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Is a Mandatory DNA Database for All Americans Coming Soon?

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By Claire Bernish

Although many thought the U.S. would see it first, mandatory DNA testing—for every citizen, foreign resident, and visitor—is now the law in Kuwait. Violations of this truly dystopic law carry the penalty of a year in prison or a fine of $33,000—but falsifying a DNA sample carries a seven-year prison term. If you think this won’t come to the U.S., you should carefully consider how frighteningly close we already are—and the rather daunting future implications.

The Kuwaiti government made the groundbreaking—albeit terrifying—decision to require mass DNA collection following the June 26 bombing of a Shia mosque in Kuwait City that killed 25 and injured over 200. That attack was part one of three the same day—all claimed by ISIL (ISIS, IS)—that included a mass shooting at a tourist resort in Tunisia, which left 28 dead and 36 injured, and an explosion at a gas factory near Lyon, France. Passed in early July at a cost of $400 million, the procedures for DNA testing and collection are not yet known, but the project is expected to be complete no later than September 2016.

“We are in a state of war. Yes, we have busted this terror cell but there are other cells we are going to strike,” said Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Khaled al-Sabah in a speech before parliament prior to implementation of the law.

All 1.3 million citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents as well as visitors will be required to give a DNA sample for the database under the premise of facilitating expediency in criminal investigations. There will be exceptions for those with, as the government termed it, “the proper excuse”—though there was no indication what would constitute such an excuse.

“We are prepared to do anything to boost security measures in the country,” vowed MP Jamal al-Omar—sounding reminiscent of President Bush’s push to pass the Patriot Act following 9/11.

Though Kuwait’s new law is raising eyebrows with privacy advocates concerned about such governmental overreach, it should be noted that the U.S. hasn’t been as restrained with DNA collection as it once was. In fact, if you think widespread DNA collection couldn’t happen here, you are already wrong—state and federal courts recently cracked the lid a little wider on the Pandora’s Box of DNA profiling.

In 2013 in Maryland v. King, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection for all arrestees under Maryland law—whether or not they are ever convicted of a crime. King had his DNA collected and profiled following an arrest for assault. After the lab forwarded his genetic profile to the FBI to upload into its DNA database, called CODIS—standard procedure after a lab extracts the profile—it was compared to genetic evidence collected in all unsolved crimes. As King’s assault charge made its way through the courts, CODIS identified a match in an unsolved rape. He was subsequently charged, convicted, and sentenced to life—all stemming from an otherwise simple arrest.

Considering there are 28 states—up from 15 in 2009—as well as the federal government, that collect DNA with every arrest, the King decision is “the ‘slippery slope toward ever-expanding warrantless DNA testing’ that judges throughout the country have predicted is already upon us,” as the Electronic Frontier Foundation described in their brief for the King case.

It didn’t take long for repercussions of the King case—the EFF’s “slippery slope”—to manifest nationally in the worst possible way.

Ironically, the most disturbing indication that mandatory national DNA collection is imminent also came from the same state that ostensibly opened the door for it. In State v. Raynor, the Maryland Supreme Court amplified the King ruling exponentially by allowing for warrantless DNA collection when someone hasn’t even been arrested for a crime. After voluntarily going to the police station to answer questions about a rape case and refusing to submit to DNA testing on request, Glenn Raynor’s DNA was taken without his consent from a tissue he left behind on a chair. The fact that a court found this DNA extraction without consent perfectly constitutional, is at least a cause for alarm.

Kuwait’s mandatory DNA collection is the veritable forgone conclusion in the U.S.,  given the trend in court decisions and the vastly expanding scope of collection already in place. In just six years, the FBI’s DNA database has more than doubled in size—from 6.7 million profiles in 2009 to nearly 13.8 million as of May 2015—due, in part, to warrantless, suspicionless testing for arrestees. Over 2 million profiles—and rapidly counting—have been added to that database stemming purely from arrests.

If you value privacy and aren’t a fan of Big Brother, these technological developments are rather creepy—or, more accurately, downright terrifying—when you consider the context of the aforementioned court decisions.

