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Privacy & crimes - Too far? Not far enough?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    There have been many questions about our privileges & privacy lately,
    especially with increasing or new tech,
    terrorism, both internal and external
    and just plain everyday...going about your home...or work.

    I have a hard time with this often...as I see the need for both sides.

    But this one is easy, I agree that DNA is like fingerprints.
    My attitude is...if you want mine, take it. Enjoy.

    What is your thought?
    Or even of those topics of privacy that are different than just this specific case.

  2. Cubby

    Cubby Vertical

    I agree with you. I honestly don't mind my information (fingerprints/DNA/whatever) being available for identification purposes. I'm not going to do anything unlawful (that I know of..:) ) so it won't affect me at all. At least in my opinion. Of course I have an identical twin brother so I share my DNA with another person but still...

    I think the same about cameras in public areas. I don't care if you capture me driving down the highway at x time of night. This won't be publicly accessible and even if it is who cares. If cameras in public can be used to save lives/capture criminals I'm all for them.

    I do know this is a very contentious issue though so I'm not saying what I think is the correct or best way it is just how I feel.
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    "He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection."​
    —From Michel Foucault's theory of panopticism in his book Discipline and Punish

    This is, of course, merely one aspect of the increasingly ubiquitous surveillance state. The typical rationale is that it's necessary to protect law-abiding citizens from criminals and terrorists. As the saying goes, if you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.

    The problem, however, is when having such power of surveillance is abused. This is why it's necessary to have third-party watchdogs to ensure proper checks and balances.

    I hope that's the case in the U.S., where it seems the surveillance state is rationalized as a part of state security in a post-9/11 world.

    Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government? | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

    Kafka, meet Orwell: peek behind the scenes of the modern surveillance state - Boing Boing

    An increasingly unchecked surveillance state - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
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  4. Lindy

    Lindy Moderator Staff Member Donor

    We could have the Cincinnati IRS office watch over the DNA database.
    They could decide which records to keep and which ones to lose.:rolleyes:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Spiritsoar

    Spiritsoar Slightly Tilted

    New York
    This whole case is riddled with inconsistencies. But the key point is that this is an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment. "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." The Court trying to redefine that a DNA swab is more reasonable that a blood test because the skin isn't punctured is a weak qualification.

    The determination of Fourth Amendment violation is in weighing whether the governments interests outweigh the individuals right to privacy. If the right to privacy is upheld during an arrest for the search of property (e.g. being arrested does not give the police to search your house without a warrant.) then I would say that the privacy of my body should be held to the same or higher standards. The interest of the government put forth is both inadequate in general, and inapplicable in this specific case. The governments interests in this case are "identification of arrestees and DNA identification’s unmatched potential to serve that interest." DNA is not "unmatched" in its ability to identify the arrestee, it is no more effective and more intrusive than other methods already accepted. And more importantly, the DNA taken from the person in this case was demonstrably not for the purpose of identifying him. It took weeks for the DNA sample to be processed, by which time, presumable the person in question had already been adequately identified by other means.

    It's a slippery slope, and that's why we need to be aware of it. It's a popular view to say "It's just like fingerprinting" or "I didn't break the law, I don't have anything to worry about." But you do. You have your individual expectation of privacy to worry about, and that can be taken away little by little if you don't defend it.
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  6. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    For 90% of the crimes people are arrested for, I have no problem with it. It is the protestors (on both sides) that might get arrested or might even resist arrest that shouldn't be entered into some database. There are probably some other crimes too that I'm not thinking about. It is all dependent on how they define "serious crimes".
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Well, I'd quite frankly rather have them have my DNA on record,
    than tracking my phonecalls, text, web use and movement through cams and GPS.

    That I have objections too...I also have objections to corporations having it.

    One is just having my "description", but internally...
    The only way I see them misusing it is if they figure out I'm susceptible to certain diseases...and they use it to refuse work. (but I doubt this)

    I do object companies having it...and currently they request background checks.
    This IS bullshit...and I think they should expand the idea of the HIPPA laws...to include personal info. (criminal, maybe...but not ANY further)

    They have given too much discretion to companies.
    And they shouldn't even allow by law companies to even request it...because they can hold this against you too if you say no.

    The basic premise of the movie "Gattaca" is coming though, if they keep allowing this,
    where companies will favor the more perfect physically over the supposed imperfect...they need to significantly restrict this.

