2007/02/05

American Untouchables Part 2 - A Federal "No-insure" List

The New York Times reports on the Justice Department's drive to take DNA samples from everyone arrested or detained by federal officials, regardless of whether or not charges are filed or convictions are obtained --
The goal, justice officials said, is to make the practice of DNA sampling as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by federal agents, including illegal immigrants. Until now, federal authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted felons.
Damn this scares the cr*p out of me! As with my speculation on The Federal 'No-work' List, this plan is ripe for abuse. Consider: We already know that Bu$hCo is willing to destroy the lives of career government employees who disagree with them. Don't believe me? Take a gander at the revelations coming out of the Scooter Libby obstruction of justice trial. So what's to stop overzealous DoJ officials from drawing up lists of 'enemies' and them forcing the out of the country by abusing the confidentiality of DNA data? Here's how it might work...

Let's say DoJ decides that it wants to put the kibosh on any further protests at WTO meetings in the US. They forward to local law enforcement bogus warrants listing the people they want detained for questioning. If the police object, DoJ responds that the warrants are the result of a FISA Court authorization in an ongoing terrorist investigation--thus no cause needs to be demonstrated nor charges enumerated. Local law enforcement caves, sweeps up the hapless protesters, and--per federal guidelines--forces them to give DNA samples. The DoJ then takes the samples, screens them, and then quietly forwards any adverse health-related information to the major insurance companies. And...BANG! Your protester, released without charges, suddenly finds him or herself without insurance. In fact, they'll probably never get health insurance in the US again.

Are we frightened yet?

15 Comments:

They will use if for more purposes than that. Gattaca, here we come!

If I bought a ticket and won the lotto, the screen door wouldn't have time to hit me.
Deb...think I was going for a scenario a bit more subtle than Gattaca. ;-) If it becomes very obvious that the Feds are using such a system to abuse the citizens, then it rapidly becomes worthless.

Of course, this whole thing could just be my paranoia getting the best of me. When you have a brain as small as mine--and spend all day dealing with alligators--you get a little paranoid.
Will it be cross-referenced by political party affiliation? Of course it will! And the only health care the federal government will "cover" will be involuntary mental health commitment for troubled people who do self-destructive things like exercise their First Amendment rights...

Too paranoid?
The FISA Court only has jurisdiction to consider warrants for electronic surveillance. That aside, what DoJ plans to do is probably constitutional. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments do not require a warrant for forced submission of bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, semen, etc. You can thank the U.S. Supreme Court for that non-protection. Schmerber v. U.S., 384 U.S. 757 (196?). The government just has to act "reasonably" in seeking the material. Given the current deference to all things national security, I assume the Court will find the forced taking of DNA to be constitutional.

The pesky Bill of Rights needs to be reserved for less trying times.
Dave...thanks for those references. Good stuff to know.

I think my biggest concern, as Mr_Blog points out is that, if this database is treated with the same lax standards as other sweeping data initiatives, we'll see this information being misused by all sorts of people within the government.
I can see some of the Fascists in Congress tying Universal Healthcare with a mandatory DNA sample.

Where's Veee when we need him?
Are we scared yet? I've been scared for 6 years now.

By the way, I loved the fake Punxsutawney Phil post. Now that SW Pennsylvania is experiencing subzero weather, I wonder if Phil wants to reconsider his prediction?
Polishifter... That would certainly makes DoJ's job easier, wouldn't it?

Kathy, glad you enjoyed the Punxsutawney Phil post.

Re: his reconsidering his retirement... I spoke to Phil and he says deciding not to retire just because PA got 'a little frost' would be akin to those GOP pukes who point to 20 degree temperatures one weekend in Hoboken and claim that global-frickin'-warming is a myth!
My biggest concern is that once they have your DNA, they now know EVERYTHING about you, and it's on record. And all it takes is a bogus charge to take away this last remaining strand of privacy.
Damn this scares the cr*p out of me!
You have good reason to be scared, and are far from alone. The last of complete control will be the implantation of micro chips, reporting where you are, and what you are doing - including in your bedroom - at any given time!

I think back just six short years to the thriving Democracy we used to have, and it awes me, how far we've slid....all in the name of "Freedom from terror." The irony of that quote is overwhelming.
Still think there will be elections in 08?
The Army already has my DNA. Do you think Bush and Co. know that?
UndeniableL...and you'll never, ever get them to expunge the information.

TFWY... I think I did a post about low-jacking everyone. Though some states are actually passing laws against this.

Sewmouse...yup, but that doesn't say anything about whether or not they'll be fair.
Wisconsin, according to a newspaper article I read, has passed a law that says an employer can't require you to get a chip implant. A legislator in Georgia is pushing a similar law; and, 17 other states are considering the issue. Frankly, the idea of an employer even thinking of asking an employee to get a chip never would have crossed my mind.
Head Spinner... Welcome to Blognonymous. About your DNA...probably, and the FBI, CIA, DoJ, Treasury, State, NSA, Secret Service...

Dave... Thanks for the reminder. I think that I did put Wisconsin's law in my post. The article where I read it involved a company that required all employees who had access to their datacenter to have an RDID implant.

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