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Convicted Hacker Adrian Lamo Refuses to Give Blood 673

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-so-juicy-cases dept.
CaliforniaCCW writes "Hopefully everyone here remembers the case of Adrian Lamo, a so-called 'gray hat' hacker who plead guilty to one count of computer crimes against Microsoft, Nexis-Lexis and the New York Times in 2004. He got a felony conviction, six months detention in his parents' home, and two years of probation. Today, as a condition of his probation, he must provide a sample of his DNA in the form of a blood sample, something which he has refused to do. Should convicted felons on probation have privacy rights over their DNA? Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?"
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Convicted Hacker Adrian Lamo Refuses to Give Blood

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  • by way2trivial (601132) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:22AM (#15324710) Homepage Journal
    all they have to do is supply the blonde!
    • by Paladine97 (467512) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @01:46PM (#15325477) Homepage
      You have a fatal error. You are assuming the Slash crowd would know what to do with the blonde! I mean, it's hard to get DNA when you ask her to play WoW with you.
    • by CountBrass (590228) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @02:24PM (#15325657)
      Here, if you are arrested (i.e. commit an arrestable offence and are caught) they can take your fingerprints and DNA and photo: permanetly. It is *not* deleted if they don't charge you or you are found not guilty.

      Here's the really neat bit. Since January this year every criminal offence is arrestable. This is includes littering and speeding...

      So there is at least one area in which the UK with it's New Labour government leads the US with it's rabid Reuplican one: destroying it's citizen;s civil liberties.

      • Here, if you are arrested (i.e. commit an arrestable offence and are caught) they can take your fingerprints and DNA and photo: permanetly. It is *not* deleted if they don't charge you or you are found not guilty.

        When I worked in a forensics lab in England in 2003, the DNA was destroyed and the DNA fingerprint deleted from files if they didn't charge you or you weren't guilty. Admittedly, this was 3 years ago and the laws may have changed since then, but just thought I would throw that into the discussi

      • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @02:12PM (#15330228) Journal
        What would worry me even more is if they started moving towards a bastardized old school "inquisitorial system", and start keeping people in remand for a long periods of time for trivial matters. Say they catch you j-walking (or something equally trivial): you are arrested, your DNA is taken, and then they start fishing to see what else they can charge you with. Things start to get blurry and you end up with some sort of Guantanamo Bay situation. Don't get me wrong, I don't like terrororists. But I also don't like secret police and secret trials... that gets too close to Nazi Germany, and Soviet (and some might increasingly say the new Putin-ized) Russia.
  • Patented? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:22AM (#15324713) Journal
    Quite possibly his DNA has been patented by one of the big bio tech firms, and he is just trying to avoid costly litigation.
    • Re:Patented? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kimvette (919543)
      Ah, yes, but don't forget that the government is largely immune to patent litigation, and so are government contractors if it suits the politicians' pet projects well to do so. Check out the fibre optic flexible waterproof splice incident reported in recent months. The owner of the design would have been due several million from the contractor who raided his patent were the government and its contractors were actually required to obey the law as the Constitution demands. I know your post was meant to be a
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:24PM (#15325028)
      On the one hand there is clear neccessity for the governement to establish a foresnic identity system. Finger prints, photographs, age, weight, height, eye color, build, race and gender are all legitimate and well established metric the government collects and wisely uses in our collective best interest.

      One the other hand, DNA is quite different. You can learn from DNA things the govenrment is not entitled to know. Your lineage, your health prospects, your allegries, and any number of personal attributes. From blood you can learn even more. e.g. are you HiV positive.

      So saying DNA and bllod are one more in a long line of useful tools is not a gimme. We have to think it through.

      It is quite clear that infinite knowledge of people is not neccessarily in societies best interest. Or at least our society does not agree that it is. And crime deterence is not the sole purpose of governement. protection of privacy and civil lberties needs to be considered. For example, even prisons and navy ships, the most well watched populations on the planet, do not fully prevent crime. And we certainly would not be willing to subject ourselves to that kind of scrutiny just to reduce crime. So there must be a trade between security and liberty and risk. One should not just blindly always trade liberty for security becuase the trade off is without limit.