Law enforcement is pushing heavily toward Rapid DNA Analyzers—which can complete a profile in 90 minutes or less—that can be used by a layperson in the field since they are comparable in size to a laser printer. One manufacturer, IntegenX, boasts that “Rapid DNA promises to revolutionize the use of DNA by making it a routine identification and investigational tool.” In case you skimmed that description—yes, they did say identification.

Granted, this is in a law enforcement scenario—for now. But given what the FBI announced during a biometrics conference in 2014, there are rather disturbing possible future implications. In order to link its Next Generation Identification (NGI) biometrics database with the CODIS DNA profiles, the FBI is looking to simplify—by assigning a universal identification number.

Oh, the possibilities.

Given the context of DNA collection for people who haven’t even been arrested judged constitutional by a high court, the increasing prevalence of Rapid DNA tech, and the assigning of a number to link between the DNA and NGI databases—what could possibly go wrong? Is the thought that we could be identified in the not-so-distant future with chilling accuracy in less than an hour and a half by a number really all that bad?

Perhaps each aspect mentioned above might not seem terribly important on its own, but taken as a whole they are incredibly serious concerns. Are the jokes about Americans being forcibly tattooed with ID numbers really that far-fetched? Do you trust your government?

Claire Bernish writes for Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific.

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include social justice, police brutality, exposing the truth behind propaganda, and general government accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Ohio. Learn more about Bernish here!



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    Total 4 comments
    • Global Grist

      Although DNA analysis can be used for legitimate good causes, it leaves the door open for convincing frame-ups of anyone you want to dispose of by “placing” them at the scene of a crime. Very little could be done to exonerate yourself if law enforcement is willing to plant your DNA at a scene then testify to it, or even just testify that they found it whether it was there or not. Once that happens, you’re toast.

    • Juden

      “…CODIS identified a match in an unsolved rape. He was subsequently charged, convicted, and sentenced to life—all stemming from an otherwise simple arrest.”

      That is a bad thing? A rapist was given a life sentence after he assaulted someone else and was fingered by technology.


        And if we had cameras installed in every room of every house and business in the world, the authorities would catch far more criminal acts being committed than they do even now.

        But do those ends justify the means? Do you really think zero privacy is a good thing? Moot question. The choice is being eliminated from consideration even as we speak.

        Zero privacy is what’s on the menu. And no. It is not a good thing.

    • desertspeaks

      blah blah blah, Oh they made a law, yada yada.
      Why does everyone blindly accept that the governments laws, codes, statutes, policies, edicts, rules, executive orders and regulations apply to the private person without EVER questioning it?? Obviously there are going to be some idiots whose opinions are in lock step with government employees, their indoctrination to blind obedience is unshakable.. BUT CAN ANYONE ACTUALLY PROVE THEIR LAWS APPLY TO THE PRIVATE PERSON?? Can you??

      IF you ask government employees if their CONstitution and laws automatically apply to everyone just because of their physical location, their collective opinion is that YES, their CONstitution and laws apply to everyone, automatically. BUT if you ask them what facts they rely on that PROVE their BELIEF that it is applicable to you “as a private person”, they have no plausible answer. They can’t believe you would even question their laws. They’ll claim that you must be insane to ever question their laws and its applicability to you as a private person. They’ll ignore the question as though you never asked it, they’ll hang up on you, PRETEND as though they don’t understand the question, they’ll tell you that they aren’t going to debate with you “EVEN THOUGH ALL YOU DID WAS ASK FOR FACTUAL EVIDENCE THAT PROVES THEIR ASSERTION OF JURISDICTION OVER YOU AS A PRIVATE PERSON” They’ll tell you that it’s common knowledge that it applies and you, like them, should just accept it without any evidence of applicability whatsoever, they’ll even tell you to prove it doesn’t apply to you, this is all an attempt to avoid answering your question!!, but they’ll continue to refuse to answer as to what factual evidence they rely on to prove any of it applies to you as a private person, BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ANY FACTUAL EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THEIR BELIEF, BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST!.. remember, they already told you it applies, it is their responsibility to prove it applies because they are the ones attempting to bring a charge against you, so the onus to prove it applies, is theirs,.. It is not up to you to disprove anything applies!!!

