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SCOTUS Says DNA Collection Permissible After Arrest

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the welcome-to-the-machine dept.

Government 643

schwit1 writes in with news about a ruling on the legality of the police collecting your DNA after an arrest. "A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting. 'Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's five-justice majority. But the four dissenting justices said that the court was allowing a major change in police powers. 'Make no mistake about it: because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,' conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom. Details of ruling available here.

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I knew it would be 5-4 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896501)

Then I was shocked to see Scalia was in the dissenting group.

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (5, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43896591)

Interesting breakdown. Scalia joined 3 of the 4 liberals (Ginsberg, Sotomayer, and Kagan. Breyer broke with the liberals and voted in favor of the opinion. It also means a rare moment where Thomas didn't vote in lockstep with Scalia.

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43896661)

Interesting breakdown. Scalia joined 3 of the 4 liberals (Ginsberg, Sotomayer, and Kagan. Breyer broke with the liberals and voted in favor of the opinion. It also means a rare moment where Thomas didn't vote in lockstep with Scalia.

I'm more surprised that the Scalito brothers didn't vote together.

GATTACA (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43897011)

You are now being slotted.

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43896647)

Blind squirrel, broken clock, pick your cliche.

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896761)

How can someone consider as serious something decided by an institution with a name one letter away from SCOITUS or SCROTUS?

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896827)

Why are you concentrating on trivial things at a time like this?

How can you be complacent when . . . BENGHAZI??????

Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (4, Informative)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#43897007)

Why? Scalia voted against the police scanning houses with IR devices to find growers and against drug sniffing dogs on your property.

What if the person is innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896521)

Naturally, I would expect the innocent victims of this policy to be compensated for the attack. What kind of restitution can they expect?

Re:What if the person is innocent? (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#43896593)

Same restitution you get for having your finger prints & mug shot taken against your will.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (5, Insightful)

myth24601 (893486) | about a year ago | (#43896607)

Doesn't matter. This gives police license to run dragnets for DNA.

They can't solve a case but have DNA and a vague description, they will simply "arrest" anyone and everyone who is a close match to the description on trumped up charges that will be dropped after they get their DNA.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (2, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896747)

They already have license to run said 'dragnet' with your fingerprints. I'm as liberal as they come...and I really don't see the issue here. Now, like fingerprints, once charges are dropped, all such collected evidence should be destroyed.

Basic point, treat it like the other identifiable information they already collect on you. Is this really that hard?

Re:What if the person is innocent? (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43896957)

Now, like fingerprints, once charges are dropped, all such collected evidence should be destroyed.

That is NOT what happens with fingerprints. They are kept as permanent records. In some states, you may petition the court to have them expunged after an acquittal, but very few people do that, and it certainly isn't the default.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896975)

There is the rub: All arrest info is made public, mug shots, fingerprints, names, info, and I would not be surprised that DNA info is free to the asking, or perhaps if there is a contract out for it.

Here in the US, get arrested for any reason, and kiss your career goodbye. Every place past McDonalds checks NCIC listings, and if someone has an -arrest- (not convictions, as supposedly, acquittals can be bought), they are branded as criminals for life.

That arrest at 18 due to MIP? 20 years later, it will deny people work.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43896979)

When did you start thinking that fingerprints were destroyed? That stuff is in a database forever, regardless of any outcome.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (1)

hazeii (5702) | about a year ago | (#43897025)

Not what happens in practice in the UK - over here, we keep an illegal DNA database [guardian.co.uk] of innocent people.

Re:What if the person is innocent? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43896823)

what if the DNA is a false positive match?

Re:What if the person is innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896927)

Nonsense. Police are ALREADY collecting suspects' DNA against their will, and comparing it to evidence. They follow people, and pick up a cigarette butt or other item, and presto. This isn't a tinfoil hat conspiracy, it's been done openly, and the evidence holds up in court.

Welcome to 5 years ago.

hiphopanonymous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896523)

However you can still post comments anonymously.

I dont see the difference (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896525)

I don't see the difference between this and finger printing. If you are going to do either and the person is not found guilty that stuff should all be tossed out.

