Genetic security and Civil rights – The Whos
The advent of the genetics revolution has initiated a debate regarding the security of privacy, civil rights, protection and regulations of your DNA material, despite being masked behind the shroud of distracting media. The dizzying effects of celebrity news, tsunamis, the latest electronic gadgets and sport scandals have concealed the growing mushroom cloud long enough that even the sky needs to flex in order to contain it. “Over the last three decades, the FBI has been developing its CODIS program to assist federal, state, local, and international forensic laboratories in databasing their DNA records for law enforcement investigative purposes. (2015, June). The FBI along with law enforcement at every stratosphere has taken advantage of the properties of genetic material to implement the law. Not surprisingly, civil rights organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Rights Union of Northern California (ACLU) are concerned with the magnitude of implications, power over the people and the erosion of the founding principles of our nation, thus are objecting the common, expanding encroaching practices that they believe has and are violating civil liberties. Is it really a mushroom cloud? Do you like big brothers hanging out your on doorstep, watching for you, or are they watching you?
The Issue: Are we criminals until proven innocent?
Take for example, the force of collection of your DNA without a warrant, collecting without consent as in the Michael Ursy’s case and even mining private companies such as 23andMe and Ancestary.com to perform familial searching. It may not be a surprise to you that we are being surveillanced, as it was leaked, phone tabbing during the Bush administration. Either is it stranger to our history, old classics film was fueled by espionage and spy agents. Who has not heard of Mission Impossible or James Bond? So, for the last thirty years the surveillance system has grown, but it is not until the last ten years or so that the revolution of genetics in conjunction with technology that has stripped societies to a pile of bare bones. The FBI and local police do not deny its capabilities but only to infer their practices as heroic, and crime stopping but civil organizations see a much more bigger picture as misuse and misconduct of such practices has surfaced in the news.
FBI and the government claims to use genetic material and technology to solve crime
Not long ago, the FBI was rarely heard of in civil level cases, but as of late the FBI and local law enforcement are teaming up merging their forces, much like American airlines and United Airways. They can be easily found in the city as they are in black suits in unmarked cars. Unanimously, they blame much of the unsolved cases and the rate of crime on the lack of a system like CODIS, an identification tool that was initially thought to benefit the investigation of sexual assault cases has proven to have wider application in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. “States have observed this firsthand with their CODIS hits and sought to expand coverage of their databases beyond convicted sexual offenders—first to more serious violent felony offenders, then all felony offenders, and now to persons arrested for sexual offenses and, in many states, persons arrested for any felony offense” (2015, June). It works with Rapid DNA (Rapid DNA Analysis, the device is a hands free instrument that enables law enforcement to process a “swab” of DNA and create a profile within a few hours, automated extraction, amplification, separation, detection and allele calling without human intervention. Furthermore, the program is collaborated with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institute of Justice, and other federal agencies to ensure the coordinated development of this new technology among federal agencies. The FBI and law enforcement has a growing database from prior convictions, current but not convicted arrests, convicted arrests, and private databases.(For global database, click here.)
EEF and ACLU say it is a violation to the Fourth Amendment to privacy.
Civil organisations such as EEF, a non profit defender of civil liberties contends and that the federal law that mandates DNA collection as a condition for bail for people who have been arrested for felonies. Additional, in the Raynor vs Maryland State case, Glenn Raynor’s genetic material was collected and tested without his knowledge or consent after he agreed to an interview at a police station as part of a criminal investigation. The police didn’t have probable cause to arrest Raynor, and he refused to provide a DNA sample. After he left the station, police swabbed the armrest of the chair where he had been sitting to collect his skin cells without his knowledge. The police then extracted a DNA profile from the cells and used it to connect him to the crime. Additionally, the use of Rapid DNA can be used by non scientist persons, void of a credited laboratory. In the case of Michael Ursy, a filmmaker was falsely arrested via familial searching. His father had donated his DNA to a project sponsored by a mormon church, who has since been acquired by Ancestry.com. The police force said that Ursy “fit the mold of a plausible suspect (2015, March),” ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has filed a lawsuit against the federal law that mandates DNA collection and asked the courts to stop collecting, analyzing, databanking DNA material from persons arrested but not convicted from a crime. Both civil
Big Brother or Not
Clearly, this a subject that warrants enormous presidency. The grand power in government would be too irresistible to abuse. It is challenging enough for even our most respected politicians to not fall and slip down the slope of corruption and entitlement. Our population is growing in great numbers and with so many diseases engulfing, degrading our civilizations, under the current system change is needed. However, government seems to think the idea of supreme power is the answer. EEF and ACLU both think tremendous assaults has been acted upon our society and regulations need to be implemented in order to salvage the constitutional amendment and the democracy of this nation. I agree.
Meyers, S.P. (2015, June). Laboratories: Familial Searching. The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved fromhttps://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/biometric-analysi…
Hess, Amy. (2015, March). Testimony. The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved fromhttps://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/fbis-plans-for-…