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October 04, 2005

it might be a good time to invest in cotton swabs

A bill being considered by the United States Senate seeks to expand the number of people who would be required to have their DNA added to a national criminal database. But not to worry, this expansion would be carefully limited only to individuals who have been proven arrested beyond a reasonable doubt by a police force of their peers.

Under current law, in order for a person to have their DNA added to the database, they would have to go through a laborious exercise historians tell us was once called “due process.” This involved being indicted by a grand jury, going through a trial, and then being found guilty. All this bother just to be able to collect, retain, examine, and make available to police forces across the country little more than the complete biological blueprint of your very being. Talk about overkill.

Perhaps our 18th century forebears had time to deal with such niceties as courts and lawyers having as they did, domesticated dinosaurs to perform most household chores but we’re busy people what with Pilates class, soccer practice, dentist appointments and not one, but two Apprentice reality TV shows to TiVo.

There is some concern regarding the security of such sensitive information. There is nothing to worry about. The government is using only the finest Microsoft software to ensure the safety of the information as evidenced by the 1238 security holes already patched this week. Wait, make that 1246. So you can rest assured that, hold it, they found another seven. No matter, it’s as safe as your bank account!

Civil libertarians have raised objections to the proposal noting that DNA should be kept only where there is convincing evidence that a crime has been committed, such as when someone has been found guilty of being Tom DeLay.  Proponents of the measure dismiss such talk suggesting that maybe we ought to, you know, arrest a couple of civil libertarians. 

Just as a preventative measure.

J.

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October 4, 2005 at 11:39 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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