Re:I dont see the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896579)

I guess it depends on whether or not your DNA is covered under IP law

Would the police be violating copyright? LOL

Re:I dont see the difference (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43896799)

Would the police be violating copyright? LOL

Given that DNA is a form of expression [wikipedia.org] , the answer is positive.

Re:I dont see the difference (5, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43896611)

The difference is, a finger print does not contain medically private data.

Re:I dont see the difference (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896671)

I would think a strip search might show much of that. Heck, to survive a few days in jail I would have to divulge a bunch just to get my meds.

I would hope they are not allowed to share that data with private companies. I am sure insurers are now trying to figure out how to get it.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43896697)

It's what is visually apparent to a layman, but to be able to run computer simulation on a perps genome seems a bit far.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896735)

My medical condition is not visually apparent, but once you see my list of medicine you would know what it was

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43896867)

One could guess, but not know for sure unless you saw my doctor's records.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896913)

Mine you would know for sure. It only has this one purpose. This is for two separate conditions. The third medicine you would figure out based on the first.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43896833)

to be able to run computer simulation on a perps genome seems a bit far

True ... for now.

Re:I dont see the difference (4, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43896907)

Indeed, just looking at future implications.

The point is police can speak to a doctor about my medical HISTORY, not my medical FUTURE.
They cannot read my medical records, nor should they able to sequence my genome and find potential for FUTURE MEDICAL, or if we're looking into future here, risk of FUTURE CRIME (ie propensity for crime, certain damaged genes/code, high likelihood of quantifiable low intelligence.).

The point is you can tell a lot of about a person which is "none of your damn business" so to apeak from their genome, which you cannot tell from a finger print of iris scan.

Fingerprints and irises are non-invasive and reasonably reliable compared to Genome testing for identification of perps. When it comes to privacy I prefer to err on the side of caution and 4 well informed SCOTUS judges.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896783)

Actually I'd bet good money your DNA *is* on the original fingerprint card. Sure it's mixed up and thoroughly hard to get, but it's going to be there on the original card.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43896937)

Agreed, that's what makes this decision SO interesting.

I happen to feel it is unnecessary to identify a perp, so we need to have clear legal guidelines how far a genome can be used in court.

Re:I dont see the difference (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43896851)

Unless something's changed in the past year, forensics does not retain medically-sensitive genetic information. They pick up on random, fast-changing mutations called SNPs which are specifically chosen so that they don't reveal medical information. There was a kerfuffle when it was discovered that one of them might be linked to schizophrenia. The data retention policies are stupidly thuggish, like every other component of US law enforcement, but your medical insurance is not in danger.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Lumpio- (986581) | about a year ago | (#43896881)

A cheek swap does not equate to GATTACA.

Re:I dont see the difference (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43896911)

A cheek swap does not equate to GATTACA.

Yet.

But you have to admit, it had to start somewhere, didn't it?

Re:I dont see the difference (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43896933)

A cheek swap does not equate to GATTACA.

Not yet at least.

How long before school boards decide to start swabbing all children "for their own safety"?

Since this will invariably be done by a for-profit company, that data becomes something forever on file.

I think taking DNA from anybody and everybody is going to cause all sorts of problems down the road.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43896959)

Neither does DNA.

DNA contains many minor (and a few strong) indications of how a particular person's body behaves, but the DNA sequence itself does not account for the person's environmental situation, and it has no notion whatsoever of what the individual considers "private". On the other hand, DNA is left with every fingerprint, so it could be said that a fingerprint does contain that medical data...

The notion that everything medical must somehow be sacredly private is absurd. Security through obscurity hasn't ever worked before, so why should it be our favorite strategy for personally avoiding societal problems? If you have a medical issue that you don't want people to know about, fight for its acceptance in society, rather than fight the myriad ways that people can find out about it.

Re:I dont see the difference (3, Interesting)

twimmel (412376) | about a year ago | (#43897053)

For identification purposes law enforcement labs only analyze at a dozen or so short segments of the DNA. That's why they can do the test so quickly. For example it was technically possible that Bin Laden could have been positively id'd within hours of his capture. Short tandem repeats give very little data, and not enough to characterizes anyone's medical condition. As the ruling says, "Those loci came from noncoding DNA parts that do not reveal an arrestee’s genetic traits and are unlikely to reveal any private medical information."

