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back to article Feds to collect DNA of every person they arrest

In a major expansion of the US government's DNA collection practices, officials plan to collect DNA samples of every citizen arrested by a federal law enforcement agency and all immigrants detained by a federal authority. The move will add 1.2 million people's genetic blueprints to the federal database every year. Until now, …

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Anonymous Coward

Hye maybe some one can tell me on this thread !

I went to Florida on holiday few years ago. Police stopped me and didnt have my passport or ID (as I am UK guy) so they asked whether they could take my fingerprints. Would that be usual to do that on such routine stop ?.

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Anonymous Coward

Its only a matter of time

Eventually the US and UK gov's are going to try to get us all on the DNA database. We know this, they know this, and step by step its going to happen.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I have just read a book by Michael Crichton called Next. Far fetched that some of it might be you start to see the parallels with the things happening today, it makes for some scary reading. I for one will fight to keep my DNA and any other biometric data to myself for as long as possible. Boundaries are gradually chipped away so that things that are not acceptable now become commonplace in the future and I really don't believe it will be long until DNA analysis is conducted regularly by all sections of society. Mortgages, loans, health insurance, employment of personality types. How about diagnosing a tendency to aggression and treating you before you do anything.

This is yet another step towards the ultimate goal of having everyones DNA and it scares me no end

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

I wish the Yanks wouldn't do this sort of thing. It gives our Plods ideas.

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Silver badge
Linux

Canada

Hahaha. They don't do this shit in Canada. Hahaha. Hooray for NAFTA!!!

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Anonymous Coward

@anon

they already do that in the UK if you're arrested and detained at the nick.

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Unhappy

@AC

"I wish the Yanks wouldn't do this sort of thing. It gives our Plods ideas."

Er, this happens in the UK already. You can be cheek-swabbed for a suspected driving offence.

The ultimate defence lies with genetic engineering. These pathetic attempts at a 21st century police state wouldn't have bothered Manimal.

John

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re: Canada

YET.

matter of time, SG. With Hitman Harper in Parliament anything the States will do, he will do.

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Alien

Question

"and all immigrants detained by a federal authority"

Hmmm... gathering DNA... avoiding the use of the words 'illegal Aliens' all of a sudden? Why? Is there something we should know?

Hmmm... a couple of men dressed in black are at the door. Must be Mormons or something. Back in a...

FLASH!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Familial matching

Don't forget, as mentioned on El Reg and elsewhere, "of 150 pairs of men with the same surname, in 25 per cent of cases the pair had matching Y chromosomes" Blood relatives are even easier.

The family of all these people, as in the UK and elsewhere and people sharing the same surname expand this database automatically. Was used to track down someone after a brick thrown from a motorway bridge had blood from using it earlier to smash a car window. A relation was on the database already so finding the culprit was narrowed down.

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derivative works

Can I copyright or patent my DNA?

There is obvious prior art.... But it is unique too.

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Stop

... they want control

They want control of everything

What we didn't want just 10 or 15 years ago we now ask for:

1) INCREASED SURVEILANCE

2) TIGHTER BORDER CONTROL (THE EEC AND USA/CANADA/MEXICO HAVE ALL SIGNED AGREEMENTS TO BECOME "BORDERLESS" BUT ONLY ON THE INSIDE. THEY ARE GOING TO SHUT DOWN THE OTHER PERIMETER AND USE BIOMETRIC SCANS BY 2013 - NO JOKE, JUST CHECK IT OUT, EG. FRONTEX IN THE EEC...)

3) BIOMETRIC REGISTRATION (RFID-CHIPS, RETINAL SCANS)

4) DNA-REGISTRATION (CAN BE USED FOR ALL SORTS OF THINGS, AND ... REALLY ... ALL SORTS: MAKE A BIOCHEMICAL WEAPON TO KILL EVERYONE WITH A CERTAIN DNA-STRAIN, OR EVERYONE WITHOUT A CERTAIN DNA-STRAIN)

5) VISA/VISUM/PASSPORT REGISTRATION WILL BE MERGED. INFO WILL BE SHARED BETWEEN EEC AND USA + = ALL YOUR VISA BUYS, ACCOUNTS, VISITS TO OTHER COUNTRIES WILL BE REGISTERED IN THE SAME DATABASE.

... WHO ARE "THEY"?

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?

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Alert

Copyright DNA

Maybe that actually IS a good idea: http://www.dnacopyright.com/copyrightinformation/whycopyright.html

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Silver badge
Coat

>derivative works

>Can I patent my DNA?

Was there a particular inventive step involved in its creation, and would the process have been obvious to someone skilled in the art?

Better ask your parents.

