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House Votes To Expand National DNA Arrest Database

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the declan's-just-paranoid-right dept.

Privacy 341

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

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Action: (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285582)

Rep. Teague's proposal would extend DNA sampling and testing to anyone arrested on suspicion of burglary or attempted burglary; aggravated assault; murder or attempted murder; manslaughter; sex acts that can be punished by imprisonment for more than one year; and sex offenses against minors. The attorney general would be required to report to Congress which states have and have not signed up for the DNA database.

You know what to do, guys. Call into the anonymous tipline and accuse all of your neighbors of burglary.

Re:Action: (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285650)

I read that as "sex offenses against morons". It doesn't read the same after that.

Re:Action: (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285656)

You know what to do, guys. Call into the anonymous tipline and accuse all of your Congressmen of burglary.

FTFY

Re:Action: (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285730)

The law dosen't apply to white-collar crimes. Guess that means we can steal all of our neighbors' money as long as we don't break into their houses.

Re:Action: (5, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285790)

Call into the anonymous tipline and accuse all of your Congressmen of buggery.

Fixed that.

Re:Action: (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286126)

Bonus points for getting wax imprints of your Congressman's fingerprints and leaving them in the victims' blood at a crime scene.

Re:Action: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286236)

No read history, call in your neighbors, likely they have done nothing wrong but there are so many errors in th DB that it will be decades before they are releases(if ever) you know those that don't cut their lawn frequently enough are terrorists,

Read that history of how the SS operated = DHS, different letters same name, same concept. report your friends, neighbors to advance yourself in the party (tea party in this case)

Re:Action: (3, Insightful)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285712)

I didn't read through the entire bill, but the part I read talked about people arrested for sexual crimes and murder -- nothing about burglary that I could see. The biggest problem I have with it is that while it has a process for expungement of people who are acquitted or whose guilty verdict is overturned, I didn't see anything in there requiring states to initiate the process when one of these events occurs.

Re:Action: (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285966)

So, acquitted or an over-turned verdict and you can get off the list... but simply being arrested and the charges later being dropped? Is there a process for expungement in that situation? This is slashdot so I haven't read the article or the bill but if you read that far and didn't see anything about that it very well could not be in there.

And that's kinda frightening.

Re:Action: (5, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286042)

The biggest problem I have with it is that while it has a process for expungement of people who are acquitted or whose guilty verdict is overturned, I didn't see anything in there requiring states to initiate the process when one of these events occurs.

In other words, it's like the TSA banned flyers list. Easy as hell to get onto, impossible to get off of. Throw in "poorly maintained" and "prone to errors/misfiles" and we'll have the TSA list all over again, except one that juries believe because they saw something about DNA on CSI.

Re:Action: (3, Informative)

Platinumrat (1166135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286306)

In Australia recently, all DNA evidence was thrown out of court because of the "poorly maintained" thing in the State of Victoria. It appears the forensics lab got caught with bad paperwork and contaminated samples. Following from that is a High Court challenge to DNA evidence being allowed as the sole claim for guilt. The upshot of that, is that police will not even be able to get arrest warrents on DNA evidence alone. They might have to do some good old fashioned detective work.

Re:Action: (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286308)

I really hate Congress. Is that wrong?

Re:Action: (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286410)

I really hate Congress. Is that wrong?

Well then you shouldn't have voted for them.

I'm just fucking with you, it doesn't really matter who you vote for.

Not right (3, Insightful)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285602)

I dont believe that this is constitutional, or at least its not of the same spirit as the constitution.

Re:Not right (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285670)

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

Just as we're getting rid of it... (4, Informative)

Chris Newton (1711450) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285948)

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

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

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

Re:Just as we're getting rid of it... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286124)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:Just as we're getting rid of it... (1)

Chris Newton (1711450) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286408)

Well of course they will have to follow through, because you have a political system that, despite its flaws, gives representation to third parties so everyone's political views can be represented.

Not very well yet: our voting system is still transparently biased towards the larger parties, and the compromise reached by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in the coalition doesn't go all the way to offering the public a referendum on PR in the Commons (though they do seem to be proposing it for the elected Lords).

