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RE: FBI to inaugurate national DNA database
> Ernest Hua[SMTP:[email protected]] wrote:
> I think it would be a very bad idea for civil liberties
> groups to come out 100% against this. So far all they
> have said is that they intend to log all convicted criminals.
> If the C.L. groups complain about that, then it would be too
> easy for the FBI to turn around and say, "Geez! These guys
> complain about anything and everything we do!"
I think you are falling for the old bazaar bargaining trick. The guy
wants to sell you a carpet that is worth a shekel. He reckons he can do
you for ten shekels. So he starts the bidding at a hundred and you
think you've done well when you've beaten him down to fifteen. America
is - cypherpunks tell me - a country where people worry about their
social security number being kept on databases, where caller id on
phones can be a hot political issue. This DNA business is far more
intrusive and dangerous than any of that. Don't fall for it!
Don't fall for the argument that it is only the bad guys who get tagged.
They can define anyone they want as a bad guy. How many people do you
know who have never done anything for which they could be convicted as a
criminal? Never driven a car faster then the speed limit, never smoked
dope, never ridden a bicycle on the pavement, never been drunk in a
public place? To a large extent the set of "convicted criminals" is
governed by police or court decisions rather than by the actions of the
Over here in Britain we've had a long succession of intrusive, abusive
laws promulgated in the name of public safety, law and order, peace on
the streets. The previous government had their absurd "dangerous dogs
act" which became a laughing stock before the ink was dry then their
horrendous and evil "Criminal Justice Bill" with racist provisions
allowing the police to persecute travellers and uttely useless laws
against "music with repetitive beats" not to mention new rules to
control "young offenders, bailed persons, squatters, travellers,
ravers, protesters, trespassers, arrested persons, defendants,
hunt-saboteurs, pornographers, video pirates, obscene telephone-callers,
prisoners, racists, terrorists, ticket touts, cannabis-smokers, serious
fraudsters and not forgetting gay men under 18."
The current lot aren't as bad, and are certainly more well-intentioned
but they haven't repealed any of the earlier stuff and are, bit by bit,
filling in the few gaps in the wall of regulation and legislation the
Tories built around anyone who wasn't a middle-aged white man who
worked 9 to 5, living in a suburb with a car and a mortgage, who never
Our current Home Secretary (cabinet minister with responsibility for
police anong other things) was probably the first person in such a
position in any major country who was brought up by a single mother on a
violent estate (what you'd call a housing project in America) and he
thinks he knows - no he *does* know - what most ordinary people in
environments like that want from life. So he proposes law after law to
make things better, to tell people how they ought to live, all with the
best of intentions. Curfews for children (you ask questions and he will
just come back at you and say "do you *really* think 9-year-old children
should be wandering around on their own at night, or in gangs?" to which
the honest answer is "no, but it's none of your business if they do").
Compulsory parenting education for parents whose children commit
crimes. A national register of paedophiles - which is made public, so a
couple of convicted child abusers, on being released from jail asked to
be taken back in again because their life wasn't safe outside. Defining
email that goes outside the country as "export" so that writing about
bombs (or cryptography?) can come under the strategic arms export
regulations. And so on.
And all the while local councils put up cameras in every high street...
And all the
> Secondly, it is much more important to focus law makers
> on the FBI's "constantly pushing for everything they can
> get away with while talking BALANCE" behavior than to nickle
> and dime every law favoring the FBI. They must be shown
> for their blatant lies rather than for their gray area behavior.
> Otherwise, it's a very very tough battle.