August 18, 2022

The Genetic Panopticon: We’re Every Suspects in a DNA Lineup, Waiting to be Matched having a Crime

DNA technologies in the hands of govt officials will complete the transition to a Surveillance State in which prison walls are disguised within the seemingly good-hearted trappings of technological plus scientific progress, national safety and the need to guard towards terrorists, pandemics, civil unrest, etc .

“ Solving unsolved crimes is really a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the United states pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our individuals from suspicionless law-enforcement searches… Make no mistake about it… your DNA could be taken and entered into the national DNA database in case you are ever arrested, rightly or even wrongly, and for whatever reason… Perhaps the construction of such a hereditary panopticon is wise. But  I doubt that the happy men who wrote the charter of our liberties would have been so eager to open their mouths for regal inspection . ” — Justice Antonin Scalia dissenting in  Maryland v. King

Be warned: the  DNA detectives are on the prowl .

Whatever skeletons may be lurking on your loved ones tree or in your wardrobe, whatever crimes you may have committed, whatever associations you may have along with those on the government’s many wanted lists: the police state is determined to ferret all of them out.

Within an age of overcriminalization, round-the-clock monitoring, and a police state desperate to flex its muscles within a show of power, we are all doing some transgression or various other.

No longer can we consider ourselves blameless until proven guilty.

Now we are all potential foods in a DNA lineup waiting to be matched up with a crime.

Suspect State, meet the  Genetic Panopticon .

DNA technology within the hands of government officials will complete our changeover to a Surveillance State   in which prison walls are disguised within the seemingly benevolent trappings of technical and scientific progress, national security and the need to guard against terrorists, pandemics, city unrest, etc .

By accessing your DNA, the  government can soon know everything else about you that they don’t already know : your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your wellbeing history, your inclination to follow orders or chart your personal course, etc .

It’s getting harder to hide, even if you think you’ve got absolutely nothing to hide.

Armed with unprecedented access to DNA databases amassed by the FBI plus ancestry website, as well as hospital  newborn screening programs , police are using  forensic genealogy , which allows police to match up an unknown suspect’s crime scene DNA with that of any family members in a genealogy database,   to solve chilly cases   that have remained unsolved for decades.

By submitting your DNA to a genealogical database such as Ancestry and 23andMe, you’re giving the police entry to the  genetic makeup, relationships and health information of every relative — past, present and future— in your family, whether or not they ever agreed to be part of such a database.

It no more even matters if you’re one of the tens of  huge numbers of people who have added their DNA to ancestry databases . As Brian Resnick  reports , public GENETICS databases have grown so substantial that they can be used to find a person even if you’ve never contributed your own DNA.

That simple transaction— a spit sample or a cheek swab in exchange for getting to learn everything about one’s ancestral makeup, where one came from, plus who is part of one’s prolonged family— is  the cost of entry into the Suspect Condition   for all of us.

After all, a GENETICS print reveals everything about “ who we have been, where we come from, plus who we will be . ” It can also be used to  predict the physical appearance   of potential suspects.

It’s what police like to refer to a “ modern finger-print . ”

Whereas fingerprint technology created a watershed moment for law enforcement in their ability to “ crack” a case, DNA technology has become being hailed by law adjustment agencies as the  magic bullet in crime resolving , especially when it helps all of them crack cold cases of serial murders and rapists.

After all, who seem to wouldn’t want to get psychopaths plus serial rapists off the roads and safely behind bars, right?

At least, that’s the  discussion being used by law enforcement   to support their unhindered access to these genealogy directories, and they’ve got the  success stories   to prove it.

For instance, a 68-year-old Pa man was arrested plus charged with the brutal rape and murder of a younger woman almost 50 many years earlier. Relying on genealogical research suggesting that the killer got ancestors who hailed from the small town in Italia,   investigators simplified their findings down to one particular man   whose DNA, obtained from a discarded coffee cup, matched the particular killer’s.

Within another cold case investigation, a 76-year-old man was arrested for two decades-old murders after his  DNA was collected from a breathalyzer during an unrelated traffic stop .

However it’s not just psychopaths and serial rapists who are getting  caught up in the investigative dragnet . In the law enforcement state’s pursuit of criminals, anyone who comes up as a possible DNA match— including distant family members— suddenly becomes part of  a circle associated with suspects that must be tracked, researched and ruled out .

Victims of past crimes are also getting  added to the government’s increasing DNA database   of potential suspects. For example, San Francisco  police used a rape victim’s DNA , which was on file from a 2016 sexual assault, to arrest the woman for allegedly being associated with a property crime that took place in 2021.

In this way, “ guilt by association” has taken on new connotations in a technological age in which one is  just a DNA sample away   from becoming considered a person of interest within a police investigation. As Jessica Cussins warns in  Psychology Today , “ The fundamental fight— that information from potentially innocent individuals should not be used to connect them to unrelated crimes— continues to be lost . ”

Until recently, the federal government was required to at least see some basic restrictions on when, where and how it could access someone’s DNA. Which was turned on its head simply by various U. S. Supreme Court rulings that heralded the loss of privacy on a cellular level.

For example, the  U. S. Supreme Court ruled in  Maryland v. Ruler   that will taking DNA samples from the suspect doesn’t violate your fourth Amendment. The Court’s subsequent decision to let endure the  Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling in  Raynor v. Baltimore , which essentially determined that individuals do not have a right to privacy when it comes to their particular DNA, made Americans even more vulnerable to the government accessing, analyzing and storing their DNA without their knowledge or permission.

That it is all been downhill ever since then.