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896643)

Except your DNA contains about 700 MB of personal information...

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#43896651)

I don't see the difference between this and finger printing. If you are going to do either and the person is not found guilty that stuff should all be tossed out.

Yeah, but is it? I don't think it is, though I haven't looked it up.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896705)

I am sure it is not, but that does not mean it should be that way.

That is a separate problem all together.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896811)

My one time experiencing this (20 years ago in NY) was that once the charges were dropped I was called to come get my fingerprint cards. I.e. they don't keep them.

Of course the new mantra "But Terrorism!" may have changed that...

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896899)

That seems like a totally reasonable thing to do. Assuming they did not make copies.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896701)

It's the difference between being asked for your ID or a copy of your laptop's unencrypted hard drive.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Titus Groan (2834723) | about a year ago | (#43896715)

fingerprints != DNA as they could not conceivably be used to (rightly or wrongly) indicate a "criminal gene" or a predisposition to a disease. At the moment only certain markers are stored in police/federal databases but as gene sequencing becomes quicker and cheaper then whose to say that they won't store the whole lot. The risk of wrongful arrest and my DNA being taken are too high, I do not want the US authorities to "know" something about me medically that I do not know myself, so I will not enter the US until this idiotic ruling is overturned.

Re:I dont see the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896743)

Your DNA is FAR more private than your fingerprints. And neither will be tossed out if the person is found not guilty.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43896797)

You can't put someone on a watchlist, because their fingerprints suggest they are predisposed to commiting future crimes or crimes of a certain sort or because it suggests they have a gene that tends to exist in people diagnosed by the DSM V as having "oppositional defiance syndrome" (meaning you don't like to do what people in authority tell you to do).

Of course, this is all irrelevant, because it's another decade before you don't even have to be arrested to hand over this data as it will be gathered as part of admission to kindergarten.

Re:I dont see the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896819)

A big difference is cost. Running DNA samples from every "major crimes" arrest is going to eat through the police budgets rather quickly.

Re:I dont see the difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896825)

Unlike fingerprinting, DNA provides family history (i.e. you could screen for biological relatives and then the police could go arrest them if their whereabouts are known) and it provides details of your medical status, at least with regards to the genetically inheritable stuff. It's a much deeper and more personal bit of identifying information that has implications beyond merely the person that was arrested. That's why it's dangerous to give the police rights to that information merely upon arrest rather than conviction or at least being charged with a more serious crime than, say, jaywalking or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting arrested while innocent. It's a lot more invasive of someone's privacy than a fingerprint or photograph, and reveals things about other people that weren't even arrested (e.g., the genetics of your biological parents).

Should be noted (4, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43896537)

"Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Thomas, Breyer, and Alito, JJ., joined. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined. "

On no other issue will Scalia, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan all agree with each other.

Re:Should be noted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896625)

A stopped clock is right twice a day...

Re:Should be noted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896905)

Four stopped clocks all showing the correct time once; never before, and never again, is nothing short of miraculous!

Re:Should be noted (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43897021)

What is even stranger is that I find myself in agreement with Ginsbury, Sotomayor and Kagan. Amazing.

New opportunity (3, Insightful)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#43896539)

Can they then sell these public records to a middle man who can extract the relative information and sell it to insurance companies? Because I may have a business proposition for some biology undergrads.

UK Leads here (4, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#43896549)

For once the UK leads the USA in the long, slow slide to a police state. They take them from kids a lot [bbc.co.uk]

Re:UK Leads here (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896583)

Kids who are suspects in a crime. Not everyone under 18 is some angel.

Re:UK Leads here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896691)

As Scalia noted in the dissent, more than one third of Americans are arrested at some point before the age of 23.

MORE THAN ONE THIRD.

Re:UK Leads here (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896755)

That is a different problem, that should be solved.

Odds are we are arresting folks for stuff they are going to be released on their own recognizance the next morning. Instead we should just give them a ticket to appear before the court in the morning if the crime is that minor.

