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Vast DNA Bank Pits Policing Vs. Privacy 275

Posted by Zonk
from the you-have-nothing-to-hide-right-citizen dept.
schwit1 writes "Today a Washington Post story discusses the vast U.S. bank of genetic material it has gathered over the last few years. Already home to the genetic information of almost 3 Million Americans, the database grows by 80,000 citizens a month." From the article: "'This is the single best way to catch bad guys and keep them off the street,' said Chris Asplen, a lawyer with the Washington firm Smith Alling Lane and former executive director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. 'When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on.'"
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Vast DNA Bank Pits Policing Vs. Privacy

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  • Bad guys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liangzai (837960) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:42PM (#15463189) Homepage
    But which people are the bad guys is subject to continuous change. Yesterday it was the rapists and murderers. Today it is the filesharers. Tomorrow it is the occasional book reader.
    • Tomorrow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, tomorrow it will be any individual who isn't a member of the government or a government-approved corporation.
    • Or worse yet, what about them gathering info about merely suspected bad guys? I recall several years back there was a serial rapist in Ann Arbor, and the police requested that men fitting the general description of the suspect ("black male") submit DNA samples to ensure their innocence [umich.edu]. After the culprit was caught, police intending on retaining those DNA samples for future use. It took years before the resulting lawsuits from the innocents forced the police to give up that information, but even back in
    • I can't even comprehend how it is that most people can hear the term "bad guy" and not feel as if they were being spoken down to.
    • Re:Bad guys (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zemran (3101)
      And we have just found genetic material on a rape victim in Taiwan proving that not only are you a rapist but that you were in Taiwan illegally without a visa. How are you going to prove your innocence?

      There has already been a case of mistaken identity with DNA evidence when a British guy was accused of a rape commited in Italy even though he had never left the Britain. When these databases get too large the idea that no two are the same goes out the window because they only look at so many points and it
  • Bad guys? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oldsmobile (930596) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:45PM (#15463196) Journal
    What I find interesting is the term "bad guy". It seems I've been hearing this alot lately. It is like some strange code word, and when that label is applied to someone, they instantly become a target that can be killed, arrested, abused, even tortured without a guilty consciense.

    For instance, in numerous television interviews, troops in Iraq talk about bad guys, cops on the street talk about them, inteligence agency agents talk about them etc.

    I'm kind of worried, is this the new code word for sub human? For unexplaned threat?
    • Re:Bad guys? (Score:2, Insightful)

      See also "Unsermench," as in Jew, gypsy, intellectual, homosexual, etc.
    • Re:Bad guys? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arker (91948) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:00PM (#15463265) Homepage

      It's just todays politically correct way of saying untermensch.

      • Re:Bad guys? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shelled (81123)
        I thought it was 'enemy combatant'.
    • Re:Bad guys? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zenhkim (962487)
      > What I find interesting is the term "bad guy". It seems I've been hearing this alot lately. [...] I'm kind of worried, is this the new code word for sub human? For unexplaned threat?

      To paraphrase Dave Letterman, "You shouldn't be worried. ....You should be TERRIFIED!!" (From the Viewer Mail segment where someone submitted a through-the-passenger-window photo of a GE-brand airline jet engine.)

      I'd say that your intuitive unease is spot-on: this sounds like yet another [double/new]speak term for "anyone w
      • Also notice that "family values" proponents frequently harken back to those past times when things were oh, so better. Seldom does anyone point out that black people and women couldn't vote and black people were treated as a subclass as a matter of policy. The "good old days" is such a load of crap because they were not as good as everyone remembers. Coincidentally, some of the "family values" proponents also seem to be the same folks that want to get rid of New Deal safety nets and roll back some of the
    • If it makes you rest any easier, I've heard police officers and prosecutors use the term for at least ten years now.
    • Thanks, I was going to post something similar.

      I remember when we had bad actions. Most people do some good actions, and most people do some bad ones from time to time as well, though some are worse than others. Crimes, they were called.

      Now, we have bad people. Paedophiles. Illegal immigrants. Terrrrrists. Filesharers. You know.