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Bronze badge

It's far worse than that in the UK already!

Guys, you have it easy over there. In the UK as well as having the most surveillance (CCTV) in the world we also top the DNA database tables.

Whereas this is talking about the FEDS and ARREST. In England & Wales* if you are brought to a police station (by regular police) on SUSPICION of any offence, whether charged or not you will have a DNA sample taken. If you are later released without charge, even totally exonerated, your DNA will remain on the database for ever.

*Scotland is similar but they remove your DNA from the database if you are not charged with the offence.

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Paris Hilton

It's unlikely

over here to be arrested by the feds if you are privacy is probably not your biggest worry. I don't see any real use for this nefarious or otherwise it would have to be complimented by a local law enforcement program which would be rather beyond their current ability to implement. Yeah we always fingerprint damned scurrilous englishers we heard those nasty things you say about us.

Paris because she's a typical American.

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Thumb Down

and other purposes

and all this make you wonder what else our untrustworthy leaders may be able to do with your DNA sample..

fancy a replica anyone?

looking for non-humans?

take the best bits and make a couple o superhumans for the military?

automatically trace any relations in the database? (they prob do this one already!)

and as mentiond before, make genetically targeting biological weapons...

of course there are pros to dna databases like criminal search narrowing, but the question is do the pros outway the cons? i think not.

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Boffin

re:Copyright DNA

It won't protect you from this sort of silliness though.

If the law says the authorities can take your DNA when they arrest you, then this falls under criminal law, which presumably supercedes whatever copyright protection is in place.

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g e
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Copernican Inversion

Wow... the USA copies the UK for a change

Welcome to our world.

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@AC - Familiaral Matching

Yeah, I was thinking along those lines myself. I really dont understand the arguments against DNA collection!

If you've done nothing wrong then you've done nothing wrong. If your DNA is in the database then the police have one more sample with which to find the person who raped a 12 year old girl. If they can identify that your cousin is the sick bastard who they are looking for and your DNA pointed them in that direction, wouldn't you feel much better about the whole process? I know I would and I long for the day when one more tool to help stop disgusting crimes like that are more effective.

On the other side, if someone wants my DNA to do nasty stuff that you're all worried about, all they have to do is grab my refuse from outside my house. Toothbrushes, clothes, tin cans... Everything I touch can potentially have traces of my DNA on it if you're quick and able to look closely enough!

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Flame

What we need in .uk...

is a more educated public. I hate to sound arrogant (actually I don't but what I'm about to say seems more acceptable this way) but we really do have majority population of tabloid reading, soap opera watching, fast food munching retards. It's time we sterilised the working classes and stuck the chavs and Sun readers into 're-education' camps for the betterment of society.

While we're at it we can depose this bunch of c***ts from Govt by force, repeal their idiotic anti-terror laws, give the UK some of it's privacy back and stop all this moronic draconian bullshit.

I know the whole sterilisation of the chavs/working classes thing is a little fascist but how many well educated, hard working members of society can honestly say that they haven't had similar thoughts after being accosted by these dole-scrounging bling obsessed wastes of space?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Copernican Inversion

"Wow... the USA copies the UK for a change"

I wonder who will take the credit?

I doubt if Prudence Brown has had enought time or cosy chats to get the idea across.

So, this must be a parting gift from Saint Tony and his NuLabor.

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"

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Anonymous Coward

I really dont understand the arguments against DNA collection

It's a big government vs little government thing. If you want the government involved in every aspect of your life, then yes, there's no problem.

>If you've done nothing wrong then you've done nothing wrong.

And the police have no business with me.

>If your DNA is in the database then the police have one more sample

>with which...

..to find people of a certain ethnic background that they can ship off to Auschwitz.

..to sell to insurance companies

..to fit you up because you have a close match to a distant relative.

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Anonymous Coward

Tell that to a holocaust survivor

Ah yes. "nothing to hide, nothing to fear". The usual nonsense. If it is true why do politicians want to hide so much?

In the Thiirties the Nazis used IBM punched card technology and knowhow to track down Jews, Gypsies and other "life not worthy of life". They would have had a much easier job if they had DNA matching technology.

This technology could be abused by white supremacists, black supremacists, extrremist religious groups with racial tendencies, Employers......

You cannot tell how a future government might abuse a technology, you cannot tell how it will be used by non-governemntal sources. All you can do is spot what you think is the worst case scenario and try to guard against it.

It seems to me that the people requiring this information either have sinister motives or they are so naive they do not think anyone could want to abuse the data or the technology.

AC wrote ===========================================================

"eah, I was thinking along those lines myself. I really dont understand the arguments against DNA collection!