Re:UK Leads here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896901)

I'm not sure on the total population size.

Is more than one third of Americans over or under 9000?

Re:UK Leads here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896829)

Kids who don't understand that most of their Adult peers woudn't except such treatment and would certainly refuse to be swabbed short of being charged.

Arrest and Suspect are very specific terms here.

This is a blatent case of manipulating the Overton Window.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

Re:UK Leads here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896837)

For once the UK leads the USA in the long, slow slide to a police state. They take them from kids a lot [bbc.co.uk]

What's this "long, slow slide"? We (The USA) are there already. Whenever the police push their bounds and it gets to the SCOTUS, they go through the motions, deliberate, and then say, "Yep, the cops can do it." and make some sort of tenuous rationalization on how it's OK by the Constitution.

If I were a cop/federal agent or whatever, I'd do whatever the fuck I wanted knowing that SCOTUS will back me.

Now, the whole IRS thing .... the IRS agents made the mistake of picking on a big corporation. If the IRS agents did what they did to some citizen, you can bet your ass that NOTHING would have happened to them.

In the US, if you're not cop (or a one percenter), you're little people.

Re:UK Leads here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896845)

For once? The UK are the champs. In the USA, our heritage makes many police state items difficult to enact. We haven't, for instance, banned guns.

Re:UK Leads here (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896849)

For once? I guess maybe they started farther ahead of us. i.e. no 5th. I seem to recall a case where they asked an entire town to provide DNA samples to catch a crook. Most complied. The quote that sticks in my memory was from an officer "No they don't have to, but we'd be quite interested in anybody who declines for obvious reasons."

Re:UK Leads here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896969)

They're pushing for the same DNA collection upon arrest [metronews.ca] in Canada. The police are making the usual vague promises about "violent crimes only" and "destruction if innocent" and sadly none of the journalists have pointed out that such a law will give incentive for the cops to "suspect" and arrest all ethnic minorities as soon as a violent crime is committed. And now I'm afraid they'll say "well USA's doing it so we it must be a Good Thing."

Funny enough the police can collect DNA samples already by obtaining a search warrant [victimsofviolence.on.ca] , a practice that has been upheld by the Supreme Court [www.cbc.ca] and is fair enough, but apparently these thugs, I mean cops, don't like the idea of being overseen by judges.

If you're in Canada, please make some noise about this and point out unwarranted DNA collection is just as bad as embryonic stem cell research because it provides the wrong incentives for arrests.

Re:UK Leads here (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43897037)

Don't you have a ton of CC cameras over there?

The real issues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896555)

Why are you concentrating on trivial things at a time like this?

How can you be complacent when . . . BENGHAZI??????

Fascists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896569)

Bunch of worthless corporatist fascist clowns.

Big overweening government wins again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896571)

Please stop voting for the policians that want to give this government EVEN MORE MONEY TO USE AGAINST YOU!!!!

Because when you vote "for everyone to pay their fare share", THIS is how that money will get used.

Re:Big overweening government wins again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896737)

Americans believe they will be rich one day so they vote for the rich instead of themselves.

Re:Big overweening government wins again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896803)

This technology is not very expensive. (or wouldn't be if not made by government contractors) Its probably going to be billed as a cost saving measure reducing the hours of manual searching by cops.

AWESOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896589)

Now put back the start menu.

P.S. this is sarcasm

The government is obsessed with felons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896595)

If I ever committed a felony in the United States, once I got out of jail I would leave the country one way or another. You become a noncitzen after your conviction. What ever happened to rehabilitation?

Re:The government is obsessed with felons (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about a year ago | (#43896763)

If I ever committed a felony in the United States, once I got out of jail I would leave the country one way or another. You become a noncitzen after your conviction. What ever happened to rehabilitation?

The chances are VERY VERY good that you *already* have committed a felony.. With all of the laws that keep appearing from this "government", its getting every harder to *not* become a felon, and I suspect soon it will become totally impossible to avoid.. The "leaving the country" is a good idea, however, *where* would you go? All of the "first-choice" English-speaking countries, England/Canada/Australia are as far down the road to a police state as the US, so going there is a non-starter.. I'm not trolling.. I'd REALLY like to know where one could go to escape the police state taking over America...