      "Hey, you're a bad person. So we're going to give you all these labels. And lock you away; you don't deserve to be free. And take away many of your rights; you don't d

  • What a dolt. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuang@g ... com minus distro> on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:45PM (#15463197) Homepage
    "'This is the single best way to catch bad guys and keep them off the street,' said Chris Asplen, a lawyer with the Washington firm Smith Alling Lane and former executive director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. 'When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on.'"

    In other words, "It's not a crime if you don't get caught." I guess I should start robbing the estates of the dead. They wouldn't know about it, so I guess I should be able to do it. Or actually, no, you idiot. Just because no one knows about it doesn't make it any better. In fact, it makes your actions more cowardly.
    • Re:What a dolt. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#15463382) Journal
      If you made it to the end of TFA, there's another disturbing quote from that same guy:
      But Asplen of Smith Alling Lane said Congress has been helping states streamline and improve their DNA processing. And he does not think a national database would violate the Constitution.

      "We already take blood from every newborn to perform government-mandated tests . . . so the right to take a sample has already been decided," Asplen said. "And we have a precedent for the government to maintain an identifying number of a person."
      Translation: If I had my way, we would be doing this now, without any debate, because I think it is justified under existing laws and precedents. And we'd do it from birth.

      That really puts his "When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on" statement into another light.

      /Insert Gattaca [imdb.com] comment here

      • Re:What a dolt. (Score:5, Informative)

        by orthogonal (588627) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:39AM (#15464841) Journal
        Translation: If I had my way, we would be doing this now, without any debate, because I think it is justified under existing laws and precedents.

        This reminds me of a certain Unitary Executive [rawstory.com] and his henchmen [usatoday.com].

        Let's understand that the FBI prefers not only to keep the DNA database (which records only thirteen "genes"), but also the original sample, from which the donor's entire genetic code can be recovered.

        Nowadays, the government doesn't discriminate against Jews. On May 14th 1940, it would have been perfectly safe for Anne Frank to have her "Jewish DNA" recorded by the Dutch government. On the next day, the Dutch government surrendered to Nazi Germany, and suddenly any Dutch government records were, legally and in fact, German government records.

        Someone will shout "Godwin!" at this point, and some other patriotic American will claim, "it can't happen here."

        Oh?

        Ask your Japanese-American friends what happened to their grandparents in the America West in 1942. Or ask the parents of any your black friends about how, even after World War II, a black man risked his life if he tried to vote and broke the law if he used the wrong water fountain in many of these United States.

        Or ask a gay man about how before Bowers, he could be put in prison for what he did with other consenting adults behind the locked doors of his own house.

        Plenty of zealots, scientifically correct or not, have claimed to find genes that mark for "Jewishness" or "Negro blood" or even "criminal tendencies" or "homosexuality". Plenty of times, these zealots have gotten their prejudices written into laws: Nuremberg laws [ushmm.org], Jim Crow laws, or, in 1927, the U.S Supreme Court's upholding of the forced sterilisation of Americans based on then-prevailing genetic theories:

        In 1924, a teenager in Charlottesville, Virginia, Carrie Buck, [cfif.org] was chosen as the first person to be sterilized under the state's newly adopted eugenics law. Ms. Buck, whose mother resided in an asylum for the epileptic and feebleminded, was accused of having a child out of wedlock. She was diagnosed as promiscuous and the probable parent of "socially inadequate offspring."

        A lawsuit challenging the sterilisation was filed on Ms. Buck's behalf. Harry Laughlin, having never met Ms. Buck, wrote a deposition condemning her and her 7-month old child, Vivian. Scientists from the ERO attended the trial to testify to Vivian's "backwardness." In the end, the judge ruled in the state's favor.

        On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case Buck v. Bell (1927), ruled 8-1 to uphold the sterilisation of Ms. Buck on the grounds she was a "deficient" mother. Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., an adherent of eugenics, declared "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

        According to University of Virginia historian Paul Lombardo, evidence was later revealed that supports the claim that Carrie Buck's child was not the result of promiscuity; Ms. Buck had been raped by the nephew of her foster parents. School records also indicate her daughter Vivian was a solid student and had made the honor roll at age 7. A year later, Vivian died of an intestinal illness.