    Government will use it for ID'ing, if given the correct protocols as with fingerprints....corporations will use it for pure selfish purposes.
  8. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Using DNA for interpretive means rather than for identification is where abuses can be devastating. I'm assuming the criminal's DNA database is skewing racially, as the justice system already skews this way. This means that interpretations suggesting certain DNA groupings are "predisposed to crime" and/or "predisposed to certain types of crime" could become a new high-tech form (and justification) of racial profiling despite the fundamental flaws in such an approach.
  9. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    Fingerprints i don't mind, they already have mine because of my Naval service. DNA however, is a totally different monster. I'm sorry, just because "I " do not plan to do anything illegal, does not make it ok. "I" am but one of 5 BILLION people on this planet. I and the 250+ MILLION in the US and it's territories have a CONSTITUTIONAL right (ahem 5th Amendment) to NOT testify against myself. Getting DNA WITHOUT a warrant, breaks that 5th Amendment because you are basically FORCED to testify against yourself. Again, it probably won't ever affect me, but it is another right that 250+ MILLION people in this nation and territories are losing. I feel it would be selfish of me and short sighted of me to say "OK, take DNA without a warrant." Because once you GIVE WILLINGLY AND BLINDLY to the government the ability to take a right away, it will and it will push their position as far as they can. So, that "violent and serious" crime that the COURT now states is acceptable to take your DNA, some states and territories, in reality may claim speeding as a "serious" crime because technically speeding is endangering others on the road. Shoplifting could be "serious" because insurance companies have to cover the losses and want restitution and your DNA so that they can not track you to "prevent your further costing society money"....... It's an extremely slippery slope and with NO definitive description as to what qualifies for a "serious" crime (some states Marijuana possession is a FELONY, some states it's legal or a misdemeanor), opens the door for states to abuse this new power.

    Again, to me, it's a question of the 5th Amendment. EVERYBODY protected under the US Constitution has a right to NOT testify against themselves. By taking DNA WITHOUT a warrant you are forcing someone to testify against themselves in reality. So while this loss of a protected right HOPEFULLY, never will apply to me, I just don't want to sit idly by and blindly give it tacit approval. I just can see the government abusing this to the point where they'll get everyone's DNA at birth, is that what we truly want as a "FREE" society? We have for profit prisons that are going to need beds filled.... our government is extremely pro business and corrupt just look at what they have GIVEN Monsanto on a SILVER platter.
  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    DNA will not likely be used for this anymore than fingerprints...unless you are suggesting that they are going to use it like profiling...ex. a person's color, race, culture, dress, etc.

    There are protocols and laws to protect against these...as I would think there would be the same for DNA use.
    So the idea that it "may" be abused to detract from utilizing it as a tool or ID'ing method is taking an idea to an extreme.

    This is like saying the police can't have guns, because they may misuse them...which you might...but most don't.
    There are legal consequences to misusing firearms...so any official that does so, can be prosecuted.

    And I'd say there's going to be legal consequences to mishandling and misinterpreting DNA information.
    Just like the IRS is under investigation for misinterpretation of laws...and they recently released hundreds of prisoners due to the misrepresentation of a lab tech.

    I'm not going to say it "can't" happen...but this shouldn't be a reason to not leverage it.
  11. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Well, I'm not sure whether the law handles all reasonable possibilities in this regard. If not, then we can assume that legislation will eventually come down the pipeline. If this is the case, then we need to stay abreast of how lawmakers handle what can and cannot be done with the information gathered in DNA databases.
  12. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    I agree with Pan (except that it is a 4th amendment issue of search and seizure, not 5th amendment issue of self-incrimination)...and the dissenting minority on the Court (three liberals and Scalia).

    Scalia wrote a scathing dissent.

    This is the right-leaning Supreme Court expanding police powers at the expense of civil liberties....not the first time in the last few years.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  13. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    I'm not an expert on DNA, but if they find some at a crime scene, can they tell the age, race, and (obviously) gender from the sample?

    While we are at creating a national gun registry, we might as well get the DNA to go along with it. ;)

    But, I am at 5-4 in my mind too as to weather this is good (criminals should get caught for serious crimes that should be spelled out), verses how this will be used if it becomes trivial to collect DNA and search a huge database for any crime.

    Oh, and last time I checked there were something like 330-350 million Americans, and a few million undocumented workers.
  14. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Below is a good summary article about what I was writing intensely about in the Obama thread
    I don't need to go through the whole "trirade" of me spouting off...but it does help show what the government can & can't do...
    and for now...will & won't (I can't promise about far future administrations...but one problem at a time)
    They can't realistically do more.

    Enough...here's TFA
  15. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Now THIS, I have issue with.
    It's one thing for the government to retain certain data for security/criminal purposes...with proper oversight.

    But it's fully another, to share with corporations...corporations which WILL abuse the info, since their whole agenda is profit.
    THIS needs to stop or establish MUCH more oversight and related laws pertaining to it.

  16. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    And now...they admit that they have gone too far...
    NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

    Now, this is only one article I've found...from CNET...others have yet to follow,
    so we'll see if this is an outlier...or a scoop.

    It's one thing to mine and track metadata...its another to get into indiscreet full calls and emails.
    Without warrants...
    Only with analyst determination...either bureaucrat or contractor. No management, no panel/board, no judge.