But I do take your point: it seems likely that the presence of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition is pushing the civil liberties agenda higher up the government priority list. I think that is partly because it is a big Lib Dem policy area anyway, but also partly because it is something where both parties in the coalition can readily agree on most issues and say they were doing what their voters asked for. Any coalition wants to show early success to reduce the scepticism in the ranks, and since the Tories and Lib Dems have well known differences in economic policy so the top issue of today can't really help both of them at the same time, this is probably the next best area to look for that success story.

Re:Just as we're getting rid of it... (2, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286134)

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

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

Re:Just as we're getting rid of it... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286228)

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

I used to find stuff like that rather ironic, until I came to the conclusion that behind all of the false opposition, behind all of the smoke and mirrors, behind all the playing with peoples gregarious nature in getting them to either vote for the right, or for the left, to watch either cnn, or fox, religiously-- behind all of that bullshit, the truth is that there is an agenda that is being carried out in spite of either side and which will use either side as long as it progresses their purposes.

Some people says it is a wild eyed conspiracy theory. That's fine. I thought so too.

If you really study this one out, you would be shocked to find out that back in the early 2000s 1 major organization that owns several news agencies actually used the argument in court that 'It is not illegal to lie to the public over public airwaves, it is simply a matter of corporate policy as to wither or not we decide to report the truth as we know it'--- so what did the courts do? They asked the other major news owning organizations wither or not they supported their 'oppositions' take on the matter... Guess what? They all signed up on board and agreed. What do news stations always hammer at us? 'We're the guys you can trust!'-- yet, they had right there the perfect opportunity to disagree with their competitors and broadcast the fact that "These guys were trying to lie to you, but we do not agree with them, we are the news outlet you can trust!"-- but they didn't.

http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

"they've talked the talk, now will they really follow through?"

No. Having that stuff kept back on file somewhere is worth more than actually destroying it, and then trying to convince people that it actually has truthfully been destroyed.

Re:Not right (3, Funny)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286180)

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

Re:Not right (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286232)

I will genetically modify myself every few months and go on a crime spree.

Re:Not right (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286366)

So, what are you going to do about it?

Personally, I'm going to inform any cop who tries to take any part of flesh that I regard that as sacrilege and as the moral equivalent of rape, and will resist by any means necessary and available. Yes, I will quite likely be beaten while resisting; that doesn't change my duty to resist heinous crimes.

Re:Not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286406)

I'm going to grab the officer's gun and shoot him in the goddamn face is what. The constitution is irrelevant. I'll either spend the rest of my life in prison or be shot. Those are the options I guess.

Re:Not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286474)

You should just get one of your own, much easier to deploy.

Re:Not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285750)

maybe want to point to an amendment here? I'm guessing the assumption is that it violates the 4th, but by definition if someone has been arrested for these types of crimes then probable cause has already been established. I'm not saying the law is right, but I don't think it's unconstitutional. What I take major issue with is that it was passed under suspension calendar which seems extremely inappropriate.

Re:Not right (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285958)

As the summary pointed out, it's doing an end-run around the requirements for warrants (and I believe that's what the 4th Amendment pertains to -- I'm Canadian, so I'm going on some vague memories here). Imagine if all the police had to do to search you, your home, and all your belongings was to arrest you -- no judge involved at any point -- and then are able use anything they find in those searches against you at any point in the future. Not a good situation from my perspective, but that's what this is setting up with DNA.

Re:Not right (4, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286084)

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

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

Re:Not right (2, Informative)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286278)

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

Re:Not right (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286320)

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

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

Don't Even Need The Arrest... (3, Informative)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286522)

Don't Even Need The Arrest...

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

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

Re:Not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286148)

I'm pretty sure they stopped caring about that a loooooooooong time ago.

-david z (nothirdsolution-com)

Re:Not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286304)

I dont believe that this is constitutional, or at least its not of the same spirit as the constitution.

Congress can send money to the states with just about any rules it wants. Now, you might be able to argue it would be unconstitutional for the states to follow these rules, but I don't see how this law could be unconstitutional. No one is forcing the states to do anything. Maybe none of them will ever take this money. I hope my state doesn't.

