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posted by janrinok on Friday May 18 2018, @01:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the creepy dept.

In Germany, controversial law gives Bavarian police new power to use DNA

Police in the German state of Bavaria will have new powers to use forensic DNA profiling after a controversial law passed [May 15] in the Landtag, the state parliament in Munich. The law is the first in Germany that allows authorities to use DNA to help determine the physical characteristics, such as eye color, of an unknown culprit.

The new DNA rules are part of a broader law which has drawn criticism of the wide surveillance powers it gives the state's police to investigate people they deem an "imminent danger," people who haven't necessarily committed any crimes but might be planning to do so.

[...] move was prompted, in part, by the rape and murder of a medical student in Freiburg, Germany, in late 2016. An asylum seeker, originally from Afghanistan, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. But some authorities complained that they could have narrowed their search more quickly if they had been able to use trace DNA to predict what the suspect would look like. Existing federal and state laws allow investigators to use DNA only to look for an exact match between crime scene evidence and a potential culprit, either in a database of known criminals or from a suspect.

In 2017, federal authorities proposed allowing investigators to conduct broader DNA profiling, but the proposal stalled after critics called for an expanded ethical debate on the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques.


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Politics: DNA Databases in the U.S. and China are Tools of Racial Oppression 166 comments

DNA Databases in the U.S. and China Are Tools of Racial Oppression

Two major world powers, the United States and China, have both collected an enormous number of DNA samples from their citizens, the premise being that these samples will help solve crimes that might have otherwise gone unsolved. While DNA evidence can often be crucial when it comes to determining who committed a crime, researchers argue these DNA databases also pose a major threat to human rights.

In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that currently contains over 14 million DNA profiles. This database has a disproportionately high number of profiles of black men, because black Americans are arrested five times as much as white Americans. You don't even have to be convicted of a crime for law enforcement to take and store your DNA; you simply have to have been arrested as a suspect.

[...] As for China, a report that was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in mid-June claims that China is operating the "world's largest police-run DNA database" as part of its powerful surveillance state. Chinese authorities have collected DNA samples from possibly as many as 70 million men since 2017, and the total database is believed to contain as many as 140 million profiles. The country hopes to collect DNA from all of its male citizens, as it argues men are most likely to commit crimes.

DNA is reportedly often collected during what are represented as free physicals, and it's also being collected from children at schools. There are reports of Chinese citizens being threatened with punishment by government officials if they refuse to give a DNA sample. Much of the DNA that's been collected has been from Uighur Muslims that have been oppressed by the Chinese government and infamously forced into concentration camps in the Xinjiang province.

Related:


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @02:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @02:52AM (#680977)

    move was prompted, in part, by the rape and murder of a medical student in Freiburg, Germany, in late 2016. An asylum seeker, originally from Afghanistan, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

    It helped that her father is a bigwig lawyer at the European Commission. As if the government would move heaven and earth if a welcome guest had assaulted a commoner.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Friday May 18 2018, @02:55AM (12 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Friday May 18 2018, @02:55AM (#680979) Journal

    TFA:

    Some analysts worry expanded DNA use could have problematic outcomes. For example, Lipphardt and others caution that although the science behind forensic DNA profiling is solid, it still comes with significant uncertainties that can be easily misunderstood by police and the public. “The proponents are framing this as the most safe, secure and objective technique available. But they exaggerate the numerical certainties,” she says. “That creates the impression that it’s clear-cut what race someone is or where someone comes from, and that’s not true.”
    ...
    “If there’s a 95% chance of blue eyes, then you can evaluate that accordingly.” If a probability is lower—which is common for such eye colors as green, brown, or hazel—then the investigators are at least aware of that uncertainty, he says. In contrast, he notes, “with eyewitness testimony you have no idea if it’s right or wrong.”

    So, that's not as controversial as it may seem.

    ---

    But this is more than controversial:

    However, opposition parties and other groups say the new law goes too far in allowing police to intercept mail, hack into electronic communications, and even use drones to track people they deem suspicious. Previously authorities had to demonstrate that a person posed a “concrete threat” before they could take such steps.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by driverless on Friday May 18 2018, @05:06AM (11 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Friday May 18 2018, @05:06AM (#681012)

      Looking at some of the (non-technological) stuff in there, I can see that it'd be a fairly easy law to draft. They just had to go back to copies of laws they passed in the mid to late 1930s and reuse those.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @01:09PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @01:09PM (#681137)

        They wouldn't be pursuing these laws if they weren't dealing with their open door policy to Middle Easterners. And they wouldn't be dealing with THAT problem if they weren't still trying to atone for the sins of the father.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday May 18 2018, @01:13PM (9 children)

          by driverless (4770) on Friday May 18 2018, @01:13PM (#681140)

          They wouldn't be pursuing these laws if they weren't dealing with their open door policy to Middle Easterners.

