that you've never been to the scene, prints or DNA could potentially (in)validate your story and effect your conviction/release.

However, if you're caught shoplifting or even if you're accused of something more serious and admit your guilt openly, I see no reason why either should need to be taken.

Re:The slippery slope (5, Insightful)

meleespamingzombies (1470197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740301)

Then I thought about the fact that people are fingerprinted upon arrest, and have been for decades. When you come down to it, there really isn't any significant difference between recording fingerprints and recording DNA. If you disagree with recording DNA there's no reason why recording fingerprints before conviction should be acceptable either.

Except DNA gives evidence about your entire bloodline. So DNA evidence from my brother could be used against me, even though I have never been introduced to the system.

Re:The slippery slope (5, Insightful)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740319)

Laws must be evaluated not primarily on the basis of what good they attempt to do but on the possible abuses they would allow. Just off the top of my head for this law: It's a lot easier to frame someone by putting some DNA evidence of them (i.e. a few strands of hair) at a crime scene than lifting their fingerprints and convincingly planting them.

Now I'm no lawyer, but the thing about the cases mentioned in this article is that you can still get DNA from ANYONE you want with a court ordered search warrant. And I'd think that would be pretty easy if someone is arrested under suspicion of rape, burglary, etc.

The problem with the current system is you have to go fill out paperwork, talk to a judge, all that WORK that apparently our police and detectives don't feel like doing. The current system allows for collecting DNA in a responsible fashion.

The proponents of this bill as with every bill of this type will bring in tear soaked mothers talking about their children in order to sway you with emotion. They know that your primitive emotional response will trump your intellect basically guaranteeing you make an unreasoned decision. Not cool.

Re:The slippery slope (1)

mbruns (6147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740425)

Then I thought about the fact that people are fingerprinted upon arrest, and have been for decades. When you come down to it, there really isn't any significant difference between recording fingerprints and recording DNA. If you disagree with recording DNA there's no reason why recording fingerprints before conviction should be acceptable either.

You're right, authorities initially said fingerprints would only be kept for those convicted of a crime. How did that work out?

Re:The slippery slope (4, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739859)

Welcome to the New World Order ... where security means everyone's a suspect and constant supervision is the only way to achieve true freedom. Way to go.

The Terrorists have already won. Being terrorized means losing to terror, suspecting everyone and subjecting them to criminal prosecution no matter what they did ... that's paranoia and being terrified right there. Terrorists Win. Let Osama bin Laden slip ... we don't need him anymore to errect our own Panopticon of terror.

Pardon ... Highly Secure Freedom Detention Center.

Re:The slippery slope (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739927)

What happened to only getting DNA evidence from felons? This seems insane, there's no reason at all that someone ACCUSED of a misdemeanor crime should have to submit (and, most likely, pay for!) DNA samples unless it was important to the court case. If this goes through, I can only wonder what they'll be asking for next. Getting DNA from children to put into a database, like they've done with fingerprints in some places?

Next it will be, "I'm sorry, I believe you were speeding. Please give me a blood, urine, hair and DNA sample."

Re:The slippery slope (2, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740407)

Also, when have government agencies ever restrained themselves in favor of privacy among citizens? The government in 1936 said that social security numbers were never supposed to be used for identification*...

Oops.

(* http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs10-ssn.htm [privacyrights.org] not a good source, so take it with a grain of salt, could be an urban myth)

We also had a few constitutional provisions that seem to say you can't spy on innocent civilians. Hard to believe now I know. And of course the FBI wildly overstepped it's bounds from day one.

We really need to start drilling "Protecting public privacy is the most important thing for your job" into the heads of law enforcement types for a few generations, and making sure it sticks, before we start tearing down what few barriers they respect. Otherwise we may as well cut to the chase and put RFID chips under our skin.

Wait, what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739675)

"It solves crimes..."

No it doesn't. Good, old fashioned detective work solves crimes. DNA is only a very small part of that.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740445)

South Park - Cartman's Incredible Gift

Kyle: Excuse me, sir? I think I know who did this. We saw this guy at the last crime scene, and, and you know how serial killers sometimes return to the scene of the crime? Well, I followed this guy to his house, and when he left again, I collected some fingerprints and did a blood-sample analysis. [holds out his findings] I'm pretty sure he's your man.

Lou (detective): [coolly] How do you know?? Are you psychic??

Kyle: No.