Re:Not right (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286508)

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

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

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

The house needs more rebels (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285646)

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

Re:The house needs more rebels (5, Insightful)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285728)

I'll go further. Anyone taking any public position at all should have to "submit"; including (especially) all law enforcement types. Heck, if the census-takers had all been DNA screened against the criminal database, I'd worry a bit less about the possibility of my family letting them into the house.

Re:The house needs more rebels (1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285876)

Heck, if the census-takers had all been DNA screened against the criminal database, I'd worry a bit less about the possibility of my family letting them into the house.

Mistrustful alarmists like you are part of the problem. You should be much more worried about the Wall Street schmucks bilking you out of your wealth.

"As we feel guilt for delegating increasing amounts of parental responsibility to daycare workers and the like, we tend to compensate for our guilt by treating the public at large with mistrust and hostility. A monster must be careful in these paranoid times, even a monster as indifferent to children as Hannibal Lecter."

Paraphrased from Thomas Harris novel Hannibal. Wish I had the book here, the actual quote is much more eloquent.

Cheek swabs (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285662)

Wouldn't the results from a DNA test of a cheek swab of someone arrested for prostitution be, uh, somewhat confusing?

Whatever happened to (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285680)

Whatever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"?

Re:Whatever happened to (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285720)

That went out the door with the USA PATRIOT act. Now we're guilty, period.

Re:Whatever happened to (2, Insightful)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286040)

Oh you're still innocent. It's just being innocent of a crime is not a defense any more. See the article about the little girl shot in the neck by the police, the lap dog gunned down as a threat, the spread of taserings, the shootings of disarmed unresisting suspects caught on Youtube, the rise in cost of legal defense to the point where even a charge will bankrupt a person, the imprisoning and waterboarding of anyone of the wrong skin color in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc.

On the other hand being guilty is no longer a reason for being punished if you have enough pull or cash (at least until you run out).

Re:Whatever happened to (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285734)

Somewhere in the Middle East, there is a group of Al Qaeda operatives sitting around smoking hookah under a banner that reads "Mission Accomplished"

Re:Whatever happened to (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286024)

Darn, the 'insightful' meter stops at 5.

Re:Whatever happened to (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286208)

I'll fix that. +1000, damn straight.

Re:Whatever happened to (4, Insightful)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286330)

It's now:
  "You're guilty of something; We've Just not decided what it is yet..."

Sensible (3, Insightful)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285696)

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

Is there a move among police to "go warrantless"? (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285706)

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

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285830)

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

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

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285934)

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

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286022)

seems simple to me:

1) the world is continuing to be an 'unsafe, dangerous' place
2) people don't like to admit this is a fact of life and they want to legislate 'safety'
3) LEO folks know this is futile but they are forced to do *something*
4) we have this as a result; more searching in a blind hope to find *something*

very simple. not good but understandable. humans are scared animals and when scared, they are easiest to control. people in authority love the control they get from a fear-based society.

this isn't going away without a fight; and the US is too pussified to fight back. we have already lost the war.

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286146)

There must be some cause that motivates them to even propose these bills.

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

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286200)

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

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

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285968)

While we're discussing political science 101, I'll chip-in the principle of circulation:

Put a perceived commoner [wikipedia.org] or two into the government to prevent proletariat discontent. One step forward, two steps back.

Of course (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286030)

Every year government spends more, borrows more, and seizes more power over the people. This isn't because power is the goal. On the contrary, for most of the elite at the top of the pyramid, power is merely a stepping stone to the real goal: money.

The larger and more expensive the business of government, the more lucrative it is for the people who make their fortunes in the business of government. The more complex, ambiguous, and unjust the system of law, the more exploitable it is for the elite.

That, in a nutshell, is why every government expands throughout its lifetime, both in revenue and power over the people.

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286206)

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

From the Democrats, duh. Didn't you read the article? Or the summary?

So why did the US electorate vote for Mr. Hopenchange again?

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286234)

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

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

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

Thus, only the hard-working visionaries among policemen and lawmakers will actively fight against such changes. The malicious actively want them to happen for the abuses they allow, the slothful only see that it means less paperwork and effort when they go into work.