Re:The government is obsessed with felons (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896779)

There is no such thing in the USA. Our justice system does not make any such attempt at it. People would oppose that as being soft on crime.

Re:The government is obsessed with felons (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43896949)

You're asking why a country polarized in every conceivable way over every conceivable issue can't spare sympathy for those it has already declared evil. It's just not going to happen.

Meanwhile, the UK has almost eliminated women's prison due to low volume and Norway's rehabilitation program is so good that their reoffending rate is below 30%.

I didn't expect that of Scalia (3, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#43896649)

Scalia is mostly just a conservative hack these days, but sometimes he remembers that he used to have actual principles. Good for him – on this issue, he's absolutely right on the merits.

The majority decision is terrible because it means that if the authorities want your DNA for whatever reason, all they have to do is come up with some excuse to arrest you. They don't have to make the arrest stick, just get you into the system.

Re:I didn't expect that of Scalia (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896861)

I understand your opinion, but how is this different than current handling of fingerprints?

Re:I didn't expect that of Scalia (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43897013)

I understand your opinion, but how is this different than current handling of fingerprints?

Fingerprints can't be used to deny me medical insurance, have me institutionalized against my will, create designer illnesses that only target me personally, etc. etc.

Re:I didn't expect that of Scalia (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43897033)

What decisions make you think Scalia is a "conservative hack"?

I was disappointed in him on Raich v. Gonzales (medical marijuana), but otherwise, he's been pretty good on issues of civil liberties. e.g. Kelo v. New London, Citizens United v. FEC, MacDonald v. Chicago, Florida v. Jardines, etc.

Before blaming the evil right for this ruling... (3, Informative)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year ago | (#43896663)

...let's not forget that it is deep blue Maryland and Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley, widely considered to be eyeing a run at the Democratic nomination for POTUS in 2016, who took this to the Supreme Court over their own MD Court of Appeals, and who is the one shitting all over the 4th Amendment here. The MD DNA Database [maryland.gov] has been one of O'Malley's pet projects for years, and he's advocated its expansion and use for this type of thing since he was Mayor of Baltimore.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (-1, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43896749)

Because Liberals, like O'Malley, believe in a police state. It is much easier to oppress your population and monitor them if you have their fingerprints and DNA on file.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43896813)

Using this sort of logic is not getting you any converts.

Very few liberals believe that and you know it. Such arguments are just driving people away from every agreeing with you.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43897055)

Using this sort of logic is not getting you any converts.

When discussing political extremism, I submit that using any sort of logical argument is akin to screaming at a wall.

Personally, I find complacency ("yea, sure, oppressive group/policy X is getting worse, but there's nothing I can/will do about it") to be a far more dangerous thing than any amount of fanatical extremism, if only by merit of its prevalence in our society; true, foaming-at-the-mouth crazy is actually quite rare (although they tend to scream so loudly they're hard to ignore), but the masses don't seem to have the wherewithal to shut these stupid assholes up.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896987)

Just in case you missed it, the dissenting judges were Scalia, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Three of those are "liberals". By that metric, it's obviously the conservatives that believe in a police state so that they can oppress blah blah blah. Really the lesson to take away from where the justices fell on the issue is that it wasn't along traditional ideological lines. It's almost as if boiling a complex system of political beliefs down into a single axis of liberal versus conservative is stupid.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896991)

It will probably turn out like the monarch of france vs file sharing. He was found guilty of strike one in the first week. May O'malley have his database bite him and his family all over.

Re:Before blaming the evil right for this ruling.. (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43897005)

Because Liberals, like O'Malley, believe in a police state.

Obviously no Conservatives (note capital 'C') would push us in that direction, which explains the ruling of the Conservatives (note capital 'C') on the court, save Scalia.

Dont be stupid (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897045)

Despite everybody thinking in a primitive left and right ONE DIMENSIONAL world, everybody knows that authoritarians existed on the "left" and the "right" if they know anything about Nazi's and Russian Communism.