        Then, the zealots' hobbyhorse was eugenics. Today the politicians keep the people worked up by riding the hobbyhorses of "the war against terrorists" and "homosexual marriage". But Big Government has demonstrated time and time again that there are things with which it cannot be trusted. Our genetic codes are clearly one of those things that Government will eventually misuse. Our only defense is to prevent Government from getting it

    • In other words, "It's not a crime if you don't get caught."

      No subtlely differnt. It's not a crime if the victim doesn't notice. You can still get caught, just make sure they never find out.

      Most government crimes occur in this way. People find out what's going on, but no one is brought to justice. Instead, the whole operation is shut down, and the powers that be do their utmost to make sure the victims remain ignorent.

      So in short, the FBI can install X-10 cams in your bathroom and walk away scott free if you
  • Fair? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chills42 (750137)
    Just because something is fair does not make it good.
  • Frightening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by l5rfanboy (977086) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:49PM (#15463218)
    'When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on.'

    I would be greatly interested in a link to just who has had their data collected, and their collection methods. I do not want (and I am far from alone in this) the government keeping tabs on me or archiving my personal habits into some large database that will be used against me in the future. I have never been indicted nor found guilty of any crime and as such there is no reason for the government to retain such information.

    • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:15PM (#15463333) Journal
      I have never been indicted nor found guilty of any crime and as such there is no reason for the government to retain such information.
      EXACTLY.

      The problem with a DNA database is that everytime they run a search against it, everyone in the database is a suspect.

      "Blah blah blah it's no different than fingerprints blah blah blah"

      You're wrong. It's nothing like fingerprints. My fingerprints are unique.

      With DNA, they can get a partial match based on your relatives. Ontop of that, DNA matching isn't always all that accurate. You can read a lengthy book excerpt [bioforensics.com] that goes in depth.

      DNA evidence isn't always all the prosecutors make it out to be.
      • The problem with a DNA database is that everytime they run a search against it, everyone in the database is a suspect.

        Actually, a bigger problem (not to take away from your point, but to underscore it) is that everyone not in the database is not a suspect. So when you hear them say they have it "narrowed down to two people", of course they mean "it's either these two or perhaps 6 billion not on record, or even 1 million of those who might match all they searched for". But you just know they're going

      • Re:Frightening (Score:4, Interesting)

        by stunt_penguin (906223) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @06:20PM (#15463593)
        Exactly- there's a danger that you may be associated with a crime or criminality because of your relationship.

        What happens if someone goes for a job in, um let's just say a security firm, or a bank, or the army, and they get turned down because your estranged half brother committed credit card fraud 5 years ago on the other side of the country.

        Even worse, that pervy loner uncle that no-one ever talks about much rapes and kills a girl, and they come looking for you because you're a match.

        Even worse in some ways (you can always get an alabi for the occasional criminal accusation, burglary etc) is when big business gets it's hands on the records (which is pretty much inevitable), and withold mortgages from honest people with dishonest relatives.

        Compulsory DNA database? Pffffft. I'm glad I'm Irish, and not for the first time.
    • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nutria (679911)
      I do not want (and I am far from alone in this) the government keeping tabs on me or archiving my personal habits into some large database that will be used against me in the future.

      You mean like the databases that Wal-Mart, Visa & MasterCard, E-ZPass, etc keep, and that the police can access at any time with a valid search warrant?

      Face it: There is no privacy.
      • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

        by l5rfanboy (977086)
        Key words being "with a valid search warrant." If someone has cause to investigate me, sure, investigate me. But I should not appear on a database that they can just troll a gill-net through and discover that I match a stereotype or generality that then makes me a suspect. For them to get a warrant, they have had to convince a judge, which agreed may be easy to do as the subject has no chance to defend against the warrant, but that then creates a lengthy paper trail and requires that the request meet sta
      • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pjt33 (739471)
        You know, there's this great invention which allows people to opt out of those databases, at the cost of slight inconvenience. It's called cash.
        • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Informative)

          O rly?

          Sure, you can avoid Wal-mart for now. But Wal-mart isn't even close to being the only place you'd ever make a financial transaction.

          To stay completely out of the databases, you'll have to forgo making any reservations at hotels, airports, or rental agencies. They pretty all require a credit card on file (usually that's just one tidbit among many).