Lou: Look, kid, don't waste my time with your blood-sampling fingerprinty hocus-pocus! I have to find this new killer now! I owe it to that victim over there! I know she hadn't been in any recent episodes, but DAMNIT she deserved better than this! Come on, Murph, we've gotta talk to Eric Cartman again!

Ha! (5, Funny)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739711)

I'll just laugh, and spit in their faces!... wait... damnit.

So... if I say 'no' (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739719)

Does that mean they cannot charge me? Sweet.

When are they going to destroy these samples? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739741)

What happens when someone is arrested and released later, only to have the prosecutor "sleep" on their case indefinitely? After all, it's very rare for prosecutors to send out "I've decided not to prosecute you" letters. Hell, I've seen prosecutors let people sit in DETENTION for years without a trial (one famous case in my state involved a teenage girl who was held in detention for 6 years without trial, before the prosecutor admitted he had no case and she was released). Sometimes a person is arrested and never gets an actual trial (whether they're held in detention or released).

Without some sort of time limit clause that says "If this person is not tried within X number of months after the sample is taken, it must be destroyed" then the sample could be held indefinitely, without the person ever getting a trial to exonerate themselves.

Re:When are they going to destroy these samples? (1)

!coward (168942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740141)

I get what you're saying but that kind of already exists.. It's called 'Statute of Limitations' and has a limited scope (as in, in some countries a murder case never expires). If this comes into play, I don't think you'll be able to limit the admissibility of that DNA sample beneath the time limit imposed by that offense's Statute of Limitation.

I think this is totally bogus, but if it does go forward, then we'd probably be better off limiting the scope of application of that sample. What I mean is, your DNA collected in connection to any given case cannot be used outside of the scope of that particular case. You shouldn't be able to use it to check for possible matches in outstanding cases (a CLEAR violation of the presumption of innocence and would lead to a "fishing expedition"-gallore).

If it turns out you're guilty, then by all means, if your law allows you to, include it in some national DB.. Until then, you're off the grid. This provides no incentive to keep the data beyond what's strictly needed, and might mean they destroy your sample sooner, rather than later, if you're cleared.

It's funny, you know? In my country we do have a national DB for fingerprints.. We do have a national ID card (that's where you get your fingerprints taken) but the law clearly forbids using THAT database for any sort of criminal investigation purposes. It's assumed it'd mean presuming guilt on the part of the _whole_ population everytime you'd run a search through it. Can't imagine why any other country would proceed differently.

Re:When are they going to destroy these samples? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740421)

You shouldn't be able to use it to check for possible matches in outstanding cases (a CLEAR violation of the presumption of innocence and would lead to a "fishing expedition"-gallore).

You mean like they do now when they run your license for outstanding "wants and warrants", and run your fingerprints when arrested for hits in the unsolved crime database? They're already doing it; with DNA they'll be able to not only check to see if you're in the database, but whether any of your close relatives are in the database. Chilling, no? The cops come knocking on your door because a relative of yours commits a crime, and you're arrested as an accomplice if you don't roll over on them.

Re:When are they going to destroy these samples? (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740195)

Hell, I've seen prosecutors let people sit in DETENTION for years without a trial (one famous case in my state involved a teenage girl who was held in detention for 6 years without trial, before the prosecutor admitted he had no case and she was released). Sometimes a person is arrested and never gets an actual trial (whether they're held in detention or released).

We need much, much stronger laws to deal with prosecutors who commit unjust acts. If you are unjustly kidnapped and held in a cell for years, it doesn't matter to you whether your captor is the state or a psychotic madman. Both are equally traumatic, and both aggressors should be punished as harshly.

I heard a story [npr.org] on NPR this morning about a black man who was falsely accused of rape and died in prison. The real rapist sent letters to the prosecutors admitting to the rape. Not one of the prosecutors responded to those letters. By any reasonable code of justice, every one of those prosecutors would be guilty of a crime. IMO, a crime much worse than rape.

I don't know how to do it though. You're never going to get a prosecutor to prosecute another prosecutor for prosecuting.

Re:When are they going to destroy these samples? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740239)

Please tell me that prosecutor served hard time for misconduct.

Re:When are they going to destroy these samples? (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740599)

You just hit the nail on the head without even knowing it. The problem with these "shadow databases" is how would you KNOW that the sample was destroyed? Just like that girl they "lost" for 6 years they can just keep it in the database until they need to bust you. After all, after they used it to bust you for something in the future they could always say "Oh, that sample? We took a sample of him from a coke can." and you would have NO way of telling whether they are telling the truth or not. So unless they are willing to let you or your lawyer stand there and watch it be disposed of I wouldn't trust them as far as I can throw them.

