Feeds

Feds to collect DNA of every person they arrest

Creepy mission creep

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

In a major expansion of the US government's DNA collection practices, officials plan to collect DNA samples of every citizen arrested by a federal law enforcement agency and all immigrants detained by a federal authority. The move will add 1.2 million people's genetic blueprints to the federal database every year.

Until now, federal authorities have only taken DNA samples of those convicted of a federal felony. The new rules would mark the first time the feds have collected DNA from those who are arrested but never charged and from people other than US citizens and legal permanent residents.

The proposed rule - which is subject to a 30-day public comment period after being published in the Federal Register - is a major expansion to the once-narrow confines of DNA collection. The National DNA Index System (NDIS) was established in 1994, to store profiles of people convicted of rape, murder and other serious violent crimes. A decade later, feds began indexing records of people convicted of any felony. Around the same time states that also collect DNA samples of people arrested (there are 13 of them now) began sharing that information over to the NDIS.

Civil libertarians are none too happy about the move. They complain of mission creep and say it's an invasion of privacy of people who are arrested but who are never charged with a crime, or who are later acquitted. Those backing the new rules say federal employees may not use the records to identify genealogy, genetic traits or diseases. They also say people wrongly arrested can petition the Justice Department to destroy the records.

But according to the Associated Press, it can take up to two years to get records expunged, and in the meantime, it's unclear what is to prevent employees from skirting those rules. Only last month the US State Department admitted that workers had snooped on the supposedly private passport records of all three presidential candidates.

Federal authorities arrest about 140,000 individuals every year. About one million more individuals are detained for being in the US illegally. The NDIS is about to get a lot bigger. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.