The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All your base are belong to us

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As noted previously, government has a huge file on me. With all the stuff I do, the licenses I have and frankly, being me in general, this is not surprising.

I go through a background check at least once a year, sometimes more. I get fingerprinted regularly. My annual physical is part of the government records. In short, the government knows a LOT about me.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday the government can learn even more about me. Law enforcement now has the right to pull DNA samples from someone who's been arrested.

On one hand I see this as the 4 dissenting Justices see it - an intolerable invasion of privacy.

On the other hand, I see it as some of the 5 judge majority see it - the same thing as getting fingerprints.

I pull my info from this HuffPo story.

IN FAVOR


"Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's five-justice majority.

Pulling fingerprints is a long established matter. It has led to the solving of many other crimes. Getting DNA, under a search warrant, has also led to solving crimes. Both have exonerated people.

Are your fingerprints a matter of your personal and private business? When you touch something with a bare finger, you leave a fingerprint behind. For that matter, you also leave some cells behind which have your DNA. Do this is in a public place and yeah, it's public. Period. To me it's exactly like walking down the street. Do that and you're in the public eye.

Ya doesn't like it, ya stays out of the public.

However...

IN DISSENT

Public is one thing. Government is quite another.

The SCOTUS case ruled the warrantless DNA swabbing is allowed for "serious" and violent crimes.

 Anyone who believes government is going to stick to that limit voted for the current president.

...Justice Antonin Scalia predict[ed] the limitation to "serious" crimes would not last. "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 said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom. "This will solve some extra crimes, to be sure. But so would taking your DNA when you fly on an airplane – surely the TSA must know the `identity' of the flying public. For that matter, so would taking your children's DNA when they start public school."

Oy. He's absolutely correct. Once government gets permission to harvest information about people in for one thing, it will expand that to cover anything and everything.

You think not?

EXPANDING GUMMINT

A Maine license with fingerprint coding.
Do you have a bunch of gibberish on the back of your driver's license? Not a bar code, but what looks like the printer had a migraine. In Georgia and some other states, that's a fingerprint digitally encoded.

When this was passed in Georgia, it was done to help eliminate identify theft and fraud. In this regard, it has been one of the most spectacular failures in the history of government. Not too long ago federal folks served warrants in an ID theft case in the town where I live. Several people have been arrested on more than 100 ID-theft related charges per person. Law Enforcement simply didn't bother to pursue more warrants.

The fingerprint is NOT supposed to be used in criminal investigations, in Georgia at least.

And if you believe that's actually what is happening, you voted for the current president twice and wish he could be elected dictator for life.

The simple fact, born out by the history of humanity, is that government will take everything it can get and then some. DNA harvesting is just another step in giving government more control of our lives.

It's wrong and it's going to lead to more abuses.

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