Indeed, the government has been relentless in its attempts to get hold of our GENETICS, either through mandatory programs performed in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial  GENETICS shared with genealogical services   such as  Ancestry   and  23andMe , or even through the collection of our “ shed” or “ touch” DNA.

Be prepared, folks, because the government has  embarked on a diabolical campaign to create a nation of suspects predicated on a enormous national DNA database .

This has already been helped along by Our elected representatives (which adopted legislation enabling police to collect and test DNA immediately following arrests), Leader Trump (who signed  the Rapid DNA Function   into law), the courts (which have  ruled   that police can routinely take DNA samples through people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime), plus local police agencies (which are chomping at the little bit to acquire this new crime-fighting gadget).

For example , Rapid DNA machines— portable, about the size of a desktop printer, highly unregulated,   far from fool-proof , and so fast that they can generate DNA profiles in less than 2 hours— allow police to take fishing expeditions for any touch of  possible   misconduct using GENETICS samples.

Reporter Heather Murphy explains: “ As police agencies construct out their local GENETICS databases, they are collecting GENETICS not only from people who have already been charged with major crimes but also, increasingly,   from people who are merely deemed suspicious, permanently linking their genetic identities to lawbreaker databases . ”

All 50 states now maintain their own DNA government databases, although the methods for collection differ from condition to state. Increasingly, many of the information from local databanks are now being uploaded to CODIS, the particular FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and monitor the American people through birth to death.

Even hospitals possess gotten in on the online game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the  government’s mandatory hereditary screening of newborns . In many states, the GENETICS is stored indefinitely. There’s already a move underway to carry out  entire genome sequencing on infants , ostensibly to help identify rare diseases earlier plus improve health later in life, which usually constitutes an ethical minefield all by itself.

What this means for those being given birth to today is inclusion inside a government database that contains close information about who they are, their ancestry, and what awaits them later on,   including their inclinations to be followers, leaders or troublemakers .

Just recently, in fact , law enforcement in New Jersey  accessed the DNA from the nine-year-old blood sample of a newborn   in order to determine the child’s father being a suspect in a decades-old sex assault.

The ramifications of this kind of GENETICS profiling are  far-reaching .

At least, these DNA databases do away with any semblance of  privacy   or  anonymity .

The  profitable possibilities   to get hackers and commercial entities looking to profit off one’s biological record are countless. It’s estimated that the global human identification market is usually projected to reach  $6. 5 billion simply by 2032 .

These genetic databases plus genomic technology also make us that much more susceptible to creeps and  cyberstalkers ,   genetic profiling , and those whom would  weaponize   the technology against us.

Regrettably, the debate over genetic privacy— and when one’s DNA becomes a  public commodity   away from protection of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on warrantless lookups and seizures— continues to lag far behind the government plus Corporate America’s encroachments on our rights.

Moreover, while much of the public argument, legislative efforts and lawful challenges in recent years have focused on the protocols surrounding whenever police can legally gather a suspect’s DNA (with or without a search bring about and whether upon arrest or conviction), the question showing how to handle “ shed” or even “ touch” DNA has largely slipped through with little debate or opposition.

As scientist Leslie A. Pray  notes :

We all shed DNA, causing traces of our identity virtually everywhere we go… Actually the garbage you keep for curbside pickup is a potential gold mine of this sort of material. All of this drop or so-called abandoned GENETICS is free for the consuming by local police investigators hoping to crack unsolvable cases… shed DNA is also free of charge for inclusion in a key universal DNA databank.

What this means is that when you have the misfortune to leave your DNA traces anywhere a crime continues to be committed, you’ve already got a file somewhere in some state or federal database— albeit it may be a file without a name. As Heather Murphy alerts in the  New York Times : “ The particular science-fiction future, in which police can swiftly identify criminals and murderers from discarded soda cans and cig butts, has arrived…     Genetic fingerprint scanning is set to become as schedule as the old-fashioned kind.

Because the dissenting opinion to the Maryland Court of Appeals’ shed DNA ruling in  Raynor  rightly cautioned, “ A person can no longer vote, participate in a jury, or obtain a driver’s license, without having to open up his genetic materials for state collection   and codification. ” Indeed, by refusing to hear the  Raynor  case, the U. T. Supreme Court gave its  tacit approval intended for government agents to collect lose DNA , likening it to a person’s fingerprints or maybe the color of their hair, eyes or skin.

Is actually just a matter of time before government agents will know almost everywhere we’ve been and how long we were at each place by following our own shed DNA. After all, scientists can already  monitor salmon across hundreds of sq . miles of streams and rivers   making use of DNA.

Nowadays, helped along by robotics and automation, DNA digesting, analysis and reporting takes far less time and can provide forth all manner of information, as a result of a person’s eye color and family members. Incredibly, one company  specializes in creating “ cup shots” for police depending on DNA samples   from unknown “ suspects” which are then compared to individuals with similar genetic profiles.

Of course , none of these types of technologies are  infallible .

DNA evidence can be wrong, through human error,   tampering , or even outright  fabrication , and it happens  more often   than we are informed.

What this particular amounts to is a scenario in which we have little to no defense against costs of wrongdoing, especially when “ convicted” by technology, and also less protection against the federal government sweeping up our GENETICS in much the same way this sweeps up our telephone calls, emails and text messages.

As I make clear in my book  Battleground America: The War in the American People   and in its imaginary counterpart  The Erik Blair Diaries , it’s only a matter of time before the police state’s pursuit of criminals from the past expands into  genetic profiling   and a  preemptive search for criminals of the future .


The End of American Justice

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