Civil libertarians criticize DNA databases
Published: Thursday October 26, 2006
Advocates for civil freedoms are expressing their concerns with the recent rise of DNA databases, National Journal's 'Technology Daily' reports.
Speaking at a Washington, D.C. event hosted by the ACLU, "civil libertarians on Wednesday cited the many perceived risks of DNA databases," writes Winter Casey.
"An over-reliance on these databases could undermine criminal justice," said an ACLU science adviser, who warned of "possible misuses of data related to race or sexual orientation" and called for "a 'moratorium of databases' until more is known."
Casey wrote that a UC-Irvine professor "said he is concerned that criminals will develop increasingly sophisticated ways to outsmart law enforcement," and that "any databases should be more open to the public."
Excerpts from the subscription-only article follow...
According to the President's DNA Initiative, all states have provisions that allow for the collection of DNA profiles from offenders convicted of particular crimes. Currently, Simoncelli said 44 states require samples from all adults convicted of felonies.
On Monday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair reportedly called for the country's national DNA database to be expanded to include every citizen.
If any of you reading this are true-crime buffs, you probably know about how so many of the more famous crimes both recently and in the distant past were committed by pairs of males...Leopold and Loeb, Smith and Hickock, Harris and Klebold, Tulloch and Parker, Williams and Malvo... I am beginning to lump Bush and Blair in that same list.
Ray Bradbury wrote these haunting words in his book Something Wicked This Way Comes:
"So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim. Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will's along. Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim's watching. God, how we get our fingers into each other's clay. That's friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of the other."
What if Blair hadn't supported Bush in the beginning? Would things be different? Maybe, maybe not...but if Blair had taken the same stance as the French and the Russians, Bush might not have been so "enabled."