      Yet coming back to DNA. unlike everything except finger prints, it's something that ubquitously taints crime scenes, and it's utility is thus so much above any othe rmetric it's foolish not to atleast consider a DNA databse of former felons and possibly even citizens at large. One solution to this might be DNA hashing. perhaps there is a way to hash a DNA sequence in a manner that would be sufficient to establish presence at a crime scene. Or maybe atleast probable cause for further testing of a particular individual without actually having the governement retain DNA samples of innocent people.

      An approach to this would be to identify a long list of biological diversity markers then weed out all the ones know to be associated with any health condition. Then hash these in a way that preserves just enough features to establish likely identity between two samples without revelaing any further details. The govenrment would be required to destroy the original samples and to delete any of the pre-hash specific information. This would have to be done in a manner we can trust them to actually execute this policy. I think this could be done and just to make the point, here's how. Have all testing done in labs in non-networked computers with small hard disks. This would be a physical layer to prevent overt records retention. One could of course imagine ways this could be subverted on a case by case basis but it would impede wholsale collection.

      • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:49PM (#15325156) Homepage Journal
        This would have to be done in a manner we can trust them to actually execute this policy.

        The problem here is that we can't trust the government. We already know that. They said that the SSN would only be used for social security. They said that there would be no new taxes. They said that there were weapons of mass destruction. They said that eminent domain was a tool never to be used for commercial interests. They said that no citizen could be held without a right to a hearing or the ability to contact a lawyer. They said that no person's privacy could be invaded without a warrant. They said the patriot act was only to fight terrorism. They said that they would make no law regarding the establishment of religion. They say that intrastate commerce is magically interstate commerce. I could go on for pages.

        They lie. They lie all the time. They're not lying for our benefit, either — they lie to do us harm, to hide things from us, to get certain people into office (or keep them there), they lie to take our property, our freedom, to erode our rights, and to diminish our ability to hold them accountable.

        You give them your DNA, and they'll swear up and down that they'll hash it and throw away the raw data. But mark my words, that DNA will appear in a database not too long afterwards in the hands of not only the government, but your insurance company, your employer, and your potential spouse.

        Anything you do to extend the power of the government will be misused. Anything. Our government is completely, utterly, absolutely out of control.

        • by mrraven (129238) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:56PM (#15326331)
          Well said and a reason I respect Libertarians although I do not consider myself one. And why don't I consider myself a Libertarian? Because big private corporations ALSO work hard to screw us and the world over, do Microsoft, Enron, Nike, Global Crossing, and large oil companies ring a bell? The real problem is allowing any large organization public OR private control over your life either physical or economic. And yes we may be reliant on corporations for computers, medicine, etc, and the government for roads and other infrastructure, but the goal should be to give large organizations the absolute minimum control over our lives we need to survive.

          Libertarians who fail to realize the corrosive effects of private greed are blind, and leftists who fail to realize the terrible power of the state to oppress us are also blind.
          • Libertarians who fail to realize the corrosive effects of private greed are blind

            No corporation can force me to give them my DNA. No corporation can jail me. No corporation can force me to give them money. No corporation can force me to work for them. No corporation can encourage me to do anything with any force stronger than dissasociation from that corporation's products, services, or opportunity at a job with them. I retain my freedom to travel, speak, act, and so on outside the domain of the corpo

            • by mrraven (129238) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @05:48PM (#15326536)
              As the consumer of the end products of multinational corporations in the belly of the empire of course you are living large, and the people making crap for you in the third world, not so much...

              For example Shell in Nigeria:

              "Oil Spills

              Although Shell drills oil in 28 countries, 40% of its oil spills worldwide have occurred in the Niger Delta10. In the Niger Delta, there were 2,976 oil spills between 1976 and 199111. In the 1970s spillage totaled more that four times that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tragedy12. Ogoniland has had severe problems stemming from oil spillage, including water contamination and loss of many valuable animals and plants. A short-lived World Bank investigation found levels of hydrocarbon pollution in water in Ogoniland more than sixty times US limits13 and a 1997 Project Underground survey found petroleum hydrocarbons one Ogoni village's watersource to be 360 times the levels allowed in the European Community, where Shell originates14.

