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Author Topic: SCOTUS: OK to take DNA from Arrestees  (Read 1171 times)
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ATB
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« on: June 03, 2013, 02:27:11 PM »

<shaking head>

Right now it's just breaking news on MSNBC so I'm not 100% sure of the details, but here's an article stating what the case was about..

Not sure what types of arrests will permit this gross invasion of freedom (just felonies?  jay walking?) but closer and closer we go to a fascist police state.
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 02:33:29 PM »

Update.

Quote
The Maryland law restricts DNA swabbing to people arrested for certain violent crimes, but justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, worried about the reach of similar laws. Roberts wondered why they couldn’t be applied to simple traffic stops.



Quote
Scalia, who typically sides with the court’s conservatives, expressed deep reservations about DNA swabbing at the oral argument. The purpose of the practice, he acknowledged, was “to catch the bad guys.” But he added: “The Fourth Amendment sometimes stands in the way.”
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM »

We fingerprint them, you know.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 02:35:22 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM

We fingerprint them, you know.

Are you being glib or do you clearly not see a difference between the two?
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 02:36:04 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 02:35:22 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM

We fingerprint them, you know.

Are you being glib or do you clearly not see a difference between the two?

No, I'm being serious.  What makes this so shockingly different?  At least enough so that it warrants the claim of fascism?
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 02:41:55 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:36:04 PM

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 02:35:22 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM

We fingerprint them, you know.

Are you being glib or do you clearly not see a difference between the two?

No, I'm being serious.  What makes this so shockingly different?  At least enough so that it warrants the claim of fascism?


Quote
DNA contains significantly more information and significantly more personal information than a set of fingerprints, he said. In addition, no one has an expectation of privacy in his or her fingerprints, which are left on surfaces wherever the person goes. So unlike taking a buccal swab, collecting fingerprints at the police station is not considered a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment, he said.


Listen. I'm not big on government conspiracy stuff or that there are illuminati running everything. But the notion of a national dna database taken from people who have been arrested (not yet found guilty or innocent) very disconcerting.

Do you trust the government with that much information about you?

And 'serious crimes' could be whatever they want it to be. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:05 PM »

Quote
"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," Scalia warned. "This will solve some extra crimes, to be sure. But so would taking your DNA whenever you fly on an airplane."
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:18 PM »

In what way do you see the government abusing the knowledge of our genetic code?  Do you believe they'll issue death warrants for anyone with a predisposition to cancer?  Or clone those of us with the best genes and use the product of the procedure as soldiers?  

The government already knows exactly how much money I make down to the dollar.  It issued me a number at birth that I have to use for any number of things.  It can gain access to my phone records and my credit card info if it feels it has cause.  How is the information contained in my DNA (which can only be obtained if I'm suspected of committing a crime) going to be more damaging to me than anything the government already forces every single citizen to undergo? 

This is simply the 21st century version of fingerprinting.  I'm sure that process also resulted in any number of conspiracy theories as well.

P.S. DNA has helped numerous people get off death row or out of life sentences for crimes they didn't commit.  We should weigh the actual good with the perceived bad accordingly.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 03:21:25 PM »

Seems like there's some poor wording being thrown around with this.  There's a huge difference between a database of DNA code and a database of DNA fingerprints.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 03:27:31 PM »

Since DNA contains both and it's simply the use that makes that distinction, I think it's fair for folks to bring both of those terms into the discussion.

But I agree that what we're looking at is a database of DNA "fingerprints", not genetic code.  However, I can see that that distinction only exists because of the way that information is used.  Personally, I don't believe it will be used for anything other than a 21st century version of a fingerprint.  Just as I trust that the IRS isn't using my income records for nefarious purposes, or selling my social security number to human trafficking rings.

And to make this clear:  I'm not belittling ATB's claims.  We should always question any invasion of our privacy.  However, I disagree that this one is the result of any overarching scheme or abuse of power.
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 03:36:58 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 03:27:31 PM

Personally, I don't believe it will be used for anything other than a 21st century version of a fingerprint.  

Pretty much this.  Technology has moved past a thumbprint on a page...not sure how this is substantially different.
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 04:17:14 PM »

Side note:  I'm giddy with anticipation on how Eco's going to spin this to make it look like Obama is in a secret lair somewhere, twirling his newly grown mustache and stroking a white cat while enacting this decision personally.
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 04:39:24 PM »

Thanks for the disclaimer, hep. I wasn't taking it that way.