Police and politicians aren't known for being hard-working visionaries, so the few that exist in their number are lost in the masses. So, both can be assumed to, as a group, desire a dictatorship or police state.

I find this explains a lot about any law put forth to reduce checks and balances or expand powers.

Serious erosion of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286302)

I think that the issue about a DNA database that is qualitatively different from a fingerprint database is that the police now have partial matches to several of your first and second degree relatives. This is not true for fingerprints. This is putting us on the slippery slope of privacy erosion-- why not implant GPS transponders into people convicted of felonies? That will probably make future crimes easier to solve. If that works well, why not GPS tag people arrested for felonies? What about at birth? Of course the transponders would only be activated once there was a clear reason to do so and there could never be any abuse of the system (yes, just a little bit of sarcasm).

Re:Is there a move among police to "go warrantless (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286324)

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

Red tape is an unpleasant part of any job, and as an honest cop, of course you're not going to go for a warrant until you're damned sure you're right anyway, so it must feel like a waste of time at best (when you offer evidence to support probable cause, and they issue a warrant), and downright obstructionism at worst
(when, for whatever reason (good or bad -- some judges are corrupt, too), they won't give you the warrant, even though you _know_ you're right). So, yeah, it streamlines your job and lets you catch bad guys quicker; what could be wrong with that?

Same thing, more or less, for the prosecutor's office; he gets appointed/elected to put bad guys behind bars, and (assuming he's honest) he's not even going to prosecute someone unless he knows they did it. But with juries being so reluctant to convict, a little more evidence to lock the case up solid is often beneficial, and never hurts.

(Of course, if you're a crooked cop or prosecutor, then it's even more obvious you won't like warrants... ;))

Then the politicians, of course, have a choice: they can support the law, appearing tough on crime, caring about the children*, and avoid being blamed by police or prosecutors for hindering them in the fight against crime.

Or they can oppose it, saying something about personal freedom, limited government, due process, and innocent-until-proven-guilty -- granted, this will win favor with the far-right gun-toting libertarian kooks, and the far-left pot-smoking libertarian kooks. Then in the next election, their opponent will rip them a new orifice or two by locating a single criminal who would have been caught one crime sooner if the law had passed (or, if the law did pass, one who was caught by it and presumably would still be at large otherwise), and making a series of campaign ads out of it.

Guess which way they go?

* note that sex offenses against a minor are included as well as sex offenses capable of earning more than 1 year sentence.
Are there any 1yr sex offenses against children, and if so, should they be lumped in this class?
Who cares -- "sex offenses against a minor" means you are protecting our children!

Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285718)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

"Not one Democrat voted against" (2, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285722)

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

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

Re:"Not one Democrat voted against" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285836)

You can vote right wing or you can vote left wing but both wings are on the same bird.

Re:"Not one Democrat voted against" (4, Funny)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286036)

You can vote right wing or you can vote left wing but both wings are on the same bird

That Uncle Sam is flipping you.

Re:"Not one Democrat voted against" (1)

rdtreefrog (1092265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286434)

I've never heard this said better.

Re:"Not one Democrat voted against" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286452)

Only two groups of people would naturally vote against this law: Anarchists, as a group, and ideological non-surveillance-believers, as a special interest group (by definition).

For all other political movements, as much surveillance and total control as possible is fucking great. There is NO political movement that isn't well served, when having power, by surveillance.

Obviously in your view republicans are fascists, which makes them likely to vote for this. How funny that at least some voted against. May I also point out that modern Democrats are not to any extent anarchist - in fact, your US Democrats seems to be to have been inspired as of late by European social-democrats. And for a social-democrat, which is pretty much inspired by socialism with lighter touch and the view that people must be educated into the egalitarian communal society under the care and guidance of the wise state rather than pushed, an all-encompassing state is as natural as drinking water.

May I point out that in the modern Germany, they were going to ban a nazi party, but couldn't because the illegal material had been written by a cohort of infiltrated special agents acting in-role. In the EU, they are now implementing a directive that details of all internet traffic and emails must be logged. Wake up and see the world - every country in the entire world is moving towards far greater surveillance than in the past.

