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posted by martyb on Friday May 26 2017, @01:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-comes-next? dept.

Chinese police are amassing a huge amount of genetic information in Xinjiang:

Police in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, China, have been collecting DNA samples from citizens and are now ramping up their capacity to analyse that genetic cache, according to evidence compiled by activists and details gathered by Nature. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch reported last month that Xinjiang authorities intend to accelerate efforts to gather blood samples from the region's large population of Muslim Uighur people. China's government has cracked down on Xinjiang's separatist movement in recent years, so the prospect of a DNA database there has stoked fears that authorities could use it as a political weapon.

[...] In its report, the organization said that Xinjiang's police had ordered 12 DNA sequencers. Nature has confirmed the order and learned, from documents and interviews with those involved in the transaction, that the police have purchased enough machines to process up to 2,000 DNA samples per day. The police department hung up when Nature rang to ask about the reason for the purchase.

[...] Many countries use DNA fingerprinting to solve crimes, reunite kidnapped children with their parents and identify bodies, and some researchers say that the boost in Xinjiang's DNA-analysis capacity does not, by itself, stand out. "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation," says Sara Katsanis, who researches the applications of genetic testing at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Still, Katsanis and others worry about how DNA is being collected in China and especially in Xinjiang. Last year, Human Rights Watch reported that citizens in Xinjiang were required to give a blood sample to get a passport. And in March, Chinese state media detailed the conclusion of a 4-month programme during which 17.5 million people — who were predominantly Uighurs — were given health checks, including blood tests. Last week, reports emerged that many of the people who underwent these examinations had been forced to do so.

Previously:
China Bans Islam-Related Names in Xinjiang


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @01:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @01:19PM (#515946)

    OMG socialism! Moooooooooooslims! Government DNA collection! Human Rights Watch and Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooslims!

    Tell me what to think, SN!

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 26 2017, @01:36PM (10 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @01:36PM (#515948) Journal

    All I have is a stupid joke.

    If you take DNA sampes from every Chinese in China, how much variance is there? Somewhere between zip and zilch.

    Well, I warned you it was stupid - you didn't have to read it.

    --
    We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @02:03PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @02:03PM (#515959)

      What if there are genes that largely distinguish Uighurs from Han? There might be a temptation to create an ethnic bioweapon.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 26 2017, @02:43PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @02:43PM (#515972) Journal
        Or just good old fashioned ethnic cleansing/genocide.
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday May 26 2017, @04:44PM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 26 2017, @04:44PM (#516018)

          The Chinese don't eradicate outright, they dilute.

          Old comedian talking as a Chinese: the egg has a yellow part and a whiteish part. When you mix the two, the whole thing is yellow.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 26 2017, @05:19PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @05:19PM (#516038) Journal
            I did mention ethnic cleansing, so I got that covered. But one can't rule out genocide since the Chinese are putting into play a tool that makes that easier and more effective without any sort of institutional safeguards against genocide at the national level (such as democratic elections).
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @05:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @05:09PM (#516033)

        > ethnic bioweapon.

        Ethnic sensor would suffice; bioweapons bring international condemnation, guns and clubs don't. "Touch this thumbpad like for insulin measurement please" - 30s later a screen lights up showing ethnic mix, and what level of violence is allowed.

        Disgusting.

        And probable near-future.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday May 27 2017, @03:13AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday May 27 2017, @03:13AM (#516273) Journal

        No need for a bio-weapon. It's enough to simply being able to differentiate people according to genetic markers. And treat them differently when it comes to freedom of movement and welfare to make the suffer. It would serve the interest of the the Chinese government to be able to geofence the whole Muslim population on a industrial scale.

        It's not that far fetched..

        Though with 21 815 815 people living in the region and a capacity of 2000 people per day it will take 30 years to complete. So something is missing. Either they intend to expand the capacity by a factor of say 10 or they will utilize random sampling to home in on the genetic markers to differentiate people. And then use that to stamp identity papers with full or second class citizenry.

        Otoh, they do have the capacity to design a bio-weapon. The catch is that it's unreliable and may as well wipe out populations elsewhere and then they can get "quite" angry. Not a good idea. But given a few more bits of the puzzle it should be possible to figure out what they are up to.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:43PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:43PM (#515998)

      Anyway, these people are not Chinese. As one told me, loud enough to get the Chinese to look around and take notice, "I am not Chinese, I am Türk!"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @09:52PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @09:52PM (#516151)

        Runaway's Chinese education is still failing. He's just an American racist, like the guys in another era who beat up a Chinese American in Detroit because the Japanese were taking American automotive industry jobs by building better cars. Racists. Their jokes are not funny.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @12:15AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @12:15AM (#516209)

          Your trolling might have had some impact at the top of this conversation. Coming at the end, it looks more like a petulant child who hasn't been able to understand the exchange. Poor little retard.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @01:46AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @01:46AM (#516233)

            And your trolling of the troll is even more petulant and childish than the original racist american! 白左! 白左!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by black6host on Friday May 26 2017, @01:53PM (6 children)

    by black6host (3827) on Friday May 26 2017, @01:53PM (#515955) Journal

    In my world, "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation," (Sara Katsanis,) is not expected at all. When I read her quote my response was: 1. Strongly Disagree

    Now perhaps she was just being pragmatic and meant we're all doomed, it's going to happen anyway.

    Well, back to the rest of the world, crazy times, crazy times.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday May 26 2017, @02:27PM (2 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday May 26 2017, @02:27PM (#515967) Journal

      I had the same reaction. I invite Sara Katsanis and everyone in government and the citizenry who shares her opinions to emigrate to North Korea.

      The pendulum in America needs to swing back to freedom with a vengeance.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:51PM (#516001)

        Please note Sara Katsanis does not work for government - she is a researcher at Duke. Her specialty, apparently, is about how the genetic technologies are applied and used in formulating policies. I am guessing as part of this she has data to show that authoritarianism is a natural progression at THIS POINT in time. So no need to deport her to North Korea.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @04:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 27 2017, @04:58AM (#516303)

        Society is becoming more divided. Each division wants to be rid of the others.

        Things will get worse until society is monocultural again, which only happens as a new culture arises from the leftovers of a bloody genocide.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by takyon on Friday May 26 2017, @05:59PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday May 26 2017, @05:59PM (#516052) Journal

      Good quote, huh? We just expect it now. Certainly the U.S. has been amassing a lot of biometric data and DNA samples, so it's no shock to see China doing the same.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @08:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @08:48PM (#516115)

      “Those who are willing to surrender their freedom for security have always demanded that if they give up their full freedom it should also be taken from those not prepared to do so.” - Friedrich Hayek

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday May 27 2017, @03:03AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Saturday May 27 2017, @03:03AM (#516270) Journal

      Sara Katsanis seems to have a very unfounded idea on what constitutes a civilized nation. The design of society has to consider that even those in power positions suffer from idiocy, groupthink, greed, opportunism and especially psychopathy. Failing to take this into account leads to misery.

      Police is like pepper. Too little or too much ain't good. Only the right balance will work in the long run.

  • (Score: 2) by Taibhsear on Friday May 26 2017, @02:24PM

    by Taibhsear (1464) on Friday May 26 2017, @02:24PM (#515965)

    "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation,"

    Is it though?
    Personally, I'd expect any civilized nation to understand the concepts of personal privacy and bodily autonomy.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @05:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @05:05PM (#516030)

    FTS: "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation," says Sara Katsanis

    What?! Sorry, please justify this statement. Or does the verb "expected" in this context mean "governments of civilized nations have momentum towards increased expansion of police surveillance, so they would be surprised if that somehow stopped or even slowed"?

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