              Pipelines and construction

              The 12 by 14 mile area that comprises Ogoniland is some of the most densely occupied land in Africa. The extraction of oil has lead to construction of pipelines and facilities on precious farmland and through villages. Shell and its subcontractors compensate landowners with meager amounts unequal to the value of the scarce land, when they pay at all. The military defends Shell's actions with firearms and death: see the Shell Police section below.

              Health impacts

              The Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team observed increased "discomfort and misery" due to fumes, heat and combustion gases, as well as increased illnesses15. This destruction has not been alleviated by Shell or the government. Owens Wiwa, a physician, has observed higher rates of certain diseases like bronchial asthma, other respiratory diseases, gastro-enteritis and cancer among the people in the area as a result of the oil industry16.

              The Shell Police and the Rivers State Internal Security Task Force

              Both Shell and the government admit that Shell contributes to the funding of the military in the Delta region. Under the auspices of "protecting" Shell from peaceful demonstrators in the village of Umeuchem (10 miles from Ogoni), the police killed 80 people, destroyed houses and vital crops in 199017. Shell conceded it twice paid the military for going to specific villages. Although it disputes that the purpose of these excursions was to quiet dissent, each of the military missions paid for by Shell resulted in Ogoni fatalities18. The two incidents are a 1993 peaceful demonstration against the destruction of farmland to build pipelines and, later that year, a demonstration in the village of Korokoro19. Shell has also admitted purchasing weapons for the police force who guard its facilities, and there is growing suspicion that Shell funds a much greater portion of the military than previously admitted. In 1994, the military sent permanent security forces into Ogoniland, occupying the once peaceful land. This Rivers State Internal Security Task Force is suspected in the murders of 2000 people20. In a classified memo, its leader described his plans for "psychological tactics of displacement/wasting" and stated that "Shell operations are still impossible unless ruthless military operations are undertaken."21 Since the Task Force occupied Ogoniland in 1994, the Ogoni have lived under constant surveillance and threats of violence. The Nigerian military stepped up its presence in Ogoniland in January of 1997 and again in 1998 before the annual Ogoni Day celebrations."

              http://www.essentialaction.org/shell/issues.html [essentialaction.org]

              YOU don't killed and exploited by private corporations, others not so much.

              Or Nike in Indonesia:

              "JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Workers at nine Indonesian factories under contract by U.S. sportswear giant Nike say they have either suffered or have witnessed sexual and verbal abuse.

              Laborers also say they were asked to work
            • No corporation can force me to give them my DNA.
              Sure they can, just get thier staff to point loaded rifles at you and i'm sure you'll comply. The only thing there is to stop them doing so is the government.

              No corporation can jail me.
              once again the only reason corps don't imprison anyone is trouble from the govemenment

              No corporation can force me to give them money.
              ditto

              I retain my freedom to travel, speak, act, and so on outside the domain of the corporation with complete impunity, regardless of what they mi
              • You are making up events and situations that do not exist in order to create a contrary talking point for yourself. I do not advocate anything that would lead to the imaginary results you are postulating; I am simply describing the problems that we actually have at the present time. Prospective (however unlikely) solutions, such as forbidding the government from taking one's land barring a specific major military, transport infrastructure, or environmental need will in no way empower corporations totake up
      • One the other hand, DNA is quite different. You can learn from DNA things the govenrment is not entitled to know. Your lineage, your health prospects, your allegries, and any number of personal attributes. From blood you can learn even more. e.g. are you HiV positive.

        Yes, however, the government can covertly get your DNA anyway. Ever dispose of a paper cup? Your DNA is on it, and they have the technology to extract it.