There is another dimension where people who are completely opposite on the economic scale are identical on the authoritarian scale.

Both parties in the USA are closely related but spend billions highlighting and exaggerating their few differences... yet people are continually surprised when their candidates get in and act more like the opposition than they expected...

Educate yourself: politicalcompass.org

capcha: superset

Facebookification (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43896677)

The problem here isn't so much with the collection of DNA, but the retention. That seems to be a common theme here at the start of the 21st century - data collected for one purpose is then reused for other purposes.

I think it is reasonable for the police to check if someone they've arrested is a convicted felon. But once they've looked you up in their database of convicts, the collected data should be destroyed, be it DNA, fingerprints or even a mugshot. If you are subsequently convicted, they can go and re-collect the data for the purposes of making a permanent entry into the database of convicts.

Re:Facebookification (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43896891)

Not really. It's perfectly reasonable for them to match your prints against unknown prints found at other crime scenes. I suppose I could see waiting until you're 'convicted' before checking you against unsolved crimes, but realistically I'm pretty sure it's done upon arrest and collection of the prints (and now DNA).

What good is the Fourth Amendment? (2)

BinBoy (164798) | about a year ago | (#43896679)

If search warrants are handed out like toilet paper and your DNA isn't protected, what's left?

Re:What good is the Fourth Amendment? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43896765)

The hidden bomb shelter 10 feet underground which has a 90-day food supply, 10,000 rounds of ammo, and an independent power/water supply. That's protected by secrecy.

Re:What good is the Fourth Amendment? (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year ago | (#43896941)

The hidden bomb shelter 10 feet underground which has a 90-day food supply, 10,000 rounds of ammo, and an independent power/water supply. That's protected by secrecy.

Not anymore! [Posting from inside your formerly-secret shelter, munching on your power bars...]

Re:What good is the Fourth Amendment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897015)

not anymore..... and only 90 days?

California has done this for a almost a decade (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896775)

FWIW, california has been doing this for years. [politico.com] . If you are arrested (for anything-- political protest, for example), they will collect your DNA. This information remain in the state database, whether you are convicted or not-- even if you are not even charged. I'm trying to figure out if there's a consistent procedure to get your DNA removed if you're wrongly arrested, but can't find anything from a quick google. I only see a discussion of how it should work (A judge gets to decide) not how it's worked in practice.

FWIW, the CA public VOTED for this [ca.gov] in 2004. 62% to 38%.

Funny thing predicted. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43896859)

People who strongly believe in gun rights, who believe it is fair for citizens to take up arms against the government when the government overreaches its powers, would agree with the SCOTUS and say it is quite fair to take DNA sample at the time of arrest.

And the people who strongly believe this is a government overreach, it is unreasonable and it threatens privacy and liberty, would not advocate taking up arms about this issue. They would argue no matter what, the only legitimate way to fight back is with the ballots and not the bullets.

DNA is too much information (4, Interesting)

sargon666777 (555498) | about a year ago | (#43896917)

I disagree with the likening of DNA to having a mug shot taken or a fingerprint.. Simply because DNA can be used for purposes well beyond what you can use for a mug shot or a fingerprint.. Consider for a moment this currently fictional example... We have a nationalized health care system. Using the same DNA collected we tax an individual based on the likeliness of that individual to contract a certain condition (e.g. diabetes).. -or- We use that same DNA to establish life insurance rates along the same logic.. The problem here is it allows a very large amount of information to be garnered about a persons potential medical conditions without their consent.

Free country? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43896919)

Not anymore. You are all slaves now, with a tag attached.

Why don't they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43896943)

Why don't they change it to "Guilty until proven innocent"? I mean, functionally it already is.

Big, big tinfoil hat here (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43896965)

It may not be immediate, or even soon, but how long until genotyping is cheap enough, and this is applied to the stored DNA? Then studies are done saying people with xyz expressed genes are n times more likely to offend/rape/be violent, whatever.

After that, how long until pre-screening of fetuses, infants, children is done. Do we then start eugenics programs to get rid of it? Treat the difference medically? Change the environment of these individuals before offense? Lock them away preemptively?

It -could- happen.

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