What is sad is I used to think those guys living up in the hills of Northwest AR in their little compounds were nuts. That all their talk of us sliding into a police state was pure craziness. And yet every time we turn around these days we are seeing more and more Big Brother style BS from the local, state, and federal governments. How sad is it when the government can actually make the survival loonies look sane with their jackbooted BS?

Article IV? (5, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739761)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects...

If my DNA isn't part of my person, I don't know what is. If you find it at a crime scene, that's one thing, but the bar for compelling the collection of a DNA sample should be at least as high (and probably higher) than the bar for a warrant for a home search.

Re:Article IV? (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740283)

If my DNA isn't part of my person, I don't know what is. If you find it at a crime scene, that's one thing, but the bar for compelling the collection of a DNA sample should be at least as high (and probably higher) than the bar for a warrant for a home search.

What about the 5th amendment (the right to not self incriminate) ? Isn't taking your DNA without any other proof a violation of that ? Or taking it without a court order ?

However if they start requiring a court order, they'll just get a judge who'll rubber stamp the requests.

Re:Article IV? (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740457)

If you find it at a crime scene, that's one thing

Uh... you are at a crime scene. You seem to be confusing a search of your person with a process that will identify your person.

Do you believe that you retain a right to anonymity when arrested? If not, then what's your specific objection to being identified through your DNA?

Information destruction (1)

Nautical Insanity (1190003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739763)

Because if the authorities say they will destroy the information, I have complete faith that they will remain true to their word. Yep, complete trust. No worries.

They can just send it on to the Orwellian "Ministry of Privacy" and I'm sure all record of my DNA test will just vanish!

Planting evidence has just become easier (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739783)

Bump into someone in the subway, grab a few loose hairs from their sweater, drop at murder site.

"Sir, how do you explain that we found your hair at the site of the murder?"

-Dunno, I'm riding the subway every day.

Mystery solved! Hurray! Oh wait ... shit.

Re:Planting evidence has just become easier (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740271)

I'm kind of surprised that criminals don't already do something like carry a container of DNA samples to taint the crime scene with. Basically, they would be DOSing the crime scene investigators with so many samples that it difficult and very time consuming to run labs results for each uniquely identified sample. Maybe it would not be enough of a problem to keep the criminal from being arrested especially if the police already suspected them, but it might be enough to cause reasonable doubt during a jury trial. And When you think about it, there's tons of places to collect DNA evidence like, say hair salons, public restrooms, porno theaters , garbage dumpsters, etc.. Planting DNA evidence is considerably more easier that planting finger print evidence.

What could possibly be the purpose (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739795)

of taking a DNA sample before someone is even charged? (Which is ridiculously unconstitutional, anyway.)

I can sympathize with the pain of the woman in TFA, but that doesn't give her the right to make everyone elses' life miserable.

If she doesn't stop this kind of preaching, she should be taken out and shot. Not really, but her kind is the biggest enemy to freedom here in the United States.

--
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -- U.S. Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis
--
"Or women of zeal." -- Jane Q. Public

Re:What could possibly be the purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740197)

of taking a DNA sample before someone is even charged? (Which is ridiculously unconstitutional, anyway.)

I can sympathize with the pain of the woman in TFA, but that doesn't give her the right to make everyone elses' life miserable.

If she doesn't stop this kind of preaching, she should be taken out and shot. Not really, but her kind is the biggest enemy to freedom here in the United States.

--

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -- U.S. Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis

--

"Or women of zeal." -- Jane Q. Public

Because that way while there waiting to charge you and are building a case, then can double check your dna to other crimes for a more solid link and hold you indefinitely. Otherwise there wouldnt be an issue with taking dna after the arrest.

Excellent (2, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739837)

One more reason to waste taxpayer money at a time when many states are basing their budgets on a federal bailout...

Washington state only (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739841)

Note that this is a proposed law in Washington State, not the whole country. Not that we should just forget about the rights of Washington's citizens, but I suspect a quite a few people will misunderstand the summary as it stands now.

Re:Washington state only (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740093)

Note that this is a proposed law in Washington State, not the whole country. Not that we should just forget about the rights of Washington's citizens, but I suspect a quite a few people will misunderstand the summary as it stands now.