        In Canada, the police have the authority to search most DNA-containing material that

  • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:22AM (#15324714)
    He was convicted of a computer crime. How likely is it that, if he does something similar in the future, it will be of any help to the authorities that they have his DNA on file? I suppose, though, the same goes for fingerprints. If the law is not specific on the subject, I think he has a right to refuse.
    • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:25AM (#15324722) Journal
      Actually, the law is specific on the subject. If you are convicted of a felony, they have a right to keep your DNA on file. I don't think there are any exceptions made for white collar crime.
      • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:33AM (#15324770) Journal
        Well, F me for not Ring TFA. He is refusing to give a blood sample, not refusing to give a DNA sample. His reasons for not giving a blood sample are religious. He offered instead to give hair and nail clippings, both of which he brought in, both of which were refused. So long as he is willing to comply with the law, even if not with the the particular collection method, I think he'll win this.
        • "His reasons for not giving a blood sample are religious."

          I wonder what his religion has to say about breaking the law.

          • If it's derived from any of the Abrahamic religions then it probably says that moral (ie religious) law is above the law of man. And unless it's a *really* new offshoot I doubt they have a specific policy on computer crime....
          • by zakezuke (229119) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @01:13PM (#15325306)
            I wonder what his religion has to say about breaking the law.

            If we are talking God's law in conflict with man's law... you might become a martyr, get a spiffy statue. The Christian bible is mighty clear on the no killig bit, it's rather vague about thy neighbors server.

          • by Catbeller (118204) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @02:50PM (#15325789) Homepage
            And this is said while the FBI is raiding the home of the former number 3 at the CIA; the Vice President is about to be indicted for outing a CIA operation monitoring Iranian nuclear bombmaking; the entire administration has created a nationwide spy operation they didn't feel Justice lawyers needed to be consulted about; the Admin has been running covert special forces ops in Iran for over a year - an act of war, illegally done in secret; the Pres has been outed for secretly delaring war on Iraq on false pretext, killing over 30 thousand civilians...

            What does religion have to say about all that? And why does the "law" care more about a teenager pulling pranks than about slaughtering 30 thousand people for no reason at all?

            I should respect the law, why? The President has adopted Nixon's notion that the President IS the law, and therefore cannot ever break the law. I guess I just suppose this kid is the law, and cannot break it either. Either statement is equally constitutionally correct.

            When the law is obviously manipulated to smash the relatively innocent and pardon the murderous, who cares about it anymore? The law enforcement agencies obviously don't. Powerful people make a call, a kid goes to prison, make another call, and 30 thousand people dead don't count, even as a news story.
        • both of which he brought in, both of which were refused

          I don't know about you, but I'd refuse any sample the convict brought in himself. How do you know it's his hair and clippings?

          Then, they also probably lacked the materials and equipement for taking & preserving anything other than a blood sample.
        • by v1 (525388) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:58PM (#15325211) Homepage Journal
          He is probably well-aware that hair (minus a follicle) and fingernail clippings are both just keratin (chitin?) and contain no biological material or DNA of any sort. (those are the only main two substances he could give a sample of without giving away his DNA, and he knows it) A hair with a follicle however, contains DNA. That's why he brought them in instead of offering them on the spot, to make sure he didn't lose a hair with a follicle etc. He knows what he is doing, and it's highly unlikely that religion is his main concern. (unless it's against his religious beliefs to get caught a second time...)

          Puting that aside for the moment, I am very much against the manditory collection of DNA except in the event you are the suspect of a crime and DNA would prove your innocence/guilt. Pre-emptive DNA harvesting for the purpose of establishing a database should not be legal.
          • Pre-emptive DNA harvesting for the purpose of establishing a database should not be legal.

            Even if it was, it would not stop it from being built. It's amazing what you can get away with when you claim it's for "national security".

      • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:17PM (#15324986)
        I don't think there are any exceptions made for white collar crime.

        Would you find it logical if a convicted burglar, rapist, etc. would need to supply, for example, the MAC addresses of all his computers?