          And cash doesn't work for big purchases. Assuming you even have the cash for it--most people don't--go down to the nearest car dealership and pay cash
    • by kfg (145172)
      I have never been indicted nor found guilty of any crime. . .

      Until now, refusnik. We'll be watching you.

      KFG
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LockeOnLogic (723968) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:50PM (#15463222)
    Frankly this: "you wouldn't even know it was going on." scares me the most of all.
  • by sedyn (880034) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:50PM (#15463224)
    "This is the single best way to catch bad guys and keep them off the street"

    No, the single best way to keep bad people off the street, is to not allow ANYONE onto the street. But that has its drawbacks too...
    • "This is the single best way to catch bad guys and keep them off the street"

      Why is having bad guys roaming the street always listed as a problem? If there are bad guys on the street, then that means they are away from my home. If I have a car, then I can run them over. What's so scary about criminals on the street? Heck, that's where I'd prefer they be... not at home, next door to me.
  • There's a much worse privacy concern.

    Did you know that whenever you touch anything with your hand, you leave a unique mark on the thing you touched? This mark can be examined to identify you and track where you've been! Everywhere you've been.

    It's a privacy nightmare. Where's the ACLU on this?
    • by mikesd81 (518581)
      his mark can be examined to identify you and track where you've been!

      That's true, to a point. However not every person's DNA/fingerprints are on file. I was born in 1981 and I wasn't finger printed when I was born (well actually foot printed then). Then in school, my mom never had me fingerprinted either when they had the fingerprint drive for kids incase they get abducted. I've never been in trouble w/ the law, except for a traffic ticket here and there. That doesn't mean I'm innocent, it just mea
    • by ebuck (585470) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:59PM (#15463517)
      Finger prints are very hard to fake. Sure, you COULD do it, but DNA is designed to facilitate replication.

      A few dollars and a PCR machine, and there's enough DNA to "taint" anything I want. If I already have the DNA, I can frame someone with DNA "evidence" and the current miseducated jury will proclaim the 100% match to be 100% proof.

      So you should be worried about databases of DNA. There's no worry about using the DNA itself, just the governmental agencies posessing it. If a court orders I give a DNA sample to test against existing evidence, I can't see the easy ability for abuse (I'm not considering the self-incrimination angle.)

      A database is a much different matter.

          Looks like Mr. John Doe has finally gone too far. Pull his DNA file, duplicate it in mass, and
          spread it around the next dead homeless person you find. Who knew he was socially unbalanced and
          liked to kill homeless people? Well, those political activists were always a strange bunch! A
          few years in prison will help him sort is out.

      When did it become appropriate for the government to own a piece of you? A fingerprint is an external feature, but DNA is a part of you. Ceratinly it will be put to noble uses, but like anything that is available, sooner or later it will also be put to much less than noble uses. That's just human nature.
      • Why go to all the trouble to mix up a batch of duplicated DNA? It's just as easy to examine your ISP's server logs and "find" all the child porn sites you've been visiting. You know, the ones that are entirely made up of cartoon drawings. It's illegal to visit those sites, you know. It's right there in the USA Patriot Act. Who knew there were so many pedeophiles out there? The cops just keep finding all this evidence in server logs. Shocking, really.
  • 52 digit number (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dpreformer (32338) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:57PM (#15463251)
    Not commenting on whether I think the database is a good or bad idea beyond stating I think it is bad...

    I do think that once a profile is done and a unique ID (The 52 digit number mentioned in the article and thread title) is developed that the sample can be destroyed. Concerns about new techniques etc are red herrings - if there is a need to do more with a given individuals DNA in a criminal investigation then the authorities should be able to show probable cause to get a new sample and do the analysis. Keeping a sample in storage is an invitation to abuse of the data.
    • Maybe but do you really think that the US government would destroy the data from the profile/the sample? They may say they do, but I guarantee that at some point in time the NSA would have a requirement that all samples be sent directly to them. There may be an archive disk somewhere, or tracking the network. Plus if the profile is a 52 digit number, then who is to say that two or more people will not hash to the same thing. That could result in some real serious false charges that you would have no way
  • You said it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Frightening (976489)
    "and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on"

    And thats EXACTLY why we won't have it.
  • (or someone important for that matter). How hard would it be for an agent of the state to go edit your "dna profile" and swap you with a child molester?

    because we have now been told for years that DNA is 100% infallible, it can never be wrong.
    • You can always have the test redone to show that their dna profile of you is wrong. SCOTUS has already ruled that it is now the right of an accused person to have his dna tested to prove innocence; this should fit under that umbrella.