If you've done nothing wrong then you've done nothing wrong. If your DNA is in the database then the police have one more sample with which to find the person who raped a 12 year old girl. If they can identify that your cousin is the sick bastard who they are looking for and your DNA pointed them in that direction, wouldn't you feel much better about the whole process? I know I would and I long for the day when one more tool to help stop disgusting crimes like that are more effective.

On the other side, if someone wants my DNA to do nasty stuff that you're all worried about, all they have to do is grab my refuse from outside my house. Toothbrushes, clothes, tin cans... Everything I touch can potentially have traces of my DNA on it if you're quick and able to look closely enough!"

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Corrupting the database

I'm going to carry a small chunk of hippopotamus flesh in my cheek.

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Alien

Yes, but they were helped.

In the Thiirties the Nazis used IBM punched card technology and knowhow to track down Jews, Gypsies and other "life not worthy of life". They would have had a much easier job if they had DNA matching technology.

And how did the data get there? From DNA? No, from the census where people had to put down their racial profile. If they had DNA matching technology it would have been even harder for them, which parts of your DNA tells anyone what religion you are? And forget CSI, NCSI and all the other crime programs because it currently takes about 2 weeks for the DNA results to get back - and that is if you are in a hurry.

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"nothing to hide, nothing to fear". The usual nonsense (2)

You only need to look at what's been implemented already & how it's been misused.

Eg Prevention of Terrorism being used by PC Plod to prevent an MP in his 80s (Walter Wolfgang) re-entering the Labour conference.

Maya Evans, convicted under Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (for reading aloud the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq, at the Cenotaph.

(BTW This required 14 policemen to arrest her)

More recently, Poole Council (mis)used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on a family in case they were outside a schools catchment area.

On a more minor note, my car failed it's MOT as the number plate light was broken.

MOT's were introduced for safety, but there again, once you have the process, it's easy to add to / misuse.

I'm sure people can think of many more examples.

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Linux

@ Carrie

You have it right, they don't do it yet.

The whole purpose of a free democratic society is you can speak out against the gov't.

The gov't is: OF THE PEOLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE

Looking back at history scares me more than the future, not because of the crap that has happened but becuase of the crap that has happened and the gov't are doing again but in a sneakier way to get it through.

What we need now is for another true hero who is willing to stand and fight for the rights of all people regardless of creed, colour, religion. Let us all stand as one and be free to be ourselves not some autonomous clone shopping at Sobeys/Walmart/ASDA/Marks and Spencer or wherever.

Crime does not scare me.

Politicians do.

Long Live Guy Fawkes.

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Boffin

Cheek swabs

How accurate are they? It's a reasonably smaller sample than a blood swab. If that girl who just gave me great head in a club got picked up for some crime and my DNA was taken from her cheek and put in the database what do they do then? More interestingly what do they do when they try to add me properly and find I already match some dozen other women in the DB...

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Stop

@Jamie

People saying this over and over really bugs me... Guy Fawkes was trying to kill King James, not the government, that was just going to be an added bonus for him.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"People saying this over and over really bugs me... Guy Fawkes was trying to kill King James, not the government, that was just going to be an added bonus for him."

Guy Fawkes was also tortured so much that he could barely write his name on the confession stuck in front of him, but I'm sure the confession was 100% true.

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Stop

You had better not be born bad

Stop and search powers. Stop and DNA profile you. If you are from a bad family or of an aggressive race or have some other undesirable genetic makeup then they may well want to provide you with 'help'. Propensity to obesity, well no more cakes for you, it will go on your credit profile and be used next time you purchase using your finger scan.

The government seem to announce a new mad idea everyday. Things that could only work with lots of invasive hight tec. Last weeks example was stopping paedos using Facebook, it can't work they way they suggested but would work using Phorm.

With sufficient data there probably are crimes with a large genetic component. Big enough to look like a target group.

As with corporate sexual harassment training (you have to train everyone in case you offend those you include or exclude) then everyone will have to go on the database. Currently those non-criminals on the database are unfairly included as suspects in DNA searches, get everyone on and make it fair.

You can see that once they include innocent people then there is only one way forward. All guilty until the computers says innocent.

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Anonymous Coward

re: What we need in .uk...

"It's time we sterilised the working classes and stuck the chavs and Sun readers into 're-education' camps for the betterment of society."

Indeed, get them fitted up with ID cards and you're well on the way. However, the govt will go for non conforming people; the lumpen proletariat are no threat to the status quo.

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Bronze badge

Re: I really dont understand the arguments against DNA collection

I don't have the reference in front of me, but I've seen a line attributed to Lyndon Johnson that says (IIRC) "Never look at how much good a piece of legislation will do if it's well implemented; rather look at how much harm it will cause if it's poorly implemented."