        It's not about white or blue collar crime, but about whether the type of "identification" supplied would actually be useful for the type of crime.

        What will DNA help if the crime does not involve physical presence?

    • Even if the DNA is useful in some way that other evidence would not be - I fail to see how this would be the case, since there are a myriad of other ways to tie a suspect to a computer used for hacking - This seems pretty invasive - could a DNA sequence not also be generated from a hair sample or skin cells from the inside of the mouth, which are comparitively less invasive? While the law specifies that a blood sample must be provided, it would seem to be grounds for constitutional challenge if it does not
    • by Scrameustache (459504) * on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:37AM (#15324791) Homepage Journal
      He was convicted of a computer crime. How likely is it that, if he does something similar in the future, it will be of any help to the authorities that they have his DNA on file?

      Not likely at all.

      This isn't about his crime and prevention/ease of conviction. This is about gathering DNA of everyone they can. Pictures, fingerprints, blood samples, they want it all, from everyone. They start with convicted criminals, because no one cares about their rights. Then they added people flying in (only pics and fingerprints for now, baby steps, baby steps).

      The phone calls of everone, add a lil' voice recognition software, cameras all over the place, GPS transponders in every car, RFID in every compulsory ID cards.

      They're creating a perfect police state, and we're letting them.
      • This is about gathering DNA of everyone they can.

        Well, except that one can easily avoid this type of collection by the rather simple expedient of not committing felonies. Me, I don't much care for the idea of spending a couple of years in a 9x12 cage, so I don't do things that would tend to lead to that outcome either.

        • Frog soup (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Scrameustache (459504) * on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:34PM (#15325075) Homepage Journal
          Well, except that one can easily avoid this type of collection by the rather simple expedient of not committing felonies.

          When they came for the felons, I said nothing, because I was not a felon...
  • Crossing a line? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by E-Rock (84950) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:24AM (#15324717) Homepage
    I can't exactly say why, but taking an imprint of my finger doesn't seem like a big deal where taking my blood and analyzing my DNA seems a bit invasive.

    Maybe they had the same debate back when the line was between taking down a physical description and taking an imprint of my finger. We all know how that one worked out.
    • before fingerprints were decided to be unique per person, law enforcement used to use all sorts of interesting methods of biometrics.

      even measuring head bumps...

    • by HairyCanary (688865) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:25PM (#15325031)
      Easy. We're pretty sure we know the extent of information that can be determined about you by your fingerprints. Not true for DNA. Not only do we not know the complete extent of information that can be determined from your DNA, with what little we do know, it is already too much. More than mere identification, for sure.
  • by Manip (656104) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:25AM (#15324721)
    If you think that is bad (having to provide DNA after being *convicted*) you must not have been to jail in the United Kingdom...

    Over here if you are arrested for things like littering, speeding, drunkenness and other minor infractions the police are legally entitled to take a DNA sample (and they DO from just about everyone).

    You can refuse the order either... If they want a sample they are getting a sample...
    • >Over here if you are arrested for things like littering,

      no we aren't

      >speeding,

      boo hoo, you wanted to endanger other peoples' lives to show off how fast your car is. and you're only arrested if it's like 2x the speed limit or blatantly dangerous, otherwise points and a fine.

      >drunkenness

      wrong again, but you can be arrested for being drunk and disorderly. if you're going to get pissed and also act like a twat then who cares that you have to spend a night in a cell.
    • It used to be that samples would be destroyed and data erased if the police didn't charge you or you were acquitted. (You even had the right to go to the polie station with your lawyer and see them being physically destroyed.)

      They still do this with fingerprints, but *not* with DNA. Now, even if you're provably innocent and only arrested due to police error, prejudice, etc., they still keep your DNA profile in a database. And they keep the actual samples too, so that they can get a reading of your complete
  • by LamerX (164968) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:26AM (#15324725) Journal
    I'm pretty sure that because he's a convicted felon, that he doesn't posess the same rights as a regular citizen. I don't think he can even vote. Bummer to get caught.
    • Some do. Some don't. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by leftie (667677) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:31AM (#15324760)
      Did they take a DNA sample from former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham when they put him in jail for taking bribes from defense contractors?

