Supremes Confirm Death Of Fourth Amendment: Arrested Persons Must Give DNA

This is usually NOT my favorite person. He says and avows some remarkably stupid things. But not today. Today, he stood up for liberty. Today, we will not say mean things about Antonin Scalia (oh OK, we did just then—but you know—no MORE mean things today).
How bad is this one?

Even Justice Scalia—who voted AGAINST the police state with the minority! in Maryland versus King (a DNA case)—calls its scope “vast (and scary)”, noting that:

“As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”

OK’ing the expansion of the national police database of DNA records, the United States Supreme Court said today that cops could obtain DNA data from suspects arrested for crimes.

Comparing DNA information about people to their fingerprints and photographs, also allowed in arrest and booking procedures, the Court said that DNA is ever so much better at helping police fight crimes, and also, privacy concerns of arrested individuals “necessarily diminish”, because after all they WOULDN’T BE arrested unless they had done something wrong.

Right?

Dismissing concerns that police possession of DNA codes of individuals would give government TMI (TOO MUCH INFORMATION), the Supremes said “don’t worry about it, assholes”:

“The processing of respondent’s DNA sample’s CODIS loci also did not intrude on his privacy in a way that would make his DNA identification unconstitutional. Those loci came from noncoding DNA parts that do not reveal an arrestee’s genetic traits and are unlikely to reveal any private medical information. Even if they could provide such information, they are not in fact tested for that end.”

Translation: The DNA data taken from suspects enables police to compare it to (and add it to) CODIS data, the FBI’s national criminal justice DNA database. The FBI alleges it makes no effort to synch DNA identifying information to things like names and social security numbers. However, obviously, that information IS accessible in the system if a request for ID is made, since the purpose of the system is to assist law enforcement in IDing suspects. The feds claim as well that the DNA databases are “located in [a] physically secure space at a criminal justice agency.”

Oh good. That way the Chinese hacker squads won’t be able to get at them—until they do.

So, basically if you’re arrested, you might as well send your saliva swabs directly to Beijing, assuming the FBI even makes any effort any longer to prevent unauthorized sharing of supposedly sensitive information with the Chinese.

And that’s just a slight exaggeration of the real concern: do you really trust the federal government NOT to abuse the DNA database to do data forensics, the nature of which they certainly will not be putting on their public websites?

American citizens, not convicted of any crime at all, and without any warrant being issued, will now lose a substantial portion of the essence of their private existences. To call such persons, whose DNA schematics are held by the national police agencies, “free”, is a derangement of the word.

This is yet another round of the US government’s increasingly intrusive paternalistic, militaristic, and authoritarian extermination of the rights of the American people.

The USA, as envisioned by the Founders anyway, is broken beyond repair.

Comments