Tinfoil hat time:

SCOTUS has said that corporations are people.
The government allows company's to patent genes
SCOTUS now has given the government and its financial backers an end around way to gather DNA from the populace without repercussion.

=  dastardlyness that I'm not smart enough to figure out at this time.


/Tin Foil Hat

I'm not helping my case by laying it out that way...but...

And to revisit this:

Quote
In what way do you see the government abusing the knowledge of our genetic code?  Do you believe they'll issue death warrants for anyone with a predisposition to cancer?  Or clone those of us with the best genes and use the product of the procedure as soldiers? 

Why wouldn't they?  Why couldn't they? Scientists are always pushing the bounds on what is considered ethical.  In 20 years, after 10,000,000 people have been swabbed, who knows what they can do with that information or what patterns they can establish.  Especially in light of this:

Quote
Technology has moved past a thumbprint on a page...not sure how this is substantially different.

What will they be able to do with that information in the decades to come?

All they need to do is lace the the swabs with something to sterilize or inoculate people against their will. Because government has never done that before...

Not to wring the dystopian alarm bells, but well, I'm gonna wring them a bit.

Quote
I'm giddy with anticipation on how Eco's going to spin this to make it look like Obama is in a secret lair somewhere,

The conservatives punched this one through. 
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 04:41:07 PM »

Entirely fine with this.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 04:51:56 PM »

Considering how hard a lot of folks have to fight to get stem cell research going, I find it hard to believe that the government would be able to start cloning whole people any time soon.   icon_wink

While I believe it's our right and our duty to pay attention to, and question any intrusion into our lives by government, I think that also has to be tempered with the caveat that we simply have to accept that some level of intrusion is also unavoidable in any form of government.  As such, every attempt at doing so shouldn't automatically be viewed as a conspiracy to commit harm.  As I said earlier, weigh the potential good versus the perceived bad.   

I would also be curious to see if they can maintain only that information required for a positive match in a criminal trial or investigation, as opposed to the entirety of a person's genetic code...or if that's even possible.
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 05:06:01 PM »

If we're talking about this:


I'm fine with gathering DNA from an arrested suspect in order to create a fingerprint like above and run it against a database.  I'm not ok with the DNA itself being stored.  If the person is found guilty, I'm fine with the DNA fingerprint being stored in a criminal database the way a finger fingerprint is.  If the person is innocent, I think their DNA fingerprint should be removed from the database (or never stored in the database in the first place).

If we're talking about more than just the DNA fingerprint, everything changes.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 05:12:28 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 04:51:56 PM

I would also be curious to see if they can maintain only that information required for a positive match in a criminal trial or investigation, as opposed to the entirety of a person's genetic code...or if that's even possible.

I may be misreading you, but the DNA fingerprint is like taking all the code for a video game and marking a line everywhere you happen to spot more than fifty 0s in a row or some other pattern of note.  If you look at the locations the fifty 0s happen in one collection of game code vs another, you'll be able to clearly identify which 'fingerprint' goes with which, but it's not like the fingerprint tells you anything of note about the actual game code.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 05:15:00 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 05:06:01 PM

If the person is innocent, I think their DNA fingerprint should be removed from the database (or never stored in the database in the first place).

We don't remove fingerprints from databases if someone's proven innocent, why would we remove their DNA equivalent?

That information could also be used to help track a missing person or uncover the identity of a john doe.  We currently use fingerprinting for more than just finding suspects in a crime (and no, I'm not saying for nefarious reasons as well  icon_wink).
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 05:21:00 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 05:15:00 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 05:06:01 PM

If the person is innocent, I think their DNA fingerprint should be removed from the database (or never stored in the database in the first place).

We don't remove fingerprints from databases if someone's proven innocent, why would we remove their DNA equivalent?

That information could also be used to help track a missing person, or some other victim.  We currently use fingerprinting for more than just finding suspects.

I wasn't familiar with how the situation was handled for regular fingerprints, and I think they also shouldn't stay in record if the person is found innocent.  (Unless they are voluntarily given, like for a conceal carry permit or something). 

