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Thread: DNA database

  1. #1
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    Default DNA database

    what are the arguments against these? Besides for the "civil liberties" debate which is pretty weak in this case, I can't think of one and to my mind the benefits clearly outweigh any potential drawbacks.

    If we're willing to have ourselves identified by the state as a number and give them all our details from birth to death, isn't this just one more piece of info?

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    Default Re: DNA database

    Quote Originally Posted by miller1910
    what are the arguments against these? Besides for the "civil liberties" debate which is pretty weak in this case, I can't think of one and to my mind the benefits clearly outweigh any potential drawbacks.

    If we're willing to have ourselves identified by the state as a number and give them all our details from birth to death, isn't this just one more piece of info?
    It would be more that it offers the potential for the state to pick up your traces at any place of investigation, and that, given the dire record of the state in keeping information secret, your genetic information will eventually come into either commercial or criminal hands - and the constantly increasing scientific understanding of the human genome means that your DNA tells more and more about you.

    If the pickup of genetic material becomes routine enough to be automated (think Gattaca), you are essentially handing the state something that identifies you nearly uniquely without your consent or knowledge.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Default Re: DNA database

    Quote Originally Posted by miller1910
    what are the arguments against these? Besides for the "civil liberties" debate which is pretty weak in this case, I can't think of one and to my mind the benefits clearly outweigh any potential drawbacks.

    If we're willing to have ourselves identified by the state as a number and give them all our details from birth to death, isn't this just one more piece of info?
    Maybe we should just get Revenue to lift the relevant personal details from social networking sites...

    Many social networkers post everything but their DNA on their own pages...

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    What disadvantages? The bigger a database is the more frequent are mistakes. I saw a British MP on Sky News defend their database yesterday but say that the "multiple errors must be corrected before it can be expanded".

    Try putting everyone on it, and you quickly get cases of innocent names being confused with a criminal's dna.

    add to that the fact that most DNA found at a crime scene is unconnected with the crime. Same goes for fingerprints. And the fact that most murderers are known to the victim, so that thier DNA is at the scene is useless for identifying them. The O'Reilly trial showed this. His DNA was everwhere at the crime scene, but as it was his house, it didn't help the case at all.

    DNA evidence is also very easy to plant and to fake. It comes down to the Garda being asked in court: "Did you find the defendant's DNA at the scene?", "Yes I did", case closed.

    A DNA database is an expensive option, which can only help in a small fraction of crimes, but the high cost diverts resources from more practical crime fighting methods.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    There are not many valid argument against a DNA database. There is no proposal that conviction on DNA evidance alone should be deemed untirely safe. Most arguments seem to be based on automatic mistrust of authority. The same arguments are used against the introduction of a national ID card, which as can be seen in a great many democratic countries has not led to a lessoning of any freedom.

    We are entering into the age of the genome, and the information a DNA database provides should be controlled by the state, rather than the state playing catch up with private enterprise or criminals. We cannot stop scienfitic progress but should be in a position to help dicate its safe development and use.
    g4 ... e5
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    And the slow slide into the New Fascism continues, with the grovelling lapdogs of the Privateer Corporatists eagerly lining up to sell themselves into serfdom.
    Je suis un loo-lah

  7. #7
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    My main problem with this kind of thing is that, if those who hold the reins of power decide that they don't want to leave, there will be little or no chance of fighting back. They'll have everything on us.


    I also dislike the cashless society/ID card ideas. Imagine, a chip/card that can be simply switched off remotely, denying you access to funds and preventing you from traveling.

    AND DON'T SAY "..but if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about".

    That's bullshit:
    A CONTROL order restricting the movements of a British convert to Islam was quashed by the High Court in London yesterday, in the latest blow to the government's controversial counter-terrorism measures.
    MI5 claimed restrictions were still necessary because of a "reasonable suspicion" that Cerie Bullivant, 25, planned to travel to Iraq or Afghanistan to engage in terrorist activity.

    But Mr Justice Collins quashed the order, saying: "There is no reasonable suspicion that establishes that."


    Basically, the police said that an informer claimed that since he converted to Islam, he had become very secretive, the informer also alleged that the guy had been offered money to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The result?
    Mr Bullivant had said he was not a terrorist and the order had taken him to "the depths of despair".

    He said his mental health had suffered, and added: "As a direct result of the imposition of the order, my wife has left me, and my family and friends have become deeply distressed."


    He was forced to wear an electronic bracelet, placed under strict curfew and surveillance and was never informed of any evidence against him or even told how long the control order would last.

    Full story

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man
    Most arguments seem to be based on automatic mistrust of authority.
    Nothing wrong with that. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

    The same arguments are used against the introduction of a national ID card, which as can be seen in a great many democratic countries has not led to a lessoning of any freedom.
    The proposed UK ID system is radically different to any ID system on mainland Europe, even ignoring the UK's shockingly poor record on data security. For one, the UK proposes to sell ID data to corporations to fund the system. Such a thing would be illegal in France, for example.

    You can't simply say "ID cards are ok, cos other countries have them" without looking at the fine print. Both Russia and Denmark have ID systems, but the systems are as different as night and day.

    Having said that, I would be in favour of a voluntary ID card system in Ireland, but one nothing like the UK system.

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    I love the radio ads that tell us the EU is funding something called makeitsecure.ie to warn us against identity theft. The same lads want to fingerprint its citizens before graciously giving them a passport to leave the reservation. Now that is what I call identity theft.
    'To attempt to rerun a referendum as a means of reversing the democratic decision taken by the people would be rightly regarded as an affront'. Dick Roche TD 21.12.01

  10. #10

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    We used to have DNA records. I think it was 1978 when they decided to stop keeping peoples DNA on record from birth. But of course back then there was no reason to keep them.

    As posters above have shown, there is no real reason to not to keep a DNA database. Just conspiracy nuts.
    "Are you telling me that a computer, a robot and my wife would create a "natuarlly balanced" society? The consequences are too monstrous to contemplate.."
    -farnaby.

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