      This guy didn't do close to anything as bad as Cunningham.
      • Did they take a DNA sample from former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham when they put him in jail for taking bribes from defense contractors?

        The list of qualifying federal offenses for DNA collection was pretty dramatically expanded back in 2004 (google on H.R. 5107, the "Justice For All" Act, for details) to cover pretty much all federal felony convictions, so yeah, they almost certainly did collect DNA from Cunningham.

  • by Gord (23773) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:28AM (#15324734) Homepage
    > "Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?"

    I'm still yet to be convinced that the government should, or needs to have, a record of everyones fingerprint, let alone DNA.
  • For example, they can't vote
  • WTF?!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schon (31600) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:28AM (#15324740)
    is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?

    Why the fsck should *everyone* provide fingerprints to their government?

    • It's called "biometric passport" and it is required for every non citizen to enter the U.S. So in reverse, it is required for every U.S. citizen if they want to go abroad. (They might be gun owners, so just a step till fully grown terrorists, you know?)
    • Re:WTF?!?! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      well if there was a national register of DNA and finger prints then it would be rather quite easy to find the person who committed any crime... it seems like it would cut the spending which is needed on poilce resources and because of the huge increase in probabilty of catching criminals it would certainly cut the crime rate (so long as at least some of the criminals are rational). I don't even see an arguement against it on grounds of civil liberties; if someone wanted to set you up then they could just a
      • Re:WTF?!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BVis (267028) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:03PM (#15324914)
        This is, of course, assuming that you WANT your government to treat everyone like a criminal.

        I'd prefer that they didn't. If they want my DNA or my fingerprints, they can bloody well get a warrant signed by a judge. If they can't get that, then the Constitution protects my privacy. Bloody annoying, that Fourth Amendment. Requiring that "due process" and all. After all, law enforcement is entitled to be autocratic and lazy and just demand whatever they want on a pretext.

        Pretty soon they'll want to put black boxes in your car.. oh wait, we already have those. Then they'll want to video tape you for the sole reason that you've driven down a street.. oh, we've got those too. Then they'll want to know about every phone call you make whether you've been accused of a crime or not.. oh, wait, we just found out about that one this week.

        Amazingly enough, there are people who think a police state is a GOOD thing. I like to call those people "idiots" and would like to extend the police state to regulating their ability to breed, telling them it's to prevent terrorism. Fixes the problem neatly and ironically.

    • Disclaimer , from the reaction I am guessing you are from the US. Well, WTF why do I have to give a fingerprint to your governement every time I have to travel in the US ? Not even counting other data they get through APIS CAPS or whatever.
  • by Professr3 (670356) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:30AM (#15324750)
    Well, the way I see it, a government could perform executions by requesting 10,000 copies of a DNA sample, if a person is required to give DNA to any government person that wants it. It's kind of hard to kill someone with 10,000 index finger print copies... It'd just waste a lot of time.
  • from the article: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seezer (842248) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:30AM (#15324752)
    According to his attorney, Lamo's refusal is based on a religious objection to giving blood, and he's willing to provide his DNA in another form.
    "He went in there with fingernail clippings and hair, and they refused to accept it, because they will only accept blood,"
    • Jehovah's Witnesses carry cards, or wear wrist straps that say "No Blood" there have been court cases surrounding this.
      Link here [wikipedia.org]
  • Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:34AM (#15324778) Homepage Journal
    I can see his line of thought, why would they need his DNA when his crime didn't involve anything that would require him to be traced via DNA. Seems like they need samples of his IP more ;). On a more serious note, it is worrying to see a trend in the creation of nation-wide databases of DNA, although it could be argued that they are very effective in tracing criminals, it also goes against some of the basic freedoms that we enjoy in living in such a country.
    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by humphrm (18130) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#15324856) Homepage
      As has already been mentioned several times, those "basic freedoms" you speak of apply to law-abiding citizens; there is no such protection for convicted felons. And, indeed, he plead guilty.