Don't delude yourself. If this gets a foothold in one place, other states will get the idea that this is something they can actually get away with. Before you know it, you have 50 states with it, and no alternative state that you can move to to boycott it.

Constitution TP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739877)

I am going to make a toilet paper brand called Constitution TP. "All its good for now is wiping shit off my ass!"

broken window theory of law enforcement (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739895)

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

simply stated, if law enforcement focuses on small, petty crimes, like turnstile jumping, graffiti, and shoplifting, they implicitly reduce serious crime, like burglarly, arson, murder

the idea works in two ways:

1. the public perception of lawlessness sends a signal that even worse lawless behavior is acceptable, so doping the reverse: focusing on the surface level impression of orderliness, actually increases real orderliness

2. you would be amazed how many rapists and murders also run red lights and shoplift. that is, routine screening of petty crimes (fingerprints in the past) has actually netted a surprising number of big fish (where big fish means any criminal who committed a very serious crime). people who commit trangressive acts against society don't really seem to be able to stop doing that

in which case, viewing the request to keep and track dna, you can simply see the evolution of police work,.where the next natural next step is to track dna, as well as fingerprints, based on the success of the broken window theory in the past

i'm not saying that dna tracking should be supported, i'm just framing the reason why law enforcement is interested in dna. as opposed to the mindless "everyone in government wants to fascistically monitor your entire life just because they are stereotypical hollywood characters" theory of government and law enforcement, that you frequently see as the basis for comments

Re:broken window theory of law enforcement (4, Insightful)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740341)

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

simply stated, if law enforcement focuses on small, petty crimes, like turnstile jumping, graffiti, and shoplifting, they implicitly reduce serious crime, like burglarly, arson, murder

the idea works in two ways:

1. the public perception of lawlessness sends a signal that even worse lawless behavior is acceptable, so doping the reverse: focusing on the surface level impression of orderliness, actually increases real orderliness

No, the idea works because there is the perception of a police state.

2. you would be amazed how many rapists and murders also run red lights and shoplift. that is, routine screening of petty crimes (fingerprints in the past) has actually netted a surprising number of big fish (where big fish means any criminal who committed a very serious crime). people who commit trangressive acts against society don't really seem to be able to stop doing that

Remember, in 1984, Julia states "You can get away with breaking the big laws if you keep the small ones.

i'm not saying that dna tracking should be supported, i'm just framing the reason why law enforcement is interested in dna. as opposed to the mindless "everyone in government wants to fascistically monitor your entire life just because they are stereotypical hollywood characters" theory of government and law enforcement, that you frequently see as the basis for comments

Why don't you go ahead and submit your DNA pre-emptively. While you're at it, why don't you go ahead and get an RFID implanted in your hand? After all, if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide, right?

Some of us just happen to desire privacy from gov't meddling on principle. When I go somewhere, I tell my folks/girlfriend where I'm going. I don't announce it to the police or gov't. Likewise, I don't care for the thought of every time some cop investigates every pissant who happened to leave some kind of biological evidence at the scene of a crime, someone checks that against me.

this is called hysterical overreaction (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740527)

i feel nothing but pity for you, to live in such fear of your world, and see the natural, valid functions of policework as horrible fascist knives pointed at your happiness

of course there are abuses of policework in our world. and these abuses are reviled, examined, reversed, and protected against. they are NOT the accepted status quo, which is what you seem to believe

i'm really sorry for you. that you have to view your world this way. but the way you view the world isn't reality, it simply isn't, unless you live in iran or china

i can prove what you say isn't reality

that isn't even reality to you

proof of this assertion?

it is thus: despite your hysterical timidity on the issue of the all intrusive police state you supposedly live in, you seem to have NO PROBLEM WRITING THE COMMENT YOU JUST WROTE

you have no problem at all registering your criticism of your mythical police state here on slashdot. if your complaints were 100% real, you wouldn't even have made the comment you just made, such would be your fear of reprisal and intrusion and punishment for registering your malcontent

Re:broken window theory of law enforcement (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740469)

Whatever their motives or reasoning, the outcome is still exactly equivalent to the case where "everyone in government wants to fascistically monitor your entire life". We should be making law enforcement harder, not easier.

Re:broken window theory of law enforcement (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740573)

viewing the request to keep and track dna, you can simply see the evolution of police work

Is this an evolution? Any forward looking LEO should think twice in terms of their job security and salaries. If solving crime devolves to part janitor (acquiring samples) and part clerk (pushing buttons on a pre-formed SQL query) pretty much any monkey could do it. Cheaply.

