A national DNA database is coming. Barack Obama has already said that he wants one. A major Supreme Court decision last month paved the way for one. The DNA of those that commit “serious crimes” is already being routinely collected all over the nation. Some states (such as New Jersey) are now passing laws that will require DNA collection from those charged with committing “low level crimes”. And a law that was passed under George W. Bush allows the federal government to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the United States.
So how long will it be before we are all required to give DNA samples to the authorities? How long will it be before DNA collection is routinely done when we take a trip to the DMV? This may sound like science fiction to some people, but “security experts” and law enforcement personnel all over the country are now pushing for a national DNA database to be established. Unfortunately, there is nothing really standing in the way of that. The Supreme Court has already spoken. Justice Scalia understood very clearly what the Supreme Court was doing last month. In his dissent, he made the following statement: “Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”
Those that are promoting a national DNA database claim that collecting the DNA of criminals is just like fingerprinting them, and that we should all be willing to submit to a slight intrusion to our privacy in order to make society a safer place.
But is it really just a slight intrusion?
Once they have the DNA of every American, the potential for abuse would be absolutely staggering. It would only be a matter of time before DNA identification replaced Social Security cards and every other form of identification. Eventually, there would be a very real possibility that we would all have to submit to “DNA verification” before we could get on an airplane, get a job, get a driver’s license or get a bank account.
Of course that will not happen immediately, but that is the road that we are going down.
At first, DNA samples were only taken from sex offenders.
Once that precedent was set, they started taking it from all those charged with serious crimes.
Now they are taking it from those charged with low level crimes.
Eventually it will be all of us.
Do you doubt this?
Law enforcement officials are telling us that this is exactly what they want. The following is from a San Francisco Chronicle article from just this week…
Indiana law enforcement officials could find it easier to fight crime if a national database holding DNA profiles of everyone born in the United States is created as the result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month, experts say.
The prospect has had investigators and privacy advocates abuzz since the high court’s June 3 decision that police could take a DNA swab from anyone arrested for a serious crime without violating Fourth Amendment limits on search and seizure.
They want the “DNA profiles of everyone born in the United States”. That is their goal.
And they are starting to slowly build this database already. Back in 2008, George W. Bush signed a law that permitted the federal government to “screen the DNA of all newborn babies”…
In April of 2008, President Bush signed into law S.1858 which allows the federal government to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S. This was to be implemented within 6 months meaning that this collection is now being carried out. Congressman Ron Paul states that this bill is the first step towards the establishment of a national DNA database.
S.1858, known as The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, is justified as a “national contingency plan” in that it represents preparation for any sort of public health emergency. The bill states that the federal government should “continue to carry out, coordinate, and expand research in newborn screening” and “maintain a central clearinghouse of current information on newborn screening… ensuring that the clearinghouse is available on the Internet and is updated at least quarterly”. Sections of the bill also make it clear that DNA may be used in genetic experiments and tests. Read the full bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1858
And according to the New York Times, hundreds of thousands of other DNA samples have already been collected from criminals all over the nation…
New York City has amassed a database with the profiles of 11,000 crime suspects. In Orange County, Calif., the district attorney’s office has 90,000 profiles, many obtained from low-level defendants who give DNA as part of a plea bargain or in return for having the charges against them dropped. In Central Florida, several law enforcement agencies have pooled their DNA databases. A Baltimore database contains DNA from more than 3,000 homicide victims.
These law enforcement agencies are no longer content to rely solely on the highly regulated network of state and federal DNA databases, which have been more than two decades in the making and represent one of the most significant developments in the history of law enforcement in this country.
But authorities are often frustrated because they come across DNA at crime scenes that is not in their databases.
If they had the DNA of everyone, they would instantly be able to identify any DNA left behind at a particular crime scene.
That is one reason why New Jersey recently passed a law that requires law enforcement personnel to collect DNA samples even from people that are convicted of low level crimes…
The state Senate today passed legislation that would require the collection of DNA samples from people convicted of some low-level crimes, including shoplifting and drug possession.
The bill (S436) was approved 36-3 this afternoon. An earlier version remains in committee in the Assembly.
“DNA is one of the most powerful tools we have to identify perpetrators and exonerate those falsely accused of crimes,” state Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-Hudson) said in a statement. “A more expansive DNA database will enable us to solve investigations with greater speed and accuracy.”
And once your DNA has been collected by one law enforcement agency, it will inevitably be shared with others.
In fact, DNA sharing agreements are becoming quite common. Recently, USA Today reported on a major international DNA sharing agreement between scientific researchers…
An international consortium of genomic researchers across 41 countries potentially moved us a step closer to such a reality when it announced this month a new data-sharing agreement for the expected deluge of human genomes to be sequenced in the near future as the cost falls to levels of an MRI.
So if your DNA is taken even once, you just never know how many agencies and organizations are going to end up getting their hands on it.
Unfortunately, there is not much standing in the way of a national DNA database. Barack Obama is already on record as saying that this is something that he wants…
“This is where the national registry becomes so important, because what you have is individual states — they may have a database, but if they’re not sharing it with the state next door, you’ve got a guy from Illinois driving over into Indiana, and they’re not talking to each other.”
Well, could we potentially see the American people stand up and object to this?
I wouldn’t count on it. Just look at how little fuss is being made over the NSA snooping scandal.
The American people simply don’t seem to care about privacy as much as they used to.
And things appear to be even worse in Europe. According to one new survey, Europeans are overwhelmingly in favor of using biometric information on identity documents and passports…
According to a new survey conducted by Steria, the majority of European citizens support the use of biometrics for criminal identification and for identity documents and passports, though slightly less than half are supportive of the technology replacing PIN numbers for bank cards.
Steria, a provider of IT-enabled business services, contracted Toluna to perform the survey on citizens in the UK, France , Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and found that 81 percent of respondents think biometrics for criminal identification is a good thing, and 69 percent agreed that they would support the use of biometrics in identity cards or passports.
Specifically, 81 percent of French citizens favor the application of biometrics for ID documents, compared to 74 percent of Danish respondents and 68 percent of the survey’s British respondents. Across Europe, 69 percent were also in favor of using biometrics as a form of access control for secure areas. In this case, the French respondents proved again to be the most supportive, with 77 percent, followed by the Danes at 75 percent and the Brits at 69 percent.
Sadly, the truth is that western society has become incredibly “dumbed down” and has become accustomed to these types of Big Brother tactics.
One example of this is posted below. In this video, you can actually watch Obama supporters signing a petition to repeal the Bill of Rights…
What in the world is happening to this country?
A Big Brother police state is being constructed all around us, and very few people seem to care.
In his dissent to the Supreme Court decision that essentially legalized a national DNA database, Justice Scalia wrote the following: “It may be wise, as the Court obviously believes, to make the Leviathan all-seeing, so that he may protect us all the better. The proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would not have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection.”
Very wise words.
Hopefully we can get more Americans to wake up and realize the wisdom contained in our founding documents.
If not, I am afraid that a national DNA database will just be the beginning.
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has a law degree and an LLM from the University of Florida Law School. He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now spends his time researching and writing and trying to wake the American people up. You can follow his work on The Economic Collapse blog, End of the American Dream and The Truth Wins. His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.