      There is plenty of freedom at work here. His freedom to refuse. Note that they are not tying him down and forcing a needle into his arm. His freedom to choose more court proceedings and possibly a five year prison sentence over violating his religious beliefs.

      The law is the law, but in this case the law is probably pretty weak, since he did offer up his DNA in another form. I am willing to bet that a judge might very well order the probation department to accept his alternate DNA, if he behaves himself.
  • by Silverhammer (13644) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:37AM (#15324790)

    If it's a condition of his probation to which he agreed in order to stay out of prison, then he has no standing on which to object now. End of discussion.

    On the other hand, if the requirement of blood (to the exclusion of other types of samples) is a generalized statute that was enacted after his probation was handed down, then he may have a case. TFA is unclear on the timeline.

    • If it's a condition of his probation to which he agreed in order to stay out of prison, then he has no standing on which to object now. End of discussion.

      Generally I agree with the sentiment that contracts should be binding. If you get a loan and don't pay it back, the bank has the right to seize the collateral. If you get paid to do a job and don't, you should have to give the money back (plus damages). I'm a believer in civil suits for breach of contract. I believe that there should be few (if any) re

  • Should convicted felons on probation have privacy rights over their DNA? Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?

    Felons? I suppose it depends on whow serious the crime is, if the person in question committed murder, rape, child rape or some equally serious crime I suppose that sample taking can be justified, but should we DNA record every person that breaks the law right down to a casual shoplifter? As for it being mandatory to hand over your DNA p
  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:45AM (#15324827)
    "Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?"
    At birth, "just in case", huh?

    Here are two particular movies the submitter urgently ought to get for the weekend:

    1. GATTACA [imdb.com]
    2. Minority Report [imdb.com]

    Hopefully he'll be able to do so while neither a blood sample nor a fingerprint are considered "something that everyone should provide at video rental" just yet.
  • Retention policy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#15324851)
    On a related note, what's the law regarding retention of stuff like DNA data, fingerprints, etc? For example, if my next door neighbor got murdered, I might get asked to provide my fingerprints to rule me out as a subject. I might be willing to do this (provided I'm not actually guilty) but what happens afterwards?

    Are there restrictions for situations like this that only allow the authorities to use such data for only a specific case? Or does my data get permanently entered in a general database, to be automatically scanned for any and every crime in the future?

    I'm not against cooperating with the police, but if it's the later, I'd be extremely wary of volunteering for such things.
    • Re:Retention policy? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Shadyman (939863)
      AFAIK, there was a case where they did this with a rape suspect.. Got his DNA to rule him out of a murder trial, but they used it to convict him in the rape trial.
    • Re:Retention policy? (Score:3, Informative)

      by asuffield (111848)
      Your data is permanently kept, so that if ever one of the other few dozen people who have near-identical fingerprints to you (in the US alone) commits a crime, you can be charged with it, thereby reducing the number of unsolved cases. It's a form of patriotism.

      Sadly I'm not joking.
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @01:17PM (#15325331)
      On a related note, what's the law regarding retention of stuff like DNA data, fingerprints, etc? For example, if my next door neighbor got murdered, I might get asked to provide my fingerprints to rule me out as a subject. I might be willing to do this (provided I'm not actually guilty)

      A woman was raped and killed in a small town on Cape Cod. So what did the police do? Set up DNA collection stations around town and asked men to submit DNA samples. [google.com] "Well, nobody said 'if you don't submit a sample you must be guilty'"m you say? WRONG.

      "A few people have declined to give samples, according to news reports. Police said investigators will closely watch individuals who fail to "volunteer" their genetic code."

      "Well, if you're innocent, you won't mind us taking your DNA."

      "Well, if you're innocent, you won't mind us searching your car."

      "Well, if you're innocent, you won't mind us searching your house."