Re:broken window theory of law enforcement (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740579)

i'm not saying that dna tracking should be supported, i'm just framing the reason why law enforcement is interested in dna. as opposed to the mindless "everyone in government wants to fascistically monitor your entire life just because they are stereotypical hollywood characters" theory of government and law enforcement, that you frequently see as the basis for comments

You got something wrong here, these hollywood characters are modeled after real-life people. Always were. There's stuff going on that a writer can't even make up. So don't be so sure, what you're writing here sounds like you want to make a reasonable point but it acts as diluted propaganda.

I personally am strongly opposed to governments that want to put their citizens in databases and monitor them according to irrelevant statistical details. I'm from Germany and that's why we got the Holocaust. Someone said "Let's sort this list via the "Religion" column" and then the shitstorm started.

Why not? (0)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739913)

It should go beyond this. Make it where if you get a Passport or State ID you should have to give a DNA sample. Helps verify your identity and in case you are involved in a crime investigation the government knows who you are and possibly where you live.

Re:Why not? (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740593)

I'm guessing this is sarcasm, but I've seen people express this view seriously and it makes me wonder if some people even want to be free.

Why is this a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739969)

I do not have an opinion of this either way. But why is this a bad thing ?

This is how it started in the UK (2, Informative)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740043)

Now they even keep the DNA samples of people arrested by mistake. Fight against it. Don't give them an inch or they will take a mile. Any gains in crime fighting are dwarfed by the enormous potential for abuse. It's really paving the way for future tyranny.

Re:This is how it started in the UK (1)

Nick Sz (1467569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740213)

Do you know if there is any precedence to someone who was arrested by mistake taking legal action to remove those records? Also, if I were an insurance company I would be vying for these records- will we only know to late when people start getting dropped from their insurance due to a disposition for an illness?

Is this really that bad? (2, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740045)

At first I thought "No way am I going to let them take blood from me if I'm arrested!", but after reading the article all they do is swab the inside of your cheek. It really is less invasive than fingerprinting.

I've been fingerprinted twice, once after being arrested and once after applying for a federal job. The first time was the worst, the machine couldn't read my print AT ALL, so the officer tried pressing harder. That registered a faint image of a finger print. So they gave me some gel to clean my fingers, that did nothing to help so the officer continued to press harder and harder. We finally got one print to show up after a few minutes when the officer forced all of his body weight onto my finger. ONE PRINT, then it was on to the next 9 fingers...

Second time didn't require as much force, but we had other issues, my finger wasn't rolling right. The person operating the machine had to do each finger 5+ times to get the machine to actually accept the print.

I know they're not going to do away with fingerprinting and replace it with DNA samples (DNA isn't a unique identifier), but they already take fingerprints and mugshots before you're found guilty. So what's the problem with taking a little bit of spit?

Re:Is this really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740211)

What do you do for a living? Put your fingers in Bunsen burners?

Re:Is this really that bad? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740243)

It's kind of funny how much difficulty you had with machine fingerprint scanners. I recently got fingerprinted for a security clearance and it took less than a minute total, no pain involved. The method? Ink and paper which was then scanned into the system. Sometimes the high tech solution just makes things more difficult.

Re:Is this really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740507)

It's kind of funny how much difficulty you had with machine fingerprint scanners. I recently got fingerprinted for a security clearance and it took less than a minute total, no pain involved. The method? Ink and paper which was then scanned into the system. Sometimes the high tech solution just makes things more difficult.

Did the system actually check the fingerprints for accuracy or did it just save the image? In my case it checked the prints and they weren't to the machines standards (although the first time the machine was just somewhat broken, they had to get someone to fix it before they continued fingerprinting me.)

No surprise (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740063)

During the 21st century, our personal liberties and civil rights have been peeled away. This is just another step toward subjecting everyone to DNA testing. Think DNA testing and DNA matching are flawless? What have you got to hide, comrade?

Go through the Trash? (2, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740067)

Maybe I watched too much CSI and "X Files". But couldn't someone build a national DNA registry by going through our trash or recycling bins?

Re:Go through the Trash? (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740387)

how would they know who it belongs to ?

Think about the (carefully regulated) children! (1)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740081)

How are we supposed to determine whether or not someone can be issued a reproduction license without a national DNA database to determine the suitability of their genes? I mean, we can't allow just anyone to have children, right?