      But there is probably no way to force the govt to comensate you for your lost time and distress.
  • ...when you pry it from my cold dead cells.

    The sovereignty of the state ends at my skin. Anyone attempting to force a DNA sample out of me will be dealt with in the same manner I would deal with an attempted sexual assault.

    • Anyone attempting to force a DNA sample out of me will be dealt with in the same manner I would deal with an attempted sexual assault.

      If "they" come with a court order compelling you to give DNA, fighting back will just wind up with you in jail for contempt of court and/or resisting a police officer.

    • > ..when you pry it from my cold dead cells.

      Which fall off your skin and float away in the air all the time. It will soon be possible for them to get a DNA sample from the soda can you just emptied, or the doorknob you just gripped, or clothing you've worn, or even by walking past you on the street and sucking up some cells with a special vacuum.

      > Anyone attempting to force a DNA sample out of me will be dealt with in
      > the same manner I would deal with an attempted sexual assault.

      After you get out
  • Just tune in when a speech of the prez is to happen. Full assembly.

    As you can see "bad guy" depends entirely on your point of view and definition. What is a "bad guy"? Someone who robs a bank? Kills someone? Oh, for sure, many people will agree that those are "bad guys".

    What about more "questionable" bad guys? With a complete DNA database, you're save from nothing. Even the tinyest lapse of "good behaviour" has consequences. Even if you don't know it. Thrown away a cigarette stub somewhere? Well, you might
  • Framer's dream (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nagora (177841) *
    How easy is it to transfer a fingerprint? Hard.

    How easy is it to transfer DNA "evidence"? Trivial.

    DNA is the single most worthless piece of crap for proving anything. All these experts talk about is how exact they can be about who's DNA it is, they never talk about how exact they can be about how it got to where it was found.

    TWW

    PS. This is my 3000th and last post. It's been fun and all that but I'm running out of years to be spending them ranting for free on /. Bye bye.

  • It is fair? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Burning1 (204959) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#15463383) Homepage
    "When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on."

    If full scale thermo nuclear war killed everyone in the world, it would be "fair." That doesn't make it reasonable or right.
  • When it's applied to everybody, it is fair, and frankly you wouldn't even know it was going on.

    I honestly don't care that my DNA is on file. I want to know however, about programs which are allowed to use this information, and for what purpose. The overwhelming majority of the people in the U.S. are law abiding citizens(unless you go by *IAA standards) and are willing to at least passively assist in protecting their way of life. To some extent, people will act the way you treat them, so if you treat a po
  • Land of the free! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:38PM (#15463437)
    Requirements for being "land of the free":

    * Take thumbprints, photo and install RFID chip on immigrants (check)
    * Take DNA and thumbs of every citizen (check)
    * Monitor phone calls nation-wide and data transferred over the network (check)
    * Big corporation control the government, government controls the people, people control nothing (check) ... ... ...

    That's some land of the free you got there, guys.
  • by Tom (822)
    'This is the single best way to catch bad guys and keep them off the street,' said Chris Asplen

    Chris, as long as everyone agrees on what exactly a "bad guy" is, this isn't much of a problem. However, with the current US king^H^H^Hpresident already redefining prisoners of war as something else ("enemy combatants") just so he do with them as he pleases, the definition of "bad guy" might not long stay something we all agree upon...
  • by c0d3h4x0r (604141) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @06:04PM (#15463539) Homepage Journal
    I know all the Slashdot fanboys are violently against anyone collecting personal information about them without their permission. I can't say I disagree (at a gut-feel level). But set your emotional disgust and fear aside and think about it.

    Information collection isn't the problem. Information misuse is the problem.