          And they wouldn't have needed the original laws if they weren't dealing with their open door policy to Jews, gypsies, and non-Aryans. Heard it all before, in old black-and-white newsreels, and later in Nuremberg trial testimony.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @01:42PM (8 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @01:42PM (#681151)

            So you are equating "Jews, gypsies and non-Aryans" with criminals such as the one that precipitated this law. You know, the one who raped and murdered a German national? Interesting...

            https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-03/germany-must-come-to-terms-with-refugee-crime [bloomberg.com]

            https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/crime-spike-in-germany-puts-pressure-on-immigration-policy [pbs.org]

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42557828 [bbc.com]

            I know these are all links to the fake news alt-right: BBC, PBS, and the publication rag from that far right nutcase, Michael Bloomberg.

            • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday May 18 2018, @01:51PM (3 children)

              by driverless (4770) on Friday May 18 2018, @01:51PM (#681154)

              So you are equating "Jews, gypsies and non-Aryans" with criminals such as the one that precipitated this law.

              Yes. That's exactly how Jews, gypsies, and other non-Aryans were presented to the German public in the 1930s and 1940s. Read or watch any Nazi propaganda to see examples.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:35PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:35PM (#681203)

                I see. The BBC and PBS are just the same as Nazi Propaganda under Goebbels.

                • (Score: 2) by Unixnut on Friday May 18 2018, @04:02PM (1 child)

                  by Unixnut (5779) on Friday May 18 2018, @04:02PM (#681223)

                  > I see. The BBC and PBS are just the same as Nazi Propaganda under Goebbels.

                  Not the same at all, by a long stretch. I don't know about PBS, but the BBC has refined propaganda to the point that it makes Goebbels look like an amateur.

                  The Nazis would have salivated at the level of mass manipulation possible now with our always on interconnected world. Especially a world where everything is digital, and not hardcopy, making it really easy for past information to be altered or deleted. Like the 1984 "memory hole".

                  When you can alter the past easily to fit the present narrative, you can build a case for any future action. 1984 was truly a manual to the people in power, unfortunately. They took the books lessons to heart, shame the masses didn't.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @04:28PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @04:28PM (#681234)

                    Not the same at all, by a long stretch. I don't know about PBS, but the BBC has refined propaganda to the point that it makes Goebbels look like an amateur.

                    Really? The BBC seems fairly facts oriented and lacking in the "opinion as news" narrative we see in the US. A quick glance at the headlines seems to indicate that as well. They do, along with US media, seem overly preoccupied with the wedding of Prince Ginger and Princess Pickaninny.

                    I've always thought that PBS is pretty facts oriented as well. The far right seems to hate them, however, as too left leaning.

                    The Nazis would have salivated at the level of mass manipulation possible now with our always on interconnected world. Especially a world where everything is digital, and not hardcopy, making it really easy for past information to be altered or deleted. Like the 1984 "memory hole".

                    And all this time, I've been telling people just the opposite. Anything posted online will be recorded forever. Isn't that why Europe has been whining for the "right to be forgotten"?

            • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday May 18 2018, @02:17PM (3 children)

              by driverless (4770) on Friday May 18 2018, @02:17PM (#681162)

              Also, forgot to add: Germany sees about two thousand murders a year, and about seven thousand rapes. Apparently as long as it was Germans doing that, this law wasn't required. However, when a single Jew... sorry, gypsy... Pole.... dammit, keep targeting the wrong ethnic group, I meant Middle Eastern person commits a murder, it becomes necessary to pass a law like this.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:39PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:39PM (#681208)

                I know you open border enthusiasts can't see it, but it's the job of government to protect THEIR citizens, not someone else's.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @08:40PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @08:40PM (#681375)

                  He was talking about Germany, fool.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:41PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @03:41PM (#681211)

                Go back and reread my links. It's a lot more than just one murder.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @06:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18 2018, @06:42AM (#681036)

    could have narrowed their search more quickly

    To narrow the search more quickly. That is the theme here. This will never be expanded to use only-DNA as evidence to convict anyone. Also, there can never be instances where DNA etc will be planted. And the system automatically finds out who it was and picks them up and locks them up for life without a trial. That is where we are leading.

    Because a law cannot be abused to punish opposition and to stifle competition and control dissent. Never. Politicians are the best people out there. *I need to puke now*

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