It doesn't solve crimes... (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740101)

It doesn't solve crimes... it simply helps find criminals.
To "solve" crimes, you have to put in place measures to prevent crime, like avoiding normal people from losing tons of money that have gone in banker's bonuses or unfair pricing for products using lock-ins and monopolistic practices

just my own 2c

Consider: DNA Backlog (1)

Nick Sz (1467569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740119)

don't we already have a significant national backlog of forensic DNA, and would this just exacerbate the situation?

Re:Consider: DNA Backlog (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740439)

Sounds like a great way to create thousands of new jobs. Think of all the technicians and office workers that would be required to process all that information. They could make it part of the stimulus package.

Fishing for suspects (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740199)

If this law passes, expect an increase in the enforcement of laws against loitering, public drunkenness and vagrancy. Nothing better than the enforcement of vague laws to enable a DMA fishing expedition.

What seems to be the problem? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740215)

Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned.

They already do far less with fingerprints they gather the same way.

Only, you CAN fake those.

You can't fake someone's DNA.
It is not like you can print it out or copy it to a portable media and then just sprinkle it later.

Re:What seems to be the problem? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740539)

No, but you can plant others' DNA.

Error in Logic (1)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740221)

To say that DNA sequencing is good technology because it helps solve crimes may be true but there is a fundamental flaw in the logic used to support their Big Brother style plan: they've already caught their suspect without DNA. They should only be allowed to take a DNA sample of a suspect if they are holding DNA evidence that could link someone to the crime. Apart from that, gathering DNA that is unrelated to a specific crime and conducting random searches trying to match to crimes where there is no suspect could be an illegal search. Sure some bad guys will get away but giving too much leeway to authorities is the greater of two evils.

Baloney (2, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740279)

>> Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned.

Baloney. If this was actually true, they would only bother to collect samples from people after they were found guilty.

You first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740313)

It is well known that a certain profession draws a great deal of criminals towards it. In fact, many bribery and corruption charges come from this profession. Therefore, I propose that anyone holding this job be forced to give a DNA sample. All lawmakers should do this so we can prevent any criminals from making laws.

Terrifying (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740315)

Do you know how many places I've left my DNA?! Because I don't!

It's only a matter of time before it would be falsely linked to a crime scene. I don't need the state to do this to protect me. My best defense against crime is my CCW. You can have my DNA sample when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

Re:Terrifying (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740609)

No one knows, common house dust is mainly construed of dead skin particles and broken hairs. So basically you can pick up a can of evidence behind everyone's TV set. Sure there are limitations but once we start with this bogus nonsense there is hardly a way to go back.

Sure. Let the bill pass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740365)

There is no court in the country that would allow this it to remain on the books. That pesky 5th Amendment, and all.

WASHINGTON state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740371)

Editors,

It would be nice if you could take a moment to update the article to indicate that it's WASHINGTON state. "State" can refer to a bunch of things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_(disambiguation)). Even within the US, we use it to mean nation state or to mean any one of the 50 states of the United States, I know Slashdot is US-Centric, but I'm a US citizen, living in the continental US, and even I got confused.

I saw this movie once.... (4, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740419)

Gattaca, anyone?

It may be that in the long run, we can't totally avoid this crap, but the more we roll over and lick it up, the faster it will come to us.

Now, what's on American Idol...Ohh...Shiny!!

Rejection of IP is a two sided sword (2, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740433)

You cannot reject IP, copyright etc and then complain if someone (yes, including the police) picks up one of your hair from the ground and gets your DNA (yes, even without your knowledge).

There is no IP, you don't own your genome.

Re:Rejection of IP is a two sided sword (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740529)

And why not simply make an exception for DNA? There's no reason why we can't, as a society, decide that the human genome doesn't follow the same rules as other forms of information.

Only if the Washington Const. is Amended! (2, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740515)

This simply will not happen in its present form.

If this DNA collection is legal, then it must pass muster under both STATE and FEDERAL constitutions. It may be OK under the federal constitution (where the US Supreme Court is the last word), but it will NEVER pass muster under the Washington Constitution (where the State Supreme Court has the last word). The Washington Supreme court has a strong libertarian component (I'm not exaggerating). Compelled collection from convicted felons is OK per the Wash. Supreme Court (State v. Surge, 160 Wn.2d 65), but they're not going to approve compelled collection from pretrial detainees. No way.

It's going to take a state constitutional amendment or a recomposition of the Washington Supreme Court before DNA samples can be taken from pretrial detainees.

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