    The problem with the data brokerage industry isn't that they collect data about me (and sometimes get it wrong). The problem is that there's no transparency for consumers into the data kept about them, and no efficient process for them to get inaccuracies corrected. The problem is that companies and the government are often using data (sometimes incorrect) in ways they shouldn't be allowed to.

    You just can't stop data collection. It's going to happen, it's already happening, it's been happening. Organizations and people need to collect and exchange information in order for the economy and society to function efficiently and smoothly. Law enforcement needs information to investigate and prosecute wrongdoers. These kinds of informational needs aren't going to magically disappear.

    What needs to be stopped it the misuse of data. I should be guaranteed by law the right to completely and freely see, without being charged, at any time, any and all information that any organization, business, or the government has on me, and I should be able to challenge the accuracy of the data and get corrections made in a timely manner. It should be illegal for law enforcement or the government to use data about my legal actions or protected opinions as justification for arresting me, harassing me, publicly smearing me, getting a search warrant against me, or suspecting me of criminal activity. It should be illegal for a lender to deny me a loan based on inaccurate information in my credit report; I should be guaranteed by law an opportunity to prove that the information is wrong and the lender should then be forced to reevaluate using the corrected data. It should be illegal for an employer to not hire me based on information in my credit report or medical records. Etc.

    What we need are more accurate and good laws to protect people against the misuse of information. Then the mere collection of data becomes a moot point.

    • I think that UK law has the right general attitude to data protection. Personal data can only be processed for specified purposes and with consent; processing includes storage. It's not perfect: I'm sure the government is prepared if necessary to stretch the national security exception a long way; but the prohibition of feature creep provides some level of protection against misuse of stored data.
    • Information collection isn't the problem. Information misuse is the problem.

      I guess some people(*) just assume that misuse is inevitable. Why? Because that's how power works, always. Capability is what you have to look out for. Intent is nearly irrelevant, because sooner or later, someone with malevolent (or maybe just misguided or irresponsible) intent will come along.

      (*) Alas, "some people" are about 1% of the voting population. It amuses me when people bitch about what the current federal govern

      • Yep. That's the point that I really think needs to be talked about more.

        You support the Bush administration in all of its actions because you believe them to be just, benevolent, and noble, who would never misuse power under any circumstances? Fine. Assume for the sake of argument that's true. But will the next guy also be perfect? And the one after that? And the one 20 years from now? No. Even if the current lot are paragons of virtue, you have to remember that, someday, the powers you give them wi
  • by bpd1069 (57573) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @06:18PM (#15463584) Homepage
    What makes me laugh when I see posts SUPPORTING an all out assault on our freedoms, is that they don't realize that by defending the assualt, they are supporting forfeiture of their own rights.

    But then I realize I shouldn't get all worked up over the US Government doing this, I need to get worked up over my fellow Citizens who are letting this happen by not voicing Outrage.

    Our current Laws, and Judical system (Thanks to the last couple SCOTUS appointments) give the executive branch so much power that they can dismantle our sacred rights.

    This isn't a hypothetical, its happening now.

    Wake up people.
  • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @06:46PM (#15463665) Homepage Journal
    Today a Washington Post story discusses the vast U.S. bank of genetic material it has gathered over the last few years.

    Wait...the Washington Post has been gathering genetic material?
  • The time is swiftly approaching for patriots to initiate the Second American Revolution and burn Washington D.C. to the ground.
    • The time is swiftly approaching for patriots to initiate the Second American Revolution

      Indeed. I've often said that the only reason I'd go to the USA would be to help in the next revolution. Not exactly the sort of thing I'd put on my visa application though...

  • ... a statistically significant correlation between certain DNA sequences and the tendency for a person to become a lawyer is discovered amongst the accumulated DNA criminal data -- or any other pool of DNA sequences containing a subset associated with lawyers.

    THEN we'll see whether the lawyer community is as eager to be profiled via DNA as they are to have others profiled that way.

    Just imagine, a crime is committed, and the latent DNA evidence at the scene (which may or may not have anything to do with

  • But when criminals get a hold of it, it will be the reverse. Organ mining.
  • Actually, the single best way to catch bad guys is to arrest everyone and put them in jail. Collecting evidence against everyone is only second best.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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