Even though there are handy dandy uses for my fingerprints, if the police only collected them because they thought I robbed a liquor store, and it turns out I can prove I did no such thing?  It should then be my choice whether or not my fingerprints stay in the system.
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 05:30:57 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 04:51:56 PM

As I said earlier, weigh the potential good versus the perceived bad.   


Well that could be said of anything, no?  I'm going to play devil's advocate here: what about national id cards, scanners that see  you in all your nekkidness at the airport, Guantanamo bay, drones for surveillance (and killing) of US citizens, and the patriot act? 
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2013, 05:34:39 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 05:30:57 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 04:51:56 PM

As I said earlier, weigh the potential good versus the perceived bad.   


Well that could be said of anything, no?  I'm going to play devil's advocate here: what about national id cards, scanners that see  you in all your nekkidness at the airport, Guantanamo bay, drones for surveillance (and killing) of US citizens, and the patriot act? 

national id cards - Fine with if implemented properly... but it probably won't be implemented properly.
scanners that see  you in all your nekkidness at the airport - Fine by me
Guantanamo bay - Fine by me
drones for surveillance (and killing) of US citizens - Fine by me
the patriot act - In theory OK but in reality too overreaching

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hepcat
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2013, 05:39:07 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 05:30:57 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 04:51:56 PM

As I said earlier, weigh the potential good versus the perceived bad.  


Well that could be said of anything, no?  I'm going to play devil's advocate here: what about national id cards, scanners that see  you in all your nekkidness at the airport, Guantanamo bay, drones for surveillance (and killing) of US citizens, and the patriot act?  

Now I have to ask whether or not you're just being glib with those last few comparisons.   You seriously see fingerprinting to be directly comparable to armed drone strikes on US citizens?

Why aren't you declaring this country already a fascist state thanks to the IRS, Social Security numbers and driver's licenses?  All of those accomplish the very thing you seem to find intrinsically bad.

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 05:21:00 PM

Even though there are handy dandy uses for my fingerprints, if the police only collected them because they thought I robbed a liquor store, and it turns out I can prove I did no such thing?  It should then be my choice whether or not my fingerprints stay in the system.

Even though those fingerprints could help the police prove you DIDN'T commit a crime in the future?  Or help to identify your body (I'm guessing you've asked your dentist to destroy your dental records too) after an accident?  Should your mug shot also be destroyed?  Your name stricken from all records? 
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2013, 05:48:33 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:36:04 PM

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 02:35:22 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM

We fingerprint them, you know.

Are you being glib or do you clearly not see a difference between the two?

No, I'm being serious.  What makes this so shockingly different?  At least enough so that it warrants the claim of fascism?

You can't take my fingerprints and use them to create a clone of me then take a picture of the clone at the scene of the crime as part of your plan to frame me. Obviously.
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2013, 05:49:55 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on June 03, 2013, 05:48:33 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:36:04 PM

Quote from: ATB on June 03, 2013, 02:35:22 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 02:34:34 PM

We fingerprint them, you know.

Are you being glib or do you clearly not see a difference between the two?

No, I'm being serious.  What makes this so shockingly different?  At least enough so that it warrants the claim of fascism?

You can't take my fingerprints and use them to create a clone of me then take a picture of the clone at the scene of the crime as part of your plan to frame me. Obviously.

I was actually hoping for a more...intimate...use of that clone.
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« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2013, 05:54:56 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 05:39:07 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 05:21:00 PM

Even though there are handy dandy uses for my fingerprints, if the police only collected them because they thought I robbed a liquor store, and it turns out I can prove I did no such thing?  It should then be my choice whether or not my fingerprints stay in the system.

Even though those fingerprints could help the police prove you DIDN'T commit a crime in the future?  Or help to identify your body (I'm guessing you've asked your dentist to destroy your dental records too) after an accident?  Should your mug shot also be destroyed?  Your name stricken from all records? 

Unless we fingerprint every single citizen for these handy-dandy non-crime purposes, I don't think it's right to store fingerprints for those citizens who just happened to be wrongfully arrested.
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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2013, 05:59:39 PM »

Should your name also be taken off any record of the investigation in your scenario?  When something goes on record in a criminal proceeding, why shouldn't it remain there?  Do you equate having your fingerprint on record to some form of admittance of wrong doing?  