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Anonymous Coward

>which parts of your DNA tells anyone what religion you are?

Like this perhaps?

http://www.haruth.com/JewishLemba.html

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Anonymous Coward

@ What we need in .uk...

Yeah, sad but not an uncommon thought.

I think the welfare system is largely part to blame. In Canada, we have created a system wherein some families maybe in their fourth or fifth generation of welfare support.

You can, I have no doubt, imagine the drive and initiative this creates in the children of these large, fast reproducing families (The more children you have the more money you get) to further or even get an education or a job.

I think what is needed here is to tell the adults in this system that they have 5 even 10 years to get an education, all paid for by the government (or rather those of us paying taxes). If they can't or won't well the money has to run out sometime.

You say, "Well, they resort to crime!"

HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, who do you think is doing the crime now? not excluding corporations, often welfare recipients as well.

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Stop

Is your DNA really a secret?

As far as I understand it, you leave your DNA in a lot of places. Correct me if I'm wrong, because most of my knowledge comes from pseudo-accurate crime drama shows, but whenever Law & Order cops can't get DNA test consent, they just meet the suspect for lunch and then pick up his cup after he throws it away.

This argument applies much more easily to fingerprinting. Privacy advocates complain about governments collecting fingerprints, but also complain about their use as passwords because they're so easy to obtain.

So, is the problem really that you want to keep your DNA to yourself (possibly an infeasible goal), or that you just don't like your government having large data mining capability on its citizens? If it's the latter, then complain about the databases in all forms - the DNA-specific issue is a red herring we like to focus on just because it feels creepiest.

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.....which parts of your DNA tells anyone what religion you are?

If you're Jewish, quite a bit of it. Having your DNA on file is about as effective as stamping a big, red, 'J' on your ID card.

The danger with DNA is that people believe its absolute. That's because when you've identified a suspect with a probability of, say, 1:6000000 from a group of 50,000 then you've probably got the right guy (note, *probably*). If the sample is larger then the chances of the right guy being unique go down. If the techniques are applied sloppily (which they were in at least one large lab in the US) then that adds up to a whole load of mis-identified people. But since we now all believe DNA is infallible nobody's going to believe you when you protest your innocence.

DNA has been used to free prisoners in the US who've been in jail for decades. But often the cases against such people were flimsy in the first case -- typically a confused eyewitness, coercive interrogation, de-emphasized exonerating evidence and a black or brown face is the formula that got the guys in jail in the first place. DNA's used to force reviews of these cases; naturally government doesn't like to admit sloppy police work, bias, predudice or any of the other more obvious problems so you've got to use a scientific sledgehammer to crack that nut.

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Bronze badge

@ Dafydd Lawrence

arrested in the US means that you are now in the police custody . Has nothing to do with being charged. Unless they have an arrest warrant and you have been indited , you will always be arrested before you are charged with an offense in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AA

"I went to Florida on holiday few years ago. Police stopped me and didnt have my passport or ID (as I am UK guy) so they asked whether they could take my fingerprints. Would that be usual to do that on such routine stop ?."

Actually, they've been doing this for as long as I've been going to the US. They were doing it 20 years ago. It was quite routine.

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Anonymous Coward

Familial Matching

Yes, I would love being one of the prime suspects in a criminal case because my brother/uncle/cousin 3 times removed left some DNA at the crime scene. Heck, if in that particular case my DNA was on the database and (for whatever reason) his wasn't and I didn't have a proper Alibi etc...

Not to mention that (in a similar way to fingerprints) no proper assessment of the proportion of false negatives and false positives have been made. Hence we don't even know how reliable the system might be when scaled up to cover a large part of the UK population...

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Re: Peter Mallam

You answered your quandry yourself. Your DNA is left in lots of places. DNA can be used for good. If you're at a crime scene it's incredibly unlikely that you won't leave DNA there, and it can be used to defend people that seemingly have no alibi. On the other hand, if the police use it as a primary step (this situation as a whole isn't as likely right now, as mostly it IS criminals who have their DNA on record), and you happened to be there. What if you don't have a good enough alibi? What if you have a possible reason for committing the crime? Now there's more evidence against you than for you. Even worse, what if it's a terrorist crime. The chances are you'll be detained without charge for the maximum stay, and if you don't confess under duress in that time you maybe released. What if you're an immigrant? A legal immigrant who has a valid reason for being in the UK, let's say, a refugee (ie an asylum seeker who has been accepted by the government) who has fled a country where you are very likely to be killed. You honestly think the government won't just deport you?

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