      Everyone has been told that the CONstitution and law automatically apply to everyone. it’s everyone’s opinion that it applies, everyone feels it applies, everyone believes it applies, everyone assumes and presumes it applies. HOWEVER; hearsay, opinions, feelings, beliefs, assumptions, presumptions and or so called common knowledge aren’t proof of a damn thing.

      What tangible, factual, first hand, irrefutable evidence can anyone offer that proves that their CONstitution and laws apply to the private person simply because their physical location?

      Keeping in mind that slavery and involuntary servitude is illegal and abolished “per their own laws”.
      Further, no private person is a party to their CONstitution, nor is any private person a signatory to their CONstitution, nor has any private person sworn an oath to be bound by or to obey the CONstitution and laws. Nor is there any oath that is applicable to the private person!!

      Lets see what their courts have to say about YOU “as a private person” and their CON-stitution!
      Padelford, Fay & Co. v. Mayor and Aldermen of City of Savannah 14 Ga. 438, which states the following;
      “But, indeed, no private person has a right to complain, by suit in Court, on the ground of a breach of the Constitution. The Constitution, it is true, is a compact, but he is not a party to it. The States are the parties to it.”… bottom right of page 45 and top left of page 46

      That leads us to ask, what is a compact, as cited in Padelford??
      From black’s law 4th edition, page 351
      COMPACT, n. An agreement; a contract. Green
      v. Biddle, 8 Wheat. 1, 92, 5 L.Ed. 547. Usually
      applied to conventions between nations or sovereign

      So now we know that A Constitution is a “contract”

      What is a private person, as cited in Padelford??
      Black’s law, 4th edition, page 1359
      PRIVATE PERSON. An individual who is not
      the incumbent of an office.

      Black’s law, 4th edition, page 1358
      PRIVATE. Affecting or belonging to private individuals,
      as distinct from the public generally.
      Not official; not clothed with office. People v.
      Powell, 280 Mich. 699, 274 N.W. 372, 373, 111 A.L.
      R. 721.

      The private person “as noted in Padelford” is definitively excluded as being a party to the Constitution,

      Do you grasp the gravity of NOT being a party to some agreement, contract, compact or constitution??
      When one is NOT a party to some agreement, contract, compact or CONstitution, then one is NOT BOUND TO OBEY IT OR ANY PROMULGATIONS ARISING FROM ANY ALLEGED AUTHORITY OF SAID INSTRUMENT! “those promulgations would be their codes, policies, statutes and laws etc”

      Who precisely is a party to their CONstitution?? The States “as identified in padelford” are parties to the CONstitution. NOT YOU, THE LIVING BREATHING FLESH AND BLOOD MAN/WOMAN “private person”!!

      We can reasonably extrapolate from Padelford, that we “as private people” are NOT party to State CON-stitutions either. The parties to State CON-stitutions are Counties, Cities, Districts and corporations. NOT YOU THE PRIVATE PERSON!

      When one is DEFINITIVELY EXCLUDED as a party to some agreement, contract, compact and CON-stitution, then one can never be subject to obey or adhere to the original agreement, contract, compact or CON-stitution or any promulgations arising from of or by the original contract!

      Should you BELIEVE you can prove applicability and wish to accept the challenge to show your proof/evidence. You shall adhere to the following;

      Your proof/evidence MUST be tangible, factual and personal firsthand, irrefutable information. Your proof/evidence shall NOT be comprised of something you heard, ie hearsay, historical documents that are not endorsed with the wet ink signature of anyone being charged under any alleged authority “without a wet ink signature, which obviously and definitively excludes anyone as a party to any agreement, contract, compact/CON-stitution”, your opinions, someone else’s opinions, your beliefs, someone else’s beliefs, your feelings, someone else’s feelings, assumptions, presumptions, hypotheticals, conjecture, sophistry, fraud, lies, scenarios or what if’s.
      Further; You shall not invoke laws, statutes, codes, policies,treaties etc, or any CONstitution or any amendments to their CONstitutions, as that presupposes that any of it is applicable, when that is what is in question in the first place!

      And since you won’t be able to show any factual, firsthand, irrefutable evidence that proves applicability, I included the following!!

      the maxim applies: quod non apparet non est. The fact not appearing is presumed not to exist.

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