What about keeping your fingerprint on file do you find more offensive than having to acquire a social security number?  Or having to register to vote?  Or being forced to give the IRS information on your income?
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« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2013, 06:03:53 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 05:59:39 PM

Should your name also be taken off any record of the investigation in your scenario?

No, because I think that including "oops, we arrested innocent Hepcat Flavorbrook" in the record makes sense.  I see this as very different than "oops, we arrested innocent Hepcat Flavorbrook, and here are his dental records, fingerprints, a DNA sample, a blood sample, and pictures of all his identifying tattoos."

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 05:59:39 PM

What about keeping your fingerprint on file do you find more offensive than having to acquire a social security number?  Or having to register to vote?  Or being forced to give the IRS information on your income?

Finger fingerprints and DNA fingerprints can identify me as having been someplace even if no person or video camera saw me there.  If I have a criminal history, then it makes sense to use that criminal evidence in potential future investigations involving me.  If I have never been convicted of a crime, then it seems wrong to use criminal evidence that was only gathered because I was wrongfully arrested for something I didn't do.
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2013, 06:06:41 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 06:03:53 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 05:59:39 PM

Should your name also be taken off any record of the investigation in your scenario?

No, because I think that including "oops, we arrested innocent Hepcat Flavorbrook" in the record makes sense.  I see this as very different than "oops, we arrested innocent Hepcat Flavorbrook, and here are his dental records, fingerprints, a DNA sample, a blood sample, and pictures of all his identifying tattoos."

I prefer to spin it as "oops, we arrested innocent Wonderpug Slappyton and here are his fingerprints and other identifying features that were collected as part of the investigation" instead of "oops, we arrested innocent Wonderpug Slappyton and here are his fingerprints and other identifying features that were collected as part of the investigation and we intend to use to frame him for the murder of Ted Danson in the near future."

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 06:03:53 PM

Finger fingerprints and DNA fingerprints can identify me as having been someplace even if no person or video camera saw me there.  If I have a criminal history, then it makes sense to use that criminal evidence in potential future investigations involving me.  If I have never been convicted of a crime, then it seems wrong to use criminal evidence that was only gathered because I was wrongfully arrested for something I didn't do.

And I don't think it seems wrong to keep criminal evidence that was only gathered because you were wrongfully arrested for something you were found innocent of.  For every person who is the victim of some evil plot by the local constable to frame them for a murder using fingerprints they have on file, there's 10 stories of a missing person found because of such things.
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2013, 06:31:56 PM »

P.S. we're going off course a bit, but I found this current discussion on fingerprint records to be interesting and found this in regards to how they are handled:

Quote
Once you are fingerprinted, a state record is created. Fingerprints are reduced to numbers and letters on a criminal history record for a quick comparison.

If someone was to run a criminal history check on you after having been fingerprinted and no criminal history exists on you, a match would be detected with your fingerprint profile listed. There obviously would be no criminal history listed.

The purpose for putting your fingerprints on a state file, and hence the national database, is also to detect if you are a suspect in a crime.

On the west coast, several states are connected by a system called AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). You may here this term on CSI since Nevada is involved in the system, too. Every so often, prints recovered at a crime are compared against new prints on file. That way, if a print was lifted from a crime scene with no print matched on file, but then a person is arrested for a seperate crime several years later, the match will be made automatically.

Once you are fingerprinted by the government, you're in. The system does not say why you were fingerprinted. There are many reasons someone may be fingerprinted for non-criminal reasons. Most are employment related (security clearance, teachers, daycare workers, etc).

So, your information will NOT be used unless a match to your record shows up as a direct result of another criminal proceeding or investigation; or unless someone with the proper rights ran a criminal background check on you...although that can be done without a fingerprint as well.
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2013, 06:35:16 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 06:06:41 PM

And I don't think it seems wrong to keep criminal evidence that was only gathered because you were wrongfully arrested for something you were found innocent of.  For every person who is the victim of some evil plot by the local constable to frame them for a murder using fingerprints they have on file, there's 10 stories of a missing person found because of such things.

