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Manditory DNA testing at birth


Narei Mooncatt:
This doesn't have anything to do with any news story I'm aware of, just something I've thought about now and then and curious what others think. What are your views on if government required manditory DNA testing on every citizen at birth to be stored in a national database for law enforcement? On one hand, I could see this being immensely helpful both in solving crimes, and as a deterant since you know that something as simple as a hair being left behind could have the cops finding out the criminal. Obviously on the other hand are right to privacy concerns and unlawful search and seizure issues (In the U.S. you can not be searched without a warrant or reasonable suspision, not sure about other countries). BTW, I'm not suggesting in this scenario that simply finding one of your hairs at a violent crime scene would make you guilty. I'm saying that if they find it on the victim's body for example, they would know you had contact with the person and look for other evidence for a case when you may otherwise have been able to get away without even being a suspect.





There are two issues that I can think of, besides the obvious ethical implications. 

1) Logistics.  Here in Massachusetts, it is required that inmates convicted of felonies have their DNA put on file.  This is a daunting task for the State Police, and it is just those whoa re incarcerated for felonies.  There is simply not enough manpower or money to do this for all 6.5 Million citizens of the Commonwealth, let alone the 304 Million citizens of the United States

3) Investigative.  Contrary to popular belief, there is such as thing as too much evidance.  In Forensic Science, ther is something called Locard's exchange principle.  It states, in essence, that whenever two object come into contact, something of one is left on the other, and vice versa.  THis is tyher basic prioncipal that modern forensic science is built off of. 

Now, consider the number of people that you have had contact with in the past 24 hours.  Cashiers, delivery drivers, friends, family, etc.  The sheer amount of DNA that would need to be tested for a murder victim is staggering.

Related to this is the fact that most Murders are already solvable using conventional detective work, and DNA is usually only used as the proverbial 'nail in the coffin' for a court case. 

It is a violation of my right to privacy, and I'll oppose this every step of the way, should something to this effect happen.  The goverment has no business knowing these things.  To take samples of everyone for law inforcement purposes seems to me only a few steps away from assuming that everyone is guilty of crime until proven innocent.

The 5th amendment protects us from self incrimination of crime, and I see DNA testing as a violation of law if its not done voluntarily.

Also, once the goverment has copies of everyone's DNA, whats to stop them from using it for non-law inforcement purposes?

And knowing the 'interwebs smarts' of the government, chances are that the database isn't going to be as secure as everyone would like...
And we all know what happens when some little 'script-kiddie' ('newbie hacker' in hacker parlance.) gets too bored...


--- Quote from: RedneckFur on September 10, 2009, 06:42:36 pm ---It is a violation of my right to privacy...
--- End quote ---

Oh, that too. :-[

In all seriousness though, you do make a good point regarding due process.  Even I, as one who is planning to go into Law Enforcement, think that this would be going too far.  Police Officers do not need to know all of this information off the bat.  If they need to compare DNA, they just need to find enough evidance to get a warrant to do a comparative DNA Test. 


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