      Doesn't work that way. NEVER has, NEVER will. If I'm innocent I don't HAVE to give you my DNA, or let you search anything- I'm INNOCENT. If the police or prosecutors of a crime wish to collect evidence from you or your personal property, they need search warrants- and they don't just hand those out for shits and giggles over at the local court. What is frightening is that 5-10% of the population of Truro apparently felt it was OK for the police to just ask for their DNA- and gave it!

  • Big time criminals used to get hanged or chopped into bits in the middle ages.

    Not too long ago, they might get the electric chair!

    Nowadays, hardened, dangerous criminals get detention at their parents' house.

    Really, soon I won't even be afraid to walk the streets at night anymore.
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:54AM (#15324868) Homepage
    When you're a convicted felon, you pretty much lose your right to privacy. Whether you're sentenced to prison or probation, it doesn't matter. Giving a DNA sample is not much different than having to give you fingerprints, which you're required to do when you're arrested, not even convicted.

    So personally, I have no problem with it. Don't want to give up your DNA? Don't commit crimes.

    Look, more and more, DNA is being used in investigations and that's a good thing. It's getting innocent people out of prison and it's putting guilty people away. As much as I have issues with the government and invasion of privacy, I don't have issues with the police enforcing the law and using the tools available to them to solve crimes.

    Once you're convicted, the law makes the assumption that you have a tendency towards crime, so they collect data that will help them catch you if you do it in the future. That makes sense. That's why they've been taking fingerprints and mug shots since those two pieces of information have become part of fighting crime. They're tools that are, for the most part, used for very good things.

    The guy broke the law, got convicted, and if the police feel they need a DNA sample as part of their ability to enforce the law in the future, then I'm totally okay with that.

    Now, that said, once his sentence is completed and he's no longer on probation, then no, they shouldn't be able to come collect this data from him. Once you've served your time, unless there's a compelling reason to believe otherwise (such as being a suspect in a new crime), you should have your right to privacy back. But as long as you're serving, whether in prison, or at home, you don't. It's that simple.
  • not the same (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sidb (530400)
    There are some important differences between fingerprints and blood that get glossed over by calling them both just means of identification. Blood has historically been regarded as much more private than fingertips. Plus, the more we learn about genetics, the more powerful that DNA becomes. The government could theoretically start analyzing it for different genetic traits. They could probably clone you someday soon. Not that they couldn't just follow you around and pick up your hair, of course, and sure, th
  • >Should convicted felons on probation have privacy rights over their DNA? Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?

    This is an interesting issue, but unfortunately not the one Lamo is raising. According to TFA, Lamo is refusing to give a blood sample, but is prepared to give other forms of DNA (nail clippings and hair). His reasons seem to be religious and aren't based on any privacy concerns.

  • by Rainbird98 (186939) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:02PM (#15324911)
    If the NSA can tap your phone. Surely the cops can tap his toilet. Instant DNA.
  • Simcurity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:18PM (#15324991) Homepage Journal
    His DNA is like his fingerprints: if he left it in public, the government can just collect or copy it. Otherwise,

    Fourth Amendment [findlaw.com]
    " The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
  • Probation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deanj (519759) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:52PM (#15325177)
    It's a condition of his probation. If he doesn't want to give it, that's up to him: Probation revoked.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @05:29PM (#15326453) Journal
    This is retarded, what do they need blood for they can get DNA without blood and besides what has he done or what do they suspect him of doing that would have anything to do with matching his DNA, is he a rapist now? No, this is basically a punishment, they want to show him who's boss, they know he'll have a problem with it so they're doing it to piss him off - cruel and unusual punishment is unconstitutional and they are fucking morons who should go and find some murders instead of eating donuts.
  • Just give the blood or spend two years in jail. Like most branches of government, the judicial system is incapable of common sense, and corruption aside, will enforce every law and follow every procedure to the letter without fail, right or wrong.
  • by CharlieG (34950) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @08:00PM (#15327075) Homepage
    In some ways - it's quite simple. He can refuse the terms of the probabtion (other criminals have done so) - the down side is you get to stay in the pen - BUT if you stay your full term, and walk out - there IS no probabtion terms

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