We might have to agree to disagree on this one.  If the purpose of our fingerprint database is to help find missing persons, there should be a method to gather our fingerprints other than hoping we all get wrongfully arrested.  If the only reason a fingerprint is gathered is because I'm suspected of a crime, if I'm acquitted of that crime I should go back to being treated like a citizen who committed no crime.  
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« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2013, 06:37:21 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 03, 2013, 06:35:16 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 06:06:41 PM

And I don't think it seems wrong to keep criminal evidence that was only gathered because you were wrongfully arrested for something you were found innocent of.  For every person who is the victim of some evil plot by the local constable to frame them for a murder using fingerprints they have on file, there's 10 stories of a missing person found because of such things.
 If the purpose of our fingerprint database is to help find missing persons, there should be a method to gather our fingerprints other than hoping we all get wrongfully arrested.

You mean like asking that anyone about to be kidnapped first show up to their local precinct in order to be fingerprinted?   icon_wink

It's a byproduct, not the sole reason.  As I said, it's also used to eliminate anyone from future criminal investigations they may be linked to accidentally, links you to any crimes you may commit in the future (and you know as well as I do that you will...oh...you will) and helps in identifying bodies and Fred Flintstone after he gets hit with a bowling ball and loses his memory yet again.
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« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2013, 06:39:08 PM »

bah, bring on the GPS tracking killchips!
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2013, 06:41:25 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 03, 2013, 06:39:08 PM

bah, bring on the GPS tracking killchips!

mmmm....killchips.

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« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2013, 07:05:13 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 03, 2013, 06:37:21 PM

You mean like asking that anyone about to be kidnapped first show up to their local precinct in order to be fingerprinted?   icon_wink
[/quote]

Pretty much, yeah.  For instance, they sell fingerprinting kits to use on your kids so you have more options for identification should the unthinkable happen.
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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2013, 07:08:00 PM »

I was just kiddin' ya with that reply, but as I noted also in that post, that's just one byproduct of fingerprinting.  

There are a lot of things that I wish we didn't have to do in order to maintain some semblance of safety or order, but I also understand that many of those things are necessary and not the product of ill design.   I guess we'll have to agree to disagree as our thresholds of acceptability on this matter are obviously not the same.
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« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2013, 06:32:17 AM »

Your country is beginning to sound like something out of a Scifi horror story, to us here in Europe. Its hard to grasp what exactly is going on, since there is very large media spinning on everything American by many medias here, in both directions, but in all honesty?

- the Guantanamo Bay is horrific (I understand its not easy to solve, though - Where would you let them go to? What would happen if they took up arms?)
- the Drone killings are horrible (Who is next in line, who decides, what if errors are made - When will they be used on European soil? Hell, even doctors make mistakes and people die)
- DNA datasbases (Possibilties are endless, if you read the right scifi stories - I have no idea though what can be done)
- Patriot act is a disaster waiting to happen

Basically, if you put them together, you have a country where you can be put into jail, into a secret prison, killed by a drone or just taken away on suspicion only, and your DNA will be mapped if you are suspect of a crime.

The above is the worst possible spin I realize, but still - Thats how it looks to us on the outside.
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2013, 11:51:31 AM »

Everything can be spun negatively.  Give me 20 minutes reading Danish news and I'm betting we could create a dystopian nightmare out of your country as well.
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« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2013, 11:56:07 AM »

Hah, especially today, when the new non-disclosure act has been passed you can! Basically, we no longer have a right to see what ministers write to certain government agencies anymore, which we used to have. And hey, tomorrow is our constitution day ;-)
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« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2013, 02:30:28 PM »

The military takes your fingerprints automatically on enlistment.  In addition you can go to any police station and request to be fingerprinted and have it put in the database to aid in missing persons type incidents.  I'm not sure it's a bad idea to do that. 

Regarding the comment about leaving your fingerprints everywhere but not your dna, that's just not correct either.  You leave skin and hair samples pretty much everywhere and although it's not as good as fresher samples, I'm sure they can get and track something from it.

You guys are oddly paranoid about a lot of things, and seemingly fine with others that feel more invasive.  Ah well, part of why I have so few reads in P&R smile
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« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2013, 03:01:07 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on June 17, 2013, 02:30:28 PM

You guys are oddly paranoid about a lot of things, and seemingly fine with others that feel more invasive.  Ah well, part of why I have so few reads in P&R smile

And you're oddly surprised that not everyone has the same opinion on things.  Are you just now emerging from a cave and experiencing humanity for the first time?   icon_razz
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