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Surrender Your DNA to the State
New York governor George Pataki is an enemy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In particular, Amendment IV, which states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Pataki wants your DNA if you are convicted of jaywalking or speeding, commonly known as misdemeanors. Pataki believes your bodily fluid is owned by the state and if you are arrested and convicted for the crime of holding up a placard in opposition to Bush as his motorcade wings past your neighborhood you will surrender a bit of salvia on a swab. Of course, salvia and DNA are not specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights, even though the amendment declares Americans shall be “secure in their persons,” that is to say our salvia and DNA is our business and not the property of the state. Pataki and the bureaucrats in New York want your salvia, so they say, just in case you happened to be on the scene of a more serious crime sometime in the past. In other words, you are a suspect to a multitude of crimes, even if there is no probable cause.
“In a state where 15,000 DNA profiles have been extracted from unsolved crimes and where cold cases are reopened daily on the basis of DNA evidence, proponents say a database including all offenders will give police the tool they need to track down thousands of attackers, rapists and murderers,” reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. In other words, even jaywalkers—and Bush protesters—are potential serial rapists and murderers. In fact, the entire country is suspect.
Of course, this is simply an excuse. It is the nature of the state to surveil, probe, tax, appropriate, and ultimately profile every citizen in sprawling databases—and not specifically for any crime committed in the past. It is all part of a “global registration and surveillance infrastructure,” as Richard Norton-Taylor pointed out in the Guardian last April, heeding the warnings of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, including the American Civil Liberties Union, and Statewatch, a UK-based bulletin which tracks developments in the EU. “The US and EU governments are expanding legal powers to eavesdrop and to store the product of intercepted personal communications,” and obviously salvia as well. “To achieve their ends, they say, governments have suspended judicial oversight over law enforcement agents and public officials, concentrated unprecedented power in the hands of the executive arm of government, and rolled back criminal law and due process protections that balance the rights of individuals against the power of the state.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) would go even further than Pataki. In September, they attempted to add an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act that “would create a national registry of DNA taken from any person who has been detained by the police, even if the person is not arrested or convicted,” according to Declan McCullagh. Senator Patrick Leahy “said that he is worried that whole classes of people, such as Latinos or Muslims, will be rounded up and their DNA will be recorded in the registry.”
Of course, if the state has its way, rounding folks up and forcing them to surrender bodily fluid will not be limited to Muslims and Latinos—all of us will have our computerized profiles with biometric data and, eventually, our own little subdermal VeriChip, easily inserted in our increasingly Amendment IV unprotected bodies in conjunction with a routine vaccination. “About the size of a grain of rice, each VeriChip product contains a unique verification number that is captured by briefly passing a proprietary scanner over the VeriChip,” notes Applied Digital Solutions, the manufacturer of the VeriChip. “The standard location of the microchip is in the triceps area between the elbow and the shoulder of the right arm. The brief outpatient ‘chipping’ procedure lasts just a few minutes and involves only local anesthetic followed by quick, painless insertion of the VeriChip. Once inserted just under the skin, the VeriChip is inconspicuous to the naked eye. A small amount of radio frequency energy passes from the scanner energizing the dormant VeriChip, which then emits a radio frequency signal transmitting the verification number.”
In other words, in the not too distant future (after taking our DNA samples in lieu of fingerprints at the local grocery store check-out lane), cops may be armed with VeriChip injectors along with their 9mms, Tasers, and Mace and will microchip “any person who has been detained … even if the person is not arrested or convicted.” If you’d like a preview of our Brave New Future, rent Minority Report on DVD.
I exaggerate, of course, but not a whole lot.
Pataki has the people of New York on a slippery slope—and the neocon
senators Cornyn and Kyl have the rest of us here in America on one as well.
Note that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved taking genetic material
from “detainees in the ‘war on terror’ and a number of
others never charged or convicted of a crime” on a voice vote. Of
course, any number of us may eventually become “detainees” in
the so-called “war on terror,” especially if we refuse to believe
our town is quarantined due to the spread of bird flu confined to poultry