    And what about all the companies that said one thing??
    Or the politicians, both Dems & GOP, that said the same...that they were limited??

    Seems that they take the time and energy ...to go beyond the simple scan, to look into the call themselves.
    They still need to search & specify the call amongst trillions.
    But once they find the number, I guess it's just a matter of time & effort. (This is still much more than typically available)

    They better get a lock on this immediately.
    There needs to be some checks. Confirm you've got a handle on it.

    Now...THIS may have gotten to be a scandal.
    Congrats, DC....Fix it!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  17. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    This is the fundamental problem with amassing vast quantities of data about everyone, under the presumption that "only criminals need fear being known:" the data, once collected, are subject to abuse. And the government has shown no evidence to support the idea that it will not abuse the data. To the contrary, it has given ample evidence that the right to privacy exists for good reason: that those in power can never be trusted unilaterally with power too great, for they will surely misuse it.

    This nation was founded by those who had suffered an imperial government unashamed to dispense with the personal liberties of those who threatened it, and therefore those founders valued personal liberty greatly, and sought to balance strong central republican government with democratic procedures and forms, and created not only a multi-branched government to act as check and balance upon itself, but sought to promote and preserve a free press to act as a further check upon the government. Among their basic premises were that those in power had a responsibility to hold that power wisely for the benefit of the rest of the people, and that the people in turn had the right to expect not only wise actions but honesty from their representatives (and I mean honesty about matters political and social, since actually our founders were far more tolerant of discreet personal foibles than we tend to be today).

    And now we have a government that does not merely capture foreign nationals and imprison them indefinitely without trial, does not merely operate an intelligence-gathering machine of unthinkable proportions against the entire rest of the world, but turns that apparatus, and that willingness to overlook the law and its principles, against its own populace. It culls data without warrant, without specific cause, en masse, and keeps that data. It arbitrarily takes DNA from everyone arrested in certain jurisdictions and keeps the data, regardless of whether the suspect is then tried and proved guilty or not. Cameras are everywhere, sprouting like weeds from cracks in the concrete: do any of us even question where that data goes, much less how often each one of us is captured on film without our permission? And what is more, all of this is deemed "legal" because of apparently secret laws that even members of Congress are not permitted to discuss or disclose to the public, and because of secret warrants-- apparently including mass warrants for general categories of people-- have been granted by secret courts.

    We are told that the intelligence community is gathering information about "terrorists." What just cause, what reasonable grounds of suspicion are there to collect information about Occupy protestors, LGBT activists, anti-war activists, environmental activists, activists for educational reform, anti-corporate activists, anti-poverty activists, and all the others about whom it has been revealed that the NSA is collecting information?

    In this system, people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty; they are supposed to be free of official suspicion unless there are reasonable grounds for such suspicion. And their personal lives are supposed to be private unless a specific warrant is granted by a judge to search for specific evidence.

    But not anymore. Poor George Orwell is finally vindicated, his terrible vision beginning to come to pass, even if thirty years "late." The great joke, of course, is that all of this is happening under a president elected as "moderate" and "somewhat progressive." This, if anything, should show us that politicians, regardless of their party, are all the same: power-hungry oligarchs, rich and powerful parasites that feed off the body politic like maggots at a festering wound. They are not there to help anyone or care for anyone: they are too busy creating the infrastructure of their own authority, the Lidless Eye That Never Sleeps:

  18. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Now this gentleman is what I've experienced in the government contracting field.
    A casual attitude...we're doing nothing wrong, we're doing our tasks, we're doing what we can to protect.
    I was one of them...for one project or another...or security functions and tasks within corporations. I felt the same then.

    I don't mind it...he's doing his job.
    However, there does need to be more checks.
    Plus the ability to lock things back down again, after the need for them or access to them is done.

    This is forgotten about, more often than not...and one of the reasons an outlier like Snowden was able to get access to so many things over time.
    It's not that he "instantly" decided to do what he did, it's accumulation of thinking...then time to collect and organize everything.
    If you locked the door again after the need...then first, it's out of sight, out of mind...and second, even if desired they couldn't...or they'd have to justify access again.

    The check is the same they put into place for all workers with access.
    Bank tellers, store clerks, managers, cops, nurses, etc... anyone with access to money, controlled substances or people with certain authority & power.

    The key is for the powers that be to put the right locks and checks in place. Followup & follow-thru
    Ignorance is not bliss.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  19. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    Yes, security and IT have too much access and not enough people watching them IMO. Plus there is too lax of security on computers which hasn't caught up to where the old fashioned paper documents are.

    Think of how much leaking could be going on that foreign governments are coordinating but doesn't make it into the papers. Sure they government monitors the activities of people with access, but still there is too little oversight and too little restrictions on accessing 'need to know' files without a need to know.
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  20. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Makes me think of that catchphrase from that movie/comic...
    "Who watches the Watchmen??"