Anarchism has about 0 supporters on the modern political stage. The few remaining who oppose surveillance are funnily enough more the 'the only fair society is where everyone fends for themselves' and 'the state is always bad' conservatives.

Here we go (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285856)

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

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

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

Re:Here we go (0)

yenne (1366903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286002)

Playing the Devil's Advocate, everything you just said is already true for fingerprints, except the bit about implicating others with close fingerprint profiles.

Anyone with serious objections to this new law ought to have a response to this comparison, or show evidence for how fingerprinting has been abused to do more harm than good.

Re:Here we go (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286086)

Oh, I totally agree with you. Fingerprinting of innocent arrestees is also a serious problem and I STRONGLY oppose it for many of the same reasons I strongly oppose collection of DNA from non-proven-guilty felons.

DNA, however, is even worse. Like fingerprints, you leave it around everywhere, but unlike fingerprints, DNA gives them a huge wealth of information about you in the DNA, itself. Fingerprints say almost nothing about someone, they can just be used as an identifier.

Re:Here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286214)

Mod parent up - Fingerprint databases have existed for decades for the purposes of assisting law enforcement. Fingerprint data is collected at the time of arrest, and that data is never expunged even in the event of acquittal of charges or dropped charges. Fingerprints not perfect, no identification system is, but the probability of false positives in fingerprint analysis is outweighed by the sheer volume of true positives.

I can see the potential for abuse of this data, but the government already has plenty of data about every citizen that they could abuse if they chose to - adding DNA collected from people who are suspected of serious crimes does not make me any more worried than before.

Re:Here we go (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286396)

except the bit about implicating others with close fingerprint profiles.

That's actually entirely possible with finger prints, they are not unique.

http://truthinjustice.org/fingerprint-myth.htm [truthinjustice.org]

In 1998, in Delaware County, Pa., Richard Jackson was sentenced to life in prison for murder based largely on a fingerprint match to which three experts had testified. The defense argued, unsuccessfully, that it was a bad match. But after Jackson spent more than two years in prison the prosecution conceded the error, and he was freed. In Scotland a murder case was upended when detectives found a fingerprint at the scene of the crime that belonged to a police officer -- who claimed she'd never been there in the first place. To verify her claim, she brought in two fingerprint analysts who attested that not only had her fingerprint been misidentified, but so had the print, found on a tin at the home of the accused, originally attributed to the victim.

As these cases suggest, the relevant question isn't whether fingerprints could ever be exactly alike -- it's whether they are ever similar enough to fool a fingerprint examiner. And the answer, it's increasingly, unnervingly clear, is a resounding yes. A recent proficiency test found that as many as one out of five fingerprint examiners misidentified fingerprint samples./quote

Re:Here we go (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286006)

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

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

There. Fixed that for ya.

Re:Here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286340)

The data WILL be shared with other agencies- state, fed, international, and commercial for the purposes of targetted advertising

Fixed THAT for ya.

Re:Here we go (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286076)

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

Once the government gets a hold of your fingerprints:

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

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

Re:Here we go (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286162)

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

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

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

Re:Here we go (1)

yenne (1366903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286390)

Look at the bright side, though:

"You've been cleared, Mr. Dodger. Sorry for all the inconvenience. On the other hand, your DNA shows markers for pancreatic cancer, and we strongly suspect that the man who bailed you out is not actually your father. Have a nice day."

Did I just step in it?

Re:Here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286466)

Add this to the list:

DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated....http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/science/18dna.html?_r=1

When DNA testing became the latest way to prove a crime we jumped on it. In Oklahoma City/County DNA results were used to prosecute and jail a lot of people. It turns out, years and years later, many of the results were tainted and incorrect resulting in many innocent people being jailed for 10 to 20 years of their lives. That is messed up.

The downside of a DNA database (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285894)

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

Re:The downside of a DNA database (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285972)

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

Re:The downside of a DNA database (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32285976)

because they refuse to cross reference the DNA database. They know that if they did, they would find duplicates from DNA from different people. This is because it's not your whole DNA that is being compared, but just a very small set of markers that have a good probability of being unique. Unfortunately, reality is never so neat.

Basically, finding that the way we compare DNA allows for false positives means that anyone who was convicted solely on DNA evidence must be immediately released from prison, guilty or not, since there is no a reasonable doubt.

