from the gotta-watch-the-watchers dept.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is developing a plan to take DNA samples from each of the undocumented immigrants and store it in a national database for criminal DNA profiles, they said.
Speaking to journalists on grounds of anonymity, DHS officials said the new policy would give immigration and border control agents a broader picture of the migrant and detainee situation.
And stored on the FBI's CODIS DNA database, it could also be used by others in law enforcement and beyond.
[...] Officials said they were in fact required to take the DNA samples by rules about the handling of arrested and convicted people that were issued by the Justice Department in 2006 and 2010, but which had not been implemented.
They said the program for collecting DNA was still being developed, and they did not have a date set for implementation.
Collecting and storing the DNA of people simply detained and not tried or convicted of a crime has drawn criticism from civil rights advocates.
"Forced DNA collection raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns and lacks justification, especially when DHS is already using less intrusive identification methods like fingerprinting," Vera Eidelman, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
"This kind of mass collection also alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation to population surveillance, which is contrary to our basic notions of freedom and autonomy," Eidelman said.
If it becomes okay to do this to "them", how long will it take before they want to do it to "us"?
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.
EFF to Supreme Court: The Fourth Amendment Covers DNA Collection
EFF Sues Justice Dept. Over FBI's Rapid DNA Plans
Kuwait Creating Mandatory DNA Database of All Citizens, Residents--and Visitors
San Diego Police Department Accused of Unlawful DNA Collection From Minors
Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China
Study Predicts Appearance From Genome Sequence Data
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
Bavarian Law Broadens Police Surveillance and DNA Profiling Powers
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website
Public Ancestry Data Can be Used to Narrow Down the Identity Behind an Anonymous DNA Sample
Rapid DNA Analysis Machines Coming to Police Departments
FamilyTreeDNA Deputizes Itself, Starts Pitching DNA Matching Services To Law Enforcement
Genealogy Sites Have Helped Identify Suspects. Now They've Helped Convict One
U.S. to Collect DNA of All Undocumented Migrants
US Court Let Police Search GEDmatch's Entire DNA Database Despite Protections
China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West
Cousin Took a DNA Test? Courts Could Use it to Argue You are More Likely to Commit Crimes
Ancestry Says Police Requested Access To Its DNA Database