Having a national database of DNA means they can compare your DNA to DNA gathered in other cases. You could be convicted for a crime because of a lie. The lie being DNA evidence is as reliable as society has been led to think

Re:The downside of a DNA database (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286098)

You can track anyone's family ties and forecast certain inherited diseases or disorders - access to such a database would allow insurance companies to allow or deny coverage, raise premiums etc. You can track anyone's heritage, race and according to some check if you have certain 'evil' bits in your DNA thereby including or excluding you from a list of suspects of a crime or 'protect society' against future crimes (see Minority Report). You could track down (yours or others) families against their will (eg. fathers and mothers of abandoned, adopted and single-parent children). In the future you might even be able to clone somebody as a replacement in a political or other scheme (see Manchurian Candidate) or steal somebody's identity by cloning blood samples if DNA ever becomes a universal identifier (like SSN).

The good thing is that you could also check the rate of duplicates in DNA sampling methods. There is a lot of scientific and statistical proof that it is possible that certain DNA sequencing methods used in criminal investigations could result in collisions (like MD5 hashes) however it is unclear at this moment what the 'error rate' of DNA sampling is.

Re:The downside of a DNA database (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286280)

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

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

Not ideal when your country is buried in a mountain of debt.

2. Such databases are of dubious benefit. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I do recall that some enterprising journalist submitted an FOIA request and worked out that for every arrest carried out as a result of the DNA database they'd had to take the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people. At such great expense it would probably have been cheaper and more effective (ie. resulted in more arrests) to simply spend the money on hiring more police officers.

Unfortunately the media loves a government taking a "tough stance" on crime, and there's nothing that gets them excited like a computer system that promises the world, even if it almost certainly will not deliver it.

3. Already mentioned elsewhere: with current technology we don't store all the data that comprises the entirety of a person's DNA - just a subset. Most of the theories concerning how likely a false-positive is to occur have never really seen much testing in reality, so we don't know how accurate they are. What we do know is the number of people you're going to put on the database is high enough that false positives are a dead cert. Bit of a shame, therefore, that most lay juries have spent the last 20 years being brainwashed that DNA evidence is utterly foolproof.

Re:The downside of a DNA database (3, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286446)

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

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

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

Senators (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#32285924)

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

Re:Senators (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286016)

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

Re:Senators (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286238)

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

Re:Senators (2, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286316)

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

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

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

We are looking to tone ours down (3, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286008)

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

Re:We are looking to tone ours down (3, Funny)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286020)

Why do you need DNA databases with all the cameras to capture the event?

Re:We are looking to tone ours down (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286072)

I'll believe it when I see it (& I'll cheer when I see it). However I'm optimistic, given the promise to scrap ID cards & the National Identity Register.

Stuff you'll never see in the USA (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286070)

From link [politics.co.uk] :

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

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

Re:Stuff you'll never see in the USA (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286224)

America is a free country, therefore every government is free to collect any information it wants. :-)

4 All (1, Funny)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286094)

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

They chose to make this law more evil than needed (1)

sjpm (30128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286106)

How hard would it have been to include language that forces the DNA sample and any record of it to be destroyed if your arrest does not result in a conviction?

$75 million? (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286120)

What happened to "responsible spending"? Regardless of if this is a good idea or not, couldn't this money be better used elsewhere or, god forbid, not at all?

The UK is finally getting DNA retention right (4, Insightful)

UpnAtom (551727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286158)

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

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

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

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

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

play fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286160)

all people (!) who were not convicted of a crime but still
had to give their DNA anyway should have full access to the database.

"ACLU?" (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286166)

You can probably be sure that since this was a majority democrat effort, the "ACLU" will do nothing about it. If for some reason (and somehow) the republocrats pushed it through, it would be an outrage and suits would already be pending.

Re:"ACLU?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32286374)

They're already fighting something similar in California. Of course they'll have a problem with this.

"But what if he's innocent . . . ?" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286174)

"No one is innocent!"

This is not new...happened to me. (3, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286416)

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

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

So this bill seems to be nothing new.

Start with the criminals, then the accused... (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32286444)

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

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

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